Brave New Pixar

I still haven't gotten around to seeing "Brave," which Grim wrote about earlier this year.  Here's a new review that speaks to many of the issues he raised, and a few he didn't:
I suppose most girls remember when they became aware of themselves as specifically female viewers.  Growing up in the eighties, I watched movies about boys and girls with equal relish, empathizing with the protagonists and getting totally absorbed in story without my parts getting consciously in the way.  When I realized the boys in my classes didn’t do the same thing — they refused to see themselves in female protagonists and found the prospect humiliating to contemplate — I felt I had overstepped my bounds.  Feeling simultaneously embarrassed at being so profligate with my sympathy and spiteful towards those who weren’t, I started watching movies the way I was supposed to:  as a girl, specifically. 
Boy, was it bleak. 
If you don’t get to be Indiana Jones and have to think about how he is with girls, if you have to wonder, while watching Treasure Island, whether any of the characters you loved would even talk to you, movies become kind of painful.  You do find ways around it. For one thing, you start actively seeking out stories where people don’t rule you out quite so much.  You look for “girl movies.”  Barring some truly wonderful exceptions, you get used to eating the same three meals over and over, forever.  Without thinking about it too hard I’ll approximate them as spunkiness, pathos, and transformation.  Working Girl, He’s Just Not That Into You, Grease.  Again, some of these are great.  Most are derivative.
The somewhat tortured exegesis that follows describes a different sort of meal.


Grim said...

What I wrote about was the trailer; I haven't seen the film yet either. I mean to do so, though, before I write more about it; we've already explored the ground of the trailer adequately. Indeed we have done with the ground of superhero films in general, which I tend to hate. I saw the Avengers at the fervent request of a little boy I happen to know, and it had its moments; but most of them centered around Iron Man, whose frailty is obvious. Romanov, who was allowed none, was the least interesting character on the screen.

bthun said...

Assisting the wife and raising two daughters in the arts of being self-sufficient in all fundamental things while honing the skills necessary to defend themselves against almost all aggressors, I don't get the uproar over fantasy/stories/movies. The real world is challenging enough.

Fictional stories, while some might be thought provoking, are for the most part, an excuse to suspend all links to reality and enjoy the entertainment.

Maybe I'm just being too judgmental. On occasion, Walkin' Boss tells me that I am, and after almost four decades, I've seen the wisdom in trusting her judgment in many, many areas.

Grim said...

It's strange to say that we trust the judgment of women who seek to limit our exercise of judgment. But I do it too; I know a woman, quite liberal, whose judgment serves as a limit of my own. I trust her, in ways I do not trust myself.

My wife, too, I trust; and sometimes she also sets limits on the exercise of the judgment I hold. We have a snake in the house tonight largely because she loves them, and thus have I learned to.

So these things are true. And they speak to the power of the thing that the article wishes to investigate. But the things that are sought are not, I think, adequately captured by the investigation. The women are higher, and purer, and finer, than any story.

bthun said...

The old Neanderthal nods in agreement to Grim's assessment.

Eric Blair said...

Boy, that was an awful lot of blather about a movie. It may all be true, but geez, it's a *movie*.

Sometimes I think people only live through watching movies and TV and so on and so forth.