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Girlfight, A Clockwork Orange, and the fringes of society April 12, 2007

Posted by sindhub in A Clockwork Orange, class, Girlfight, imagery, race, the state.
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I just wanted to make some comments about the imagery from the beginning of Girlfight.  I was struck by how unabashedly dismal and bleak everything in Diana’s world was presented; the movie made no pretense, from the very beginning, about who Diana is and what her world is like.

In particular, I thought the very opening scene that we looked at in class bore an unusual similarity to what I know Stanley Kubrick used in a lot of his films–the image of the main character looking up at you with determinedly unsympathetic eyes.  One example is from the opening scene of A Clockwork Orange (warning: there is some violence towards the end of the clip, and I apologize for the poor quality [it’s a video of the movie being showed on TV] but it was the only one I could find that didn’t remix the scene with different music)

There are some similarities between the characters of Alex (the guy the camera is focusing on at the beginning of the video) and Diana.  Namely, (more…)

Hitting your father: coming of age April 12, 2007

Posted by Wasik in bodies, Female Power, Girlfight, Power.
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I think that both the beginning scene and, later, the scene when Michelle Rodriguez hits her father, show that the importance of her power does not lie in its femaleness or maleness. In the beginning shot, the camera is focused on her torso. It is an ambiguously gendered torso because the clothes are loose enough to make her body look androgynous. Next, the camera pans up to show her head as it hangs down; while there is more of a hint of her femaleness, the cornrows in her hair could still confuse an unperceptive viewer. Only when the camera zooms in on Michelle’s face does it become clear that she is a woman– and in this already confusing moment, she looks up and fixes the viewer with an intensely and directly challenging gaze. To me, the gaze seems to say “what? you’re suprised I’m a girl? what’s it to you, anyway?” (more…)

Michelle Rodriguez April 12, 2007

Posted by kelly in Girlfight.

these are the photos I mentioned in class… (more…)

Why does there always have to be a boyfriend? April 11, 2007

Posted by kelly in bound, female relationships, G.I. Jane, Girlfight, La Femme Nikita, Set it off, Thelma and Louise, Tomb Raider 2.

I’ve noticed a pattern in the past few movies we’ve watched – every powerful woman has to have a love interest. In Working Girl, Thelma and Louise, La Femme Nikita, Tomb Raider 2, Set it Off, Bound, Girlfight, and G.I. Jane, there is a love interest for the main female character(s).

It seems like the boyfriends need to be there in order to assure the audience that these women aren’t as “hard” or unemotional as they seem to be. Underneath their tough exterior, they still fit perfectly into the heterosexual power dynamic where they are delicate and sensitive in the arms of men. (more…)

Thinking about Power in “Girlfight” April 7, 2007

Posted by rachaelg in bodies, Female Power, feminism, Girlfight, Power.

Throughout Girlfight, Diana’s boxing trainer comments on her power.  He is usually referring to the power of her punch: “You’ve got a lot of power.”  But she needs to work on harnessing that power, perfecting her technique, mastering her footwork, and getting in peak physical condition.  In this sense, her power is the “male” power of physical strength. 

When she competes against men (and specifically against her love interest) it is evident that the message is “women can have male power, too” or at least certain women can.  Despite her coach’s musings on women’s “lower center of gravity” and the possibility of a “different kind of boxer,” when she’s in the ring, she fights like a man.  The title is misleading; “Girlfight” makes one think of slapping and name-calling with some hair-pulling thrown in, when really the film is about a girl fighting like a man.  It’s not a different kind of fighting, just a different kind of person doing the fighting.  (more…)