The Rise Of Female Vengeance

Well, sweet sincere reflection has me thinking: what is the reason behind the current surge of films about feminism ruling and even killing to keep the success going? Stories are simply that of the reflection of broken people. As I have talked a little bit in Human Mess And Pain If Fuel. It seems to me that we will always be trying to write characters that hit some vein close to a relationship that is real, or could be real. In the last couple of years I have been noticing some films that are renewing the titles for the new women. I was completely thrown aloof after watching Hanna. The story of a young-girl in the woods of wherever who is trained by handsome man, Eric Bana, to be a ruthless assassin. After years of training in the wilderness it becomes time to let it out. Hanna gets trapped in prison but graciously escapes but not really; she kills to escape, literally. I left this film not edified and filled with speculation over the character of the women in film and where it seems to be going. Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, which I never saw, looked all to horrific in grit but all through the lends of a girl. Trapped in some revenge kick or just plan violence she becomes the centerpiece of redefining women in film. And most recently, Columbiana with that all together Zoe Saldana girl who seems to be fitting the mold for the new James Bond or Jason Bourne for women. The film follows one long trail of what the subtitle says in capslock: REVENGE IS BEAUTIFUL. As if the Moby Dick of the 18th century is calling out again for a second pondering to take place.

The women is getting more and more powerful but ruthlessly and with very little character. Films like Bad Teacher or Young Adult seem to be showing the passive defiance of the women struggling to survive and confront one’s weakness. I do appreciate the nuance in what seems to be different and not done before. I haven’t seen these two films but from articles about this reviewers seems to be taking a new liking to the women seen differently. But why revenge and violence? Perhaps the voices of Mott and Stanton are getting silenced by the endless mirage of the man taking the rightful place. We have always turned our fallen conception of masculinity in James Bond. The secret agent spy with a gnack for solving the perfect crimes with all the best toys and gadgets to do so but even in the last 2 James Bond Paul Haggis has gone darker then before. Bond now is a ruthless killer more like Jason Bourne, except not with amnesia. It seems to me that we have left out the class of the women and because of scandalizing them as objects of affection and sex the women has lost her voice. What has happened now has become an over slaughter of the passive 50’s mom from Leave It To Beaver. The women now is tough, gritty and unafraid of her opponents. The women is the new Bond and with much more fiercness to her frame. She is no longer just a pretty girl who likes boys rather she gets what she wants when she wants it. As if we have silenced the women to a place of sertitude and oppression. What I am seeing is that the women is taking her rightful place again but in a twisted perverted way. I do agree that we should give women equal rights and women are treated much better now then they were years ago. History has given us a brutal look at how man’s misogony has created much complexity. But I don’t think revenge is the answer. I think we are showing people that if you are in pain, like all of us, you need to do all it takes to seek recompense for that pain. If your pain is a motivation then you should do all you can do to confront and get rid of the pain. As Johnny Cash sings, “I focus on the pain, it’s the only thing that is real.” But later He looks in the mirror and tells us, “what have I become?”

Yes, pain is fuel. How many times do I have to say it and in fact, write it too. But I still have to be careful that I don’t take pain and suffering and glorify it to a place of worship and reluctant gratitude, wishing it stays that way. If I was always living in my pain then I would be very hopeless and bitter. I would live very shut down and trapped all the time. Pain has to have a solution and a remedy. It seems that in a desperation to be satisfied and free men and women seek vengance to replace notions of an upset life. We live without that confrontation taking place. We live stuffing down and repressing the pain so that we don’t have to feel it. Movies like Crash and The Descendents force us to stay connected to the controversial interuptions of reality. These are usually my favorite pieces. Rachel Getting Married is the ultimate family confrontation of self and family. Anne Hathaway painfully has to face her drug addiction and self-hatred for letting her brother die. Meanwhile, she is surrounded by a painful reality of her family not caring and disconnecting from her battle to be free from her past. Her sister, Rachel, doesn’t want her to be maid of honor for fear of abandonment. The dialogue is so rigid and fluid full of polarizing the crowd with brutal honesty. So, there is always room for expression of hurting but revenge and murder only leads to more destruction and eventually one’s own death. If there is anything to learn from the slew of gritty crime movies that come out all the time its one simple principle: don’t get involved in this business, you will die! And most end their lives with money and greed that gets them a giant target from more greedy and jealous people. Its so sad and depressing  but sort of true. No one is ever satisfied and few survive. Robery De Niro being one of them.

Pain Is Fuel

Blog post 3 on this creative stuff…I think??

In the midst of finishing up my last week of school for this Semester I have been writing a ton recently about what I am always trying to write about: trying to understand life. More specifically, has been the idea of pregnancy for teens and a few people that I personally have met in my life that have been in this situation at to young an age. To Chey and Gina, I care for you both a ton!

Watching Teen Mom and The Secret Life Of The American Teenanger have both brought a few extra ouches to my mainframe. Let me back up a few steps.

Pain is fuel. What I mean is that pain and being human, as I talked about last time, become our lens. Our storytelling lens is how we see the world and whom we choose to look through. Characters then embody what we are trying to communicate.

George Clooney in Up In The Air, a man who is constantly running away and discrediting himself. His reality has become the airplanes he flies in and the firing of people’s jobs. A very startling relevant story for 2008 and even now.

Rachel Getting Married is a brutal downhill spiral of facing personal addiction and one’s selfish acting family.

Lars And The Real Girl deals heavily with lonliness and isolation and selfishness. This is one of my favorite films of all time. Its so well done, I feel like its not a movie.

The two shows I have been watching deal heavily with adolescence, a very misunderstood time in life. And adding the element of having babies in your teens, that really adds a ton of deadweights to the lives in these shows. Brenda Hampton seems to be mastering a slightly cleaner version of the crappy Dawnson’s Creek through Amy Jurgens.

I don’t know how much more of these shows I can take, probably not to much longer. But it has provoked me to reflect, as I do when I am watching everything.

Pain is fuel. Pain is what everyone deals with. Pain eventually becomes suffering and suffering becomes an addiction. A incurable wound that one will waste their entire existence on getting the remedy. The cure for the pain-to quote Jon Foreman, is essentially the driving force behind the story.

If someone was to ask me what needs to be in a story I wouldn’t hesitate and say: conflict. Conflict is the practical application of pain. Without conflict we would have very bland and boring stories. If there is no resolve inside of characters to move forward in the midst of their pain then the story would not move forward.

In Sunshine Cleaning, the line that cuts me deep, was when Amy Adams got told by Emily Blunts character, “you are pathetic!” The way it was timed in the scene was very on edge and dreary that you really took that one personally.

Pain is the fuel for the story as well as allowing yourself to be a human. Now, I must clarify this. I am always operating under the onus that we are Godless. Most stories are not about Christ or anything heavenly. Most stories are about humans being humans and us succeeding. I think we can still learn from these stories even though they become Godless very fast.

Pain still needs an education. Abuse and betrayal and disappointment still need to be talked about. I think we need to get creative with how this takes place. I just finished reading The Lonely American the other night, its a real easy read about the lonely elements to our present over techno world. Its very fascinating. But what if we took that very real human pain and turned that into characters?

What would happen if we dealt with the issues that people don’t want to talk much about. Dealing with the elephant in the room could turn into potent material for storytelling.

Life is certainly full of times of misunderstandings and heart ache that does not bring the cure for the pain but if we can find new ways to be creative about it then I think we could find much success.

I found a new wave of revelation about Mat Kearney’s life in his new album Young Love, its been blaring pretty loud in my car recently. In the song Rochester he really explains his father wounds, as I have tweeted before, and you really relate to it in a new way. Abuse, drugs and running away put you in his position, which I believe is running with your back turned to what happened. Escape isn’t always the answer but seems to be when you are abused. Tyler Perry certainly has made 350 million talking about his own personal abuse in his plays.

I had found out one of the writer’s in this recent film I watched was her own story. She certainly took her own story and made it make sense inside fiction.

As Hemingway said ” A Man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Perhaps, we are not yet defeated but are trying to make sense of how life can destroy us sometimes. Like Confessions Of  A Shopoholic when she realizes that shopping and material possessions are not as important as the people she loves. Or how Heroes ends with the ultimate message: love.

SO, in conclusion. Let us write about our pain with redemption in mind. Next up: how to move from pain, human to a place of redemption. A new idea, I feel.