Friday, March 18, 2011

Boys vs Girls

Screen Australia, it has been announced, are helping to fund a new Aussie film called Satellite Boy. It's a story of a young Aboriginal boy set in the far north who tries to save his land in the Kimberley region from being developed. One of it's producers is David Jowsey who is behind the much buzzed Mad Bastards.

It got me thinking about how often Australian films about about "boys", "men" and other versions of the word. Rarely, if ever, will a film's title reference the female gender equivalent. Outside of using a character's name - Beautiful Kate, Muriel's Wedding, Amy, Lillian's Story, Alexandra's Project, Thank God He Met Lizzie - titles for films about women are usually something less gender-related. Would you know Me Myself I, The Jammed, The Well, The Tree and Radiance were about women if you weren't already aware?

Curiously, even a movie like My Mother Frank has to turn its title into something androgynous. Meanwhile, La Spagnola means "The Spanish Woman", but unless you know a bit of Spanish you wouldn't know it.

Take a look.

Compare to these, which were the only female descriptor titles I could think of. Does the gay film with "queen" in the title count? And, yes, I am aware that is the book cover for Black Chicks Talking, but the subsequent documentary never got a poster, it would seem.

Is there a reason for this?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying there's underlying sexism here - although perhaps there is, I just think it's curious. Would we ever get a film named The Girls are Back? Not sure we would, to tell you the truth. How about The Nothing Women or Bra Gi..., er, scrap that last one.

And, of course, this isn't just relegated to Australian cinema, but to go any further would seriously damage my health. So let's just leave it, shall we?

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