January 30, 2013

Maya and Bigelow Threaten the Status Quo

I'd like to point out this brilliant article about Zero Dark Thirty's fall from Oscar grace as it threatens the status quo.  It's written by Sasha Stone from Awards Daily.  An excerpt is below but you can read the whole post here.
"Zero Dark Thirty represents a revolutionary idea — a woman who doesn’t need any man to come in and rescue her. Moreover, she’s the ball buster in the room. She’s the one who says it’s time to put the pressure on (a reminder that I am looking at the film as art and not debating torture) and she’s the one who sticks to her guns when the men want to turn tail and run. We spend much of the time on Maya’s face, watching her thought processes as she works it out, as she zeros in on her target.

At the end of the day, no one really knows what to do with this character. We prefer movies where the men fix everything because that’s what we’re used to, that supposedly controls the box office, that is the status quo that has been choking the life out of modern Hollywood. What do we do when a whole movie is about the internal life of a female character that isn’t a positive experience? By the end of Zero Dark Thirty Maya has done her job and done it well, as she had been trained to do by the CIA but that doesn’t mean she’s happy. There are no knights in shining armor to rescue her. She doesn’t get a pat on the back and a gold star. She doesn’t right the wrongs of our society. She suffers silently, alone, with nowhere to put her own torment."

She adds on further:

"Zero Dark Thirty is threatening in many ways that have nothing to do with torture. It is quietly the only film in the Oscar race by a woman and about a woman. Yes, the screenplay was written by a man but the uniqueness of the Bigelow/Chastain collaboration should not be discounted, particularly when we are in the rut we’ve been in for the past two years, where the majority of movies that land in the Oscar race are by and about men featuring men doing great things and women being subdued and supportive in the background. It feels like the 1950s all over again — except for back then movies like All About Eve were winning Best Picture."

In relation to this, Kathryn Bigelow started this Thunderclap campaign to support the crucial role of women in America's national security.  There are 2 days left for this campaign.  Please support it by joining here.

(photo from IMDB.com)


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