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Which movies would you recast?

Avenging the Avengers

I recently wrote a piece (“Whedon’s Binary”) critiquing the way gender expression is treated in the Joss Whedon Avengers universe for the Joss Whedon Roundtable over at Hooded Utilitarian. This entry will be a first for me – a response to my HU piece (yes, I’ve progressed to actually arguing with myself). The HU piece was fun for me, but it was written entirely from the perspective of critical distance. I actually really enjoyed both Avengers films. So, as a lighthearted counterpoint to my original article (albeit from a slightly different angle than gender expression), I present to you: Five Feminist Moments from the Joss Whedon Avengers Universe: 1) When Black Widow pretends to be a helpless victim before kicking ass in the opening scene to the 2012 Avengers. She doesn’t require the villain to conveniently “mess up”, freeing herself only once she has the information she needs, proving her command of the entire situation. 2) When Black Widow successfully tricks Loki into revealing his secret plan by pretending to be an emotional “silly girl”. Loki mocks her emotions and gives away his angle …

Turning Point

“Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to do, I wasn’t sure it was a possibility” – Lupita Nyong’o My motivations for creating are twofold: First, I watched Colin Stokes’ two excellent TED talks on gender and racial diversity in film. Mr. Stokes introduced me to Bechdel test, which serves as a lower-bound test for the representation of female characters in film. To pass the test, a movie must script: 1) at least two (named) female characters, 2) who speak to each other, 3) about something other than a man. That’s it. A movie passes the test if two female characters say nothing other than good morning to each other. And yet only about 60% of the movies produced since 1970 pass. The Bechdel test is not a new concept. Invented by Liz Wallace, it was popularized by Alison Bechdel in a 1985 comic strip. This was, however, the first I’d heard of it. I had somehow made it through several college film classes without ever coming across the …