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Hollywood "worships at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis"

(44 Posts)
ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 09-Dec-10 14:26:07

...according to Dame Helen Mirren link

breathtakingben Thu 09-Dec-10 22:38:51

Also, "I do think the attitude to women is changing massively"

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 09-Dec-10 23:57:00

so what do you think about it all, btb?

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 09-Dec-10 23:59:44

should say, I feel that the vast majority of mainstream films for adults are designed to be attractive to people like my male friends (c. 25). There is a lot of macho shite around, and the female roles are set dressing only, and to give the hero something to kiss at the end to prove he's not gay. Gets a little boring. And it annoys me that there aren't more roles for older actresses. I bet many people, including most women, would love to see more varied female roles.

SantaIsAnAnagramOfSatan Fri 10-Dec-10 09:54:23

it's such a given that it seems almost redundant to discuss it which might be why people haven't ploughed in on this thread. we just take this for granted we're so used to, and aware of it and many have given up expecting anything else.

chocolat springs to mind as a mainstream big box office hit that had a female lead with a character of agency and strength challenging status quo and championing women. it was an older woman who played the part with a bit of boy eye candy in there who was her lover because she enjoyed him rather than being won in a fight or such.

the fact that it stands out in my mind illustrates how rare it is because that was years ago now.

alexpolismum Fri 10-Dec-10 12:07:12

Chocolat was based on the book by Joanne Harris and all the books I've read by her have had a woman as the main character. Perhaps more of her work needs to be made into film!

I'm not sure why Mirren might think the attitude to women is changing massively, although she doesn't say whether she means positive or negative change!

SantaIsAnAnagramOfSatan Fri 10-Dec-10 14:08:28

it's a man in mulberry wine (is that the title?) but she writes him very well. she does do strong female leads.

earwicga Mon 13-Dec-10 22:40:03

It's a child in Five Quarters of an Orange. Surprised that hasn't been made into a film.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 01:26:34

Hollywood films are a business, not an art form. If you want to see believable characters of either gender, go to an arthouse cinema, not an Odeon.

earwicga Tue 14-Dec-10 01:30:49

You still hanging around like a bad smell MrManager? How lovely.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 01:35:06

You still a filthy dolt earwicga? Oh, sorry, I thought this was the 'Insult People Out of Nowhere' thread.

CheerfulYank Tue 14-Dec-10 01:43:03

Already, mumsnetters?

Anyway, she's obviously got a point.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 01:50:21

As long as 18-25 year old men buy the tickets and set the trends, they'll pander to them.

Beachcomber Tue 14-Dec-10 02:22:07

See I think that is far too simplistic a point of view. Women buy tickets and go to the cinema too - we're just used to seeing films with male protagonists, or with masculine themes. So used to it, in fact, that a lot of the time it doesn't occur to us to mind or that things should be different.

We do make up half the population after all...

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 14-Dec-10 09:42:42

I bet women go to the cinema in roughly equal terms with men. MrM, does it ever occur to you that your assumptions might be based on nothing at all? Or do you have some figures that support your idea that that particular group buy a disproportionate number of tickets? Genuinely curious.

Although TBH even if young men did buy the most tickets - that would just prove that the targetting of the film industry was working. If they made films predominantly for 75 year old Hungarian women, it wouldn't be surprising to see a lot of them going to the cinema.

The question is why do they set the market.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 10:16:17

ElephantsAndMiasmas you were right, I just had a 'gut feeling' that men went more than women. I rarely go to the cinema during busy periods though, so I've not really seen the gender balance of a full screening.

The UK Film Council has a really great website about UK cinema statistics, and it says that while the 15-24s make up a disproportionate amount of the cinema audience there is no imbalance between men and women in attendance.

I'm still not entirely convinced by Mirren's assertion, though - how is it worshipping men? By putting out unrealistic and unattainable ideals of male perfection?

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 14-Dec-10 10:39:51

Well, I'd have thought if anything that would be worshipping women/gay men to do that. I understand it to mean a range of things resulting from an underlying assumption that the default audience member is a 15-24 year old male. Everything is targetted at that male - let's call him Jack.

Jack and his penis are (in the Hollywood producers' minds) the ones who need to be tempted to the cinema -it follows that everything should be tailor made to fit Jack and Wee Jack's needs. So the appearance of the men is not important, they can be fugly (although a smattering of muscular types is a winner, give the boys something to aim for), but they must be a) the main character, b) nearly all of the supporting characters. Male central character must be either strong & powerful or funny. What's important is that his behaviour will be rewarded, and it will be rewarded in the form of Naked Ladies/Sexxy Ladies (throughout the course of the film).

Women are there to meet the needs of Wee Jack, and Wee Jack alone. So all characters should be male, unless there is a clear need for vaginas to be present - e.g. a male character needs somewhere to put his penis. From this it follows that women actors are only necessary in the form of Sexxy Ladies, by which Hollywood means thin, white, young, flawless and willing to get their kit off.

Hence Helen Mirren's comments that older women's careers die off - if most 15-24 year old men wouldn't want to shag them (or so the producers think) then what is the bloody point of them anyway?

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 14-Dec-10 10:40:50

Thanks for links btw

TeiTetua Tue 14-Dec-10 14:15:05

There are some films made in the category of "chick flicks" that are mostly going to be seen by women. But it's obvious that the studios don't see that market as their biggest.

I think it's like children's books. The girls won't object to male heroes, and the boys wouldn't accept female ones, so let's write about boys and catch the maximum audience.

Male heroes, for a male audience, don't have to be good looking at all. Men judge other men on the basis of what they're able to do, not the way they look. That old term "matinee idol" meant handsome actors presented in daytime performances, when the women were able to get out without their husbands. Men don't like pretty boys. At least Jack doesn't.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 14:19:04

Oh yeah, all those ugly leading men we have nowadays.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 14-Dec-10 15:16:38

Yeah actually we do MrM.

Have you seen the female equivalent of Michael Cera, Vince Vaughn or Seth Rogen as romantic leads recently? Because I haven't.

Plus I don't know how many films with Woody Allen or Jack Nicholson or some other poor old chap being forced to cop off with a blonde woman in her 20s.

Outside of films, I am unable to come up with a single attractive male TV presenter in his 20s (outside of kids TV) where I oculd come up with dozens of gorgeous female presenters of that age.

MrManager Tue 14-Dec-10 15:21:37

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio? 'Ugly' leading men are the minority.

One dozen female presenters, in their twenties, outside of kids TV, please.

ElfPantsAtMidnightMass Tue 14-Dec-10 15:53:27

I never said there weren't goodlooking leading men. Just that there are also ugly and old ones. Like life. Whereas women are hot hot hot and young young young.

And I'm not just talking about lead romantic roles. In the vast majority of films I see, all the characters are male, barring one or two for vagina purposes. Why not have the teacher or the doctor or the rocket mechanic or the best friend or the boss at work or anyone else whose knicker-content is not integral to the plot be a female character?

Have you heard of the Bechdel test?

And actually I think I started the TV presented conversation so it's your job to disprove my point, not my job to prove that there are lots of young female TV presenters. There just are. Find me 10, or even 5 attractive young male TV presenters, under 30 years old please.

ElfPantsAtMidnightMass Tue 14-Dec-10 16:00:08

But, because I'm obliging, I'll reel off some young female TV presenters - given that I don't have a TV at the moment. Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly, Christine Bleakley, Alex Jones, Myleene Klass, erm... just checking the TV guide for tonight, Kate Walsh.

msrisotto Tue 14-Dec-10 17:44:36

Ugly leading men may be in a minority but ugly leading women are non existant. also, the bechdel test shows how even 'chick flicks' that are supposedly aimed at women, aren't really for us at all, apart from to serve the interests of the patriarchy.

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