|why make film at all?
reductio ad absurdum? come on.
My arguments weren't really about content, but context.
I read what you wrote Darth, I'm not neglecting you. I have some thoughts that tie into those ideas, but I'm ready to move on from this film review.
I want to say once last thing going in a different direction that I think will be illustrative.
A little while ago I talked about the film Under The Skin, but I didn't say if I liked it or not. I actually love the movie, but it's the reason that I asked about being embarrassed to own a film.
Pretty much all the criticism and defense we had over mother! was also made for this film, so I do feel a bit hypocritical. I'm going to discuss that contrast without saying for every point the same arguments over again for mother!, so I hope that reads.
The main distinction, to me, is that I don't feel this film was intentionally making a feminist statement. That is part of the context that defines the analysis and why I don't judge Saw for not being a feminist film.
It is incidentally a feminist film because of the content of it, and so it does lend to that analysis, but the film can be read without any subtext and that is how it is presented narratively and that is perhaps the intention of it.
The other big point is that the violence and misogyny are not gratuitous. Obviously reactions are subjective, but for this film there really is only one scene of it and it's brief and not graphic. That's really only the ending, and I think you could omit or change that one scene and it wouldn't really effect the rest of the movie as a plot.
The problem with the movie is the Male Gaze, which I previously covered. For it's credit the film does try to subvert that, even though it fails. A female reviewer said that she empathized with the woman and felt like she was in danger (at the beginning of the film), even though that is the opposite of what is shown to us. I find that really interesting, and I hadn't thought of that. She also said that the male audience would feel the same way because they found her attractive, like the men in the movie do. I did figure that, and also I might add because she is the Protagonist. So the film does do some subversion of narrative conventions.
I think I've explained why it's necessary for a film, especially with social subtext, to be subversive. It's just better at showing creative vision than being cliche.
In the scene where she meets the disfigured man, people felt that because of his face and his kindness that she felt pity for him. I didn't get that at all. I thought that his face made her realize that people have different faces and that our face informs our identity. After that she looks at her face in the mirror and that marks the awakening of her sense of self identity.
The theme of the movie is what I really liked; it pretty apparently deals with expression of Existential identity. I do have to point it out to be clear here, that is a major difference between mother!, which is about power/gender dynamics by showcasing historical sexist/cliche archetypes. Unintentionally, I think the film can be read through De Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Now I can't think of any other movie about feminist existentialism, and that is really exciting. That gives a much deeper subtext.
Now that I've put you to sleep, I had a few thoughts of IT. Not a lot to say, I am happy that it was so successful, but not that great of a film.
One thing that I noticed that I haven't seen talked about is that I think the movie tried to be R rated while staying as close a possible to PG-13, as opposed to a recent horror film like Wish Upon that tried to stay PG13 and push as far as possible toward R. I don't just mean in terms of "adult" content, but in structure as well. Does that make sense?
Spread out all around us is a petrified world, a world of Things, where we ourselves, our gestures, and even our feelings figure in as Things. Nothing can belong to us as truly our own in such a landscape of death. Under commodity occupation the most concrete truth about everything is the truth of it's infinite replaceablity.