Sunday, April 15, 2007

*woman* power

(as opposed to "girl power." see: Spice Girls, mid-late '90s set back feminism 10 years. see: Pussycat Dolls, now. same thing.)

So, Grindhouse is *still* on my mind. I saw it last Friday, with Fitzy, matinee style (for free! thank you, Lo-Ran!) And boy, oh boy, I am still reeling from it, liking it more and more as it swirls around in my brain.

There is something about Rose McGowan and her dark, glamorous 1940s look: those ripe, red lips, that femme fatale stare, and that killer body that is more distinctive than any other current starlet around today (sorry Scar-Jo, I love you, but you don't have that *darkness* and *danger* that comes with the Rose Treatment.)

She kicks off Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" by treating the viewer to a full-on-attack of sensual excitement with a very believable erotic go-go-go ("not cry, cry, cry") dance (with a pole, a-hem) that is both a come-on and a challenge. But, of course, she *does* cry at the end of the sequence, and we are left wondering why...does she feel powerless? Despite the power she carries as she enchants spectators with her swerving hips and tassel-framed ass? Or is it that she's just sick and tired of doing the dance? The old question remains (to Diablo Cody, et al.) who holds the power in a strip club, anyway?? It doesn't matter, cuz it fucking works. She is as mysterious and actually complex as action/zombie/horror movie characters get, if you ask me. Word.

Although the viewer may be adapting the traditional, fucked-up "male gaze" that objectifies the female bod, it is hard to ignore the *strength* behind the moves and the look of Rose, that is the character of Cherry Darling...

Of course, the bizarre EMpower trip comes later, after a car crash slices off one of her beautiful gams, she ends up wielding a machine-gun extending from the stump of a leg she has left. Even though some may have felt...hit over over the head with the obvious, I love the idea of watching someone so defeated, a dancer missing a leg, fiercely acquire a whole new (better) sense of power and control. To watch as Cherry uses her stripper--I mean go-go dancer moves to deftly use her gun-leg to defeat zombies is one of the most thrilling sights I have ever seen on the big screen.

To me, it's all about how woman can turn body-objectification on its head by using their bodies for a purpose that empowers them. Erica and E-Beth--my kickboxing friends know this.

Speaking of women using their finely toned and muscular bodies for ass-kicking purposes...that brings us to Quentin Tarantino's brilliant "Death Proof." By the end, gender almost gets pushed aside. It's basically an equal playing field--stunt women bodies and a car--oops, I mean an Alpine White 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T with the 440/375 HP engine (whew) against a stunt man and his Crazy Psycho Slasher Death Car. The major showdown ends up being fought by two female movie stunt workers (one is Zoe Bell, the real Bride in Kill Bill! that is, Uma's stunt double...) pitted against a *perfect* psycho played devilishly handsomely by Mr Kurt "Overboard" Russell. In other words, there are no "typical" woman victims, here.
JMo informed me that the men in her crew of peeps that saw the flick thought it was lame how Stuntman Mike "turns into a pussy" at the end of the film. I absolutely love how Tarintino depicts him crying in agony, sloshing a bottle of booze over his wounds and down his throat, because he is rendered an utterly *powerless* victim. It's good to see that kinda shit on screen.
It ain't like this is the first time we've seen that kinda shit, though. There are "Thelma & Louise" moments, to be sure. Think of the rat-faced truck driver that the ladies delight in torturing after his lewd harassment. You picked the wrong "bitches from hell" to fuck with... I couldn't help but think when poor ol' Kurt Russell has his sights set on the movie set worker chicks with brains, brawn and bad-ass-itude. (dunno, sorry. heh.)

And "Death Proof" is full of those Tarintino dialogue that I can't help but love. The exchanges and banter that he's known for (that may annoy some...of the people I love) are what gets my ears to perk up and my mouth to spread to a grin. Smart, sexy, articulate Ladies who smoke dope, love "dude" movies, and do all their own stunts. Welcome to the (patented) World of Tarintino. Yowza.

1 comment:

J-Mo said...

"I have never laughed and dry heaved in the same moment."