Posts tagged ‘Feminism’

June 7, 2012

Artist’s Pick: Mirror, Mirror versus Snow White and the Huntsman

“I find more bitter than death
    the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
    and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
    but the sinner she will ensnare.”

~Ecclesiastes 7:26

I’ve already somewhat analyzed Mirror, Mirror in Cross-Examination: Profile of a Witch. Today I want to revisit  part of that analysis, but compare it instead to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Growing up, Snow White never was one of my favorite Disney Princesses (or even Grimm Princesses). No, I’m a Cinderella kind of girl.  However, I enjoyed both Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman more than I’ve enjoyed the “real” adaptations of Cinderella. Both adaptations follow the traditional Snow White story – you know, beautiful (but evil) queen will do anything to hold on to her beauty.

The art direction in Mirror, Mirror is bright and extravagant, mirroring (no pun intended) its more comedic and ridiculous storyline.   On the other hand, Snow White and the Huntsman‘s art direction is toned down – with costuming and coloring befitting the Middle Ages.  In a couple of instances, it discreetly nods to the animated Disney movie – like when Snow White is running through the forest with trees and shadows clawing at her and Ravenna’s crown and the ravens associated with her magic. Both movies have interesting but distinct takes on the Magic Mirror. Both also use the dwarves for comic relief (which is a separate analysis all together).

I enjoyed both movies (really), but I liked Snow White and the Huntsman better. It did a really good job with character development (with the exception of the dwarves who were significantly under-developed).

I especially appreciated how they dealt with Ravenna’s obsession with beauty: she wasn’t just obsessed with it, for her it was her power, a way to control. She wasn’t your typical “I just want to stay young and beautiful forever” character. When I was watching the movie and thinking about Ravenna’s character, the Ecclesiastes verse above came to my mind. This is truly her character. Someday, I would really like to see a movie where this “damaged woman” archetype is redeemed. In these fairy tales, her heart just explodes or her eyes get plucked out or some such business. Why not let the damaged woman heal?

I also liked Snow White as a battle princess. In the end, it wasn’t the Huntsman who “saved” or “rescued” her. She did battle for herself. In compassion at the end of the movie, she tells Ravenna, “You cannot have my heart.” I just liked that. For those of you who don’t know me well, I really like the concept of the warrior or battle princess. There is something very powerful about a woman who fights for who she loves and what she believes in. I don’t like that Snow White is portrayed as just good, like it’s something in and of herself. All women need redemption, not just the wounded ones.

The Huntsman was (at least in my experience) a pretty accurate portrayal of modern manhood. Guys, I’m not hating (really). I just think men in our society are a little bit afraid to step up to the plate as men. (And probably for a lot of reasons that since I am not a man, I will not get into). That was disappointing to Snow White, but not so disappointing that she turned into the damaged woman.  Eventually, he deals with his complicated background, and does step up and ride into battle with Snow White.  He cannot rescue or redeem Snow White (that’s not his job), but he fights along side of her. *Happy sigh*

Yeah, uh, so now that I’ve watched it to analyze it, I’m going back to watch and enjoy it. 🙂

***

Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film. She is passionate about reaching artists with the good news of Jesus Christ and discipling them in the arts.

Advertisements
May 25, 2012

Composition of a Good Film: Moral Excellence

Not many people like Hollywood. Conservative Christians don’t like Hollywood. Liberal Christians don’t like Hollywood. Film critics and theorists don’t like Hollywood. Film scholars don’t like Hollywood. Independent film-makers don’t like Hollywood. Film-makers from other countries and cultures don’t like Hollywood. I don’t like Hollywood. (Did I just make a bunch of generalizing statements? Yes).

Hollywood is one big, fat movie-making corporation. They are able to knockout movies faster than you can blink an eye because they recycle stories, characters, and production processes for greater profits. For this reason, the films they produce are generally not thought out nor thought-provoking. Hollywood movies are far removed from moral excellence. (I am just full of generalizing statements today).

I should probably stop now, before somebody gets the impression that I don’t watch or even enjoy Hollywood movies.

I am a girl. I like a good romantic comedy – applying the term “good” very loosely. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl and girl falls for boy, some circumstance threatens to rip them apart, boy and girl get together anyway.  My favorite romantic comedies are probably Katherine Heigl movies – yeah, she gets her own subcategory. Bad boy meets uptight good girl, both seem to hate each other at first, both realize they are in love with each other (usually in a dancing scene of some sort), a circumstance threatens to rip them apart, they end up together (usually after yelling about all the things they hate about each other).

I don’t know why I like this particular plotline so much. I guess it resonates with my personal history. (Not that my personal history has turned out the way a Katherine Heigl movie does, nor do I want it to, but I digress). I really kind of hate that the good (but uptight) girl must be loosened up by a bad boy. Along the way, she reforms him from a commitment-phobe to a semi-nice guy.  It’s a really bad model of relationships.  (A really, really bad model of relationships). Not to go all Dr. Lydia on everyone but a good relationship is not about reforming the other person, but in helping the other person become who God wants them to be (and that doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships).

Just so you know, this whole deal about movies – I’m not exactly trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t watch. That is most definitely between you and God. I’m just saying that we need to be critical consumers of movies: that is, we think about and analyze what we are consuming. What do these movies say about society? Cultural issues? How do these movies affect the way I see things, if at all?

Most importantly, and to be continued…

What do movies say about God?

***

Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film. She is passionate about reaching artists for Jesus Christ!