Feminism +Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland

I've been reading some interesting stuff about feminism in cinema. It's a blatant fact that cinema is a male-dominated medium, and therefore we may not realize how conditioned we are to accepting masculine-driven stories (even by female directors eg Kathryn Bigelow). What we normally have is a story starting with a central character in the centre of a social disruption, then the central character must find a way to resolve the disruption through a linear process, step by step. The typical layout is a male hero versus a male villain, and the male hero has a male buddy and/or female lover who will die, or at least be in hopeless peril, by the hand of the male villain which justifies the hero conquering the villain via horrible death or humiliation.

What, then, is the femenine-driven story? I don't know if it's been clearly defined, but characteristics include an episodic narrative, emotionally based conflict and resolve, often (but not always) melodramatic. Opposed to the masculine identity of going out on epic adventures and quests, the feminine story is typically domestic, reflective and explores personal identity. A feminist often asks what is the role of a woman in the story? A mother? A wife? A daughter? A damsel/princess in distress? A whore? It is important to understand the location (place and time) of the female character, as different cultures/timeframes will have different, sometimes severe, social expectations for her.

This brings me to Tim Burton/Disney's recent version of Alice In Wonderland. Perhaps I looked at it in the wrong light in my harsh review a while back, perhaps I wasn't considering the feminist point of view. I have to ask, then, is this version of Alice In Wonderland a femenine story?

Of course it isn't!!

It's just the same as any masculine story only the genders have been reversed. In doing so they have turned Alice into a...

...a man!

Defined muscular exterior, phallus in hand...is this an appropriate role model for little girls? To become a man? Not that there's anything wrong with it, however I preferred the original book - episodic, emotional, reflective of personal identity - seems a more feminine type of story. Perhaps we're too conditioned, the female audience included.

There is more to explain but I want to leave that for whenever I may get around to making a video-review of this movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment