Posts tagged questions and answers.

Anonymous asked: Hello! So I've been reading a lot about the male gaze in film lately and, as a woman, sometimes I fear that that gaze has been ingrained in my perception of how a woman can be looked at just because it is in our culture so much (I mean sort of?? but I'm not sure what exactly constitutes as a male gaze). With that being said, do you have a any film recommendations that don't contain or slack off on the male gaze? Thanks!

oh wow! what a question. well, as a woman who was raised on a steady diet of the classic american genre picture (gangsters, westerns, film noir), i have definitely internalized the male gaze!

before we go any further, read laura mulvey’s ‘visual pleasure and narrative cinema,’ the 1975 essay which coined the term ‘male gaze.’

i think it’s very difficult to be totally free of the idea of the male gaze in cinema, if you’ve been raised in a western society that has been profoundly influenced by freudian theory. certainly, if you grew up watching hollywood cinema, you cannot escape it. i don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, but certainly one of the great benefits of a film education is learning to be aware of the constructs ingrained in the cinema we digest; armed with this knowledge, we can make more careful choices and be aware on another level of what our supposed ‘invisible’ entertainment is really saying.

as for films that don’t contain the male gaze? good luck finding that in classic narrative cinema! i would suggest feminist and/or experimental filmmakers like maya deren, catherine breillat, chantal ackerman, julie dash, sally potter, andrea arnold, jane campion.

for further reading, check out molly haskell, b. ruby rich, carol clover.

i know there are a lot of people on tumblr with more knowledge on the subject than myself, so please leave a comment or ask on the male gaze/feminist filmmakers! thanks!!

Anonymous asked: A follow-up to the Cassavetes post: When you start exploring a new director you haven't seen do you go for the big work everyone talks about first or do you try to watch lesser stuff and then "build up" to the bigger work?

it depends. since i have limited resources right now, it often depends on accessibility. i got into cassavetes because hulu was highlighting his films in the criterion collection for free. crackle has GLORIA for free right now, too. sometimes i go whole hog on a director & actor and see as much of their filmography as is available. sometimes i just casually browse and see a film here and a film there (as is the case with cassavetes). basically, when a director comes up on my “radar,” i make a mental note to be aware of their films and see them either online or at a rep. screening, since being in los angeles, i have that opportunity frequently.

youmustknowpaolo asked: Do you think Michael Bay must quit on directing films?

no. michael bay still shoots on 35mm. i may not be a big fan of his films, but at least he’s got principles. (and his movies make a TON of money, which is good for the film business & health of 35mm as a whole).

Anonymous asked: any advice on where a rookie should start with Cassavetes?

i’m no cassavetes expert, but you can’t go wrong with A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE. it’s his masterpiece. just be prepared: it’s intense.

Anonymous asked: Where is the tcm film festival??

Hollywood, CA. This year it runs from April 10-13.

http://filmfestival.tcm.com/

hellodmitri asked: Thoughts on "Enemy" by Denis Villeneuve? I saw it last night and I think it's a masterpiece.

have not had the opportunity to see that yet. the premise is intriguing but i hated ‘prisoners,’ so i’m a little wary.

Anonymous asked: How was Nymphomaniac, did you enjoy it?

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pineamongtheoaks asked: I'm in a class about Buster Keaton, and his talkie films are one of the options for the next essay

ah in that case i wish you good luck & godspeed. and maybe a stiff drink to get through ‘em. (cool class, though!)

pineamongtheoaks asked: Having seen almost his entire body of 20's silents, I'm watching Buster Keaton's talkie Speak Easily. I've just started it, but his voice, his voice is not what I expected. I expected it to be much more monotone and maybe a little lower. he has more of an accent that I would have thought, too

watching any buster keaton talkie he made at mgm is pretty much a mistake. are you sure you want to go down this route because spoiler alert it’s soul-crushing.

astridandersson asked: What did you think about The Grandmaster? With Wong Kar-Wai being a cinema-love of mine, I have hard time deciding on my feelings for it. I have to say I didn't really fall for My Blueberry Nights either but wrote that off as a working in america-tryout-kind of result. The Grandmaster seems to be his most conventional and in a way accessible film, but also at the same time hard to relate/feel for. Beautiful of course, and also nice action scenes but... kind of empty? What are your thoughts?

hi there. unfortunately (or fortunately i guess?) i have not seen the film. part of the reason is because the chinese cut is not available (legally) in the US (and i don’t know if it ever will be?). obviously i was intrigued when i learned WKW would be making a wuxia film, which seems so…uncharacteristic. so i definitely WANT to see it, i just don’t want to see a heavily edited version that’s not necessarily what the director intended.

final--days asked: top Lars Von Trier films?

1. Dancer in the Dark

2. Breaking the Waves

3. Melancholia

4. Dogville

5. Madea

6. The Kingdom

7. The Five Obstructions

8. Antichrist

9. The Boss of It All

10. Europa

11. Manderlay

12. The Element of Crime

13. Epidemic

(I haven’t seen The Idiots or Images of Liberation & I’m reserving ranking Nymphomaniac till I see Vol. 2)

Anonymous asked: Why you didn't like Nymphomaniac?

The problems are numerous and seemly endemic; I think it was a poorly designed and executed endeavor from the start. This might have to do with it being split into two parts (bc unlike, say, KILL BILL, it didn’t feel like Vol. 1 was structured to survive on its own…it just ends). Maybe if I had seen the 5.5 hr Bernale cut, I’d be singing a different tune, but alas.

First of all, the framing device of Joe (Gainsbourg) talking to Seligman (Sarsgard) after her accident/attack doesn’t work at all. The non-linearity of Joe’s storytelling really works against building up any empathy, compassion or concern for her character whatsoever. I think Joe is the only LvT protagonist I actively dislike—I can’t find a single reason to care about her at all. Her self-loathing does nothing to affect me emotionally, not does Seligman’s reassurances that she must be a good person and he “doesn’t see evil in people,” which just comes across as von Trier justifying his own solipsistic impulses.

Also, we’re supposed to believe that the man who rescues Joe just happens to have all these fly fishing analogies that line up perfectly with her nymphomania? A lot of the writing seems way too neat, borderline lazy, especially for LvT who is usually aces at created complex and interesting female characters.

I would also say that this is LvT’s least visually interesting movie maybe ever. I can’t recall a single arresting shot. The sex scenes are never sensual but neither are they disturbing or challenging as they were in ANTICHRIST. They come across as totally lifeless (which I guess is appropriate since Joe’s addiction is rote & mechanical).

All this being said, I hope Vol. 2 is better, which I anticipate it will be since Gainsbourg actually gets to act instead of just narrate & drink tea & talk about cake forks. If the dullness of Vol. 1 pays off in Vol. 2 then I’ll be satisfied. As it stands the first part was a major disappointment.

Anonymous asked: any thoughts on rooney mara being cast as Tiger Lily in the new peter pan movie? i think its ridiculous

i know you mean the ‘race-bending,’ but i’m more offended they’re digging up the pan story AGAIN. we don’t need another movie about that shit. enough. i have no plans to see the movie, so i could care less. does seem kind of bullshit that the press release said the cast would be multi-racial/international and then they cast a white person for one of the only characters of color in barrie’s work. however, this could be at the earlier stages and they could be doing something like that abc family cinderella where all the characters were different races than they had be previously. if we get a black peter pan or an asian wendy or something like that, i can see maybe it being okay that tiger lily is white. maybe. a british-muslim actor has been cast as smee (although if only poc are cast as villains, then we’ll have a major problem!) i guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Anonymous asked: Favorite song, favorite actress, favorite movie

"Bolero" by Ravel, Juliette Binoche & DEAD MAN

hellodmitri asked: How many dates should a person go on before they reveal their admiration for Andrzej Żuławski, David Cronenberg, Frans Zwartjes, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Paul Verhoeven to the other person? #singlebecause

that should be prominently displayed on your dating profile and/or on a business card you hand to them on the first date