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Dog Star Man, I was agreeing with you, then added that if you like films with strong female leads check out more old Hollywood films...not all of them or even the majority of them but there's a lot of good under seen films with strong female leads.
I sincerely apologize if I seemed abrupt. In reading your comment to me again I could see it as such. If I came across as boorish in light of light-heartedness, I am sorry. Sometimes the internet/forums has a way of people keeping their guards up as, (as I have experienced in the past on these, and many other forums, and I do admit I am no stranger to such folly), people will "read into" what they want to "read into" and perhaps attack and argue and debate at will when in reality clarification of terms or perhaps for me to simply avoid such matters is the best course of action. I don't mind clarification on my behalf, but if it tips into incessant bantering without end or personal attack, I'm simply not interested in such things. So, (if I see such things going down such routes), I say my bit and perhaps resign the debate as I've come to learn no one on or off line seems to change their opinions, no, that seems to come from within. But I digress, from what I've come to find and know of you Citizen Rules, you're a decent human being... and if I got you wrong in my verbiage, I hereby apologize.
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Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'?

-Stan Brakhage



No. Not at all. I'm just saying that it's more common to see extremes these days. Male characters being completely flawed, while women not so much. We're talking about current media cliches and this is one I happen to see quite often.

To be fair, it was the inverse in older movies. Women were basically not really scripted too much, they seemed to be "bodies" for a "strong male hero's" affection or not even given much screen time at all. I'm not too keen on that either. As much as I like The Maltese Falcon it drives me a bit up a wall how that woman behaves, (as a femme fatale), I much enjoy other women who take more of a believable command in such roles.

Point I'm painting is it's gone from one extreme to another.

Either the woman is a body for a "strong hunk" to rescue. Or she can't be flawed because if she was the man couldn't take care of himself. In either case, these aren't necessarily "my type" of films. As far as films that deal with real complexities of male-female dynamics, I like the work/style of Cassavetes.
Yeah, but you still have that ending to A Woman Under The Influence where
WARNING: spoilers below
Falk essentially "slaps the crazy" out of Maybel, and it's portrayed as a sort of happy ending for them, which was just problematic nonsense, IMO



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
No. Not at all. I'm just saying that it's more common to see extremes these days. Male characters being completely flawed, while women not so much. We're talking about current media cliches and this is one I happen to see quite often.

To be fair, it was the inverse in older movies. Women were basically not really scripted too much, they seemed to be "bodies" for a "strong male hero's" affection or not even given much screen time at all. I'm not too keen on that either. As much as I like The Maltese Falcon it drives me a bit up a wall how that woman behaves, (as a femme fatale), I much enjoy other women who take more of a believable command in such roles.

Point I'm painting is it's gone from one extreme to another.

Either the woman is a body for a "strong hunk" to rescue. Or she can't be flawed because if she was the man couldn't take care of himself. In either case, these aren't necessarily "my type" of films. As far as films that deal with real complexities of male-female dynamics, I like the work/style of Cassavetes. Strong characters have weakness, weak characters exhibit strength. Emotion. Not some cookie-cutter script churned out by a producer to be "in vogue" with the current social times. God forbid. Ambiguity has always been a tough sell.
This is why I don't think a lot of comedies with female protagonists are that good, because in comedies with male protagonists, the filmmakers are not afraid to have the males act dumb, which makes them funny, like Dumb and Dumber, The Three Stooges, etc, but Hollywood is afraid to have women act stupid in comedies out of fear, so they end up not being as funny as a result.



Citizen Rules, you're a decent human being...
Dying to post something here, but gonna hold my tongue.
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Yeah, but you still have that ending to A Woman Under The Influence where
WARNING: spoilers below
Falk essentially "slaps the crazy" out of Maybel, and it's portrayed as a sort of happy ending for them, which was just problematic nonsense, IMO
No, you've missed the point of that ending entirely:

WARNING: spoilers below
She reconciles herself and her own madness not through a beating, but realizing she must be strong and there for her own children (to which Falk threatens to wrongly kill along with her), and, might I add... after all that emotion and toil, she not only grows, but Falk grows not to pick up the phone and just let it ring and be less of a **** of a husband to his own wife.



No, you've missed the point of that ending entirely:

WARNING: spoilers below
She reconciles herself and her own madness not through a beating, but realizing she must be strong and there for her own children (to which Falk threatens to wrongly kill along with her), and, might I add... after all that emotion and toil, she not only grows, but Falk grows not to pick up the phone and just let it ring and be less of a **** of a husband to his own wife.
But she only starts realizing that she has to be strong after he smacks her, which is an incident that has all sorts of troublesome implications:




I hate it when characters sleep in a room, but don’t close the drapes. Almost every movie & tv show does this. Who sleeps with only sheers over the windows?



But she only starts realizing that she has to be strong after he smacks her, which is an incident that has all sorts of troublesome implications:

I'm not going to deny that he slaps her and she's knocked on the floor. But my argument is that is not why she decides to change. It's rather after Falk's character says, "I'll kill you, I'll kill these sonsabitchen kids..." and their children run away from their father and go to her that she finds strength and resolve. At which point, he finds a resolve and says to his family unit: "What can I say, they want to know if your alright..."

However, through all this conversation, you kind of illustrated my point from the above post. No matter the "point" in which Mabel finds her resolve, (I happen to believe it's the love of her children that save her), bottom line is things are left very ambiguous, which I enjoy. You're entitled to believe your opinion and I'm not going to say you're entirely wrong here because, (like most Cassavetes films), you may end up being right. After all, when the film first screened the audience booed Falk's character as a Chauvinist-pig, (which they were entirely right, really). Then a decade later audiences where siding with him when a more Conservative current started taking root in the American conscience.



Two annoying movie clichés: characters who smoke, but the actors playing them don’t know how to smoke.

Characters who can play the piano, but the actors playing them don’t know how to play the piano.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Another cliche that I am tired of is the assassin having a crisis of conscience and wanting to turn good, cliche.



Registered User
Another cliche that I am tired of is the assassin having a crisis of conscience and wanting to turn good, cliche.
Yes, usually going on "one last mission" which is parallel to the "one last big score" cliche that gets our thief caught.



Registered User
This is more of a TV cliche, but if our story feature an obsessive protagonist, explicit reference will be made to Moby Dick (e.g., First Contact), however, our modern protagonist gets the whale in the end, proving doubters wrong. He may be obsessive, but he's right and will win.



But she only starts realizing that she has to be strong after he smacks her, which is an incident that has all sorts of troublesome implications:


I think it's wrong to isolate any single incident in a Cassavetes film as the motivating factor for change. This isn't to say there aren't all sorts of elements to Cassavates' weird brand of chauvinism that shouldn't be discussed (the Le Tigre song about him kind of distills his complicated essence to a fine point). But it's never so simple as 'slaps the crazy out of her'. As already stated, there is a whole network of factors that drive and change his characters. Could the slap be an element of this? Sure, because their relationship is dysfunctional and abusive, even if it is also rooted in a real sense of love. But is the film saying this is the solution to the problem of her breakdown? Not even remotely. Cassavetes shows the ugliness of some human behavior without judgement, but that absence of judgement isn't championing it. This is a huge fallacy that seems to be partly due to how modern narrative presents the development of characters as a bunch of specific moments that lead to a specific outcome. Cassavetes doesn't do this. This isn't Green Book*. He charts life as it happens, and it is much too messy as a result to point fingers at any one scene with any kind of specificity as to its function in the film.


*I just watched that ****ing garbage pile of an Oscar winning movie, and had to throw a dig in somewhere. You want an example of something offensive? How about a movie like this where it approaches a serious subject by treating its characters as empty pawns that serve whatever dumbed down message it is pretending it's teaching us. If only Peter Falk could give this a movie a couple of good slaps, he'd finally find an appropriate outlet for his de-masculated rage.



Telling a story that attempts to connect or alienate an audience.