I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.
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Brett Dalton and actress Ming-Na Wen attend Entertainment Weekly’s annual Comic-Con celebration on July 26, 2014
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theatre peoplejoshua henry

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so my tumblr is randomly unfollowing ppl??? awesome.

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les mis staging

original vs dallas

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“I can’t accept that. I can’t accept that there was only one black woman in the entire film, who delivered one line and who we never saw again. I can’t accept that the bad guys were Asian and that although in China, Lucy’s roommate says, “I mean, who speaks Chinese? I don’t speak Chinese!” I can’t accept that in Hercules, which I also saw this weekend, there were no people of color except for Dwayne Johnson himself and his mixed-race wife, whose skin was almost alabaster. I can’t accept that she got maybe two lines and was then murdered. I can’t accept that the “primitive tribe” in Hercules consisted of dark-haired men painted heavily, blackish green, to give their skin (head-to-toe) a darker appearance, so the audience could easily differentiate between good and bad guys by the white vs. dark skin. I can’t accept that during the previews, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a story about Moses leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, where not a single person of color is represented, casts Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton to play Egyptians. I can’t accept that in the preview for Kingsman: The Secret Service, which takes place in London, features a cast of white boys and not a single person of Indian descent, which make up the largest non-white ethnic group in London. I can’t accept that in stories about the end of the world and the apocalypse, that somehow only white people survive. I can’t accept that while my daily life is filled with black and brown women, they are completely absent, erased, when I look at a TV or movie screen.s”
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New stills for Disney’s Into the Woods

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Happy Birthday Terry Crews (July, 30, 1968)

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Are you even real

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I just saw Lucy.

I won’t speak to the racism of the movie, as that’s been discussed on end on tumblr and I feel I have nothing else to contribute but emphatic nodding in agreement. Instead, I’ll address a few other things I noticed: Lucy’s apparent sudden lack of emotions, and the perspective of the film.

I’ll talk about perspective first because this was the most confusing part to me. I’m not a cinematographer or a director, and I don’t know the first thing about writing a screenplay, but it seemed to me that the movie was confused, not about what it wanted to be, but about who it wanted to be. By that I mean - from whose perspective was I watching? Who is the viewer to the movie? Toward the beginning of the movie it was very clear that I was to identify with Lucy. The camera shook with Lucy, and sometimes the camera was right next to Lucy, so that other characters speaking to Lucy were also speaking to us, the audience, and we were looking at the world through her eyes. While Lucy is still only using her regular human level of brain control, she is us.

Sometime after the drugs begin leaking into her body and she gains access to other parts of her brain, the perspective shifts. I’m not sure at what point it does shift, because if I remember correctly, as she spasms, the camera also jerks around to mirror her discomfort, and when she stills, so does the camera. Then when she goes to seduce and then kill one of the guards, we watch him unbuckle his belt and then die from her eyes. 

But at some point, the viewer begins to get shut out of Lucy’s perspective. We lose sight of what she wants. Instead of following her motives and actions, we are helplessly trailing behind her, never knowing as much as she does. Perhaps this was intentional, but in my opinion, it was a mistake. With no other perspective through which to view the movie, trying to follow Lucy’s was frustrating. If we were to continue to see the movie through her eyes, her motives should have been made clearer. If we were to separate our identity as a viewer from her character, the direction should have been more specific. Instead, I found myself continually asking, “What does she want? Where is she taking us? Why is this story being told, and how much should I care?”

With these questions comes another question: Why are all of her emotions gone? Why are her senses heightened, but her pain dulled? With more brain use, one would think that Lucy’s emotions would become greater rather than diminish. And pain, being a brain reaction to external stimulus, should also be present, if not stronger. At some point Lucy begins to be able to control her own body’s responses, so it’s possible that she has shut off her own pain response, but that still leaves her emotions unaccounted for. At one point in the movie she says that she can no longer feel human emotions. Why is this?

My hypothesis is that the director and screenwriters thought that a lack of emotions was an easy way out, a simpler way to tell the story of an intellectual action hero. But there is so much more behind this that needs to be examined. What does it say about the way that we (societally) view emotions when we show someone whose brain is at full capacity who no longer feels? We see emotions as a sign of primitive behavior that goes away with evolution. I’m not even going to touch on how contrary to actual evolutionary theory and theories of cognition this is. I’m going to talk about the social repercussions of this idea.

Emotions are associated with femininity and women, and in the context of Lucy being a female action hero, this association cannot be ignored. In addition, intellectuality as well as physical strength are both commonly associated with masculinity and men. Women are seen as “support,” while men are seen as people who “do” things. But in Lucy, the title character is the “doer,” the “intellectual,” and despite the fact that after she becomes these things she continues to pursue them, none of them are originally her choices. In fact, in the beginning of the movie, when she is emotional and helpless, she begs for her attackers to let her go. To let her continue to be as she is, which is very clearly an emotional person. She must be stripped of her agency in order to become the action hero the movie needs her to be. And she must be stripped of her emotions, as well.

I think this says a lot about the way Hollywood views strong female characters and female action heroes, and this isn’t really news. The fact that in order to be the protagonist the movie needed, major aspects of her character needed to be forcibly changed, says a lot about the way we view women; pliable, weak people who cannot exist as they are in certain contexts. To be an action hero, Lucy had to lose all of the things that make her “feminine” as we see femininity. She had to lose the things that made her “weak” - her emotions, and with those, her pliability. She had to lose her feelings in order to be able to think and do and make decisions. 

Just looks to me like another case of a Strong Female Character gone wrong. 

I would have loved to see this movie with a highly emotional and intellectual Lucy. Both temperments can and do exist inside every human’s brain, and the sooner as we stop telling ourselves that only one can function at one time, the sooner we can start making movies that not only appear to be as complex as human nature, but actually are.

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