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Passes the Bechdel Rule

Dangerous Beauty starring Catherine McCorkmack and Rufus Sewell

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review:

At a time when Europeans are bemused by our naivete about dalliance in high places, this is, I suppose, the film we should study. It's based on the true story of Veronica Franco, a well-born Venetian beauty who deliberately chose the life of a courtesan because it seemed a better choice than poverty, or an arranged marriage to a decayed nobleman.

[...] Few movies have been so deliberately told from a woman's point of view.

Ebert's close enough. The movie skips around, sometimes nimbly and sometimes heavily, among several sorts of plots: the love story, the "power behind the throne" story, the "bad girl gets in trouble" story. It even makes several feminist points along the lines that being a courtesan is Franco's way of supporting her family, that no other well paying work is available to women, and that it's a dangerous profession because of the envy and jealousy the courtesan invites and because the work is dependent on maintaining an attractive appearance.

The movie is based on a biography of Veronica Franco, a courtesan in 16th century Venice.

The Bechdel Rule:
a suitable movie must A.) feature two women,
who B.) talk to each other,
about C.) something other than a man.
This is a paraphrase of a strip in Allison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For, where the character notes that the last movie she was able to see was Alien, in which the two women talk to each other about the monster.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2004 10:58 pm (UTC)
User reason you have the definition of the Bechdel Rule in this post. I can't see where it's related to Ebert's review. Am I missing something?
Mar. 12th, 2004 11:33 pm (UTC)
The movie passes the Bechdel Rule, but I didn't describe the scenes that qualify.
Mar. 13th, 2004 12:00 am (UTC)
Mar. 14th, 2004 12:08 am (UTC)
Is point "C" supposed to indicate that they must not at any point talk about a man, or that they must hold conversations that are not about a man? I can't think of very many movies where two women at no point talk to each other about anything other than men. (Do they have to be leading characters?)
Mar. 14th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC)
They have to have at least one conversation that is not about a man. Other conversations they have can be about a man.

The rule doesn't specify whether they have to be leading characters. I think I'd consider a movie that only qualified because of a conversation among minor characters to pass on a technicality.
Mar. 14th, 2004 12:09 am (UTC)
Incidentally, I thought, "Oh, I should delve into my archive of movie audio to see if I have any examples of dialogue between women," but then I looked and because I was running low on disk space a while ago, I've deleted all my complete-movie audio files *except*... you guessed it... Alien.
Mar. 14th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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