“One vocal complaint in recent years is that the Bloomberg administration’s global city ambitions have left New York feeling very little like New York. Although Ms. Quinlan’s film is wistful for what was, it simultaneously conveys how enduring a certain version of authenticity is. Early in the film we meet a young sanitation worker named Ben Lee of Staten Island. He tells a story about riding in the back of a car and the driver is shocked to discover, when she turns around to face him, that he is Korean-American. Having grown up around Italian-Americans, Mr. Lee learned to talk the way they did. He once had a girl obsessed with him because he was, as she put it to him, “an Asian Guido.””
Martin Luther King Jr. once told Dodgers star Don Newcombe, another former Negro Leaguer, “You’ll never know what you and Jackie and Roy [Campanella] did to make it possible to do my job.”
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So you know I don’t do fandom here really, but I want to ask a serious question about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and really all non-period Austen adaptations: what do you do about the inability to translate the social implications of Austen’s world to the modern world?
anshky asked: My town’s local newspaper did a review on Brave, gave it a C rating, said that it was uncreative because apparently all movies these days have female characters that don’t want to get married, that she’s basically like Katniss from Hunger Games, and that boys wouldn’t be able to relate to it or enjoy the movie. I literally ripped up the article
haha I’d like to read your ripping! I do sort of agree on the first part (in that a woman not wanting to marry is like pandering-progressive and has not been revolutionary in the US for like, a century) but I don’t even see why Katniss would be relevant when they must have been produced/conceived as movies at roughly the same time (and who cares if they’re alike anyway?) and yeah obviously the last point about boys not being able to relate to girls simply because they’re girls is very silly!!
So weird that this keeps coming up as a point against Brave considering it’s one of the few movies that actually DOES unabashedly feature a female protagonist etc. Like mainstream criticism so rarely makes a wave about girls, POC, queers (and these can obviously all be intercrossing groups, yeah) not often being main characters but I think I’ve heard it about Brave (“omg boys can’t relate o no!”) from non-feminist sources about 3 times now.
Anyhow I’m still on vacation but home in a few days :P
I do agree that the “I don’t want to get married” trope is overused in order to attempt to make feminists “happy,” but I don’t think that’s what Brave did, and it’s one of the things I liked about the movie.
I think Merida’s objections are to arranged marriage at a time when she was not ready, not to marriage in general. She implies later in the movie that she wants to fall in love but that she’s not ready at this point in her life to do that, and I think that’s a major accomplishment of the film, and to read it as “Merida is opposed to marriage” is quite a shallow reading.
There is nothing objectionable to a female character wanting to love and be loved and be in a happy and respectful romantic relationship. And there’s certainly nothing objectionable to women (or men) wanting to watch characters fall in love. But too often in the movies we see women for whom that’s either her only goal or she has no desire for love whatsoever and that to me is what creates weak characters, this terrible dichotomy of what we claim are “shallow” and “strong” characters.
It’s not a weakness, nor is it “shallow” to want love. It’s a powerful emotion and one I believe is very human. Strong characters have vulnerabilities and experience many emotions. I enjoy watching movies and reading books where the characters, alongside other major plot challenges, struggle with love and relationships.
I think it’s a big thing for Brave to have Merida say, “I may want to get married but not right now.” I think there are many points of this movie that can and should be criticized, but Merida’s positions on marriage are really quite exceptional for a mainstream and Disney movie.