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BethR

Wonder Woman movie

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NBooth wrote:
: Overall, this movie is better than the other two entries in the DCU (not hard) . . .

This is actually the *fourth* DCEU movie, not the third. (And it's arguably the second one, following Suicide Squad, where the primary marketing hook was a female protagonist. Though Harley Quinn was clearly much closer to the fanboy wet dream end of the spectrum than Wonder Woman, who can plausibly be called a feminist icon -- notwithstanding her eventual abandonment of the manipulative all-female religious cult and the enlightenment she finds through her love for Steve Trevor etc.)

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

NBooth wrote:
: Overall, this movie is better than the other two entries in the DCU (not hard) . . .

This is actually the *fourth* DCEU movie, not the third. (And it's arguably the second one, following Suicide Squad, where the primary marketing hook was a female protagonist. Though Harley Quinn was clearly much closer to the fanboy wet dream end of the spectrum than Wonder Woman, who can plausibly be called a feminist icon -- notwithstanding her eventual abandonment of the manipulative all-female religious cult and the enlightenment she finds through her love for Steve Trevor etc.)

I totally forgot the Harley Quinn movie. 

Do you really think that's a fair characterization of the Amazons, btw? It seemed clear to me that their unwillingness to get involved, at least as far as the queen was concerned, was about protecting Diana (a la Pa Kent in MoS). Nor do I think that it's the romance that motivates her at the end as much as it is witnessing the self-sacrifice of the human characters around her, prompting her realization that humans aren't *all* bad (I take the question of why a hero should bother if humans are just going to screw up to be the central question of this movie).

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth wrote:
: Do you really think that's a fair characterization of the Amazons, btw?

Well, let's just say that Diana is to the Amazons as Luke Skywalker is to the Jedi: she is raised and/or trained by them, deceived by them, and ultimately has to reject what they taught her in favour of a "love" that is, if not quite forbidden in Diana's case, certainly disparaged. (She was raised to believe that men are useful only for procreation -- but the Amazons are immortal and don't seem to procreate *at all*, so men aren't useful, period, as far as Diana's homeland is concerned.) (Incidentally, I would be curious to know what minds more nimble than mine would make of the fact that Luke's love is that of a son for his father, while Diana's is that of a woman for a man.)

: It seemed clear to me that their unwillingness to get involved, at least as far as the queen was concerned, was about protecting Diana (a la Pa Kent in MoS).

Perhaps, except that (SPOILERS) Ares tells us Diana was created for the *purpose* of being used as a weapon against him. Diana was not *meant* to be protected -- not forever, at any rate. (Incidentally, I would like to know what was going on when the Amazons created that sword and began telling Diana it was a "god-killer". Did they always know that it *wasn't* a "god-killer"? Or would they have been as surprised as Diana was that Ares destroyed it so quickly?)

: Nor do I think that it's the romance that motivates her at the end as much as it is witnessing the self-sacrifice of the human characters around her . . .

All of whom are men, though special attention *is* paid -- via a scene-repeating flashback, even -- to the special role that Steve Trevor plays here.

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Posted (edited)

Muslim countries are banning the film because Gal Gadot is a proud veteran of the Israeli army. Which I find unfortunate (the banning, that is, not the military service) for a number of reasons, not least the fact that one of Wonder Woman's four multi-ethnic male companions is played by Saïd Taghmaoui, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent. The filmmakers went to the trouble of including a North African character, and now the film is being banned in North African countries.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Posted (edited)

On 6/8/2017 at 7:56 PM, NBooth said:

I take the question of why a hero should bother if humans are just going to screw up to be the central question of this movie.

Or maybe the central issue was whether evil can be defeated by force, military or supernatural.

I have no idea how this story fits into the context of other DCU movies, but admired the narrative arc, loved Gal Gadot’s performance, and Chris Pine was at his best. Amazing that Gadot was a former Miss Israel, a combat trainer, a law student, a mother of two daughters–  and she was five months pregnant during some of the filming. That blew me away.

Edited by phlox

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It's more that she supports current IDF actions against Palestine (aka the Israeli governments obvious apartheid going on) that is why Arab countries are banning the film.

I managed to like the film regardless of her politics.

Also let's not downplay a mother's love for her daughter who is afraid for her yet in the end relents and let's her go with Steve to fight Ares, which she was born for. Nor should we downplay the fact that Steve's self sacrifice itself is motivated by Diana's earlier self sacrifice and HIS LOVE for her. If anything they motivated each other. And no I don't think that her Amazon sisters would have called that love wrong. 

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It's interesting to see how some writers on the left and right have converged on the idea that the film may be more conservative in sensibility than a lot of the hype around the film would seem to suggest. Right-wing writers like Kyle Smith and Stephen Miller have appreciated the film on this point (the latter writer famously attended one of the technically illegal "women-only" screenings, and he found the very concept of such screenings "head scratching" in light of the film's narrative arc), while David Poland expressed concern that "this iconic natural feminist finds her power not in herself, [but] in the emotional connection to a man" and Christina Cauterucci (Slate's XX Factor blogger) wrote an entire article headlined "I Wish Wonder Woman Were as Feminist as It Thinks It Is" (sample quote: "To me, whatever chance Wonder Woman had of being some kind of feminist antidote to the overabundance of superhero movies made by and for bros was blown by its prevailing occupation with the titular heroine’s sex appeal").

Poland, incidentally, seems to think the film pulled its punches too much when it came to Diana and Steve's sexual relationship ("It’s almost as though the movie was afraid to let her have her sexuality because it would, somehow, diminish her power even further"), while Cauterucci sees the whole sexual subplot as a problematic way to dodge the queer implications of Diana growing up on an island populated by nothing but women (she also writes that "Diana is so clueless about men, human activity, and the basic concepts of manipulation and evil . . . that her capacity for consent is somewhat blurry. . . . Diana’s naïveté and innocence are crucial to the film’s moral thrust, but they cast her sexual relationship in a shiftier light"). I thought the film made it *very* clear, though, that Steve only turned back into the room and closed the door behind him because Diana was giving him that come-hither look. *Diana* is in charge, at least at the beginning of that scene (and the beginning is all the film shows us).

Justin Hanvey wrote:
: Nor should we downplay the fact that Steve's self sacrifice itself is motivated by Diana's earlier self sacrifice and HIS LOVE for her.

Which act of self-sacrifice on Diana's part are you referring to?

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Well, let's see, there are several. First she jumps into an ocean to save a person from a sinking plane. Second she leaves an island and all she's ever known to defeat a God of War and save the human race, third she walks out into the middle of a battlefield and crosses a no man's land in order to save a village from German soldiers occupying it, even though this wasn't her mission, and was dangerous as hell.

Honestly I think it's that last act that has Steve falling in love with her and being inspired to more heroism himself. Before he was rather pragmatic. You could say he begins being inspired from the moment she pulls him out of the sinking plane? Part of the whole thing is according to Hippolyta's story the Amazons were created to do just that, inspire with their beauty and fierceness the men who loved them to heroism and peacemaking. But yeah, from the moment he meets her I'm pretty sure she's having more effect on him (battle on the beach etc) than him her. 

And no I don't think she was naive sexually. They made it pretty clear when they were on the boat that she was not naive, and his attempt to mansplain was quickly showed that it wasn't needed haha.

In fact there's never a point in the movie I'd call her naive or innocent. She came from a completely different culture so of course experiences culture shock but none of her points she made about clothing, her mission, where they should go, who needed saving, how silly it was to have only male leaders, etc ever didn't make sense. 

In truth she understood what was going on far better than any of them. 

Her only mistake and to be fair, everyone else's, was not knowing who Ares truly was. 

I think people's idea of feminism is a little off if they read the egalitarian relationship between Diana and Steve as not feminist or conservative. It's very feminist. And also very egalitarian. Cause these two things are not contradictory.

The fact that in ways they inspire and save each other is how it should be. Feminism is about empowering women for themselves but also it can be about empowering women to stand with us men and help us in our individual weaknesses too. There's a reason that male suicide is so high, that way too many men have died in war like expendable chess pieces, that too many men are working themselves to death trying to provide for families. We can't do all this on our own.

Patriarchy is harmful to us too.

Sorry got off on a sermon there...anyways 

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Posted (edited)

On 6/10/2017 at 2:19 AM, Justin Hanvey said:

 

I think people's idea of feminism is a little off if they read the egalitarian relationship between Diana and Steve as not feminist or conservative. It's very feminist. And also very egalitarian. Cause these two things are not contradictory.

The fact that in ways they inspire and save each other is how it should be. Feminism is about empowering women for themselves but also it can be about empowering women to stand with us men and help us in our individual weaknesses too. There's a reason that male suicide is so high, that way too many men have died in war like expendable chess pieces, that too many men are working themselves to death trying to provide for families. We can't do all this on our own.

Patriarchy is harmful to us too.

Great insights.  

Women can be both romantic and feminist, just as men can be both romantic and chauvinist.

[Spoilers]

Diana is a noble warrior with a strong sense of compassion, but she’s been misled by the “myth of redemptive violence” –as if destroying Ares would bring peace to mankind.   She affirms near the end that she believes  only love can save the world, and it does seem that her relationship with Steve is what changes her understanding.

Not sure I know how to interpret the action after his self-sacrifice…does her grief for him make her more determined-- does she actually kill Ares, or only one manifestation of him? Does Trevor’s life energy pass into her somehow?

Edited by phlox

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Posted (edited)

Justin Hanvey wrote:
: Well, let's see, there are several. First she jumps into an ocean to save a person from a sinking plane.

That's not self-sacrifice.

: Second she leaves an island and all she's ever known to defeat a God of War and save the human race . . .

That *could* be self-sacrifice, except we know that she has always wanted to leave that island and go fight someone.

: . . . third she walks out into the middle of a battlefield and crosses a no man's land in order to save a village from German soldiers occupying it, even though this wasn't her mission, and was dangerous as hell.

It wasn't *that* dangerous, not for *her*. Maybe all the slow-motion shots of her confidently deflecting bullets distracted me, but at what point do her actions there look like anything resembling self-sacrifice? (Keep in mind that Steve Trevor has already seen Diana work her bullet-deflecting mojo in that alley scene.)

: And no I don't think she was naive sexually. They made it pretty clear when they were on the boat that she was not naive, and his attempt to mansplain was quickly showed that it wasn't needed haha.

They make it clear that Diana has read books, but that isn't the same thing as being wise or experienced. Diana is naive in *many* ways in this stretch of the film -- witness the way she walks out of the clothing store holding her sword out in the open like it's the most normal thing in the world (and keep in mind, this is supposed to be a *special* sword, a sword with a *destiny*, which you *might* think she would want to handle more carefully) -- so her sexual naivete is of a piece with this larger naivete. (And then there's the way she casually assumes (without any evidence) that a certain man must be Satan incarnate -- er, Ares incarnate. She's basically an unthinking religious zealot on a quest to kill someone based on nothing more than her gut feeling and the stories her elders told her -- and her gut feeling tuns out to be *wrong*!)

I did think it was weird how Steve says that marriage is what happens when two people go to a "judge". What, no priest? pastor? anything like that? I wouldn't call it "mansplaining", though, given that Diana really *didn't* seem to understand why her sleeping so close to him might be a problem for him.

: In fact there's never a point in the movie I'd call her naive or innocent.

Wow.

: Her only mistake and to be fair, everyone else's, was not knowing who Ares truly was.

Well, no, there was also her determination to kill that German guy in the middle of a crowded ballroom, which Steve rightly prevented because it would have gotten in the way of their larger mission. Letting bad things happen so that you can prevent even *worse* things happen is one of those things that experienced warriors know they have to deal with. Diana, being inexperienced and naive, doesn't realize that.

: Patriarchy is harmful to us too.
: Sorry got off on a sermon there...anyways 

No worries!

phlox wrote:
: Diana is a noble warrior with a strong sense of compassion, but she’s been misled by the “myth of redemptive violence” –as if destroying Ares would bring peace to mankind.

Well... within the mythology of this film, that isn't *necessarily* a false belief. It could be like all those stories where, if you kill the head vampire, you automatically kill or cure all the people who were turned into vampires by that head vampire -- maybe killing Ares really *would* end all the conflicts that he has caused. It's only because the movie takes place a hundred years ago and we've seen all the violence that happens *after* the film that we in the audience know Diana must be wrong about this.

This aspect of the film does plug into some interesting discussions I've had with my fellow Christians, though (particularly my fellow Orthodox; we say "deliver us from the Evil One" in the Lord's Prayer, not the more general "deliver us from evil"), about how much of the world's evil we should ascribe to the Devil and how much of it we should blame on our own fallen ways.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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In her society walking around like that with a sword was normal. Just because she doesn't understand a different cultures customs or folkways is not the same thing as naive and innocent.

Also let's not assume she's never had any sexual experiences. Maybe not with a man but that certainly doesn't translate to automatically naive about sex.

Honestly I read that whole scene as her kinda laughing at him for being embarrassed of his attraction to her and not thinking he could control himself while sleeping by her.

I think we have different definitions of self sacrifice, but okay. 

I do remember them having some fairly compelling evidence that the guy she tried to kill was Ares, even though for us in the audience of course we knew it was the other guy all along. And I don't think we can blame Diana so much for being taught wrong, that's not her fault.

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