Swedish Brouhaha

RantingSweden set off a firestorm today by announcing the introduction of a new rating system to combat gender bias: “To get an A rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel Test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.”

This unleashed all the typical comments about how few films featured women, how few films were made by women, yadda, yadda. But if you are a regular reader of this blog, then you already know all this is bunk! What Sweden has done today is challenge programmers to find films by that pass the Bechdel Test, & it turns out that’s actually pretty easy.

Here is a list of twenty-five new films I have personally seen since 6/1/13, all of which pass the Bechdel Test & all of which were either written &/or directed by women filmmakers:

Adore, Afternoon Delight, And While We Were Here, Austenland, Byzantium, Carrie, Concussion, Enough Said, Girl Most Likely, I Used to be Darker, In a World, Inch’Allah, Just Like a Woman, Mother of George, My Lucky Star, Paradise, The Bling Ring, The Heat, The Hot Flashes, The Lifeguard, The To Do List, Three Worlds, Touchy Feely, Wadjda, & Wish You Were Here.

* This list (above) does not include 3 of my favorite films of 2013 to date (Ginger & Rosa, Hannah Arendt, & The East) all of which were all released in NYC before 6/1/13.

* This list (above) does not include wonderful films written &/or directed by women filmmakers which have a single female protagonist & therefore flunk the Bechdel Test (e.g., BastardsUna Noche).

* This list (above) does not include any films written & directed by men which pass the Bechdel Test (e.g., Before Midnight & Lovelace).

* And this list (above) does not include any documentaries that pass the Bechdel Test (e.g., After Tiller, Anita, First Comes Love, Rafea: Solar Mama, Running from Crazy, & Sweet Dreams).

However, this list of 25 certainly proves the films are there. So what’s missing? The audience!

Maybe Sweden has started something today that really can create positive change? As always, I live in hope.

PS: To read about all of these films (& more), enter the title in the search field to the right. Trust me, they are all HERE on The Hot Pink Pen 🙂

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    JLH Response to Jian Ghomeshi of CBC’s Q:

    http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2013/11/12/bechdel-test-womens-representation-in-film/

    Jian: Applause for taking this issue seriously but why the need to “balance” your interview with Ellen Tejle with an immediate rebuttal from Hynek Pallas? Tejle’s point was “this is a start.” But instead of recognizing that, Pallas focused on the specific issue of the Bechdel Test in itself. If he’s concerned about “how the public perceives this,” shouldn’t he clarify the intention (“this is a start”) rather than compound the confusion? There is a long list of films that pass the Bechdel Test in every genre & of every level of quality, yet most people have never heard of them. Shouldn’t that be your focus? (JLH: 11/14/13)

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