Friday, 10 July 2015

So Fetch Friday: Bell of Arabia

So there hasn't been much happening just at the moment, at least not a  whole lot movie-wise worth covering. I got a recommendation to watch True Detective but that show really didn't work out for me. I could see some Twin Peaks influence but ultimately this one was just boring. I couldn't even get through the first episode. There was absolutely nothing about it that made me invested in anyone or anything that was happening. That, and it also failed to meet my quota for strong female characters. There were like two women in the show, one of whom was the wife of one of the main characters who only appeared in one scene and the other was a murder victim. There were a lot of cops in this show so would it really have killed the writers to have even one female officer?

I started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it has proven to be hilarious. There's lots of craziness and various police characters. I love how Santiago and Diaz are the ultimate logical extremes of "good cop, bad cop." It's also a great example of a show that's working with diversity, considering it not only has two strong female characters plus a mixed-race cast but it also has a strong black gay man as the chief inspector. It's like a more modern version of Barney Miller if that show had female cops in its central cast.

So far Killjoys seems to be getting a little better, though I'm still not sure I totally understand how the world of the show is supposed to work. This time they went for a Depression-era vibe with our heroes travelling to what could basically be described as a futuristic version of the farm from Of Mice and Men. This place was brutal; they even put exploding chips in the employees' ears to keep them from leaving before their contract is finished (the only people who manage to escape are the ones who have the nerve to cut off their own ear). Apparently, they don't have unions in the future. That's a bit of an odd development.

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia has often been hailed as a masterpiece by many critics, myself included. It is also a film that is very famous for its lack of female characters. Surprisingly while I have certainly not failed to notice it that never bothered me too much. After all, there were probably some very good reasons why a female character could not be included in that movie. For one thing, the historical events depicted would have happened in a patriarchal society and no women were known to be involved with them. If no women were involved in the real historical events, it would make sense that a filmmaker wanting to stay true to the spirit of what happened would refrain from trying to force a female lead into the script.

Well, it turns out he lied! There was in fact a place in Lawrence of Arabia for a strong female lead. Meet Gertrude Bell, an early 20th century explorer and archaeologist who also was almost, if not in fact as important as or even more important than T.E. Lawrence himself in those same events. You might not have heard of this woman, and that's because in Lawrence of Arabia she isn't so much as offhandedly mentioned. David Lean actually covered up the role of a historical woman, and gave credit for all her accomplishments to men. Suddenly a Best Picture-winning film widely considered one of the greatest ever made seems a little bit sexist, doesn't it?

Fortunately, it seems that Werner Herzog finally decided to do something about this because now, 53 years after the release of Lawrence of Arabia we are finally going to see Gertrude Bell's contributions on film. So far the trailer is looking alright. When Robert Pattinson said he wanted to get as far away from Twilight  as possible he wasn't kidding. Of course, now he's got to live up to the legacy of Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence. It's an ambitious project but I think it's got some potential.

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  1. I hate Lawrence of Arabia because it's a bloated mess. However, I'm up for a remake, particularly if it's going to straighten out some historical inaccuracies. Actually, you had me fairly excited...then you said Robert Pattinson. Ugh.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. I love 'Lawrence of Arabia' primarily because of the beauty of the film. I only wish I could have seen the screaming, blaring dessert on the big screen. However, that really pisses me off about Gertrude. I'm glad she's finally getting her due! I can't wait to see it. You ain't kidding about Pattinson wanting to get away from his 'Twilight' roots. Although I think that may be hard.