Not as interesting as I thought it would be, but worth a read:
MANOHLA DARGIS It’s no longer enough to be a mean girl, to destroy the enemy with sneers and gossip: you now have to be a murderous one. That, at any rate, seems to be what movies like “Hanna,” “Sucker Punch,” “Super,” “Let Me In,” “Kick-Ass” and those flicks with that inked Swedish psycho-chick seem to be saying. I like a few of these in energetic bits and pieces, but I’m leery of how they fetishize hyper-violent women. Part of me thinks the uptick in bloody mama and kinder-killer movies is about as progressive as that old advertising pitch for Virginia Slims cigarettes, meaning not very. You’ve come a long way, baby, only now you’re packing a gun and there’s blood on your hands (or teeth).
This part resonated with me most; it’s by Dargis:
It’s tricky whenever a woman holds a gun on screen, even if the movie is independently produced and the director is female. I’m glad that “Meek’s Cutoff” exists and that Kelly Reichardt is making a new film every few years — long may she direct. I complain about the representations of women, but I’m more offended when in movie after movie there are no real representations to eviscerate, when all or most of the big roles are taken by men, and the only women around are those whose sole function is, essentially, to reassure the audience that the hero isn’t gay. The gun-toting women and girls in this new rash of movies may be performing much the same function for the presumptive male audience: It’s totally “gay” for a guy to watch a chick flick, but if a babe is packing heat — no worries, man!
To my surprise, I’ve become a fan of the TV show ‘Nikita’- I say ‘surprised’ because I don’t like violence – not even as “entertainment” – but somehow I tune in every Thursday night to see Nikita kick ass. I think it’s because I need to see female representation – especially of empowered, strong women. It actually reminds me of when I was a child, growing up watching Charlie’s Angels. I thought those gals were awesome. And, somehow – in all those years in between Charlie’s Angels and Nikita – there have been few – very few - females fighting for justice. That’s pretty sad.