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Old June 18 2013, 03:46 AM   #316
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

KittyDuran wrote: View Post
Thanks, Kitty. I've also said there are parts of the movie that I did actually like, and perhaps I'll get around to those on this thread too.

Rebuttal or not, I am interested in your thoughts.
I was going to compare Star Trek characters to a baseball team and the various roles they play (as I listen to the Reds game...).
Cool. And I'm sure that each position is critical to the success of the team. I can agree with that, if that's where you were going.
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Old June 18 2013, 03:59 AM   #317
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Lol - just because sci fi writers can't be trusted doesn't mean I should shrug and accept it.
Actually, that's EXACTLY what it means. Shrug and accept it, because it's not going to change until science fiction becomes dominated by female writers. Consider, for example, that of the 25 best selling and/or best known scifi novelists of the past 50 years, how many of them were women?

What you CAN do is show approval when writers handle the subject in a mature and halfway respectful way, which is exactly what the last two films have done with Uhura and now with Marcus. Make it known that we see what they did there, and it is good, and that we want to see a lot more of this and a lot less of that.

Carol's appearance in ongoing comic already feels good. Having an extra woman should work although as a physicist, I do wonder how much she can contribute when that is already Spock's territory.
You clearly missed the implication that Carol accompanied the crew to New Vulcan specifically because she wants to talk with their scientists about the Helios Device. As I understand the concept, Helios is pretty much a primitive and profoundly troublesome precursor to the Genesis Device.

I suspect that's part of the reason for having her on the Enterprise in the first place, to play up that angle for the third movie. Either way, knowing what we do about Carol Marcus and her importance not just to the Federation but in the life of one James T. Kirk, she is GAURANTEED to have a pivotal role in the future.

Projecting of course! Although I find NuKirk's shenanigans to be as hollow, desperate, and emotionally unsatisfying as NuStarbuck's but this franchise isn't as bleak so they are skating over his emotional state and making it cooool.
Threesome with a couple of Caitians just for the lulz... that seemed even more forced and tacky than the "turn around" scene.

I'm amazed that NuBSG didn't go there at some point but maybe they wanted to make a point about the way soldiers brutalise women in the real world.
Or maybe they were just playing to the barely-suppressed voyeurism of their target audience on a TV show that was already gritty enough that nobody would really notice?
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Old June 18 2013, 04:08 AM   #318
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
If we had a translation of some of the Russian dialog, we would know.
You're thinking of 2010. The only female character in 2001 is Floyd's eight year old daughter (unless some of the man-apes were female, of course).

Also, I'm not sure that Irina and Tanya actually spoke to each other during the entire movie. The only times they were ever in the same room together was either during very tense operational missions or when Floyd was having one of his monologs. OTOH, 2010 failing the Bechdel Test sort of renders that test irrelevant, considering Helen Mirren's performance in that movie made Roy Schneider look like a lost pedestrian.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:21 AM   #319
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Yes, the whole "Roddenberry's vision" thing comes up again.


Rodenberry's vision has surprisingly little to do with how Star Trek ultimately turned out. Suffice to say, Christopher Pike managed to get through two movies without some alien drawing his attention to his yeoman's "Unusually strong female drives."
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Old June 18 2013, 05:27 AM   #320
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
If we had a translation of some of the Russian dialog, we would know.
You're thinking of 2010. The only female character in 2001 is Floyd's eight year old daughter (unless some of the man-apes were female, of course).
No, I'm not.

On the contrary, as I said, I'm thinking of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Besides all the other stewardesses that you've forgotten, plus Frank's mom, there are three Russian women on the space station, all introduced by name: Elena, Dr. Kalinan, and Dr. Stretyneva.

The scene in question takes place from 29:26 to 33:42. Before Dr. Floyd arrives, all four Russians speak among themselves, in Russian. Dr. Stretyneva says something, possibly asking what time it is. Smyslov answers. Then, Dr. Kalinan says something, and then Elena addresses Dr. Kalinan directly. What Kalinan and Elena say, and whether what Kalinan says qualifies as speaking to Elena, are completely mysterious to me, because it's in Russian. When Dr. Floyd departs, Smyslov, Stretyneva, and Kalinan each speak again, in that order, in Russian.

From http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/2001-A-Space-Odyssey.html [nearly but not completely in agreement with what's on screen]:

2001: A Space Odyssey wrote:
B20
SPACE STATTION 5 - LOUNGE

FLOYD
Well, how nice to see you again,
Elena. You're looking wonderful.

ELENA
How nice to see you, Hyewood.
This is my good friend, Dr.
Heywood Floyd. I'd like you
to meet Andre Smyslov...

SMYSLOV AND THE TWO
OTHER RUSSIAN WOMEN
STAND UP AND SMILE

THEY SHAKE HANDS
AFTER INTRODUCTION
AND AD-LIB 'HELLOS'

ELENA
And this is Dr. Kalinan...
Stretyneva...


THE RUSSIANS ARE
VERY WARM AND
FRIENDLY.

[snip]

FLOYD
Thank you. It's been a great
pleasure to meet all of you...
Dr. Smyslov.

THE RUSSIANS ALL
RISE AND THERE
ARE AD-LIBS OF
COURTESY

FLOYD SHAKES HANDS
AND EXITS

THE RUSSIANS EXCHANGE
A FEW SERIOUS PARA-
GRAPHES IN RUSSIAN
Of course, whatever they say when speaking among themselves isn't much, and it's incomprehensible if you don't speak Russian, but all that's really beside the point of whether it's technically enough to pass the test. The test is the test.

In any case, regardless of whether all criteria are met, what's inarguable is that there are at least three named women in 2001.
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Old June 18 2013, 06:01 AM   #321
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
pauln6 wrote:
Chekov becoming chief engineer and Uhura beaming down to save Spock during the finale were two such stupid scenes. Uhura is an officer, a linguist, and a technician. I want her to do technical stuff and if, in her capacity as an officer she gets in on the action then that's really good. With a ship full of 50+ security guards, you put Uhura in charge of a team, you don't send her down instead of one.
I have to agree with this. With Chekov, as soon as I heard Kirk tell him to put on a red shirt it was the only time in the movie I felt a little nervous. He may not be anyone’s favorite, but the character does work. It’s nice to know that he was shadowing Scotty for 6 months, and being a child genius, I’m sure he soaked up everything he learned, but there was a better way to handle this. Couldn’t we have seen him learning from Scotty sometime earlier in the film. He could have been helping him off duty or something, and then when the action picked up he should have been needed on the bridge as the ship’s best navigator.
Why? Can you not imagine it? Does everything have to be explicitly presented? That would make for a seriously dull film (in any case, not just Trek).



And that takes me to something else. The people that think striving for equality in the writing is “arrogant” and “entitled,” all the while saying in the same breath what “should be” or even “has to be” for their beloved Trek are just interesting to me. I’ve got a couple of more words I’d rather use: Imagination and Creativity. If the writing team, as artists, want to include people, then they can imagine that and create that. If they want to exclude people, then they can imagine that and create that, but let’s not act like it’s not a choice. And the very idea of IDIC means that they have quite a few choices at their fingertips, at least that’s what I think.
The filmmakers DID imagine something and DID exclude people. You just don't want to accept that which was excluded (a greater female presence)--which was their choice. One cannot have it both ways. Either they chose to populate the film with exactly what we got and you are disappointed (the precise kind of artistic choice I have defended in terms of artistic rights--independent of endorsing such choices) OR they are subconsciously, rather than explicitly, acting on sexist impulses of which they seem unaware and so the resulting gender imbalance is NOT an artistic choice (a POV repeated ad nauseam by another poster in this thread who is taking up the mantle of demanding more gender balance in Trek).

I mean, I could just imagine him sitting in their quarters, in front of one of those Vulcan meditation candle things having a hard time clearing his mind. He sees images of Vulcan being destroyed, his mother reaching out for him as she falls, Nero’s face, and then Khan as a similar villain making similar threats against “the only home I have left”… Uhura notices (let’s say she looks up while reading a book or a novel on her PADD while she’s laying across their bed) and she tells him that he needs to see a Vulcan Healer or at least maybe call his dad because he might be able to help.

The conversation could have gone from there with Spock claiming that he’s okay and that the few Vulcan Healers that are left already have too much on their plates in treating the thousands of traumatized Vulcans that remain of their species, and his father has more important things to do than to trouble himself to show up because his son can’t “cope.” He’d mention that they’ve been over this before, and Nyota would mention that she thinks he’s getting worse because, as his bond mate, she can feel what he feels and see what he sees. She can tell that it’s getting harder for him to shield her from that and that he needs help. She tries telling him that it’s the “logical” thing to do, but he just shifts back into position and tries to meditate, to handle it on his own… That’s when she quietly decides to stop talking to him because he’s not listening anyway…
This would have made me want to leave the cinema before the film was over. Turning Trek into a soap opera is not my idea of entertainment. However, even if they had chosen to do this in the film, as much as I would have personally found it, well, dull and uninteresting, I would still vociferously defend their right to make that artistic choice.

In about 3 minutes time I think a lot could have been covered there, and it would have better served the story/plot of the film than the shuttle argument. Plus it would have been in character and behind closed doors. But again, that’s just my humble opinion. By the end of the film, he could have learned that getting the help he needs before going on a 5 year mission is necessary, and that could have been one of the things he focused on in the year that goes by at the end of the film. I think this would have worked better.
And I would have found it horrible. Different strokes…
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Old June 18 2013, 06:40 AM   #322
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Why? Can you not imagine it? Does everything have to be explicitly presented? That would make for a seriously dull film (in any case, not just Trek).
If your audience has to do your work for you, then you’ve already failed as a writer/producer. Everything doesn’t have to be explicitly presented, but showing is the format they’ve chosen. They don’t show enough of what matters in terms of growth, as individuals or as a team, in this film, but you are free to like it and think that they have. I could also ask why show most of the things that happened in the film. They could all sit around after the fact, mentioning it, and, well, couldn’t you just imagine it? Makes for a pretty bad film in my view.

The filmmakers DID imagine something and DID exclude people. You just don't want to accept that which was excluded (a greater female presence)--which was their choice. One cannot have it both ways. Either they chose to populate the film with exactly what we got and you are disappointed (the precise kind of artistic choice I have defended in terms of artistic rights--independent of endorsing such choices) OR they are subconsciously, rather than explicitly, acting on sexist impulses of which they seem unaware and so the resulting gender imbalance is NOT an artistic choice (a POV repeated ad nauseam by another poster in this thread who is taking up the mantle of demanding more gender balance in Trek).
Yep, yes, siree, they made choices. Oh, and please don’t tell me what I do and don’t want to accept. I know they made choices, and I also know that these choices are ones that I cannot support, and so I will not. That’s simple enough, don’t you think?

However, I do think that they both made conscious choices, like to make a more male dominated/leaning film (I think one of the actors, Simon Pegg I want to say, said that JJ wanted to make a more male-centric film than ST09, and I’ll definitely agree that he succeeded), and perhaps subconscious choices, like how they used the couple of women that did have roles of some significance in an effort to “cater” to men. Honestly, I think that as they were rushing to get a script out, and they were pressed for time, they fell back on stereotypes that are somewhat or completely based on sexist and/or misogynistic views.

I went into detail on this earlier in this thread:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...1&postcount=57

This would have made me want to leave the cinema before the film was over. Turning Trek into a soap opera is not my idea of entertainment. However, even if they had chosen to do this in the film, as much as I would have personally found it, well, dull and uninteresting, I would still vociferously defend their right to make that artistic choice.
If we are merely talking about “rights,” well then I must agree. They should have and do have every right to make artistic choices that the studio/production company also have a say in because it’s their money that is making these films, but the writers still have some choice as to how they write them and they should.

I also have the right to say that I don’t like it and why, and so does anyone else. You have the right to say that you support it if you do. So, as far as “rights” are concerned, I think we’re all doing pretty well.

If they want to make the next movie another Kirk/Spock bromance love story or if they want to make it about the “triumvirate,” then that is completely up to them. People that want to see that will, and I won’t have to worry about wanting to walk out of the theater because I won’t walk in. My only issue is that if this is where they wanted to go, then they should have made that clear with the first film, because that’s not the impression I got from it. I’m guessing I’m not alone considering the number of complaints I’ve read around the web about this last film. I guess that’s what happens when they set expectations by making a more inclusive, team oriented, first film.

I don’t think realistic drama = soap opera. That’s a major problem with STID in my view. This film skips over dealing with things in a natural way, and it doesn’t make sense. And I’m not just talking about relationships, either.

And I would have found it horrible. Different strokes…
Yes, I guess so because as anything other than a forgettable Summertime action-action-action flick, STID is horrible to me, and since I don’t like watching action for the sake of action, I honestly could have passed. Different strokes indeed.
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Old June 18 2013, 07:28 AM   #323
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
In any case, regardless of whether all criteria are met, what's inarguable is that there are at least three named women in 2001.
According to IMDB:

Before they meet Floyd, they are considering going to the observation deck while they wait for a flight. After Floyd leaves, they say, "It must be difficult for him."
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Old June 18 2013, 08:23 AM   #324
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

BillJ wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
So, Scotty's job is purely administrative? That's never been how it looked to me. And easy communication? Isn't that what they all wear those communicators for? He couldn't have just as easily communicated with a female 3rd in command in engineering, whose spent her entire career in engineering, and regularly works in that section of the ship?
Purely? No. Are administrative duties part of the job? Yes.

Chekov is someone Kirk has a direct working relationship with. They're going on a dangerous mission. He wants someone he knows at the post. Really didn't think I would need to spell it out to you.

But hey, you learn something new everyday.
Unnecessarily rude but I digress.

What this sounds like is that it's acceptable for Kirk to promote his mates rather than than someone he doesn't know as well. Don't get me wrong, this is exactly how the Old Boy network works in the UK with public schoolboys scratching each other's backs but it's not generally viewed as an acceptable practice whether the guy who is better qualified to do the job is a male or female. Don't forget, Chekov is an ensign, who has been qualified as a navigator for a year, and shadowing the chief engineer for only part of his post qualification duty. In no way is hre better qualified than someone who has been qualified for years and works alongside Scotty on a full time basis.

I agree it would have been better for Chekov to act as an assistant to the new chief engineer and he could still have acted as the mouthpiece to the bridge while the new chief got on with fixing stuff. The scenes play out the same pretty much but less silly.

Mind you, they did the same thing with Kirk in the first movie.

And before you look to defend either decision too strenuously, they parodied this sort of thing in the Simpsons when the admiral promotes Homer because he likes the cut of his jib.
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Old June 18 2013, 10:33 AM   #325
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Take a step back and replace the Starfleet cadets with NuStarbuck, Boomer, Racetrack and Kat. Are you still having a hard time imagining a bar room brawl with these women? I'm not. NuTrek is in a strait jacket of its own making.
You assume I followed BSG beyond hearing that Starbuck and Boomer were now female.

I am definitely having a hard time picturing Kirk in a barroom brawl with a female security team defending Uhura's honor.

I don't agree that having a blonde bun-headed extra with a couple of lines would be problematic. X-men featured Kitty Pryde as an extra in the first two movies before appointing a talented actress to play her as a main character in the third.
C'mon, I can hear you screaming "foul" that the Janice chosen for STiD gets replaced by a leading lady when her scenes in a sequel script get pumped up.

Having extras who are developed and elevated due to popularity (like Chief O'Brien) is more fun than introducing new characters.
That example is exactly what happened in my "Prisoner" example. But it worked for Meaney because TNG was a series, not a movie. And he had proven himself as a talented actor.

A cameo from Rand would be better than nothing.
And there was a blond Starfleet woman with a bun in "Star Trek" (2009). They even re-used the hairstyle for IDW's Rand in the comics.

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
If your audience has to do your work for you, then you’ve already failed as a writer/producer.
Absolutely not!

If a film connects every dot we, the viewers, are left with absolutely nothing left to discuss (or even ponder in our own minds) other than "It was good/bad."
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Old June 18 2013, 01:08 PM   #326
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

If a film connects every dot we, the viewers, are left with absolutely nothing left to discuss (or even ponder in our own minds) other than "It was good/bad."
Not to mention incredibly LONG movies...
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Old June 18 2013, 01:19 PM   #327
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
KittyDuran wrote: View Post
Thanks, Kitty. I've also said there are parts of the movie that I did actually like, and perhaps I'll get around to those on this thread too.

Rebuttal or not, I am interested in your thoughts.
I was going to compare Star Trek characters to a baseball team and the various roles they play (as I listen to the Reds game...).
Cool. And I'm sure that each position is critical to the success of the team. I can agree with that, if that's where you were going.
Sort of... functioning as a team but also there are certain players that the fans really love ... go to a game and count the jerseys/t-shirts with players names on the back. Kirk and Spock are those superstar players with McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov ... then throw in Carol and Keenser, and there's the starting line-up. Khan and Adm Marcus are the opposing team's starting pitcher and clean-up hitter respectively.

BTW, I really like baseball...
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Old June 18 2013, 04:55 PM   #328
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

KittyDuran wrote: View Post
I wanted Bones to have more to do with Kirk and Spock but a "waste".
Well, read the opening credits of Season One TOS. It's the Kirk and Spock show.

If Bad Robot had been really strict to the beginnings of the 5YM, they might even have used Dr Piper (or "Bones" Boyce) in a supporting roll, not McCoy.
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Old June 18 2013, 06:00 PM   #329
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
If your audience has to do your work for you, then you’ve already failed as a writer/producer.
There is a short scene where Kirk ask Chekov about him following Scotty like a puppy for the last months.
There, mission accomplished.
The audience learned everything they need to know to accept Chekov in engineering.
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Old June 18 2013, 06:09 PM   #330
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Re: Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

beamMe wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
If your audience has to do your work for you, then you’ve already failed as a writer/producer.
There is a short scene where Kirk ask Chekov about him following Scotty like a puppy for the last months.
There, mission accomplished.
The audience learned everything they need to know to accept Chekov in engineering.
Pretty much (in terms of explaining why Chekov could do the job--whether he should be doing it is a little less convincing, to me, but I chalk it up to the standard "must use each of the main cast in at least one 'moment' onscreen" rule that has been a part of cinema for, oh, over a century).

Ultimately, all this gnashing of teeth over how many women, how important they are, are they respected or not, etc. vs. there are enough/plenty/it doesn't matter seems to revolve around a fundamental difference of opinion over something that is not, at its heart, a gender issue--the Kirk/Spock show vs. the ensemble approach. Whatever side of the equation you fall on that issue appears largely (though not wholly) determinant in the overall debate on gender roles. I favour the Kirk/Spock show approach--they are, to me, the most important characters by far TOS (and its modern revision). If that approach is maintained, then any female character becomes secondary and, potentially, disappointing in terms of gender role or even role in general. The ensemble approach would at least imply, if not directly advocate, the importance of giving significant screen time, as well as significant character development, to all the "big seven". This would allow for far more well-developed female characters (Uhura and Marcus) in quality (as more than windowdressing--even though I think they were more than that already, clearly not everyone does). The quantity issue is harder to resolve in the absence of either changing genders of some of the "big seven" or simply omitting a few to replace them with female characters.

I don't dislike ensemble approaches per se, but I do not favour that approach for TOS/Abrams Trek. For a host of reasons, I prefer the Kirk/Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura/Chekov/Sulu hierarchical tier over the TNG-style ensemble--with those characters. I am fine with the ensemble approach to TNG characters and, if ever TNG is rebooted, I would like to see that tradition continue.

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