I want to talk about this film today. Granted, I looked up the filmography of the McGehee and Siegel. Their films are (mostly) a collaboration between the two so it makes sense they’re working together now.
Their movies have received mixed reviews. Some did well; What Maisie Knew (87%), Suture (71%), and The Deep End (82%) while others didn’t do as well Bee Season (43%) and Uncertainty (50%). And according to Deadline, “They are very good at depicting traumatic events and stories seen through youthful eyes.” So maybe it could go well…
Or maybe it won’t…
Unsurprisingly, people were mad. The first tweet I saw regarding the movie was this one:
My gut reaction was inclined to agree. I felt like this book was about how boys interact when they’re left without adult supervision. Then I also thought, “Wait, hasn’t this already been done? Yes. In fact it has. There’s a book that has the same premise: Beauty Queens.” Libba Bray herself tweeted about this.
Spoiler: so did other people.
Personally can men make a movie about true interactions between women? I doubt it. I expressed this to two of my friends and they heartily disagreed. “That sounds kind of sexist,” noted one of them, hesitantly.
I hadn’t read a lot about it online because I’ve been busy with work, but the conversation turned towards then if women could make movies about war with all men as characters. I immediately thought of The Hurt Locker which primarily has actors but is directed by Kathryn Bigelow. I thought, “I know that movie did well, even though I hadn’t seen it,” so I conceded and said, “Maybe.”
All things considered, I started to doubt myself. Maybe I’m digging too deep. Maybe I was looking for a reason to be upset about men, again, taking roles and jobs away from women. I felt like I was right, but should I be that confident? I wasn’t sure and so I turned to Twitter to see what other people were saying. Here’s some of the stuff I saw:
Roxane Gay’s whole thread is really worth reading about this.
It’s hard for me to even think of what Lordess of the Flies would look like because there’s NOTHING to go off of except Wonder Woman, which is fictional. Historically, it’s easier to study the patterns of how men interact and would act because there’s so much of it in the world. But when it comes down to a divided society that elects two leaders then those leaders fight over power, that kind of a situation has never occurred between two women. Thanks Patriarchy. My good friend Jenna pointed that out too.
I feel like I never thought of LOTF as a commentary specifically about men. But I also don’t remember talking about it in relation to men specifically in high school. Just people in general (Mind you, I went to school in a very liberal part of the country; they were much more progressive and so I tend to think my education was more impartial than other schools. But I digress). But then after seeing an all women LOTF and it’s two men directing it, it feels wrong. I think, “What do men know about the interactions between women?” From movies and books by men, they mostly assume women are silent and don’t talk at all. (Evidenced by the fact that women speak less than men in films in general. Even in Disney movies featuring a woman as the MC. Of the 2000 scripts analyzed more than 50 films had all men speakers vs 2 films that had all women speakers. In romantic comedies analyzed by the same aforementioned study men spoke 58% of the time,)
A couple points:
- When have men ever gotten interactions between women right?
- All they do is gossip.
- A friend pointed out to me HE feels like men don’t write strong women characters, and that it might be an excuse for unneeded sex and nudity. I hadn’t thought of that specifically, but it’s a good point.
- We also had people saying Lordess of the Flies wouldn’t happen because women are more peaceful or not capable of violence. I can’t find the tweet I saw that first discussed this, sorry. But, I’m partial to disagree with that.
- If Golding meant it to be an allegory for people in general why weren’t any girls on that plane. And don’t give me any of that “it’s an all boy school” stuff. This is a hypothetical situation.
In any case, I can’t decide how I feel about this? What do you guys think? Am I being too nit picky? Do you think the book is about the interactions between boys specifically? Or was Golding talking about people and society in general when we break down and don’t have any laws? Let me know what you think, I’m really curious about this!