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AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh, i'm sorry. was that savage scream unladylike?

i know the guy who co-wrote this article--more specifically, his baby sister is one of my best friends, and i know for a fact she'd rip this article apart. evidently he didn't consult HER in writing it.

i don't understand this trend of dividing things into "girl movies" and "guy movies." it seems totally pointless to me. even this article tries to go a step further and say, hey guys, here's some chick flicks you won't hate--but i'm a woman, and i would never, ever recommend ANY of those films to my boyfriend on the basis of their being "women's films." i would recommend strictly ballroom to him because it's AWESOME, and he would like it because it's AWESOME, but come on. ack! i'm so MAD!!!!!!!!!!

anyway, how much do you think this trend has to do with the wild at heart phenomenon sweeping evangel-land? you know, the one that says God created "a masculine heart" and "a feminine heart," the one that says that, biblically, ALL men want "an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue" while women want "an adventure to share, to be fought for, and a beauty to unveil." (as one woman recently commented at her blog, "perhaps all the women should get together for an adventure and let the men go on their lonely way, since it seems only the women want to share!" smile.gif) this certainly seems to come into play here: women like soft, emotional, weepy films, while men like loud, explosion-filled, macho movies. i like NEITHER, and i know i'm not alone. is there another species we don't know about?

i'm tired of it all and want to do something to contribute positively to the conversation. i left a comment at relevant, but i was so riled up i couldn't do much but rant (which was more for my benefit than theirs, as may be the case with this thread!). is there ANY way to have a conversation about gender and film spectatorship without veering into dangerous stereotyping and without mentioning either "steel magnolias" or "braveheart"?

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Why don't you do a counter-writeup to this somewhere? I mean, come on, you actually said in your post here "film spectatorship" (second time I have used that link today) which means you obviously have some well formed thoughts on the issue.

Edited by (M)Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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i'd like to, actually, and it qualifies as part of my job. (i'm sure posting constantly on this forum counts as part of my job, too. right? right? it's part of my filmic education, right? smile.gif

but i'm not sure exactly how to counter. i mean, if i had my druthers, i'd just make a list of "top ten films for people in general," but that seems equally pointless if i don't address my issues with gender-segregated movie viewing. a while ago i was putting together a list of "anti-chick flicks"--films about women, with nary a romantic comedy to be found. perhaps i can have my boyfriend do a list of films that challenge stereotypes about men.

maybe i need to think outside the box of an opposing list, and just write an article that directly addresses the issue--why gender-stereotyped film viewing lists are totally unhelpful and wrong. hmmm.

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As mainstream Christian culture congratulates itself for recognizing movies and cultural thought for the first time, articles like this prove just how much preliminary thinking must yet be done:

"Plus, like other animals, we humans need to mark our territory. By designating certain movies as 'guy movies' and others as 'chick flicks' we stake a little claim to our identity as male or female. And, of course, there

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but i'm not sure exactly how to counter. i mean, if i had my druthers, i'd just make a list of "top ten films for people in general," but that seems equally pointless if i don't address my issues with gender-segregated movie viewing.

Even just a sort of narrative rambling on your experience as a woman/lady/female encountering such an article, and bringing your film education to bear on a critique of the piece would work. As Doug said, we needs some ultra-preliminary stuff out there in the Christian marketplace of ideas.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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I love how they equate "culture savvy" or "independent thinkers" with being "raised on pop culture."

Yep, they're Americans.

Is anyone else hearing Bowie's Young Americans right now? That has to be the most inspired closing credits soundtrack ever.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Heh, that's great, (M).

The thing is, these pomo, "hipster" Christian venues are a dime a dozen these days. How many pop culture-addicted, anti-tradition Christian voices are there now? And why doesn't anyone ever have the guts to dismiss pop culture and address genuine "independent thinkers" who don't think religion is dead?

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Doug, we couldn't be more on the same page on that. Long ago when we were kicking around how to develop a web presence for our organization I tossed out the idea of calling it irrelevant.com in a direct attack on the uselessness of relevant magazine. But such trends are so trifling that setting yourself in opposition specifically to them forces you to stay at their level in an endless tit for tat.

I think what will work is having Christian media venues establish themselves over a period of time as the source of independent thinking concerning religion and culture in a way that actually offers new paradigms and makes use of informed scholarship and opinion. There are plenty of good writers out there, they just need to be brought together under a common culturally entrepenurial mission statement.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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But such trends are so trifling that setting yourself in opposition specifically to them forces you to stay at their level in an endless tit for tat.

Very true. Threads like this are good for generating a bit of ire that can inspire some action (new articles, magazine launches, etc.), but it's too easy to get caught up in being "anti" something that we spend all of our time connected to it by the hip. This is one reason why I've pretty much refused to quote or rail against MovieGuide or Ted Baehr and his minions over the years, because being anti-Baehr means I'm paying way too much attention to him. I'm not anti-Baehr, I'm pro-truth and beauty, say, and Baehr is so far off the mark that he doesn't even register on my radar. There just aren't enough hours in the day...

Edited by Doug C
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Singin' in the Rain is a GIRL movie? Heresy! How could all that buddy-buddy stuff between Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor be considered "girl movie" material?

Women watch kids' films but men don't? Hello? Do not men think Pixar is pretty cool?

Bridge over the River Kwai has "just enough action"? I mean, okay, fine, yeah, it does, but is that really the first thing we look for when watching a war movie -- "action"? Is Die Hard a war movie too, now?

kebbie wrote:

: anyway, how much do you think this trend has to do with the wild at heart

: phenomenon sweeping evangel-land? you know, the one that says God created "a

: masculine heart" and "a feminine heart," the one that says that, biblically, ALL

: men want "an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue" while

: women want "an adventure to share, to be fought for, and a beauty to unveil."

Never heard of this trend. But it sounds to me like that "Mars" and "Venus" stuff, just without the pagan tags.

: this certainly seems to come into play here: women like soft, emotional, weepy

: films, while men like loud, explosion-filled, macho movies. i like NEITHER, and i

: know i'm not alone. is there another species we don't know about?

My girlfriend's kinda funny this way -- she reads romance novels, but her favorite movies are the louder and more explosion-filled ones. (She also reads a lot of sci-fi, FWIW.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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kebbie wrote:

: anyway, how much do you think this trend has to do with the wild at heart

: phenomenon sweeping evangel-land? you know, the one that says God created "a

: masculine heart" and "a feminine heart," the one that says that, biblically, ALL

: men want "an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue" while

: women want "an adventure to share, to be fought for, and a beauty to unveil."

Never heard of this trend.

Edited by teresakayep
There are stories of coincidence and chance, of intersections and strange things told, and which is which nobody knows; and we generally say, "Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn't believe it." --from Magnolia
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While the article-writer picks safe and boring choices in movies (for the most part), I mean... I can sorta agree with the idea that some great movies are gonna appeal to guys more than gals.

Would you feel totally safe recommending Taxi Driver or Raging Bull to women? There's a certain male anger to those films that I feel might be lost to a female viewer and therefore hinder her full appreciation of them. Not to ALL female viewers, but I'm sure to a large majority. I suppose it's a useless thing to point out, but the idea has some validity...

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I don't want to defend the article, but isn't the Mars/Venus distinction the starting point for the article? After all, it's titled "Mars and Venus at the Video Store."

So if that's the premise -- that men and women are different, have different needs, and view their surroudings differently -- the content of the article would flow from there. We can disagree with the premise, but we shouldn't be surprised that the article reminds us of the very distinction it spells out right up front.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This whole way of thinking was just a major issue for me for a very long time and I'm thankful I don't hang out with that many people who think this way anymore. I can accept that there are some differences between men and women, but I just don't think they're as important as this line of thinking makes them...perhaps it would be more productive to look at the things we hold in common.

hear hear!

I shudder to imagine a man who thinks he can gain insight into me by watching Steel Magnolias--unless he wants insight into the kind of things that make me want to puke.

teresa. you are my new hero(ine).

for anyone curious about this Wild At Heart thing (basically, as someone said, the Christian version of Mars & Venus), i suggest a blogger who goes by The Headless Horsewoman. she's been reading Wild At Heart and makes some pretty interesting comments. probably not all of you will agree with what she says, but it resonates pretty strongly with me at this point in my life.

Would you feel totally safe recommending Taxi Driver or Raging Bull to women? There's a certain male anger to those films that I feel might be lost to a female viewer and therefore hinder her full appreciation of them.

well, i don't think i could ever fully identify with the "male anger" inherent to those films because... i'm not male. but i just don't expect to fully identify with ever film i see, i guess. that's not why i watch movies. often i expect to encounter a story about someone who's very different from me, knowing that although i might not "get it," that story has the potential to enrich my understanding of the world and of people. just because a film tells a story ABOUT men doesn't mean it's a "guys' movie." i mean, i certainly don't have the same reaction as my boyfriend when watching the godfather, but that doesn't mean i don't appreciate the story for different reasons.

doug c and (m), great comments. thanks for the reminder. as i said earlier, this issue (coming from this magazine in particular, to which i have a very personal connection) is one that just gets my hackles up. thanks for letting me rant. smile.gif

darren... that bible study scenario you described is one of my worst fears about getting married.

Edited by kebbie
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often i expect to encounter a story about someone who's very different from me, knowing that although i might not "get it," that story has the potential to enrich my understanding of the world and of people. just because a film tells a story ABOUT men doesn't mean it's a "guys' movie."

An excellent point as usual, Kate. smile.gif

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SoNowThen wrote:

: Would you feel totally safe recommending Taxi Driver or Raging Bull to women?

The one and only time I ever saw Taxi Driver with another person, it was with a woman. On a double-bill with L

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Would you feel totally safe recommending Taxi Driver or Raging Bull to women? There's a certain male anger to those films that I feel might be lost to a female viewer and therefore hinder her full appreciation of them.

well, i don't think i could ever fully identify with the "male anger" inherent to those films because... i'm not male. but i just don't expect to fully identify with ever film i see, i guess. that's not why i watch movies. often i expect to encounter a story about someone who's very different from me, knowing that although i might not "get it," that story has the potential to enrich my understanding of the world and of people.

Excellent point. There are many movies that I love simply because they allow me to see a new perspective. Some of those are films that are stereotypically directed to males. For example, I recently saw Midnight Cowboy for the first time--a film I wouldn't necessary recommend to anyone unless I knew their sensibilities. I did not see myself in either of the central characters. But I loved it anyway.

And as for the male anger in films like Taxi Driver--I can't identify with anything particularly male about the anger there, but I can identify with anger in general, so there's some point of connection. Going back to Midnight Cowboy, I couldn't identify with the main characters, but I could identify with the sense of longing they seemed to feel for a world, a life, that is better--one that they seem to have no idea how to attain.

I think that film and literature can do a lot toward helping people find common ground. And to point out how different people deal differently with some of the same longings.

And Darren and (m)... I've had the same problem at some Bible studies. I'm at the age (31) where most women in my peer group are having babies. Some are better than others at finding other things to talk about. I understand how it happens, though; when I'm really wrapped up in something I can go on and on about it without realizing it.

But it does trouble me when there's this assumption that all women will be most fulfilled when they are wives and mothers and that women will always be the primary nurturers. There's a range of options here. My best friends are a couple in which the husband is much more social, nurturing, etc., and the wife is a lone wolf type. Does this make them less Christian? I think not--one is a former missionary and the other is in seminary.

--Teresa

Edited by teresakayep
There are stories of coincidence and chance, of intersections and strange things told, and which is which nobody knows; and we generally say, "Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn't believe it." --from Magnolia
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All I'm saying is that there is a lot of truth in those stereotypes, and I see it everday with my non-cinephile friends and their girlfriends. There is a definite divide when they see movies, and they are always talking about how one "owes" the other depending on what kind of movie (chick flick or guy movie) they last saw.

yeah, i see the same thing among lots of my friends--but is that really the type of attitude we want to encourage? i would argue that that's what articles like this do: divide, based on rickety, out-dated stereotypes.

Edited by kebbie
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All I'm saying is that there is a lot of truth in those stereotypes, and I see it everday with my non-cinephile friends and their girlfriends. There is a definite divide when they see movies, and they are always talking about how one "owes" the other depending on what kind of movie (chick flick or guy movie) they last saw.

Sure, understood. And you're quite right... there is a gender divide when it comes to taste, but it's not absolute.

I mostly just get skivved when fitting some "God-determined" role is what somehow determines your personal worth. And I get downright angry when people who don't fit the stereotype are treated as if they aren't quite a Christian as they should be.

--Teresa

There are stories of coincidence and chance, of intersections and strange things told, and which is which nobody knows; and we generally say, "Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn't believe it." --from Magnolia
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