The idea is that film as a medium, as a form, emerged with women always already objectified ;by the format, the simple act of framing and representing any figure, of giving, however temporary, a fixed form ;by its practitioners, practically exclusively men, women further objectified in particular form. The latter held as achieving a patriarchal, sexist, representation from which it is inordinately difficult to emerge.
I watched Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 3D at the cinema with four children today. The story relates the discovery of and escape from a mythical Island formed from ‘lost Island’ novels, Jules Verne features large.
I asked then what they had most enjoyed. The responses were immediate, I recall a couple. E said:
When he popped his pecks.
That referred to a scene where the hero’s step father demonstrated how to make his chest muscles bounce up and down.
When he was lying in the sand and he couldn’t see his legs hidden in the sand and he thinks he’s lost them.
This is when the helicopter pilot, a comic character, is stuck in the sand with just his feet emerging following a crash landing.
What struck me was how both of these recall moments of a very burlesque comedy, clown like. This rather than the vast vistas and literally fantastic landscapes filled with 3D enhanced creatures with which battle must be done.
During the film it was these latter effects and suspense which drew screams and laughter. Sitting behind me were a group of children who Ooooed and Ahhhhed when the step-father first came in impressed as they were with his muscled physique alone.
The children all enjoyed the film, fearful at a times but willing to go all the way with it, to escape. Certainly here was an impoverished film for children to watch. The female characters caught in ideas of beauty. It makes me hate film.
I recall something L said during the film:
That’s Gaby, from High School Musical.
Later, at home speaking to her sister and a friend she said thoughtfully:
I can’t believe Gaby doesn’t love Troy for real.
But she does, said her sister E, seriously, in real life she really does.