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Movie log: The Mists of Avalon

Watched the TV movie The Mists of Avalon. Pretty good movie. They kept it simple but not stupid. Visually attractive. Had sort of an "operatic tragedy" feel to it. The book felt different to me -- more of a thoroughly geeky, detail-oriented, worldbuilding approach. I read the book about 20 years ago and I got completely sucked in by it, didn't take my nose out of it except while I was at work for an entire week. I don't remember a lot of details, though.

Several descriptions of the movie used the phrase "feminist slant." I dunno about that. Maybe a slight feminist list? It fell down on the feminist angle in my opinion because it was mostly about things being done to women, and women getting their way by being manipulative, or women complaining that gods or goddesses were being mean to them. I spent some time toward the end rooting for the "bad guys" (Morgause, Mordred, and to a lesser extent Viviane) because they were trying to do stuff instead of just sitting around feeling put upon or going along with stuff.

But I guess compared to the usual fare it comes across as feminist because the main characters are women and because women are the ones who are deciding which men are going to be the war leaders.

It does qualify under the Bechdel Rule...the four main female characters (Morgaine, Morgause, Viviane, Gwenwyfar) talk quite a bit to each other. Most of the conversations among them are still about men. Or boys. Or about how to get or unget pregnant. But a few conversations are about the Goddess, war, relationships between women, and so on.

(Oh, and the guy who played Mordred, Hans Matheson, was really hot.)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
kightp
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:22 am (UTC)
Yep, when Mists was first published, genre books with female protagonists were still pretty rare birds; making the protagonist powerful automatically qualified it as "feminist."
firecat
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
The book was definitely feminist; the movie less so, IMO.
patgreene
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:29 am (UTC)
What's the Bechdel Rule? I've never heard of it.
firecat
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
It's ganked from the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For; the OH explains it well here. I referenced it recently in this post.
keryx
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
I think there's an aspect of feminism to the book - namely that our Morgaine finds herself making independent choices at the end (after being a bit of a brat along the way) of the book, and that there are some powerful women in it. Not much of either of those things came out in the movie - all the women came across as big whiners or loonies, and Morgaine never really got it together.
firecat
Mar. 19th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
Exactly.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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