Monday, December 2, 2013

Girls with Bows and Arrows are the New It Thing in Cinematic Fetish

Poster for Catching Fire (2013) 'More pouting Jennifer!'
I guess it all started a few years back when Keira Knightly was on every billboard dressed in little but leather straps standing next to Clive Owen who's wielding a giant sword in promo's for the awfully executed King Arthur (2004). They had the audacity to fuck with Arturian legend so much that they made Guinevere a leather-clad pouty lipped borderline porn star who shoots to kill with her rickety bow and arrow. 
Basically this suggests that women when put into ancient fighting situations can't do much in terms of strength, as in they're not good with a sword, ball and chain, or any medieval weaponry but damn it are they accurate at shooting a bow and arrow, that's how them bitches defend themselves. Is this a feminist concept or is it pandering? Probably the latter, because I've taken archery courses (Jew camp, 1996) and I sucked at it, it's way harder than it looks people. But apparently all a girl's got to do is work up some estrogen courage, breath in and release (no pun intended) she'll hit her mark every time. Right in the perp's heart where the arrow belongs. Take that fake vikings. 
promo still for King Arthur (2004) Look familiar?
Right now of course the huge deal is Jennifer Lawrence as the 'good at hunting' Katniss Everdeen, and driving past a billboard for Catching Fire (2013) this morning I couldn't help but notice that she's angled in almost the exact same way as Keira was, with her hair blowing in the wind, and her airbrushed face focused on whatever she's aiming at, and for some reason, even though we all know that the tributes of the hunger games wear plenty of clothes to protect themselves and keep themselves warm while they try to you know not get killed, she's barely wearing anything. Mulvey would have a field day with this. It is the utmost in visual pleasure and castration theory, for all you know boys, she could be pointing that thing right at your balls. And watch out then because Katniss never misses her mark. 
Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in the upcoming Hobbit film. She does not look awesome.
And what do we have coming up next? The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) where a new character is introduced as a love interest for Legolas (the archer elf) who let's face it might as well be a girl. But no, it's Kate Austen I mean...Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel another goddamn archer elf. I mean, do elves do anything else? Or is it like a rule they made up in MiddleEarth; Dwarves only get axes, humans use swords, hobbits get comically tiny swords that glow in the dark, and elves get the gayest attire ever complete with a bow and arrow. 
Behind the scenes of Catching Fire (2013) I do believe Jennifer's bow has gotten bigger. It's like when you're given a bigger gun to use in the sequel than you had in the original. I remember the late great Steve McQueen used to complain about that on the set of The Magnificent Seven (1960) saying that Yul Brynner's gun was bigger than his and he wanted something done about it. Nothing ever was.
Why is it that women get to defend themselves only with bows and arrows, is it because it's the ancient version of a gun which is really sexy for a woman to know how to use. But it's usually in the sense that 'awww how cute, she knows how to aim and shoot a gun...ouch!' Or have we given too many guns to women in films of late. I mean, in The Heat (2013) Sandra Bullock literally shoots a man (Taran Killam) in the dick. Did I just give the movie away, sorry about that (not). So now we need something more subdued, something sexier, and just as deadly. Nun chucks and throwing stars are clearly out because they have a nerd derivative, and women need something elegant and yet sexy, also we all know that woman have terrible arm thrust capacity so swords are out as well, but we all know women are smart and can concentrate so a bow and  arrow seem perfectly logical, makes them less passive and gives them something to do, but while we're at it, let's dress them in half of what they should be wearing and give them long wavy hair. It's a new cinematic symbol, and trust me, it won't be long until Tarantino works this into one of his films, even though it's going to be completely anachronistic and thereby won't make any sense, but let's face it, what DOES make sense in a Tarantino film. If Zero Dark Thirty (2012) wasn't directed by a woman, I'm sure Jessica Chastain would have been walking the halls of the CIA with one. Ok that might be too unbelievable a conjecture, but you can't deny the fact that a bow and arrow adds to a woman's hottness factor these days. It's a recent trend but it looks like it will be around for a while. Gives totally new meaning to the term 'sex as a weapon' doesn't it?

Trailers below and some Zizek for you Film Studies buffs out there: 

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