The Male Gaze: Movies that would barely exist if gender were reversed.
The Soska Sisters are two of the very few female writer/director’s left in the horror genre of recent. Their last film, American Mary is one of the best horror films released. Why? The female protagonist didn’t resort to nudity or sexuality to get where she wanted but instead relied on determination and a sense of brutal justice to achieve what she wanted.
And now they’re set to helm See No Evil 2.
So to celebrate, let’s look st 5 films of ANY genre where, if gender were reversed, they would only be a 10 minute film.
Now let’s look at Harmony Korine’s latest. Four women – otherwise recognizable on the Disney channel or a sitcom of sorts that defines the term ‘Soapery’, do everything they can to get to Spring Break, including staying out of trouble and getting cashed up. Whilst there, their beauty catches the attention of Alien (James Franco)…
If this were four dudes who only wore speedo’s or board shorts, just how long would they have been at Spring Break for? My assumption is whenever the next bus was ready to take them back to Amish country. And Alien would be showing off his dark tanning oil to a mirror.
Alternate title: Spring Visitors.
What I believe to be Kevin Smith’s best film is one that would literally last a grand total of four minutes and eleven seconds if the three teenage boys that open the film were three teenage girls.
Would three teenage girls plan to drive all that way to have a threesome with an older man from a hook up site whose face is not revealed?! Once again this is only assumption, but I’m gonna guess NNNNOOOPPPPPEEEE. They’d be spending their evening getting booze and finding what fun they could locally.
No road trip, no Abin Cooper, no police enforcement. You’d just have three level headed women looking at the fuck site laughing and wondering who in the hell would bother
Alternate Title: Garden State or Spring Brea…(kidding, kidding).
Stanley Kubrick’s last film involved a married man (Tom Cruise) going on an observational sexual odyssey after his wife (Nicole Kidman) reveals that she had serious thoughts about an affair. He is hit on by women, glanced at by naked women and witness to some of the most inventive sex positions even the author and creator of Karma Sutra would call blasphemy upon!
Eyes Wide Shut is one of the ultimate films catering to a male gaze, purely for its insistence on showing naked women and women designed purely for hitting on this man uncertain of his loyalty to his wife. Reason? Because it’s from a man’s perspective. So if it were a woman….
If the orgy were all men, if it were the husband who admitted to having thoughts of the unfaithful kind and if every man in the film was designed to hit on our female protagonist?
You have a film longer than 10 minutes! Hooray! But would it be renowned, talked about and would it fulfil its 159 minute running time? No, of course not. Kidman’s character was more realistic than her husband was and a secret sexual odyssey could have very well been prevented, resulting in discussions regarding their marriage much earlier in the film.
And an orgy run by old aristocratic women who remained clothed yet the men must be entirely naked? Yeah doesn’t sound as likely or common by any film’s standards.
Alternate title: Marriage: All Quiet On the Western Front
Monster Picture’s very own…
Now let’s assess if one of the best horror films in the last decade would’ve been as effective if we were speaking of a film titled The Man.
Lucky Mckee’s film is a post-feminist master class in the evil that men are capable of. If our revolting antagonist had seen a bare chested man in the woods, would he capture him? No, he’d call the police and only rely on abusing the women in his family.
One of the few anomalies in the horror genre where a woman’s sexuality is not for pleasure, but to unmask the insidious nature of a man who is beyond help or reason.
…It’s yet to stand the test of time (which it will) but until then it remains, The Man would only be a short film about a yuppie having a shit hunting trip.
Alternate Title: Deliverance 2: No Hard Feelings.
According to cinema, if two women share a friendship, or are given something to bond over, they will, within the 45 minute mark, be in a lesbian relationship or have kinky sex. It then goes on to be nominated for Best Picture.
If two men form a relationship in a movie, unless they go fishing and it’s directed by the guy who helmed HULK – it goes straight to the art-house and/or queer cinema section of your local DVD store after a short run in indie film festivals.
Black Swan is about madness prevailing from endless obsession and determination. So if it were about a man wanting to be the greatest ballet dancer there was…
No, he would not be hit on by his dance teacher (and if he were, it would in no way go down the way it does in this film).
There would be scenes of him doing everything in he can to make it into the final, but would the psychological aspects which are a large number of times established and strengthened through a female’s sexuality, work for a man?
You’d get a short film or a flimsy dance drama that many would laugh at men replaced women and vice versa or just anything that isn’t Black Swan.
The raunchy sex scene would make no headlines or be on next to anyone’s radar, it’d just be next to a Glenn Campbell’s concert DVD at any store.
Alternate Title: Save The Last Dance or How Steven got His Groove Back.
Could American Mary be as great if Mary were in fact a man? Exclude the revenge sub plot, quite possibly, but to how much of an effect is another story!