Inspired by this Buzzfeed post, which is a good read btw.
I like that the author put genius in quotes. Because for a lot of male directors out there, I really question why they’re considered that. I’m not going to claim any deep knowledge of cinema. I’d say my tastes are pretty average. If a movie is popular, chances are I’ll like it. When stuff is really cerebral or out-there, I have a hard time following. For example - I don’t understand Trainspotting. It was definitely an interesting movie, but I don’t get the cult status. I don’t think it’s bad though. My question for you is - what celebrated movies made by male ‘geniuses’ do you truly think are terrible? I’ll start.
The Birds - Alfred Hitchock
I could honestly list so many of his movies. I understand at the time his were different. But re-watching them now? Boring or irritating. Movies in the 50s/60s really pushed the shrieking woman trope. Which is basically the idea that any woman in a stressful situation is going to faint or freak out (looking at you, Night of the Living Dead). And a lot of his movies have an endlessly shrieking woman that I can’t stand. It’s like they intentionally make women annoying, because they want the audience to hate them as much as the director does. Anyway - I found The Birds boring and often ridiculous. But I grew up in a world where this was a lauded movie, so perhaps my expectations were too high going in.
Se7en - David Fincher
Oh my god, this movie is so up its own ass. Why does Kevin Spacey always play characters that I hate? So, surprise, for vanity and lust they killed women. Because duh, women are only meant to be looked at or fucked. So naturally those are the only sins they could be guilty of. Do men ever step back for like one second and evaluate how they see women? Did David ever think, “Hm, so the only women he kills (and the only two women in the movie really) are a sex worker and a model. Is that sexist..? NAH, I’m a genius.” Ohh, right. I forgot a woman’s other purpose - motherhood. So to create ‘wrath’ he has to kill a woman with a baby. It was super important she was pregnant too. WOMEN ONLY HAVE TWO PURPOSES. I’m a genius guys, cause I invented the knife dildo. And I made sure to show you that a man (who had to kill her) was suuuper traumatized by it. If a woman feels pain and a man isn’t around to see it, is she really in pain?
American Beauty - Sam Mendes
Ugh, life is so hard for men. They have to get married and get a job (no one else in the world has to do that, you know). So anyway, we of course have to realize that all men lust after their daughter’s friends. If we deny nature then we’re probably just an old jealous feminist. And of course all young, hot women wanna get with old dudes. Again it’s science. But don’t worry, he’s a good guy cause he doesn’t fuck a teenager when he realizes she’s a virgin. In writing this post, I read the Wikipedia entry which said this -
Scholars and academics have offered many possible readings of American Beauty; film critics are similarly divided, not so much about the quality of the film, as their interpretations of it
Lord. Of course. As the BF article said -
Like Von Trier, who once kept Nicole Kidman in a dog collar and chains for hours at a time while shooting Dogville, or Hitchcock, who sexually harassed Tippi Hedren while making a film about sexual violence, a man directing can rationalize almost any behavior towards women if what emerges as a final product is something beautiful in the eyes of other men.
So tell me, GTers, what celebrated male-directed movies do you think are garbage?