23 May 2005

Sin City Archetypology

Read a review of Sin City where it was criticised for engorged female stereotypes and for some reason I came away from it reeling. It was implying that the use of such sexual stereotypes detracted from the film per se, as if some female stereotypes are now verboten in serious films (okay for the real pulp fictions, because only beer-table bellied trash monkeys watch those) for intelligent people because we need protecting from dangerous archetypes. This struck me as an inversion of the usual film-schtick that suggests that, for example, erect penises and real sex are only possible in dull arthouse movies or subtitled, painterly slews because the people out there who would be immediately turned into rapists/victims are not going to pay to see anything which requires reading or doesn't feature a Wayans.

Yes, Sin City has a rather limited, er palette but it's kinda about that isn't it? (I'm talking comic here, haven't seen the film and thus fall into that unfortunate category of Tory minister ranting about a film they haven't seen) To talk of gender stereotypes in a film like Sin City is like moaning about Menance II Society using stereotypical rap music (we all know those guys kick their slippers off to Garth Brooks really) or bitching about Pasolini's Sodom because there's not enough nice fascists. (Haven't they seen Schindler's List?)

Do we need balance imposed on our lives? Can't we just occasionally dip into the archetype bowl, swing the keys and look towards the jock/whore/dits/angel/Cohen in the corner and love the fact that we're engaging in a social stereotype that might be a bit entertaining?

Yes, it's not real; yes, girls can be other than dominatrixes/sluts but is it really wrong to make a film where the subtleties are ignored? Is the film inherently weaker because of that?

When I go to watch Sin City I'm not expecting to come out filled with Foucault. I have enough of him at home.

(note: if you came here looking for some free music may I recommend stealing from your local MegaStore as a temporary alternative?- grab what you like, run like hell and hope to buggery the guy on the door has a gammy leg and a bad throwing arm)


puffer said...

Well spoken. I couldn't agree more.

Psychbloke said...

With what?
The Foucault bit?

guile said...

dang, ms. murphy is so cute in sin city :)..

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