Olivier Assayas's film on the aftermath of May 1968 is infantile ultra-leftism
JOE GLENTON explains his need to respond to a world that is unsustainably divided
After months of box-office testosterone, feminists can't ignore the gender issue flashing its knickers at four noteworthy recent releases. But, hot on the heels of the "crossbow cannibal" serving us slaughtered sex workers, sharing the front page with Cumbrian corpses, are we asking the wrong questions of our cinema?
The sequel to Sex And The City drips with the trappings of consumerism, and justifies the exploitation of internationalism and religious hypocrisy in the flimsy name of sisterhood.
The women shoe-horn their Jimmy Choos into stereotypical career-girl, working mum, slut, and rich mum. It's a wonder they don't totter off the runway. Their privileged angst airbrushes out any hint of real poverty as effectively as Kim Catrell's facial hair.
Like most sequels, SatC2 was given the green light because of the cash cow represented by fans of the original, parlayed from the successful television series.
No such marketing equation balanced the decisions to fund the other three films.
There's a naive simplicity about Noel Clarke's female quartet in 22.214.171.124. They're feisty, caught up in a heisty. Clarke's learning fast how to entertain us, but he may be sacrificing consequence in his portrait of moment-by-moment truth.
His clever back-story blurb enriches the unreconstructed black lesbian, the bored supermarket slave, the rich muso with itchy feet, and the self-harmer. But despite Clarke's good intentions the women emerge too often as plot points. They dance around developments encased in Perspex boxes allowing them to see each other without the means to explore and transcend their class differences.
Any sellable action is left to the fierce woman at the heart of the robbery, trapped in an archetype guaranteed to please the money men.
Usually the more experienced Michael Winterbottom controls his intelligent examination of extraordinary people who resort to the extraordinary. The sheer variety of his work from the political to the sexual never surrenders his desire for truth over data.
But his latest The Killer Inside Me relies on source material by Jim Thompson, supremo of prurience. We're handed eye-pieces that focus on fictionally familiar, aberrant torture porn on what's presented as a dispensable woman.
Not only are we none the wiser why Sheriff Affleck houses his inner demon, we're allowed no alternative to the victimisation of women. That's the real story, whether the boys admit it or not.
Has Lindy Heymann's Kicks fared better in an iconoclastic smashing of teen archetypes? It's a trick question, really, because until they curve out into masturbatory fantasies, teenies evade such stereotypes, St Trinians redux being the exception that proves the rule.
It's outrageous that young men have so little in popular culture to balance the glut of unimaginative portrayals. Until film women represent as wide a range of characters as men, we'll be continually stuck in a spurious cause and effect argument that Affleck engendered Mr Crossbow.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.