Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shaken not stirred

James Bond: Skyfall is a very ironic film to talk about in a sense of determining of it is gender broad, racially broad, and has a diverse cast of less than womanizing people. The reason I say it is ironic is that fact that James Bond has always been know as a womanizer, these movies were men to watch other men kill each other and have sex with woman. The new age of James Bond took a different route in that sense.

          The first category of discussion on the test was women. This was a fun part of the test to add up because of how much it made me laugh due to the diverseness of the movie. The first box I checked was “Does the film include one or more women of color, in speaking roles, who are NOT reduced to racial stereotypes?” This couldn’t be truer. There is a character Eve, who is one of the newest field agents for the BSS (British Secret Service), she is an African American woman who actually speaks with a British accent, very intelligent, and loyal woman. She in now way was stereotyped and made to look like a fool. The next box I checked for a point was, “Does the film represent women as more than “objects for the male gaze”?” One of the main characters of the movie or movies if I may, is “M,” she is the head of the BSS and hold many prestigious awards for her duty and loyalty to the people of Great Britain and her queen. In no way is M ever looked upon for the male gaze. For obvious reasons its because she is like 70 something years old, but that aside its because she is a woman strictly for business and business only. My next added point was, “Does the film include women in speaking roles with diverse body types?” Yet again I can use my go to women M and Eve but I will as well add in Severine to this one. All of these woman are of different races, nationalities, and sizes for that matter. M is an older woman who is not fit as a fiddle, but looks good for 70 years old. She is intelligent, always in command, and has her wits about her in any situation. Eve is more of the everyday woman who has her shot at being a field agent. She is about average woman height, average woman body type, and just nothing outrageously gorgeous or ugly, she is just a easy to look at woman. Of course there is the opposite side to this track as well. We have Severine, she is a GORGEOUS Italian woman who has everything a man would desire in a woman. In the movie she is basically enslaved to some very wealthy and dangerous men and uses James Bond as her way out. The last point I received for the women category was, “Does the film pass the Bechdel Test? (Feature two or more named characters who are women, who talk to each other about something other than a man?)” There are actually numerous times in the movie that women discuss things other than talking about men, or frankly just about James. For example the Eve is on a mission attempting to assassinate someone and she is hesitating before taking the shot, while in the background M is on the phone screaming orders.
M: Can you get into a better position?
Eve: Negative, there's no time.
M[beat.] Take the shot.
[Eve hesitates.]
M: I said take the shot!

Over all this portion of the test scored quite high in my opinion giving women a major roll in the movie. Its funny to think about women getting major rolls in a James Bond movie, but hey sometimes even the sky falls.
            The next portion of the test was men. This section actually one received one check mark only because it is mainly geared toward men, in a sense of killing and being a secret agent. The only box that received a point was, “Does the film avoid perpetuating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men?” Daniel Craig is James Bond in this movie. And if we know anything about Daniel Craig it’s that he is as in shape as any human on the planet. This couldn’t be the more ideal situation for a male body or at least for what it really should look like. He is very active in the movie showing that someone of a less fit male could never achieve the things he does. When he is running through cities or climbing and scaling buildings, it takes a man of fitness and endurance to achieve these things. These are not the qualities that a man who is out of shape and lazy. Out of the 4 in this section it scored a 1.

            Race, Ethnicity, and Culture:
            This is the last section that scored any points for my test. As there is only one question it did in fact get the check box. The question was, “Does the film avoid celebrating offensive racial, ethnic, and cultural stereotypes?” In no way does the film in my personal opinion cross any boundaries of racial, ethnic, or culture. There are however scenes in the movie that show black men in a boat portrayed as poor and or pirate type people.  But at the time James is in a different part of the world were everyone is poor and the men on the boats are in fact pirates or thugs.
            All and all my film scored a 6 out of 27 points. To me, I say bullshit on the whole test. This is a test in my opinion is set-up so that almost any film in the industry will fail and be considered either racist, sexists, or the equivalent for gays.  If a movie like James Bond can do wonderful things in the empowerment of women why wouldn’t it score big on the test? Well, that’s because if it does good in one category it will fail, unless it is about the empowerment of lesbian women. “Despite having three strong female characters in Arwen, Eowyn, and Galadriel, they’re all in completely different parts of Middle Earth and they never even meet, much less talk to each other.”(Bechdel fails) Needless to say I was pretty surprised at the results of my film in the end because I did think this movie was a diverse and incredible film for all to see. But…according to this test there will be many offended by it. All and all I really do think that this test needs to be reevaluated and looked at. Because if I had a test whether that test was fair, it would fail…BAD! So I guess my movies gets a 2 out of 3

No comments:

Post a Comment