Heroine Content Links #19: Avatar, women in fantasy, Zoe Saldana

A few tidbits to share with y’all today.

Obviously we’re behind on this one, but the Avatar teaser trailer is up at the official site. I am afraid of the CGI. (Hat tip to The Park Bench for the link, check out their blog if you haven’t.)

One of my favorite new discoveries is Mary Robinette Kowal’s Reel Fantasy blog over at AMC. I particularly liked Off With Her Head? Why Fantasy Hates Good Queens and The Worst-Dressed Women Warriors in Fantasy.

I disagree with his rejection of Lara Croft (while accepting some of his criticisms), but I Miss Sarah Connor is a good piece over at new blog The Guy’s Guide to Feminism.

Real life “Stiletto Spy School” for women. Hmm. (Hat tip to guest poster d for this one and the next.)

Thanks to Entrepreneur Goddess for uploading video of this panel to YouTube: “Comic Con 2009. Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zoe Saldana, Eliza Dushku on being female and breaking the glass ceiling in the entertainment world.” I think Zoe Saldana is amazingly generous in her comments about how sexism isn’t “on purpose” and “education” is the solution. You can find additional recordings of this panel as you’re viewing this one. YouTube is magic that way. Or dangerous. I can’t tell.

Skinny vs. Strong: Who Wins? at The Great Fitness Experiment. So interesting to read while thinking about casting of women in action films.

Faux Action Girl at Television Tropes and Idioms.

From 2001: Badass girls on film: Is it a good thing when women beat the crap out of men at the movies? by Gina Arnold in Salon.

This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.

2 thoughts on “Heroine Content Links #19: Avatar, women in fantasy, Zoe Saldana

  1. d

    Hi Guys!

    Thanks as always for the linky goodness! :)


    You know I disagreed too that Lara was a bad example of something that I think is a legitimate gripe of females in action flicks…in fact so much so I posted a couple of responses.

    But I wanted to bring something up here, because I thought of an equation: Connor + Croft = Ripley

    Why do I say that? Well I miss Sarah Connor, but as much as I liked her, she was lacking as a heroine in some key ways:

    -she almost escaped the psche ward until the terminators show up.

    -she almost killed the tech guy before the terminator and her son stopped her.

    -she almost killed the T1000 until she ran out of bullets.

    Cameron made her an awesome character, and developed her well, but he forgot to give her what he gave her in the first movie, even though she was weaker in that moment of absolute triumph like she had when she crushed the first terminator despite intense leg pain.

    I LOVE Lara! Probably as much as you guys do Tank Girl. :) But it is so obviously they at times up the sexual ante because they feel that’s what attracts the guys. But Lara saves the day, falters but eventually figures out a way to win. She defeats her own villains.

    Ripley seems like a combination of the two. From Sarah she mirrors the mother element (which I have to admit I think is done to death, but others find empowering#, the good looking, but not necessarily over the top beauty, noticeable musculature, and a camera that doesn’t seem to relish in her physique. From Lara Ripley mirrors intelligence on a more learned level, an ability to command people and forge allies, and the ability to kill her own monsters.

    I miss all three women, since it’s been a while since any of those characters graced the screen. And while I think many people have commented on the t&a cloud that blurs Lara as a heroine, I wonder if people actually talk about the fact that the celluloid Sarah, if she comes back #seems doubtful after Salvation) needs to actually be shown successful so she can be liked by both men and women. I think that is why she is hampered, and other heroines – especially when it is a dual gender poll – trump her :Lara, Ripley and even someone like Ultraviolet were the stars of their own films. Even someone like Trinity, who wasn’t, commanded entirely certain scenes.

  2. Kae-Leah

    I agree that while Lara Croft has her fanservicey moments in her films(cough…shower scene…cough), video games, and comics, she’s far from the worst example of female sexualization/exploitation in the action genre. At least she’s competent and resourceful, hardly your typical scantily clad modern-day damsel in distress. She may be conventionally perfect-looking and wear tight clothing, but, unlike Charlie’s Angels or Keira Knightley’s character in Domino, she rarely uses her sexuality to get ahead.

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