Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Detroit (film)

Last night I went to see the film, Detroit, about the 1967 uprising in that city. I went with my parents, which was interesting as my dad is from Detroit and my parents were living there at the time. It was interesting to ask them about the ways in which the film matched or differed from their memories.

The film is effective at portraying terrorism, one feels frightened throughout. There are also several tear-jerking moments amid the action. It is effectively emotionally manipulative and intense. I could not sleep until 5 am after watching it.

Nevertheless, the film is disappointing because it is not really about its black characters, despite being described as a film that provides a compelling and vivid look at the experience of racism. I expected a film about how police terrorism affects Black people who are terrorized by it. Instead, it is a film about a white terrorist police officer. I cannot really imagine a film about another terrorist group that would focus so much on the terrorist and so little on those terrorized. This is allegedly a film about Black experiences, but it lacks any black characters.


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This is amazing:

What I find particularly interesting about this video is the way in which Sir Michael Parkinson cannot seem to get off the topic of Helen Mirren’s body. In fact, though her body is not that voluptuous and she is not dressed in a particularly revealing way.

One of the best/worst parts happens 1:33 when Parkinsons says “You are ‘in quotes’ a serious actress.” Mirren calls him on it. Then he asks if her equipment will hinder her pursuit of becoming a serious actress. She makes him spell out what he is trying to hint at. It is marvelous.

Basically, Parkinson’s argument amounts to the idea that there are no serious actresses because all actresses will have breasts. But Mirren won’t let him get away with it.

Parkinson is just so condescending and Mirren manages to make him look like a fool. It is great. She has such poise and even though he is being rather vulgar she manages to keep her composure.


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A picture of the Cast of Law and Order: SVU

[Trigger Warning for discussions of violence against women and rape.]

One of my guilty pleasures is watching crime shows on TV. I explain why I like crime shows in this post, but I am also aware that crime shows have a number of problematic elements. Crime shows are often problematic because of the way they portray, and sometimes sensationalize, violence.

As it is with many topics, feminists have offered a number of views about the use of violence against women as a form of entertainment. Some feminists object to Law and Order: SVU because it sensationalizes violence against women, depoliticizes rape, and paints female victims as liars. Other feminists claim that SVU might have some problematic aspects, but also some redeeming qualities, such as detectives expressing the belief that no woman deserves to be raped. Still other feminists have describe their reaction to SVU as one of ambivalence caused by its mix of progressive and regressive elements.

I recently noticed one episode of Law and Order: SVU that passes the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel Test is named for Alison Bechdel who writes the comic Dykes to Watch Out For. The test is supposed to provide a metric for the development of female characters in a film, TV show or other story. To pass, a film must meet the following criteria:

1) there are at least two named female characters, who

2) talk to each other about

3) something other than a man.

[SPOILER ALERT: Below the fold I discuss the Law and Order: SVU episode “Dirty” (Season 12, Episode 14) and give away the ending]


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Two women are married as the snow flies around them.

Last night I watched the documentary, Escape to Canada, about “2003 when by apparent coincidence, gay marriage is legalized and the prohibition of marijuana is removed on the same day.” While watching this film, I noticed several instances of the argument that is the title of this post. Canadians interviewed for the film argued that they wanted to be free and part of what freedom meant to them was the ability to pay their taxes (examples below the fold).


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