Labelled under: Controversial (perhaps)
The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the author.
I mentioned on a previous post that women don't do top ten films and music, and that men do (because we're geeky and on the Asperger's spectrum etc etc). I asked a female work colleague what her favourite film was (I also asked her what her favourite album was; she said she didn't know the title of any albums). She said her favourite film was Run all Night, a terrible Liam Neeson action thriller from last year. Another (male) colleague said dryly to her, "You may want to rethink that answer" before uttering the immortal lines: "Women don't understand film".
An outrageous statement perhaps but a quick survey in the office reveals women's favourite films to be mainstream at best, terrible at worst: Child 44 (never heard of it; oh, it's a terrible Russian thriller), Steel Magnolias, Dumb and Dumber, Love Actually (there's a great blog post about Love Actually not actually being about love at all), Pretty Woman and "anything with Russell Crowe".
Recently some women at the office have seen Batman Vs Superman (at the cinema; it's had universal terrible reviews) and 50 Shades of Grey (on DVD; the book was dire; the film is worse). Male colleagues have seen High-Rise, Anomalisa and Victoria.
Here's the thing: the average guy, who wouldn't consider himself a film
buff, at least knows a potted history of film: classics such as Citizen
Kane, Vertigo and The Godfather; a few foreign films; they would have
heard of David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles. Most women
Mainly women don't care about film or its history (there are great female film critics – Pauline Kael and Dilys Powell spring to mind); they don't care for directors or cinematographers. It's not on their radar. They like sexy actors and a good story. They'll watch what's on. When they judge their favourite film, it's an emotional response which doesn't take in the history of cinema; usually, it'll be something they've seen last week and thought was great.
Now, I'm not completely pretentious (only a bit) and can enjoy
a lighthearted film as much as anyone: recently I was in stitches
watching Bridesmaids (so there; it's not even very good but I found it
hilarious!). But my favourite films would be more along the lines of L'Atalante, Belle de Jour, Mean Streets, Eraserhead, Touch of Evil, Stalker...
Previously on Barnflakes:
Top 10 film critics
Sex and the City 2 Vs. Greenberg