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not against it's use, as it does tell you something, but it frequently has no bearing whatsoever on a film's attitude towards gender etc
quite a lot of bad horror films where 80% of them are horribly misogynistic and if anything the likelihood goes up the more women there are
uuuuuh, anyway, yeah this isn't a bad idea, just crude like DK says
- I agree with nice_squirrel. the test works quite well as an indicator of overarching attitudes.
- giving the test wider publicity is good in general, despite my obvious reservations
- as it is meaningless on the level of individual films, actually giving 'ratings' to films on an individual level is crude and misleading,
- hence, for example, the idea of that A rated 'super sunday' basically being a stupid one
rather than 'award' individual films with approval
maybe the 'A' is for acceptable
haughtily dismissed by man named 'anal_schwarzenegger'
I've been called a dumb
Nothing wrong with crude- not everything has to be an exact science
but it's not really crude. the idea isn't that a single film should be judged to be 'bad' or even necessarily unfeminist if it fails; what's meant to be a problem is that the vast, vast majority of films fail the test.
but as DK says, that's not a bad thing. but the Bechdel Test won't solve all feminism's problems, it's a step in the right direction but if folk go forward totally wedded to it then it won't be as useful as it could be
they're feminism's problems now, eh?
unfortunately, even feminism's probably not powerful enough to solve my clumsy syntax
I say go for it x
This guy, eh
may have not been addressing the point I thought I was tbf
I'm a rampant Theo at heart.
just shared it with my swedish, feminist sociologist friend and we've decided we're really excited about Catching Fire and we're now organising a field trip for our class. Obviously it's an imperfect test but as long as people are clear about what the test is measuring, I don't see the problem in using it. it's one indicator, out many possible, to highlight how gender biased cinema is. doesn't mean films are any good or anything.
The Bechdel Test isn't supposed to solve the feminist world's problems, just point out that most films are sausage fests
Interestingly I went to see Enough Said last week and I'm concerned that that might fail the Bechdel Test owing to the subject matter of the entire film being entirely about relationships. Think you can make an exemption though, seeing as it forms the basis of the entire script...
Amazing how something which was tossed into a comic strip has come to have reasonably powerful contemporary relevance I think. Fair play.
Plenty of other feminist film theory worth exploring if people are so inclined. Laura Mulvey's infuriating at times but her `Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema` essay is essential reading. Cinema is still riddled with the `Male Gaze` to varying extremes.
You've got a film with realistic repesentations of women (and men thf) but the discussions are primaraly about relationships ego men (in the film).
Do thye talk about other stuff? A little; there's a chat about arranging furniture but that's not exactly a progessive topic is it.
As an aside I was thinking that now my friends are settling down/getting married we have a lot less to talk about becasue dating/realtationships are interesting and dramatic anda big part of peopes lives which is why those conversations appear in films.
So to soley base the test on that seems a touch limiting. You could have women talk about shoes - past. Talk about relationships - fail.
I know it's about representations of women being defined by their relationship with a man, but it's not always that black and white.
there are loads of terrible Jennifer Aniston romcoms which pass. They're not good films, and they're not feminist.
But then if you look at figures for all films released during a certain period, the amount of films which fail is ludicrous. http://www.ultraculture.co.uk/11193-the-results-of-our-2012-bechdel-test.htm 63% of films in a 10 week period didn't have women having a conversation about anything other than men! (and I suspect many of those films didn't even feature two women having a conversation at all). That's really weird when you start to think about it.
this is precisely the point of it
that isn't a romcom and I'm struggling. Even films that have a female lead how many times will she speak to another women?
Prob ties into the complete lack of acting roles for women. So many times in films it will just be men on screen or vastly outnumbering the women.
Empire Strikes Back would probably pass otherwise because Leia exchanges two words about the attack on Hoth with the woman checking the radar (IIRC).
The named thing makes it harder.
The fact is that Hollywood specifically nixes films that don't have male leads, from what I've read:
There was actually a specific example I noted of this recently. There was a story on This American Life about two children, sisters, who'd been stranded (along with a load of other kids) at an airport one Christmas. It was optioned into a film and when I checked that out it seemed now the kids were magically a brother and his younger sister.
Hollywood is basically shit shit scared that men can't watch a film with a female lead character and enjoy it.
unless it's a significant plot point, a boss or a shop assistant or a neighbour is more likely to be casually cast as a man, when there's really no reason it couldn't be a woman. Male casting is the default.
around half of them only pass because the women are talking about marriage or kids.
I think it's an interesting idea.
I keep meaning to go to that. They showed A League of Their Own! I watched that again recently, it's brilliant.
Although Hanks' inability to really do 'angry' makes him an annoying choice.
I just think when he does 'angry' he just sort of yells and seems a bit ineffectual. He's fundamentally a 'nice guy' and I reckon he's just not the sort of person who ever loses his temper.
The All-American League
We come from cities
Near and faaaaaaar!
I must have seen that film no less then 30 times. Seemed to be on TV on a monthly basis for the last decade and a half.
but I think it's an interesting idea and overall the point is sound. Loving how some people have completely misunderstood the concept in the guardian comments too.
are men forbidden from driving in Sweden?
oh how the males are subjugated
Although I had heard of the Bechdel Test I didn't know too much about it, so I clicked the link in the Guardian article which takes you another page on their website called 'Grrl Scientist'. If you listen closely, that's the sound of Marie Curie turning in her grave.
mega seam of misogynist fap material right there
give it up
Although the Bechdel test has ruined my life a little bit, once you're aware of it you can't stop noticing it. I'm big into feminism and going to the cinema, and I find it a really useful concept to bear in mind. I'm a woman and I talk to other women about things which aren't men EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I don't just watch Bechdel test -passing films (pretty sure my favourite film Rushmore doesn't pass) but I would be more likely to choose a film with this stamp on. A few months ago I went to watch Mud, then The Place Beyond the Pines, then Star Trek 2 in the cinema within a couple of weeks, then I started watching Animal Kingdom on TV and had to abandon it because I was so sick of films about BROODING MEN and REVENGE and just wanted to see some women talk to each other.
I reckon about 90% of the books I read are by women actually, I tend to avoid a lot of that stuff. Love John Irving though, he's a classic male novelist type.
I wish I hadn't.
I think that's probably a reflection on generational stuff than anything else, combined with other factors. Kind of like how when I was kid it was accepted that women didn't take an interest in computers or technology, and particularly didn't really play computer games.
What are your FAVOURITE FILMS that pass the Bechamel Test? I literally can't think of any.
Damsels in Distress
In the cinema this year, good ones included Frances Ha, Stoker and Spring Breakers.
I'm going to guess 'none'.
and they only included one actual action film (Die Hard) in their top 10 action films.
Not like us:
This test does kind of bodge most genres of film though.
and the Royal Tenenbaums I think? That's a good indication of how few films pass, particularly 'critically acclaimed' ones.
It would be a bit heteronormative obvs, but a good addition to the test would be 'and the two main female characters don't have a steamy lesbian romp'.
also theres shit loads of films that pass this test, its silly
and well it's more of a guilty pleasure really rather than being my actual favorite film but Jennifer's Body
is the film I watched when I was sick of all the man films! I loved it.
The one with Thora Hird and Scarlett Johansson where nothing happens but people liked it because it was based on a comic they'd pretended to have read/heard of.
But you trying to fill in is like a dad wearing leather and saying "cool" a lot.
The best trolling is always accidental.
Remember to staunchly defend the exact opposite position next time Ghost World comes up on here.
didn't like her/relate to her/find her interesting/sympathetic. By the end I just wanted her to fuck off and stop messing up everyone's lives
somewhat unfuckingbelievably passed
Although, note, it's not 'dreadful' either.
That whole finalé is just ludicrously over-egged and there are too many overused clichés throughout the film to really allow for 'very good'.
What's the most misogynistic film you can think of that DOES pass the Babybel test?
Kerry Washington barely spoke!
Bet that has loads of women talking about trousers to each other in it.
depending on how you define misogyny I guess.
watched Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks not too long ago, pretty sure that passes, 90% of women in prison films I should imagine, most of Russ Meyer's films probably do and so on
I can't remember. Aliens definitely, definitely counts: 'Get away from her, you BITCH!'.
In my defence I thought of it before I Googled it and came up with this:
'In fact, the example Bechdel gave as a film that passed the test was Alien, simply because Ripley and Lambert have a brief conversation about the alien. (Let’s ignore the fact that the alien was a walking penis-monster, as this was before the Xenomorphs had established sexes - the Queens weren’t introduced until 1986?s Aliens.) '
I mean, if it was a list crammed with stuff like Fried Green Tomatoes, Driving Miss Daisy and Erin Brokovitch they might have a point with that title. :D
I also think it's a weirdly worded article. How can anyone act surprised that Lord of the Rings fails the test. Tolkien could barely write a character and grew up in the early half of the 20th C.
George Lucas wrote a sci-fi film in a time when sci-fi was only supposed to appeal to boys anyway and so I'd guess having Leia grab a gun and start shooting things / taking charge was probably mould-breaking enough.
Your point about Star Wars makes for an interesting comparison with Alien, which as said above only passes the test by a very spurious whisker, despite being a groundbreaking action film with a woman very much the principal heroic character.
in a fairly basic sense you're probably seeing the difference between Lucas, who's clearly a big kid and loves Sci-Fi, and Scott, who doesn't give a shit about technology or sci-fi and just wants to make a good film.
He did a great job with that film of giving us 'normal' characters in a Sci-Fi setting.
(Maybe worth paralleling with Nick Meyer's directing of Star Trek II. The most popular film partly because he didn't really like Star Trek or sci-fi so he tried to ground the film as often as possible. I think that shows, anyway.)
In real life women talk to each other a lot, and even sometimes about things other than men. So if you make a film with the intention of reflecting normality, passing the test will most likely happen by default.
The ship where they find the eggs is like a uterus and ovaries. The male charaters are killed with it aliens mouth and the female charater it's tail that comes up bewteen her legs.
Plus you get a bit of male gaze when riply strips down to her underwear at the end.
Said something about how the execs worried there wasn't enough sex and he thought that bit was enough, surely.
The points you mention, however, are surely staples of the horror genre generally, something which Alien was meant to be a part of and has since risen out of.
(horror's not a genre I'm much of a fan of tbh)
They were just some points I remembered from film classes I mentioned for no real reason.
- the conversation furthers the plot
This would cut out films that only technically pass, surely?
isn't sure about that.
before the next scene of a chocolate mud wrestling sexy playboy jacuzzi party?
I have a feeling if you apply this fourth test that Argo drops out, though.
and any other film that doesn't actually have a plot
can't think of any off the top of my head but there must be some
I don't mean you HAVE to have a plot, just that a conversation between two named girlfriends of the lead characters for 30 seconds about a fruit drink (or something) doesn't mean you get to pass the film.
I'm imagining that if Pulp Fiction passes it'll be because of something like that.
weekly book group and then there is a scene with them at the book group and they're all women except none of them have read the book because none of them can read and so a group of men come in an read the books to them....then the rest of the film is just the women going on dates with the men and helping them be better men and that
YOU'RE A MONSTER
The only one i can think of is when rosanne arquette talks about her piercings (''helps felatio'').
So while it might *just* be a technical pass it doesn't pass Theo's 4th rule of plot.
and when I was referencing Pulp Fiction passing, I meant passing the Bechdel test, not the version of the test if it had my fourth requirement in.
That said, I don't want to discount such dialogue. I like that characters can discuss bugger all. I just think it might be telling to spot how little these feminine interactions matter to the story the film is trying to tell.
Rita and Betty are solving clues together for half the film.
Why is fidel catstro such a dickhead? Genuinely worse than xylopwn at his most needlesly_defensive
suggest you find more fulfilling things to do with your life so you don't end up getting so upset about the opinions random internet strangers xx
Probably the straight up nastiest persona I've ever seen on here. You're friends with brusma too iirc, jfc imagine how awful you two are together
Trotting into a thread on his high horse long after the adults have done talking, with nothing to contribute but his own brand of smug, tedious ad hominemal bullshit.
I need to set up a google alert or something idk.
I was worried when you didn't show up =D
dunno if it passes the test.
it was shite