Birds Eye View festival has a blog

// 21 January 2009

The fantastic Birds Eye View fim festival, which showcases the work of women filmmakers, has launched a new blog.

I reviewed the film Finn’s Girl for them, as it’s just coming out on DVD. You can read my review here – they’re also giving away three free copies should my review inspire you to watch it!

There are some interesting posts up already, including this entry about a weekend put together by BEV to introduce experienced female comedy writers from stand-up, TV and radio to filmmaking.

They posted an interview with Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight. Which reminds me to recommend Bidisha’s CiF piece, which is the only positive review I’ve read of the film from a feminist perspective. Interesting stuff:

Imagine my surprise when director Catherine Hardwicke sliced through Meyer’s female masochist poison and produced a defiant articulation of the female gaze and female desire. The hot vampire hero, played by Robert Pattinson, lurks, slim and muscly, pale and defined, wearing makeup, lusciously coiffed, looking exactly like … a girl. An actual girl. A tough, cool, sexy, androgynous girl. Heroine Bella simply stares at him, mouth open. For the whole film, he is the object, she the boyish beholder, the desirer, the wanter, the one who says, “You’re beautiful”. And upon seeing him for the first time, the entire cinema gave a groan of longing.

Hardwicke’s film has many things to recommend it: a beautiful sensitivity to landscape, a lot of humorous teen awkwardness, smouldering high-burn chemistry between the leads, a neat’n’perky script. But it is also a very rare instance in which a major work is constructed entirely from the perspective of a female watcher. The depiction of the central romance confirmed something I’ve thought for a long time: that heterosexual girls find androgyny attractive, that this is one of the unique, specific secrets of female sexuality, little heard of because culture and society are devoted to male, not female desire. That machismo is something men cultivate for the delight of other men, not women.

Comments From You

polly styrene // Posted 22 January 2009 at 10:24 am

If as Bidisha says (I haven’t seen the film Twilight) the film ‘gender reverses’ the roles of its main characters so that the male character is a ‘girl’, and the female, a ‘boy’ – it’s surely questionable whether this subverts the male gaze at all. It just swops the places of the protagonists. But they still need to keep to gender roles, even if they’re not attached to the ‘correct’ sex. A point further emphasised by androgyny.

Actually my colleague took her 10 year old daughter to see the film and said “it makes them want to be a vampire”. Fortunately not an acheivable aim….

Serian // Posted 22 January 2009 at 5:05 pm

AGH!!!

Hem…Being a teenage girl, I know so so many girls (and 4 boys) who have returned from the film completly obsessed with wanting to be a vampire and “Edward”. He is the new Darcy.

Except that Darcy appeared in a clever book and Meyer sucks. I couldn’t find a better way of putting that.

I’m glad the awfulness of the book was recognized but I think the idea of the film being better is terrible.

A) It is an awful film

B) Bella is completely obsessed by him. He is her life. How is that role reversal and a goodthing?

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