- It's not accurate to claim that Hollywood clings to a "mindset from the 30s" when it comes to pleasing the male demographic. Hollywood was just as interested in women in the 30s. The 'please the boys at all costs / ignore everyone else' mandate isn't really unmistakable in cinema until the modern blockbuster era.
- Though it's true that race is a trickier subject than gender, the statement that it's "easy" to combat media driven gender stereotypes is not accurate at all. Those media messages are still pervasive and confusing in 2010 and still shape people's ideas about what's of value (men and their p.o.v.) and what's not (women and anything deemed "feminine"). American culture is still f***ed up about gender and Hollywood reflects that back to us and reinforces it all the time.
Naturally, he's the antagonist. Business as usual for Hollywood.
Andrew Wheeler has a good piece on the controversy, too, at his dependably interesting blog
The Post-Game Show. I love this bit on M. Night Shyamalan's 'I'm Asian so it can't be racist' style defense.
This is the minority author as the sole arbiter of minority identity. Last time we heard that response, it was from Torchwood writer Russell T Davies on the subject of Ianto’s death on that show, and that time it was even less elegantly expressed; “We’re talking about issues in my entire life here, not just one small television program. … [Critics] should simply grow up, do some research, and stop riding on a bandwagon that they actually don’t know anything about.”The whole piece is a really good overview of the problem and the massive gaps in the logic that attempts to justify the preproduction casting decisions.
Never mind that critics of Davies were often gay, and critics of Shyamalan have often been Asian; because Davies is gay and Shyamalan is of Asian-American, it is the audience’s ‘misunderstanding’ that’s to blame, and no reflection on the author or director’s insensitivity.
I was actually interesting in seeing this movie. I have a largely undiscussed weakness for sci-fi/fantasy (and four elements stuff) and I find Shyamalan fascinating in a dichotomous talented/idiotic kind of way. But the reviews suggest there isn't much of worth in the film. Did any of you see it over the weekend? If so, do you agree with the excoriation it received?