Holly Hunter is STILL not my hero

Some thoughts on The Piano:

I love the idea of a woman who so thoroughly owns her own thoughts that she is not simply mute but a stonewall. She knows she does not owe her thoughts to anyone.

Hoop skirts:

Eventually it became necessary to literally cut women off of ownership of their bodies – or at least the earthy, reproductive, *mysterious and powerful* halves. Hence hoop skirts. Wire cages that set literal, physical barriers on movement and seperated the brain from the genitals.

For all that Anna Paquin’s character is called “a liar”, “manipulative”, “traitor” – does no one notice that she is handed the shit end of every deal? “Here, entertain yourself outside, alone, while I molest your mother with your full knowledge”,”Here, go deliver this incriminating gift to the creepy guy down the road”, “Here, watch me chop off your mother’s finger, blame it on you, and then hand it to you to deliver to the crazy adulterer”, “Here, be dragged from pillar to post while I attach myself to whichever nutso man happens to cross my path/summon me”

What the hell is with the “Noble/Magical Savage” game that is played every time someone exotic steps into the lens? Are we really meant to believe that the Maori don’t understand the concept of a melodrama? Or that they can’t tell the difference between obviously breathing, moving heads stuck through a sheet, and decapitated heads?

New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful place. Not a persistently muddy, repugnant hell hole.

Repulsive and erotic are NOT equivalent concepts.

Inner monologue endings are a clear sign of lazy screenwriting (and/or incompetent directing).

I did not like this movie. It aspired to things it very clearly didn’t understand – and that confusion apparently convinced influential viewers that there was some grand message to be gleaned from the murk.


~ by heycarahe on December 28, 2007.

5 Responses to “Holly Hunter is STILL not my hero”

  1. I did not like this movie either, for the reasons you clearly stated. In fact I stopped watching it and started screaming at it when it became obvious that the makers of the film do believe that repulsive and erotic are equivalent concepts.
    Had I been warned that it was a repitition of the “woman falls madly in love with her rapist myth” I would never have rented it.
    Having refused to watch it in its entirety, I am speculating that that is where it was going, but the blurb on the DVD sleeve did bear a familiar stench.

  2. Thanks for a good reason to avoid this one. I remember the ads for it when it came out way back when, and got the impression (as a teen) that it was an ultra-sexy romantic drama.

    Which is what they think it is. Too bad their thoughts are too clouded by the patriarchy’s B.S.

  3. The sad thing is that I wrote this partly because one of my favorite women – an adamant feminist, usually not of the “fun” variety – actually wanted to watch this with me because it was/is her idea of a great feminist movie, and I couldn’t make her understand why I was so angry about it.

  4. I saw this movie when it was new and adored it. I thought it was a fine example of a film produced using the female gaze instead of the male gaze, for once. Apparently, my obstreperal lobe had not yet been fully activated. I’ll be sure to never watch it again.

  5. Yeah, that was actually about where I thought it went so tragically wrong – it seemed to think that it was using the female gaze, yet somehow *magically* the female gaze reproduced the standard tropes of the male gaze.

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