Star Trek Into Darkness & The Bechdel Test

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    Speaking of quoting people because what they've said bears repeating, especially since some of the insults and ad hominem attacks on this thread provide proof positive in my eyes why this topic is still important, here's a 2008 quote (forgive the length please) from a former screenwriting student at UCLA:

    I've been reading a lot on this subject lately and, in particular, the contributions women have made in film since its beginning. It's interesting to me that at one time, the whole film watching experience was designed towards making the film watching experience a "respectable" activity for women and young ladies (and the remnants of that still exist today with modern theaters). As the middle class grew, and women had jobs from working during WW2, and thus more disposable income, women were more in control of how disposable income was used.

    Women also seemed to have more control behind the camera when film was first getting off of its feet. Then, it seems as though once it became a profitable and sustainable "industry," that women were pushed out or relegated to lessor positions on average.

    So, earlier on, women's opinions in film really counted, and women were even courted. The same thing was the case, it seems to me with the ST09 movie. JJ said that he knew that in order for it "to work," that women were going to need to like it too. That focus seems to have changed with this last STID film.

    I've read some older women stating that some films they loved in the 1940's, even 30's, like His Girl Friday, do better with women (not women minorities, though), than many films today. I can't say if that's true or not, only that I've read some older women saying that.

    Anyway, for anyone who’s interested, here’s the link to what I quoted: http://thehathorlegacy.com/why-film-schools-teach-screenwriters-not-to-pass-the-bechdel-test/

     
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Crap, so when I say I think the creators are simply not thinking about their gender bias I was being TOO generous. :rolleyes: That's... appalling.

    I stand by what I've been saying with renewed vigour!

    Actually, as a script writer, you could do me a favour - I've been trying really hard to even up the numbers in my Star Trek motion comic on the youtube link below but it may be that I'm not practising what I preach. If you can spare ten minutes (and overlook the cheesy plot that rips off as many franchises as I can think of) I'd be interested to know if I'm near the mark I should be aiming for...
     
  3. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    I don't read comics, so I'm not sure if I'd be the best person to tell you how things should work within that format, but send me the link, and I'll give it a go.

    Also, for the people that seem to think that anyone asking for equality in the writing (which should at least be a goal considering that they are writing about a future a few hundred years away where we've supposedly "advanced" as a people more), it's not just a few people "crying," and "whining" about how women were treated in this film.

    I think if that were the case, then JJ would not have bothered to do an interview where he said that "more" needs to be done with women in the next film which, to me, acknowledges that "enough" wasn't done in this one (STID).

    The Australian article and video link are entitled: JJ Abrams admits 'Star Trek: Into Darkness' a bit sexist.
     
  4. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    It's too bad that films that pass the test tend to be unabashed "chick flick" ensembles like Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias.

    It's hard to reboot TOS without rebooting a male-dominated cast.
     
  5. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks! The format is limited by the available images and I just threw it together so but I think I just scrape by in the first episode because Uhura cracks a joke with Rand. The subsequent episodes feature a lot more women as the cast expands though so the first one is not the best example thinking about it.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/pauln6/videos

    Hmm looking back, some elements that I needed to set up for later plot elements, such as Rand's flirtation with the security guard are a bit girly but I tried not to portray Rand too much as a damsel in distress and more like an 'everyman'. I also needed to establish a friendship with the guard to try and give a bit more impact later on. I hope it didn't come across as too stereotypical.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  6. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    That's why films like The Hunger Games are nice. There were a number of scenes in that movie that had 2 named women talking about something other than men, and it came off as natural as you please. You wanna know who recommended that I read the books? A man at my office that is not into girly stuff at all. I don't even know how he got into reading those books, but I thought it was interesting that he was the one that made the recommendation. I decided to see the film first, and after that, those books were mine. ;)

    The books were written by a woman with a background in writing for television. I don't think we need "unabashed "chick flick" ensembles" as much as we just need good writing that deals with all of the characters well, which should include some women, minorites, and minority women. In today's day and age, it just makes sense.

    @pauln6, thanks for the link. I'll be back after viewing it.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yep! Heather Langenkamp as Moto.
     
  8. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bored, I just flipped a coin 7000 times.

    38 men, 32 women - 11%
    32 men, 38 women - 10%
    35 men, 35 women - 9%
    33 men, 37 women - 8%
    36 men, 34 women - 8%
    39 men, 31 women - 8%
    31 men, 39 women - 7%
    37 men, 33 women - 6%
    34 men, 36 women - 5%
    40 men, 30 women - 5%
    28 men, 42 women - 5%
    30 men, 40 women - 5%
    42 men, 28 women - 2%
    43 men, 27 women - 2%
    44 men, 26 women - 2%
    26 men, 44 women - 2%
    41 men, 29 women - 1%
    48 men, 22 women - 1%
    25 men, 45 women - 1%
    27 men, 43 women - 1%
    29 men, 41 women - 1%
     
  9. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Go Heather! Unsurprisingly, I didn't recognise her.
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol, I'm pretty sure they have an app for that. I can live with an inconsistent gender bias. It's the consistent gender bias that is frustrating.
     
  11. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Frustrating because most women don't see it your way?

    Your heart is in the right place, but you certainly are overdoing the protesting on behalf of women.
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm doing it on behalf of equality. I'd argue the other way if there was a consistent bias in favour of women.
     
  13. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why are you telling us this?
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because I asked for her input, although as I said before, the way the question is phrased can affect the nature of the answer.

    As a businesswoman, I admit that I was expecting her to say that actresses should obtain work on their own merits, not be handed roles.

    However, what I've found is that when you pose the question in a way that explains that actresses are unable to audition for jobs on merit because those jobs don't exist, I've yet to meet a woman who thought that situation was fair or equal.

    There is always a first time though!
     
  15. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Are you suggesting that writer should create their characters with some quota in mind?
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't really understand why people view balancing the gender of characters on screen as enforcing a quota and why whenever anybody says this they say it because they view quotas as bad - every time - lol! It's half and half. Why is there so much gnashing of teeth and beating of breast about such a simple concept. Equality means equal - roughly equal numbers in equally varied positions. It'a a laudable goal, it isn't happening, so let's think of simple ways to make it happen.

    As I said before, you can flip a coin or just alternate the gender of the supporting characters as they crop up in the script. In some ways coin flipping or dice rolling is better as it creates more variation on screen at any one time. If Ensign Doohicky isn't going to spend the next scene in bed with Scotty, determine their gender randomly. Why not? I don't think STiD would have been so different if Admiral Marcus had been Carol's mum based on a die roll.

    And as I say, this isn't a general thing, this is about Star Trek.
     
  17. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Perhaps not. But that's not how the writer created the character.

    And I can imagine there would have been such an outrage if it had been Alexandra Marcus', and not Alexander Marcus' head that was crushed by Khan.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know the answer to this. But I can't imagine it wouldn't have raised a few eye-brows here in the States.
     
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the level of violence against men in US films is too high. I think you should ask why you would find crushing a man's head acceptable rather than why crushing a woman's head would be unacceptable.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's not about it being acceptable. But Khan is the bad guy and does bad things, including crushing people's heads until they pop like a grape that's been stepped on. It's how we know he's the bad guy.

    But I think audiences would've been a bit more squeamish if if was a woman in that position. Especially when domestic violence is still a real issue and tough to crack.
     
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