sábado, 28 de agosto de 2010

Howl's Moving Castle

Imdb link.

Bechdel Test: Yes.

Sexual violence: No. There's a lesson on "you cannot own other people's hearts".

Other forms of violence: Bombs, explosions, and sinister ghostlike figures a young child might find scary.

Other forms of discrimination: None. There are
some hints at portraying senility.

I think a main character sits on a wheelchair, but I'm not sure. It's not relevant to the plot.

Some unrelated characters explicitly say that they are a family.

When I have children, they're going to watch Ghibli's films on rotation.

Nine - the musical.

Imdb link.

Bechdel test
: No.

Sexual violence: The main character uses women left right and centre, but there's no rape or abuse.

Other forms of violence: A child is beaten with a cane by a priest, as a punishment.

Other forms of discrimination: The film works from the premise that it is perfectly fine to treat everyone around you like shit, if you're a genius.

Also, artists are stereotypes creators. The degree in which everyone takes stereotypes as true is a measure of the greatness of the artist. The film glorifies the "passionate Mediterranean" idea.

The only woman who is not idolised or used, that is, the only one that the artist treats as human, is the only unsexy one. In this case, because she's old.

Nine - the cartoon

imdb link.

Bechdel Test: No. There's a single female character, like in the average team-of-superheroes movie.

Sexual violence: No.

Other forms of violence: Persecutions by scary monsters; the type of film that a very young child can find frightening. For more details, imdb.com parental guide.

Other stuff: Number 6, the "crazy" character, has very important information that the others don't know, or understand. Some people may find the "special sensitivity of the mentally disabled" trope irritating and stereotypical.

The bully is the fat puppet. Of course.

domingo, 8 de agosto de 2010

The Hedgehog / Le Hérisson

Imdb link.

Bechdel Test: yes.

Sexual violence: No.

Other forms of violence. Much discussion of suicide. A car crash.

-Isms in general: It's just on the brink of having a Magical Negro.


Imdb link.

Bechdel Test: Minimally. A women tells another her definition of love. They don't exchange more than five lines.

Sexual violence: A man fools a woman into giving him a brief kiss in order to save their lives.

Other forms of violence: The imdb parental guide makes a good summary. Don't watch if suicide is a problem.

Forms of discrimination: It's the average action film in which a team of "superheroes" includes two POC of different races and one white woman. Guess who's the only character in serious danger of death/destiny worse than death? Yes, one of the two POCs. The label "the POC dies first" is shorthand, so don't assume it's a spoiler ;)

It's a shame I cannot give a rape-free label to this film. That stupid kiss...

miércoles, 4 de agosto de 2010

Sheherezade, Tell me a story / Ehky ya Scheherazade

Imdb link.

Bechdel Test:

Sexual Violence
: Domestic violence; physical and emotional.

Other forms of graphic violence
. Graphic depiction of abortion. Two very violent fights.

Forms of discrimination: The film shows not just the situation of women in Egypt from the perspective of a power struggle of the genders, but also the extreme classism of society affecting negatively both men and women.

Up in the Air

Bechdel Rule: Minimally. There is one brief conversation between two women in the presence of a man.

Sexual violence: None.

Other forms of graphic violence. None.

Other -isms. none.

The Jungle Book

imdb link.

Bechdel Test: No. There are three female characters. Two are mothers, one of which doesn't even speak. The third one is a prepubescent femme fatale.

Sexual violence: No, but its climax is based on the idea that all women hold a natural and irresistible charm for all men, which we use to our advantage.

Other forms of violence: Carnivore animals trying to kill their prey in the jungle. For some reason, some of the musical scenes are scary to very little children, I'm told.

Other forms of discrimination: The racism towards black people in the depiction of the jungle's monkeys and orangutans is well known.

Todas las azafatas van al cielo

Imdb link.

This film is the first one I see, since I started the blog, that passes what I call the Extended Bechdel Test: all the usual requisites without gender or sexual violence in a film that is not primarily intended for children.

Bechdel Rule: yes. There is a good balance between the importance of the male and the female protagonists, so both have conversations with other people. Including women.

Sexual violence: Yes, and no. There is no violence in the strict sense, but the work atmosphere of the plane crew is very sexist: men are pilots, women are flight attendants, their only conversation are rape jokes, and there is a striptease competition for the women in a work party.

Other forms of graphic violence. None, but characters plan suicide.

Other -isms
. None.

miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010


Imdb link.

Bechdel test: No, even though there are about 5 speaking female characters.

Sexual violence: No.

Other forms of violence: Not really. For a film depicting South Africa in the 90s, it is very tame.

Other: Not bad as a superficial introduction to the recent history of South Africa.

Gandahar (Light Years)

Imdb link.

Bechdel test: No. There aren't enough female characters.

Sexual violence: No.

Other forms of violence:
There is a nature vs. machine war, and little else.

Anything else: There are disabled characters which are not "cured" or dead at the end. There are also women in positions of authority and the idea of an egalitarian society as superior to a hierarchical one.

domingo, 18 de julio de 2010


Imdb link.

Bechdel Test. No. There are very few characters and the two female ones don't really interact.

Sexual violence. None, but it is hinted that the protagonist was aggressive in a way that upset his wife.

Other forms of violence: A bit of fighting. Lots of blood.

Other: The central topic of the film is dehumanization and alienation.

El Secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their eyes)

Imdb link.

Bechdel Test:
No. There are two females characters only, and only one of them is alive during the action.

Sexual violence: Yes. The central plot in the film is the search of the rapist and murderer of a woman; graphic scenes of the crime appear at several points in the film. While the crime is absolutely necessary for the story, those scenes, which I found very upsetting, are not.

Other forms of violence: Some. The only thing I can say without giving away the whole story is that it is a very cruel story of revenge & unrequited love.

The label "complete disaster" doesn't judge a movie's artistic value or its interest, just the fact that there is rape and very few female characters. I quite liked it, to say the truth.

miércoles, 14 de julio de 2010

Die Hard

Yes, Die Hard. It's not as pointless as it seems. When this movie was released, I was 11 and it was clear that this was intended for adults. Soon after that, action films were made for a teen audience. That's why we can see here people casually snorting cocaine and having sex in the office...

Bechdel Rule: Minimally. The central female character talks very briefly with her assistant, her daughter and her maid.

Sexual violence: None. The hostages are approximately half male / half female and there is no glamorisation at all of violence against women.

Other forms of graphic violence. Lots of it. Fighting, shooting, explosions, people held hostage.

Other -isms. There are quite a few black men: a policeman (sympathetic), and a villain (no stereotypes there) but also a very stupid chauffeur. The one WOC is a Latina maid who can be blackmailed with a mention of Immigration. All in all, the POC are there to give pats on the back to the more central characters.

I think that the treatment of the central female character is surprisingly progressive if compared to more recent films. She's a high-level executive, the second person in authority in the international company she works for. She finds support for her career and family life in many people, some of them women. She's intelligent and the movie never gives the message that her career is a problem; in fact, the problem is that her husband doesn't support her like everyone else does.

I'm not spoiling anything if I say that the film begins with the couple living in different towns because of their jobs; in Die Hard 2, he has relocated to the city of her choice.

lunes, 12 de julio de 2010

Derecho de familia (Family Law)

Imdb link.

Bechdel test: No. There isn't one scene without the male protagonist on it. There are several female characters, but they were interact with each other.

Sexual violence: No. It can be a bit upsetting how, in the beginning of the film, the protagonist assumes that he's going to marry one of his students one day. The entire relationship is based on him keeping secrets from her.

Other forms of violence: No.

Anything else: Not really. It's the story of an extremely privileged thirtysomething who is trying to figure out what sort of father and son he wants to be; the "angsty man with a delayed adolescent crisis" is a frequent theme in Argentinian cinema which is normally solved with humour.

sábado, 10 de julio de 2010

Spirited Away

Also known as Sen To Chihiro and Chihiro's Journey. Imdb link.

Bechdel Rule: Yes. Extensively so. The protagonist talks with her mother, several witches and magical characters.

Sexual violence: Not at all.

Other forms of graphic violence. A little bit, which can be scary for very little children (a dragon being attacked by paper birds, an evil spirit that eats people whole...). Everything is magical and turns out well.

Other -isms. Ghibli films are excellent if you want children to see stories with people of all ages. There are at least three very old characters (two women, a man), and women in positions of authority.

viernes, 9 de julio de 2010

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

This movie is a waste of time, but anyway. imbd link.

Bechdel Rule: No. There is a single female character.

Sexual violence:
Yes and no. One of the male characters wants to rape the woman, another one gropes her. It's a typical case of "the heroine kicks henchman's ass, while the heroes keep some level of sexual violence on her at all times".

Other forms of graphic violence. lots and lots of fighting.

Other -isms. Some degree of unrealistic portrait of colonial Africa. Americans save the world.

Being Human (BBC)

Imdb link. This is a series by the BBC, which is now filming the third season. Not to be confused with an American remake.

Bechdel Rule: Not in season 1, where there were less female characters. In season 2, as soon as a new female character is introduced, she has a conversation with the female protagonist. In season 2, there are occasional conversations between the main female characters, but the cast remains about 2/3 male. I think it is good that the main female character (Annie, the ghost) is never a protagonist's girlfriend or wife but a main character in her own right.

Sexual violence: Most female characters have been victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. Some of the cases are crucial to the plot, other arent't. It's always managed sympathetically. As far as I remember, no rape. A woman is held hostage once. Some vampires are, or seem to be, sadistic.

Other forms of graphic violence. The series is about vampires and werewolves, so, yes. Normally, the actual killings are offscreen, but there's a lot of blood.

Other -isms. Not that I remember.