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Action Adventure films - gender

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by ms media, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Just getting some representation stuff ready. A bit wary about the exam board saying they don't want subgenres used much.
    For representation of women I was thinking of using GI Jane and Charlie's Angels as examples of more tough female protagonists. Do you guys think these films are action adventure enough or should I focus on something like Alien (or is that too sci-fi?)
    Also, anyone think of any disabled or foreign villains APART from in Bond Films?
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Do baddies with English accents in American films count? Alan Rickman's character in the Die Hard movie springs to mind. How about Arabic villains? Take a look at Jack Shaheen's excellent documentary 'Reel Bad Arabs' - available in 3 parts on YouTube.

    Re disability - Albinos are frequently portrayed as villains in movies, a source of some concern for Albinism support groups.
  3. That's great, thank you. I've got some of those films so will use them.
  4. You don't have to stick to just female protagonists, as any film where the hero is not a brave and noble adult male goes against the genre conventions. Tomb Raider is good for Lara Croft as the heroine, but you could go down the child hero route (Spy Kids or The Goonies), or even the anti-hero (Jack Sparrow in Pirates Of The Caribbean - he's a ruthless criminal who is also quite inept in many ways, but he is still the hero).
    All of the Indiana Jones films are good for foreign baddies (German in Raiders, tribesmen in Temple, German in Last Crusade and Russian in Crystal Skull). National Treasure is also a good example of American hero (Nic Cage) vs British villain (Sean Bean).
  5. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    "Charlie's Angels as examples of more tough female protagonists. " - yes, but don't forget that they are controlled by a man - and their costume's would definitely get Laura Mulvey writing about looked-at-ness! Similarly, Mr and Mrs Smith. At least her team does appear to be female, but her outfits include dominatrix and her gun-holsters around her thighs bear a striking resemblance to stocking tops, (as do Lara's in Tomb Raider)! The trailer of Mr & Mrs Smith begins with close-ups of her flesh, whilst in comparison, he is shown holding a huge gun (hmmm - wonder where we could take analysis of THAT!!)
    OK, brief feminist rant over, but representation of tough, female protagonists in action films could consider feminist readings of just how "tough" these females are?

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