The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Let Us Hope That The Success Of The Female Identity In Film Doesn’t Lie In The Hands Of Patricia Field’s Dressing The Cast

Posted by Lee on June 29, 2008

The Age has offered an interesting commentary on children/teen films today. It seems that the success of youth genre films relies on the male characters functioning in a lead capacity while the female characters are side-lined to supporting roles.

Girls on film are often left wailing in the wings while their young male co-stars take centre stage. In children’s fiction, too, despite the sustained popularity of characters such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice or Pippi Longstocking, there is an unwritten taboo against putting a girl on a book cover if you want boys to read it too. Even the suggestion of the feminine – using pastels instead of primary colours on the cover, or book titles written in swirling fonts – will turn them away.

So what future does the female voice have in the arts when the evidence from previous female protagonist film forays have not performed so well in box-office terms?

The answer could lie here:

The over- representation of men in creative roles might also weigh in favour of tales about boys and men, she says. The most recent Australian Film Commission statistics show that 72% of directors are men, while for screenwriters and authors the split is 61% men to 39% women.

Gurinda Chadha’s Bend it Like Beckham was a fantastic example of how, when women are presented with the opportunity to represent their own voices in the film media, there is that potential for cross-gender appeal which in turn, translates to box-office sales.

If women want to be seen in film as the clever, talented and strong creatures that they most truly are, a certain degree of action needs to be undertaken in order for those opportunities to not be squandered by women themselves in not accepting the stereotype.


This entry was posted on June 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Media Watch. Tagged: , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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