Seriously, what was this guy thinking? I can barely write because the steam coming out of my ears is fogging up my glasses. This guy is one of these high profile Gen X writers whose books are ok, not great, yet he continues to get published. He’s written six books (a seventh is coming out soon so I guess that is the need for new publicity) and four of them have been made into movies.
The folks at Movieline have been talking to him this week about his work and he decided to insert his foot in his mouth when talking about women directors. Remember this is the guy who wrote American Psycho, and the film starred Christian Bale (in his breakout role) and was directed by a woman, Mary Harron. (I have not seen the movie or read the book.)
The interview is interesting because it talks about how he has been forced to reassess his pre-conceived notions that women directors basically suck because he recently saw Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold and The Runaways by Floria Sigismondi and he liked them both. And the fact that he liked two movies directed (and written) by women seems to have fucked with his male dominated world order.
He actually says:
There’s something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze.
That is seriously one of the most fucked up statements I have ever heard anyone say in public. How is it possible to believe that and live in this world?
The interview goes on:
We’re watching (referring to men), and we’re aroused by looking, whereas I don’t think women respond that way to films, just because of how they’re built.
So basically he believes that looking at a movie screen is always a sexual experience and men get so much more out of it because they get aroused differently than women.
I seriously do not know how to respond to that.
And he’s not done:
I think, to a degree, all the women I named aren’t particularly visual directors. You could argue that Lost in Translation is beautiful, but is that [cinematographer Lance Acord]? I don’t know. Regardless of the business aspect of things, is there a reason that there isn’t a female Hitchcock or a female Scorsese or a female Spielberg? I don’t know. I think it’s a medium that really is built for the male gaze and for a male sensibility. I mean, the best art is made under not an indifference to, but a neutrality [toward] the kind of emotionalism that I think can be a trap for women directors. But I have to get over it, you’re right, because so far this year, two of my favorite movies were made by women, Fish Tank and The Runaways. I’ve got to start rethinking that, although I have to say that a lot of the big studio movies I saw last year that were directed by women were far worse than the sh***y big-budget studio movies that were directed by men.
I would respond that think the Academy felt that Lost in Translation was not only beautiful but well directed because they gave Sofia Coppola an Oscar nomination for that film.
Do you think that this is a common feeling, or is this guy just trying to get us all riled up with his stupidity?