Wish Fulfillment And The Mary Sue - Page 3
Am I interested in going down the rabbit hole of Kathleen Kennedy casting her own Mary Sues? Nope, don't care, that's something that nooj can indulge himself with. I'm not above playing armchair psychiatrist, but that particular "issue" means next to nothing to me. I call out diversity issues and racist trends all the time, but there comes a point where I get bored with the minutiae and call it a night.
When Luke made out with Leia he didn't say, "faster...more intensity." I can see how it slipped by people for so long.
with a young Rick McC looking hovering over them going
"so dense... so much going on..."
On the wish fulfillment side of things, a lot of B Movie favorites are susceptible to particularly masculine infallibility, which is why I've never had a ton of enthusiasm for that subgenre (and even Chud darling John Wick keeps me at more of a remove than most of y'all). Taken in particular demonstrates that you don't need the fanfic connection to get super self-indulgent in writing an idealized version of yourself. It's just that in that case, it's a divorced dad violently exorcising all his paranoia and guilt over the distance from his kids rather than the kid working out their abandonment issues via fantasies about their fictional role models showering them with the validation and admiration they didn't get at home.
"so dense... so much going on..."
I more than half expect to see McC getting some role in the Trump administration. Dude's a champion water carrier.
Have we mentioned Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander? Although I read the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and saw both movie adaptations (and the Swedish sequels) and will defend David Fincher's version, I'm fully aware that she's a little too overpowered.
She's tough, smart, the best hacker in the world, rides a motorcycle, can handle a gun, is bisexual, and looks badass. She's so good at everything that the fact that she gets raped, twice, at the beginning of TGWTDT doesn't make a lot of sense, because the character that occupies the second half of the movie wouldn't have allowed those things to happen. And if it's meant to be a character arc, like she was going along with the system but then decides to break away from it, it doesn't quite work.
Compound that with Mikael Blomkvist is basically a stand-in for Larsson and he's not only a womanizer but gets to sleep with Salander, and you get some weird fantasy stuff getting exorcised on the page and screen.
Salander, in the film version at least, is also clearly emotionally fucked up. She is a badass, and all that you list, but Fincher, at least, doesn't present her as some idealized human. The fantasy fulfillment aspects are still there, but I never got a John Wick or 90s action hero vibe from her in the film.
(Tangent: I'm ambiguous on the film, but I did find its ending a huge emotional bummer. Blomkvist's abrupt abandonment of Salander may have been inevitable but I still found it heartbreaking.)
Blomkvist is a real ass, and in the book (and maybe the Swedish movie, I forget), he sleeps with everything that moves and has had an off again/on again thing with Erika for years that ruined his previous marriage. Lisbeth buying him the jacket really is her last attempt (in that story) at embracing a normal life, only to see it vanquished. Pretty sad.
But yes, the fact that she is an abused outsider kind of makes up for her superhuman awesomeness. Even if her self-destructive tendencies add to her coolness.
And the Swedish movie leaves out his daughter while the American one adds her back in. That does soften him a bit.
Oh absolutely. Beyond its paranoid "NEVER LEAVE MY SIGHT" bullshit, It's xenophobic and tone deaf as hell.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Also, just checking, am I allowed to like Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Or is it another one to slot under my bad taste?
I can't keep track of the arbitrary decisions of the CHUD hivemind!
I think you're joking but as a divorced father of two daughters, I found it pretty gross.
I'm kinda torn about it, myself, but I'd never begrudge anyone for liking it.
I've only seen it once, and I continue to go back and forth on it. Brighter minds than mine have debated the challenging/problematic elements, and I'm not sure where I land on them. Visually, it's obviously great. And the fact that I felt heartbroken at Lizabeth's betrayal by Blomkvist means Fincher & Co. did something right...or that I'm an easy mark.
It's one of those instances, like Game of Thrones, where the treatment and abuse of women is the through-line of the story. So the prevalence of rape and murder is certainly valid, but whether or not it trips over into exploitation I'm not sure. I can say that the rape of Lisbeth in the apartment lingers a bit too much in the American version in a slick music video way that I'm not sure Fincher knew how to avoid.
Yeah, the extended Swedish version that breaks up the three books into a six-part mini-series might actually benefit here, as that part could be a whole episode of its own.
Taken is unabashedly dad porn: all of the women in the guy's life are mean and spiteful and none of this would happen if only they listened to him.
It was! But there's always a question of using rape as a plot point, and whether or not showing the rape is exploitation.
Roger Ebert puts it much better than me in his review of The General's Daughter: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-generals-daughter-1999
Fincher's Dragon Tattoo is totally good. The original film though...ugh.
And that was the weird thing about it. The Swedish flick already existed. Fincher should have felt free to play around with the material a bit.
He does actually in that in the novel and Swedish movie Mikael has to track Harriet all the way to Australia!
But yeah, Mikael's ruined reputation and Lisbeth's subsequent quest to take down Wennerström feels like a whole other movie. A leaner, meaner version of the story just has Mikael getting hired to investigate Harriet's death/disappearance without any of the fat.
Ah yes, he's always mixed his sex and violence to an uncomfortable degree. A certain Gone Girl scene with Neil Patrick Harris in bed springs to mind.
Back on topic, Amy Dunne comes across as a bit of a Mary Sue at first. Her labyrinthian plans seem like a bit much. But then she gets swindled by a couple of hillbillies and you find out she's more book smart than street smart.
I can see why he had an opportunity to do something unique with it, but he's never been the kind of director I'd think of to do change a narrative just for the sake of it. I expect he just read the book and thought 'Hey, I know how to stage that." It's why I kind of think of him as the modern director most closely relatable to Hitchcock. He knows how to use filmmaking technique to tell a story, and maximizing that storytelling potential is what gets him off.
Ooh, and Hitchcock was also squicky about sex and violence!
It's impossible to have consistent personal standards on stuff like this. At any rate, I'm coming around on Fincher, though the Fincher films I like most don't seem to be the ones other folks rally around.
It's okay. Nice title sequence.
I'm rereading the post release thread on TGWTDT. Not even two pages in and things get heated about the sexual politics of the film.
ETA: UGH. Seeing Fabfunk's comments about the film's sexuality feels really gross.
A certain Nived Fnord tore it to pieces in his BMD review, calling it a "poseur" movie.