Sunday, December 19, 2010

Are We Half Way There Yet?

A few issues here: Yes, a big part of my argument here is against seeking out informed opinion from internet nobodies, and here I am blogging about it. Harr, harr, it fits the modern definition of irony (but frankly, isn't). Also, it may or may not be worth any frustration on my part, but I'll make the noise anyway.

I encourage you to read the following article posted on a really wonderful movie blog I follow:

'First Genuine Female Comedy'

My first problem here is essentially a technical one. This is the future of journalism. While the internet is the most democratic thing to happen to modern man since the printing press, it also waters down the flow of information, there's Roger Ebert, then there's that guy who lived in your dorm and wouldn't shut up about Jim Jarmusch. Now, I've followed /Film for some time, and Sciretta is no hack, but  it's really the principle of the thing. 'Trusted Source' has no meaning left, even outside of the realms of arts and entertainment. All of this is a sort of preamble to my real point, I just wanted to make clear my frustration that I'm not annoyed by a film review, I'm annoyed by dribble masquerading as a film review, but in an arena or day and age where it's likely to be given credence despite being dribble. Am I only perpetuating the cycle? Well, that could be argued, but I think not.
     MY REAL PROBLEM comes from the Idea that the 'First genuine female comedy' was directed and produced by men. Yes, It was written by women, and largely stars women, but in 2010 am I insane to expect a comment like this to be attached to a project top-to-bottom created by women? How many films have made it into our national cannon with a creative team made up entirely of men? This just strikes me as patronizing. "You girls wrote a little film! and you're going to act in! Well,we'll just have Judd and Paul keep an eye on you..."  'A League Of Their Own' was about empowerment, starred Gina Davis and was directed by Penny Marshall. While written by two men, it was adapted from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele. Maybe that film was the first "Genuine female comedy"? "Now And Then", while technically a drama I guess, was written, directed and produced by women. Hell, the second unit was directed by a woman and the head carpenter's name was Sara. Guess who just got a lot more respect for producer Demi Moore?
     My best guess is that the distinction lies in subject matter, that the jokes, personalities, and story line are very closely related to being a woman. Having not yet seen 'Bridesmaids" I can't speak to that. We'll try not to get too worked up over the fact that 'The first genuinely female comedy' is about a marriage (why not being named CEO of a Fortune 500?) and cross our fingers that there's a minimum of cattiness. I'm not even getting my hands dirty with that potentiality. But reading the 'reviews' you find that among other things, it's praised for being "Not too girly"....and I just don't even know where to begin with that.
     Again, a big part of my frustration here is my own awareness that I'm getting worked up on the words of strangers, That the person who made these comments doesn't know any better, and the whole thing is basically small potatoes. But as online writing is probably the future of journalism, I imagine we'll only see more of this to come. 
     Beyond the somewhat...scholastic issues, I also want to recognize that women don't need me to fight their battles:

...Yeah, that guy's what the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come showed me- don't let me stumble in his direction. I recognize that any time a young, white male opens his mouth about any gender/race/sexuality issue, it's a minefield. I'm trying to tread lightly here. Hopefully, none of this will be taken as patronizing.
     I want to ask the question, and it may be answered in the fact that this comment comes from an uninformed source, but: Why is this new movie special?
   And maybe here's the real problem on that technical level: /Film is a pretty well respected Blog, Time magazine named the site "Best Blog" in 2009 (Now that, maybe, is irony). But here they are, publishing Tweets from film goers. That kind of open-sourced 'news' is distressing. I want rigorous checks, I want peer-review. I want Encyclopedia, not Wikipedia.
     I'd also like some genuine progress.


  1. My good man, your knickers seem to be all in a twist over some twit's exaggerated tweet remark in a BLOG. The article was more than likely aided and abetted by the public relations machine behind the movie - there were no reported tweets that said "It sucked." "FILM blogging the reel world" has no monopoly on virtue or critical judgment. It is a BLOG. I love that word. It conveys the exact onomatopoeic quality of the medium.

    I believe you have an idea that is really really really really hard to get financing and make a major movie and then have it go on to make a profit. Judd Apatow is not producing film for the ages (although The Larry Sanders Show is still brilliant). He knows comedy and he knows a market that will return a profit.

    And I think that you and I have exhausted more than enough words on a movie that we have no intention of ever seeing.

  2. Well clearly I'm some one who believes one can never say enough words on any subject... :)
    And, I tried to make clear that I do realize my reaction is to something frivolous and mind-numbingly stupid. Aside from the content that upset me, the vehicle did as well- I'm right there with you. But I do have to wonder if this isn't the future of reporting. THAT is whats got my knickers all twisted.
    Well, that as well as the comment which I felt to be patronizing towards women in film.