So it begins
The only thing better than watching a movie? Talking about it afterwards.
1) Enjoy as many films as possible this year
2) Enhance the longevity of my enjoyment by maintaining a record of my
expectations/experiences/reactions to each film
3) Expand my vocabulary for describing technical, artistic, and literary achievements in film
4) Encourage a dialogue about film with others as excited about movies as I.
(Sidebar: Did you notice all those words beginning with “e”? Me too. It means nothing.)
The Unavoidable Qualifier:
So, my feminism isn’t political or theoretical. Rather, I simply orient myself towards all things with a keen eye to how I experience life as a woman. My joyful and painful experiences as a woman have so deeply affected each aspect of my life—I simply cannot escape the fact that I orient myself around a decidedly feminist, or woman-centered, perspective.
After watching Pedro Almodovar’s Talk To Her, I really wanted someone to talk with to help me understand my reaction to the movie. Not one to discount a film or an artist straight away, I needed another perspective to widen my view of the film but also to help me articulate just what the film made me feel. Despite a plethora of reviews, I could not find one that echoed, countered, or even just acknowledged my own interpretation.
You see, before watching Talk To Her, I knew little about Almodovar—just a few things I had read in the New Yorker and word of mouth type stuff praising his depictions of women. So imagine my surprise upon completing Talk To Her to realize that Almodovar’s portrayal of women in this film is much more complicated than praiseworthy. His women: silent, sexualized bodies; their stories: written upon their lifeless forms by the men who “adore” them. I was disturbed by the film, to be honest, so I turned to the internet to find out if I was crazy or not.
My disquiet only grew as I realized how few feminist resources were available to help me understand this film. I found a couple of women in England who shared my extreme discomfort with the rape at the center of the plot line of the film, but otherwise, I found mostly praise of how Almodovar places women in the spotlight. I needed more to help me understand why I responded so negatively to this film.
So like any enterprising young person living in the age of the internet might, I decided to turn to the blogosphere. I don’t want to analyze Talk to Her further in this entry (because I am in the process of reviewing more of Almodovar’s work to get a more nuanced understanding of women within his films). Rather I am simply using it to explain how I hope this blog might actually contribute something new to the over-saturated internet.