Monday, March 18, 2013

The Horrors of Subjectivity and Feminism

328) Sexykiller (2008) Dir: Miguel Marti Not Yet Released, Thank Jaysus Date Seen: October 26, 2012 Rating: 1/5

329) American Mary (2012) Dir: Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska Date Released: May 31, 2013 Date Seen: October 26, 2012 Rating: 3.25/5

Sexykiller and American Mary were the first two films I saw in a mostly disappointing triple feature. The films were almost ecertainly paired together by Film Society at Lincoln Center's annual "Scary Movies" series because they both follow empowered female protagonists. The latter film is considerably better than the former however because its creators at least had an icky, disquieting, and yes, cogent vision for their anti-heroine. 

There are a couple scenes in American Mary, the Soska sisters' festival hit that remind viewers that we are seeing events from a cold, deliberate, and highly subjective perspective. I'm not really sure if we're sutured into the film's subject's POV, or a not-quite-omniscient third-person's, but without spoiling anything, there are one or two of decisive jump-cuts that suggest that allow time to elapse in such a way that our anti-heroine's pain is indulged (OK, FINE, SPOILER: like when her grandma dies, and we find out via voicemail; there's another earlier jump cut that bugged me, but I can't think of it off-hand. May have to rewatch). That's why I don't like American Mary more than I do: first it's too easy to sneer at one-note misogynist baddies, then it's impossible not to balk at the downward, irrevocable turn Mary's story takes. Revenge isn't sweet, it's icky, but it's also basically justified, and that's kinda lousy. 

Sexykiller, by contrast, is all-lousy. Irony-slathered, post-Scream (ie: po-pomo) horror-comedy where the titular lady murderess winks at the camera and constantly blabs about how subversive she is for turning chauvinists' expectations against them by becoming a, ahem, killer. Imagine that, a self-described bimbo killing a bunch of dudes, including some jocks! Ugh, toxically quirky.

No comments:

Post a Comment