Comic Books on Film

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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Shrew
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#776 Post by Shrew » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Yeah, I don't think what Cameron is saying is offensive, but it doesn't pan out. Easily the best thing about Wonder Woman, cited in just about every review--even the mixed ones, is that the camera never ogles Gadot in the way that the Marvel films treat Johansson. This is not to say that there aren't other more interesting things going on with that character and Johansson's performance, just that the camera occasionally sexualizes Black Widow in a way it does not do with Gadot. I'd put Lara Croft in the Marvel category.

Yes, Gadot is pretty, and the make-up/costuming/frame/lighting definitely highlights that rather than try to cover it up or ugly it down, but it looks more like a make-up ad than a pin-up. In other words, the audience is clearly women rather than men. This is still objectification and there issues you could raise with that, but it's not "male hollywood doing the same thing." Honestly, the shots of Linda Hamilton in prison in T2 feel more male gazey to me than anything in Wonder Woman. The character isn't glamorized, but there's still a sense of a male gaze taking in her body. It's just a body type that bucks typical conventions of beauty (but has since actually become more popular, and I get the sense Cameron was always into it).

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knives
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#777 Post by knives » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:00 pm

Gregory wrote:Definitely. For one thing, comic books had an extremely low standing in the culture from the "Golden Age" till the birth of the "graphic novel," and were widely considered absolute trash, only fit for halfwits and children, and at times not even deemed suitable for the latter.

And I think it's worth noting how Superman and other superheroes came from an amalgam of other things from "low culture" forms that predated comic books such as pulp magazines: Tarzan, Doc Savage, the Shadow and other characters with secret identities. In fact the main forerunner to DC, National Allied, was started by former pulp writers.
OK, this post is so geeky it's making me a little ill.
I meant what it means. It sounds unnecessarily derogatory, but from this post it seems like you just mean stuff that wasn't treated seriously at the time regardless of what the makers themselves were thinking. Is that right?

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Gregory
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#778 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:29 pm

I was using the term to describe what the medium was according to prevailing attitudes, and how the era and other pulpy influences shaped (and how!) Wonder Woman's whole look and concept as a powerful female hero but one who wears things that aren't exactly practical for fighting crime but are "fantasy" elements, such as the high-heeled boots. Comic books were "low culture" because of the position they were assigned in a culture generally much more elitist about such things, as we've now seen not only comics cross over into mainstream acceptance and serious respect and study but also things like the fiction of the paperback book of the 1950s and early 60s, rock 'n' roll, jazz, and other popular music, and many other examples of things once written off as lowbrow, suspect, trashy, embarrassing, "cheap," and so on.

Zot!
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#779 Post by Zot! » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Say what you will, Cameron has been pushing the empowered woman hero thing for far longer than it has been popular. I believe he's quite genuine in that regard.

I think his Avatar quote was more talking about trying to make a CGI "thing" sexy, which is pretty weird. The guy was a truck driver after all, cut him some slack.

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Gregory
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#780 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:22 pm

Well, if Wonder Woman is considered part of the "empowered woman hero thing," then it was popular enough when Cameron was still driving trucks for WW to be a pretty famous comic book and a TV series (albeit one cancelled after three seasons due to less-than-stellar ratings) and for Pam Grier films to make a huge cultural impact, among other examples. I haven't seen Aliens in far too long to discuss it, and most of his other films are either utter dreck or just not for me. And I think Ridley Scott gets the credit for giving us Ellen Ripley, a great female protagonist in a role that was going to be just a standard male action hero. But I was really discussing the James Cameron of today, based on his own statements, and I think I've pretty much said my piece about him.

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Mungo
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#781 Post by Mungo » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:55 pm

What I think of the movie and its portrayal of Wonder Woman aside, I must say that it's pretty shallow of Jenkins to claim that the only reason Cameron levied criticism against the movie is because he's a man. That's a pretty shallow and sweeping reduction of a legitimate criticism.

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domino harvey
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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#782 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:59 pm

I broadly agree with Jenkins, but I think she's being a little coy in her response. This is a film successfully marketed on the back of empowering women, but just because a studio successfully convinced an audience that may not normally turn out for superhero films to fill seats doesn't mean they actually delivered what they promised (and I say this with the caveat that I have not seen the film)

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#783 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:19 pm

Michelle Williams (!) to co-star in Venom -- well, we all saw that coming

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domino harvey
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Re: Comic Books on Film

#784 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:28 pm

Discussion of various franchises within this thread has made it unwieldy. Thread will remain locked while I sort posts into their relevant threads:

DC Comics on Film
Marvel Comics on Film

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