Tag Archives: cinema

Waiting for Gadot

wonder-woman

Life can sometimes move a little slow here at Polly Cottage*. So it is that we’re only just back from our first screening of Wonder Woman, despite being keen to see it from the first trailer. Or was it a teaser for the trailer? Or a sneak still from the teaser for the trailer? Anyway, we all wanted to see it.

Generally, the weasels are interested in watching the comic book movies, but in common with a lot of people, we’re less keen on the grim direction that DC has taken in recent years, preferring the lighter comic touch of the Marvel universe. However, Middle Weasel’s militant defence of gender rights (along with every other type of rights) meant that this movie was on our lists, and hopes were high.

The film didn’t disappoint. Since it’s still on in theatres, I’m not going to risk any spoilers, but the colours were gorgeous (in contrast to the iron and steel of Batman and Superman of late) and the origin story made a gloriously insane kind of comic book sense (though I could hear Tiny Weasel huffing about the mangling of Greek Mythology a couple of seats over). The truth is, DC don’t mess with Greek mythology any more than Marvel have with Norse to get Thor onto the Avengers team, and since no one on either production has been struck by lightning, neither pantheon is too offended by their portrayal.

Gal-Gadot-Wonder-Woman-Poster

The story has been well-thought out: Wonder Woman appears at the closing stages of World War One, and though there’s still a lot at stake, she’s not brought in to re-fight battles we know were won by the sacrifice of real soldiers. It’s not disrespectful in that way. In fact, the film highlights again and again how much the innocent suffer in war, and my weasels were struck by the youth of the German soldiers, when they remove their gasmasks at the end of the film. This is not a film that revels in war, even as the choreography of the fight scenes makes them a phenomenal ballet.

I think the question of whether or not it’s a Feminist movie is a stupid one. It’s a good film. It has a female lead that young girls can look up to – long overdue, and in short supply still. It’s got a female director, and though it often bugs me that the director gets all the kudos for a good film and the writers for a bad one, I have no doubt that women in Hollywood have a harder time than the men, so I applaud Patty Jenkins for a terrific film. I hope the door stays open for women in film now.

Straight, white, middle class males have had the run of the world for a long time. If we whine when someone else has a chance to see themselves on the big screen, as the main character in a book, or leading a country, then it’s the feedback of realising how other people have felt for centuries. Wonder Woman is a great film, and it’s good to see it done so well with the effects available now. But it’s a shame it’s taken 76 years to get her a movie of her own.

 

 

*Polly Cottage is not our official address, nor is it named for any relative called Polly. If you really want to know, it’s because we’re big fans of Mr Gum, but have a short mailbox.

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1985 on my mind…

We’re all hearing a lot about today being THE day, finally, when Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive from the past. We’ve bemoaned the lack of hoverboards, the fact there isn’t a Jaws 17 in real 3d on at the movies. Surprisingly, there ARE still a lot of Deloreans kicking about.

But I’m looking the other way. I’m remembering what I can about 1985, wanting to remember what I thought the future would really look like.

Dim November 85

In 1985 I was thirteen. In my third year of Secondary School, and doing reasonably well. I was a big Star Wars fan, although I actually had only seen “The Empire Strikes Back” for the first time the year before, on VHS. (I’d seen “Return of the Jedi” several times, including once up in London as a result of winning a competition…)

the last show at Winchester fixed

The last days of Winchester’s cinema.

I saw “Back to the Future” at the cinema in Winchester, a relic from the glory days of the movies, sandwiched between anonymous buildings on North Walls. I likely saw the sequel there too. At thirteen, the cinema was a place I could suddenly go to with friends, not parents, and back then it was also within my limited budget.

North Walls today

What the cinema site looks like today.

It was obvious that the 2015 shown in “Back to the Future 2” was over the top, but thirty years was a long time. Look at the advancements we had made since 1955, after all – we had digital watches, space shuttles, a phone the size of a small briefcase you could carry around with you! Clive Sinclair was trying to get people to ride a three-wheel electric scooter, for Pete’s sake, surely we’d have hoverboards by 2015?

I think I missed the clear message of Back to the Future, though : that no matter how much times may change, people remain the same. If I could talk to that thirteen year old now, I wouldn’t tell him that we have a company making all-electric cars that can outperform most petrol cars, but people are still fighting wars over oil. I wouldn’t tell him that there’s overwhelming scientific evidence and vocal protest about climate change, but people are still putting profit first. I wouldn’t tell him that people are still fighting and killing over gods, over land, over ancient feuds.

I might tell him I carry a device in my pocket that can access almost limitless information and play movies and games. That my kids use computers every day and they are as common in schools as exercise books were in my time. That there are people like Malala who stand up to ignorance and cruelty, and a whole generation growing up who believe in recycling, renewable energy, healthy eating and are anti-bullying.

If you’re not sick of movies yet, try watching “Tomorrowland”. Near the beginning the heroine of the film is in class after class, being shown terrible images of the near future – climate change, over population, deforestation, animal extinction. The teachers are grim and despondent, and she raises her hand to ask “How can we fix it?”

That’s how we get the future we need. Not by aiming for hoverboards and shark movies, but seeing the problems ahead and asking “How can we fix it?”