Women in Film: Mad Max Fury Road, Thelma and Louise, and Wonder Woman Essay
The first objective I would like to talk about is “relevant social, political, ideological and aesthetic differences between and amongst different films and different genres”. The films I would like to talk about for this question is Wonder Woman, Mad Max Fury Road and Thelma & Louise. I would like to start with talking about the oldest movie which is Thelma and Louise which came out in 1991, in this movie it was different from the time. The movie falls under the categories of Action, Thriller,
Adventure, and comedy. This movie was different for the time it promoted girl power, it was a glimpse into women’s lives and showed women are capable of taking things into their own hands. The next movie I would like to talk about is Mad Max Fury Road which, came out in 2015, in this movie there is essentially a feminist revolt, this movie was big on graphics, enslavement was something that came up in the movie and continued to be an issue. Everything was controlled by a man and women were used.
This movie was categorized as Action, Thriller, Adventure, and Fantasy. The last movie I want to talk about is Wonder Woman which came out in 2017, in this movie there was a lot of female power from Wonder Women as well as the women from the Themyscira.
The second objective I would like to talk about is “demonstrate understanding of the restrictions faced by women in the film industry and how women have sought to resist and/or subvert these restrictions”. Three films that I think can answer this question is Wonder Woman, Mad Max Fury Road and Thelma & Louise. I think that although these films may be categorized differently they are all similar in a way. In all these movies, the women have the lead roles, the women in these leadership roles think for themselves, these women are fighting for what is right, they are doing in what movies what a man would be doing, they are fighting against men, there is a man who is helping the women, the clothing is a little showier and they seem to have more lies in the movie than your typical male character. In Thelma and Louise, the main character are Thelma and Louise, they are determined to fight for the right to do what they want, they are thinking about themselves and no one else. They are fighting against men and the second important character is a man, in Wonder Woman it's Steve Trevor, in Mad Max it is Max and in Thelma and Louise it would be either JD or Jimmy.
Women have been freer to get into lead roles and more powerful roles it has changed the view of women in film. The way people look at film is different, women aren’t always playing the supporting roles now, they aren’t always in the background to men, they are allowed to speak up and kick butt if necessary. It has now become acceptable to have a movie that has a mostly female cast, to have more lines than they once did or even staring a female. Women have been in the background of the film industry, there haven’t been many directors that are women and in movies women either are used for their body, or they use their body to get their way. Typically, in film and this still goes on today you see beautiful women who are perfect and skinny. This is the image that has been shown to all of us, but is not necessarily the correct image that we should be following. I do think that all media is trying to change that image of the perfect ideal skinny woman. TV commercials now have tried to be more diverse with the looks of the people that they place in their advertisements.
For a guiding question, I would like to discuss “how/has the very idea of “women” in film change over time?” The movies that I think can best answer this question are Rear Window, Gone Girl, Thelma and Louise, Foxy Brown, Wonder Women and Mad Max Fury Road. The first movie I would like to talk about is Mad Max, I was a big fan of this movie the first time I saw it and was excited to see it on the syllabus. I think that this movie breaks the lines of women in film and as we discussed in the discussion, post this was one of the movies that male activists protested. I think that in this movie, despite everything that Furiosa and the wives had gone through at the citadel, they were willing to do anything to fight their way to the green place, essentially there was slavery going on in the citadel that Joe ran. Women fighting and rebelling against the men is a new concept and although the movie is called Mad Max and is about Max, it is also about being supportive of the women in the movie.
In Wonder Woman, the main character Diana wants to help stop this war and stop Aries. She talks about making the world better and even though she is a superhero and she can kick anyone’s butt, there are still people throughout the movie who comment on her beauty and making side comments as she walks through the street, even though she is a superhero with powers she needed to do some convincing for all the men in the movie to believe her and believe that she could help them. I think that it is amazing, even though we have this super woman power movie that there are still cat calling comments necessary in a movie that is so different from what we have seen as far as movies women are in.
Foxy Brown was a different kind of movie than the other films but it fell along similar ideas as the others. It was about a tough woman, she was trying to help her brother. She used her persuasion to intimidate and get information. She was trying to do the right thing and wasn’t afraid to fight back against the bad guys. A lot of the other movies this one dealt with race a bit since she was a black woman it came up a few times. The men in the movie knew she was tough, but there was some convincing needed at times.
Thelma and Louise, was a different movie for the time it was a pro women film and the movie was entirely about the two women. They kicked butt when they needed to, they wanted a better life for themselves, fought for one another, supported one another, and they only fought when necessary. This one was different and it was an enjoyable film to watch, it was nice to see a movie about two women who didn’t need to rely on a man to save them, they can take care of themselves.
The movie Gone Girl the main character is a man, his wife, although we don’t really get to know her until the second half of the movie is about her. She used the stereotypical idea of a woman and used it to her advantage to try to frame her husband. She played the sweet and innocent act. She got to know people in the neighborhood, she was in this whole scheme for herself and didn’t care who and what got in her way, she used her powers persuasion and her beauty to her advantage. People assumed she was innocent and kind when really, she was framing her husband. This movie compared to the other movies discussed is the complete opposite she didn’t want to help anyone, only herself, used her beauty to her advantage, and she didn’t care if she needed to use violence to get her way.
The idea of women in film has changed so much over the years, women aren’t just background anymore, they aren’t there just to do what the man wants or be saved by the men. Movies are now showing women fighting back and fighting back for what they believe in, standing up for the greater good and women can be just as strong as men. A woman staring in a movie or having more lines than a man isn’t something that is a huge deal anymore or having a movie with a bunch of strong women who support one another.
I don’t think that film is there 100% yet but it has changed a lot since the reading we did about “Gender in American film since the 1960”, a lot of things were changing when the women started to enter the workforce, women were not getting paid much and were limited to certain jobs, as for women in film they were being objectified. Some films allowed women to seem more independent like The Sound of Music. When it comes to women in film but I do think that we are becoming more open and more conscious about the film industry with women in it as actresses and directors.
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