By Jeanine Basinger
During this hugely readable and exciting e-book, Jeanine Basinger indicates how the "woman's film" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s despatched a powerful combined message to hundreds of thousands of woman moviegoers. whilst that such motion pictures exhorted girls to stay to their "proper" realm of fellows, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- frequently with delight in -- robust ladies taking part in out freeing fantasies of energy, romance, sexuality, luxurious, even wickedness.
Never brain that the celluloid personas of Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, or Rita Hayworth see their folly and go back to their guy or lament his loss within the final 5 mins of the image; for the 1st eighty-five mins the viewers watched as those characters "wore nice outfits, sat on nice furnishings, enjoyed undesirable males, had plenty of intercourse, advised the realm off for proscribing them, even gave their young ones away."
Basinger examines dozens of movies -- even if melodrama, screwball comedy, musical, movie noir, western, or biopic -- to make a persuasive case that the woman's movie was once a wealthy, advanced, and subversive style that famous and addressed, if covertly, the issues of ladies.
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Additional info for A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960
Not that I can’t dance. I just wasn’t cute anymore. You don’t get invited to dance, even though I kept my weight down, if you look like you’re over 50. I’ll be 58 in June and actually I’m probably a better dancer now than I ever was. It’s just that time runs out for you as far as being hired, so I’m not performing the way that I did. I will do benefits, haflas [informal Arabic dance parties], and things like that, educational things. Showing how beautiful the dance is and that it is every woman’s dance.
She was so incredible, so I had seen firsthand these beautiful large bodies. Maybe that helped me feel better about my own body. Just a sense of wonder at the way our bodies work and they change. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt the same way if I hadn’t been exposed to these big beautiful bodies of the belly dancing women around me. As Casmir hinted, focusing less on outward appearances and expectations, and more on internal experiences and joy, is a means through the gaze may be re-envisioned. Rika, for instance, described “get[ting] to the point where I just don’t care what they’re thinking” and to assist in this, Gale admitted that she “dances without glasses so I tend not to notice looks…” Focusing internally can also allow women to reach what is described as a “high” or “flow” while dancing.
The title itself signifies a new feminist horizon. In the 1990s, “girl power” defined feminism’s third wave, from The Spice Girls to the underground feminist punk rock movement known as Riot Grrrl. ’ But now that we can choose and use the word ourselves, and not have it forced on us, ‘girl’ is increasingly rehabilitated as a term of relaxed familiarity, comfy confidence, the female analogue to ‘guy’ – and not a way of belittling adult women” (Baumgardner and Richards, 2000, p. 52). Dunham’s twist is to capitalize and pluralize the term, announcing a resolute version of feminism that is not fixed, but fluid and diverse, but also ripe with contradiction.