Feminist film criticism and analysis - so you can know about the "isms" coming to a theater near you. If I miss something, or am accidentally racist/sexist/heterosexist/cissexist/et cetera, please let me know.
A Quick Bio
22 year old androgyne (bio-woman) who is:pagan, kinky, sex positive, pansexual, supersexual and is also a rape survivor, feminist, and part of the American Indian Movement.
Radical Exclusionary Feminism is not welcome here, be it SWERF, TERF, or BDSMERF.
They have to make the choice of their own free will. Otherwise, system doesn’t work. Like the harbinger: creepy old fuck practically wears a sign saying “YOU WILL DIE”. Why would we put him there? The system. They have to choose to ignore him. They have to choose what happens in the cellar. yeah, we rig the game as much as we have to but in the end, if they don’t transgress they can’t be punished.
The beauty of this film lies in the fact that it simultaneously skewers horror film tropes, critiques how we watch horror films (the depersonalization of characters, the schaedenfreude-esque pleasure we take in their suffering, the careless sexualization and violence we endorse in watching these things), provides a terrible and vaguely plausible Lovecraftian explanation for the existence of horror cinema, and still manages to be a horror film.
There are some beautiful subversions of traditional horror cinema: the existence of a smart athlete, a female dominated chemistry department, a literalized male gaze, a stoner who is actually situationally aware and brave and moral, a female company director who isn’t old or ugly or masculine, a polite intelligent not-virgin-not-playboy athletic man of color with a personality; there’s even a final girl who’s not virginal or tomboyish, and both female characters actually wear sensible shoes in the woods.
That being said, this movie also mirrors a number of societal problems: white privilege and white-washing, heteronormativity, male-dominated and white-dominated workforces, the virgin-whore double-bind, and the idea of teenagers as self-absorbed pawns.
It’s still worth seeing, if only to realize what you, as a horror movie watcher, are actually doing even as you laugh at the referential comedy.
thisyearsboy, via thisyearsboy)
WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE PREFERENCES
WOMEN HAVE A CHOICE IN WHO TO DATE/SLEEP WITH/ETC
WOMEN DON’T HAVE TO LIKE YOU
WOMEN SHOULD NOT HAVE TO FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO JUSTIFY THEIR PREFERENCES
WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID TO REJECT SOMEONE FOR WHATEVER REASON
BEING “NICE” DOES NOT MEAN A PERSON IS ATTRACTED TO YOU OR OWES YOU ANYTHING
This is important and painfully relevant.
fearlessfeminism) May 25
So, to better cover up the murder, Bateman easily impersonates his victim and picks up a hooker, who he objectifies with ease. He calls in a second hooker, still impersonating the dead guy, and orchestrates and videotapes a MFF threesome, in which he keeps checking himself out in the mirror. This is followed by sleep and some morning- after nonconsensual bloodplay. He pays them for it, but the hookers are clearly traumatized. This very frustrating to watch as someone who is gettin’ real tired of being seen as mentally ill due to involvement in BDSM & kink - most of us aren’t murderous psychopaths, dammit.
This is followed by misogynistic, sexually objectifying bromantic conversation at a bar, and it was so triggering that I nearly vomited. It’s followed by a clear increase in Bateman’s developing misanthropy and a close shave in which he almost murders the husband of his affair in the bathroom on pretense of a potential casual sexual encounter.
After considerably less successful evasive conversation with the detective, Bateman is shown to be slipping deeper into psychosis, fondling a lock of blonde hair from a previous victim and imagining his crosswords only say “meat and bones”. He will later try to take his secretary home for a hookup, and will only abstain from killing her because she doesn’t act like a victim and is not dressed revealingly.
Later, a second, more lethal threesome occurs, complete with anti-lesbian connotations, multiple murders, more psychosis, and even more misogyny… the remainder of the film is a clear descent into heavy psychosis, misanthropy, bloodlust, and antisocial behaviors… but Bateman is never caught, because society is blind…
Just like a number of other perpetrators of violence towards women are never caught.
This movie makes a brilliant point, but it also is problematically normalizing man on women violence and is terrible in its prejudiced characterizations of rich white people, non-whites, LGB people, and women.
American Psycho Analysis, continued
We begin with allusions to appetites for luxury, food, and violence followed by yuppie dude conversation. Our protagonist seems the least discriminatory to minorites, but then we see him fantasize about killing a woman and playing her blood just cause she made one remark. We are then shown Patrick Bateman’s morning routine (luxurious, pampering, and self narrated), followed by an intro to his antisocial personality disorder.
And then, he insists his secretary dress in a more feminine manner and treats her like an art object (not a person). Similarly, he ignores his fiancee in the car, and doesn’t mind her obvious affair with a friend of his - he has his own affair going with her bff, whom he objectifies as crazy because of her meed for psychiatric drugs.
He plays women like violins, and is decidedly into sex, control, and social dominance. Granted, he also manipulates men masterfully. It’s clear that he sees other people as objects to move about like chess pieces. He measures men by their suits and business cards, women by their dresses and entrees. Bateman murders people who are nothing like him so that he may not be suspected.
“I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy - I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.”
And then, a company Christmas party clearly almost pushes him into murder… ditto this work dinner. Okay, not almost - he’s gotten this business rival drunk, put him into a prepped room a la Dexter Morgan, puts on a rain coat and loud catchy music…and pay dirt: a murder scene set to “It’s Hip to Be Square”. All because this man dared show him up un the yuppie asshole totem pole.
Clearly thought out, he covers up the murder with ease.
And it appears that a detective has a lead on Bateman… who is clearly trying to get out of any REAL questioning through less-than-subtle pampering and misdirection…
While I wait for Netflix to work again, I’d like to point out Bateman’s tendency to objectify others appears much more directed at women and he sets far more expectations on women in turn. This is problematic, but given that he’s suffering from antisocial personality disorder, it appears to be self-preservative mimicry of problematic societal values.
American Psycho (2000): A Liveblogging Event
What’s that? No female characters, no GLBTQAI (Et Cetera) characters, and few non-white characters? Shame on you, The Thing.
Additionally, this is highly derivative of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness… which is just as problematic, but has the excuse of being written in the early 1900s.