I have been slack recently. I think going to the cinema once a week was too ambitious, let alone going once a week to see a Bechdel-passing film.
That said, I went twice this week. On Wednesday I saw Compliance which was easily the most horrible & uncomfortable film I have ever sat through. It is a really well made film but I never want to see it again. It passes the test on many, many occasions because the two lead characters are female. It’s based on a true story & the film claims that nothing is exaggerated. I think it’s an incredible film but it left me feeling sick for hours.
The other film I saw this week was Cloud Atlas. It’s based on the book by David Mitchell & I think if you haven’t read the book, the film might be impenetrable. It only just passes due to conversations between two of the fabricants (Somni & Yoona) working in Papa Song’s. A lot of the cleverness & wit of the book is lost in the mawkishness of the film – a massive difference is that the book’s main theme is “predacity” & the film’s main linking theme is “love” (ergh).
The interesting thing the film explores is identity – mostly through the same actors playing different roles. They play different genders & ethnicities (this has sparked a bit of controversy). I enjoyed it but I did find myself wanting a few more women actors (of 13 main cast, 4 were women) to see them being allowed to explore changing identity as much as the male actors. The exploration of identity certainly fits with something the directors might want to examine. Director Lana Wachowski made her first public appearance as a fully transitioned woman in a trailer for the movie.
For all the explorations, 7 of the 13 main cast members are caucasian men, so the film still has a very White Man basis from which it explores.
These are just some thought farts of mine. Both of these films have got me thinking which is probably a good thing.