Lemoning the Popcorn Films for Summer 2010: Part One

Summertime! And the air conditioning is preferable… Popcorn’s popping and movie attendance will be high. But Lillian, you say, I’m a discerning filmgoer. I’m queer and feminism conscious. What popcorn films can I see?

Well, my friend, I have devised a scale very similar to Mr. Kinsey’s except with misogynism and feminism instead of hetero or queer.

Let's call 1 "Whalerider" and 6 "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" (It's pretty homosocial when you think about it.)

Remember, a higher number in this case is more problematic. This is in no way a judgment on homosexuality, I just like implying that Tucker Max is not in any way the hetero bro he so insists he is. These are all guesses at the issues presented in the film and judgements based on the marketing.

Sometimes I’ll give fangirl ratings. That’s working on the usual 1 to 10 system with 10 being the best. (All films are listed in order of release date.) Continue reading

Single People’s Weeks: This is Not a Love Story: Zooey Deschanel and the Refusal of Romance

As I’ve recently been documenting, I’ve felt a little assaulted by images of romance, particularly heteronormative romance and chick flicks. It might just be because it’s getting closer to Valentine’s Day, but I’m starting to feel a little down as a single white female in Manhattan.

You're lettin' me down ladies. You're lettin' me down.

When even Carrie from Sex and the City is married, I’m failing in the romance department. But I’m not going to get depressed, and I’m not going to settle, and I’m not going to join eHarmony and become one of those gawdawful commercials.

Because, despite what the multiplex wants to tell you, the point of your life does not have to be to find a partner, have two point five kids, and spend the rest of your life making them make up for the fact that you gave up the rest of your life for them. How do I know this? I watch Zooey Deschanel films. Continue reading

Single People’s Weeks: The Hurt Locker Undergoes the Chick Flick Test

In yesterday’s post for Single People’s Weeks, I asked (sarcastically) how Kathryn Bigelow manages to make such “masculine” films in the industry’s eyes. This critic went so far as to suggest that

Cameron has made a ideologically tinted, eco-minded anti-war epic that champions Mother Nature’s feminine spirit.  Bigelow has made a gritty, no-nonsense, ultra-masculine Iraq thriller that’s remarkably free of any anti-war sentiment.  The traditional polarity of male-female sensibilities is reversed. So that’s shaping up to be quite a battle.

It seems a lot easier to define a “feminine film”, a chick flick, a film that focuses on emotions and relationships, usually heteronormative ones (though a gay male best friend may appear) with women as the target audience. They tend to be sort of liberal, and lovey-dovey and…environmental? (Mother Nature didn’t look too feminine when she sent space rhinos to stomp all over those soldiers in Avatar, but whatever.)

Want to find a chick flick? It’s as easy as going to Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers, or checking to see if the cast list is mostly women. If a woman gets top billing and her head’s on the same level or higher as the man’s, it might be a chick flick.

This!

not this.

If it has a woman by herself on the poster and she’s not in silhouette, it’s probably a chick flick.

Not this.

This.

In fact, most films directed by women tend to get shoved into this category whether they like it or not. Keeping that in mind, let’s run the poster test on The Hurt Locker. Continue reading