Mr Elliot assuming this should be compared to a “western movie” to begin with explains a lot.
Given his expectations, I understand some of his criticism.
It’s like someone (a director) painting a VW bug in black and white stripes to provide something (a film) unexpected, and then Elliot complaining after his ride that it was nothing like a Zebra. It just makes him look. . . a bit short sighted- but given the expectations, I understand why he was annoyed - makes total sense.
Although I support any actor making such a decision, it strikes me as odd - the absolutism of “no men”.
1) how does she know a female director doesn’t want to pursue the “male gaze” aesthetic? It’s sexist to always assume they wouldn’t. And
2) the reverse is true- a male director may have no interest in the male gaze whatsoever. Assuming all men would is sexist, no? What if the man is trans? What if the female director is trans?
The perspective shows a limited, biased viewpoint- exactly what she is complaining about. . .
I agree with your sentiments. I find this article thought provoking, but what I recalled re The 5th Element was the lead-in to the usual BSY, but as a bait and switch.
The seeming set up of gender norms - and then breaking of those norms - esp. given the (at the time outrageous) over-done masculine vs feminine traits, the costumes, the affectations of men in the film as well- the pace of the edit- the score- everything came as sort of a shock.
And the slow unveiling of the truth- that the seemingly naive "sexy born yesterday she" was not only thousands of years old, but also the only being in control. I recall thinking in the middle of the film- I was not even sure she were "female" - I think that was intentional. She was given a female humanoid form . . . but she was possibly the first presentation of "they" - long before we even used that term or concept in general pop culture.
And it was only when she realized the power of love that she relented and agreed: humans and the earth were "worth saving".
It was the classic love story, wrapped in a choice of destruction vs. salvation. Told many times before, but in a fresh and daring way. Great entertainment.
I rewatch it about once every 2 years. Learn or notice something new every time. And to think Besson wrote it initially at 16. Directed it in his 30's - and oh- then married his star. Ha.
Hey! Just saw the NFS post on the EOS R5!! Maybe they have come to their senses!? Just Wowza!
This article reminds me of that moment in 2015:
When I realized ---- after ending my decade long commitment to Canon for all pro equipment, not feeling the love returned, and moving elsewhere --- that my world had turned to color . . .
Thank you for being so respectful to your filmmaking readers, by publishing an opinion piece on a film the critic hasn't seen. We really appreciate it.