Au Brésil, les réalisateurs et les présentateurs des matchs, la bave aux lèvres, réduisent les supportrices à leur rôle de jolies filles en maillot – un peu comme des "bonbons" pour divertir le téléspectateur. Mais pourquoi donc personne ne s’en indigne ?
DE SÃO PAULO - O filme "Renascimento do Parto", que estreia nos cinemas dia 9 de agosto, tem vários méritos. O principal é questionar de forma incisiva o alarmante número de cesarianas realizadas no Brasil e propor uma reflexão sobre isso.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... a man named George Lucas created one of pop culture's most beloved franchises; Star Wars. The original trilogy comprising of 'A New Hope' (1977), 'Empire Strikes Back' (1980) and 'Return of The Jedi' (1983) (also known as episodes IV to VI), is an epic space opera charting the struggles between the good guys, aka The Rebellion, against the bad guys, aka The Empire.
The follow up prequel trilogy includes 'The Phantom Menace' (1999). 'Attack of the Clones' (2002) and 'Revenge of the Sith' (2005), (Known as episodes I-III) charted the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd in episode I and Hayden Christensen in episodes II and III). Loved for its characters, epic plot and cutting edge special effects, Star Wars changed the face not only of the space opera sub-genre but of Sci-Fi as a whole.
But it's not all lightsaber duels, blowing up Death Stars and Jawa Juice kegers. Some would argue that the Star Wars universe is misogynistic and male dominated, where the females are greatly overshadowed and outnumbered by their male counterparts. Hmmm. Let's take a look?
Looking at the original trilogy and the prequels through the lens of Feminist Theory, it's clear why some people would certainly feel that women are under-represented. What is Feminist Theory you might ask? Well, in a nut shell, it's a theoretical and philosophical discourse on subjects such as the rejection of traditional roles for women, the rejection of traditional modes of female beauty and undermining patriarchal establishments.
Already, you can see why feminists might reject Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) as a strong female role model. Sure, on the surface she's a tough talking, laser gun toting political activist who appears to keep the men folk in check. But, by Episode VI she's relegated to a bikini clad sex slave, chained to the universe's most wanted gangster, Jabba The Hut, and is in desperate need of rescue from none other than...the men. Not particularly a role women should aspire to. But is it a product of its time?
One theory known as 'the male gaze' (Laura Mulvey, 1975), popular around the time Star Wars was created would suggest so. It concerns itself with the fact that women exist largely to be looked at by men. They're passive, a spectacle; they're punished rather than the punisher. There's no denying that in 'Return of The Jedi', Princess Leia falls dangerously in to this cliché. There's no other reason for her to be in a bikini, other than to be leered at as a sex symbol. After all, the main demographic for the genre is the 15-30 year old males. So, you can forgive the originals for being sexist to some extent, but what about the prequel trilogy?
Again, in Episode I, II and III, there's only one female character in the core group; Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), the soon to be mother of Luke and Leia. Unlike her future daughter, Padmé does appear to be a stronger female character; she's the queen that takes centre stage in an active role in the liberation of her planet. After becoming a leading political figure in the galactic senate and kidnapped by the enemy in Episode II, she doesn't wait for a man to save her, but defends herself and fights for her own freedom, wielding a blaster as well as any man. But then everything falls down.
Padmé's sole purpose in the film is for Anakin to fall in love with her and to subsequently die in childbirth, thus pushing him over the edge into the abyss of the dark side. She's basically used as a plot point, albeit one that gets dragged out over the course of three films. She doesn't even get a heroic death, instead dying from a lack of a will to live. A broken heart. Cliché anyone? And it's the same across all six films; the female characters, both leading and supporting, are there to serve the purpose of a male, usually the lead. None of them go out in a blaze of glory, lightsabre held high. They don't even get a decent story arc.
So, the prequels are an improvement, but not by much. There's no denying, Star Wars is an awesome piece of cinema history, one that will forever hold a prominent place in my heart. Its innovative use of special effects, its epic plot, the memorable characters, all come together to create movie magic. But like anything, it does have its faults. Women are greatly under-represented and given, some would argue, sexist roles.
The originals can be excused to some degree, but not the prequels. On the other hand, Star Wars wasn't created to be a politically correct treatise on Affirmative Action. It's entertainment, plain and simple. Let's hope Mr Abrams and Disney can find a happy medium. I, for one, cannot wait to see what they have cooking.
Until next time... keep watching.
Laura Mulvey (1975). "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema". Screen 16 (3): pg. 6-18
Star Wars The Complete Saga (2011) Directed by Lucas, George (Blu-ray) 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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