Monday, September 15, 2008

Here's an astute, unique take on Deadgirl, from Little White Lies, a very cool British magazine that those outside the UK can still luckily enjoy through its website...

“Certainly one of the most disturbing films of the Midnight Madness program this year, Deadgirl takes the idea of woman-as-object and pushes it to the extreme. Two stereotypical slackers – Ricky, the cute and nice one, and JT the one teetering on the edge of sanity – find the naked, dead body of a woman in a sealed room of an abandoned mental hospital. No one knows she is there, and as it turns out, she’s not really dead, but some feral animal that can’t be killed. Women are virtually silent in this film, but that perhaps is the point. Women have no voice when all men want to do is look at them. The dead girl is the perfect woman: she is naked and chained, and no one will rescue her. To JT, women are to be looked at and used for pleasure. But they are that same thing to Ricky; even though he would think of himself as the good guy, he spends most of his days staring at his love interest, Joann. There is even a touch of the homoerotic gaze, when for a brief moment in the library, JoAnn’s stereotypical jock boyfriend stares at Ricky the way Ricky stares at JoAnn. Stereotypes abound in the film as a subtext to the gaze; the male characters each represent a different stage of the evil of men: they all in the end treat women the same, no matter how long it takes them to reach that stage. To emphasize this, directors Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel let the camera linger in close ups on the faces of their male characters, twisting their own gaze on women into ours on them. And this, in the end, forces the audience to think about their own gaze, and whether they would rescue the girl or run away.”

No comments: