Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Strong Women

I'm not entirely comfortable with the way Quentin Tarantino constructs female action heroes. Uma Thurman in a Bruce-Lee-style yellow jumpsuit always struck me as his sexual fetish than a cool character. It's obvious that female action heroes (The Bride - Kill Bill, Lara Croft - Tomb Raider) aren't presented in the same way as male action heroes (John McClane - Die Hard, ). The creativity in films is dominated by male writers, directors, and producers and female action heroes are deliberately presented as provocative sexual objects with hints of frailty whereas male bodies are presented as tough and resilient with hints of invincibility. I'm thinking of how John McClane from Die Hard always gets back up.

Recently I was watching the film Lady Vengeance directed by Chan-wook Park. At one point in the film the main character, Geum-ja Lee, is attacked by a man who is trying to kidnap her. It's a creepy scene shot on a rainy night on a lone street. He covers her mouth with a cloth (presumably covered in movie knockout liquid). She struggles quite fiercely -he tries to shove her in the car but she keeps kicking the door shut with her foot -eventually she passes out. Then she bites him, she was faking it! Now he's pissed and he throws her against the car. It's really violent. He punches and kicks the crap out of her. The thug turns to his thug friend who was busy kidnapping her daughter. Suddenly she appears behind him with her gun drawn and kills them both. No sexy posing.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

There's always a lot of sexy posing, hey?

And always in skin tight clothes. But actually re: skin tight clothes, that just makes sense. Athletes wear skin tight clothes. Why don't male heroes wear spandex? They should be allowed.