This morning I tweeted that Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s The Revenant, which I saw last night, is “an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, cold-wind, raw-element immersion like something you’ve never seen.” Because as beautiful as it is, it’s not a walk in the park, this thing. It’s rapturous, fierce, immersive, delirious…submerged in ice, arctic air, brutality…an ordeal of blood, agony, survival, snow, ice water, wounds and steaming horse guts.” If I’d just left it at that, everything would be fine. But because two women I saw it with reacted quite viscerally and with considerable discomfort (especially the one sitting next to me, a friend and a respected, high-level dp who’s been around and climbed her way to the top in a very tough business) and because a journalist friend told me The Revenant would totally freak his wife out, I added four words that got me killed on Twitter: “Forget women seeing this.”
Every time this happens, I feel like a wildebeest being surrounded and torn apart by hyenas or wild dogs. May I apologize for tapping out those words, or would you rather just continue to circle and bite and snarl and tear my stomach open, o ye fucking fang-toothed predators?
Agreed — I shouldn’t have said that. “Forget women seeing this” is a gross simplification. I’m down on my knees and whining like a little piglet….”wheee!…wheee!…I’m sorry…I’m sorry!” If I had given the matter 15 or 20 seconds worth of thought I would have rephrased and qualified in some way. I’m not stupid, and I know that generalizations always get you into trouble.
But if you had been watching The Revenant with a friend who was shielding her eyes every five or ten minutes and even going into a curled-over, fetal-tuck position at times, literally bending over and almost chirping like a chipmunk during the extra-violent or extra-gross scenes and being such a total candy-ass that I nudged her a couple of times (“Pssst…c’mon, show some respect for the filmmaker!”), what would you have been thinking? And what if you’d heard a fellow female journalist, sitting two seats away, call it “brutal“? And what if you’d been told by a fellow male journalist after the screening that his wife “wouldn’t last five minutes with this thing,” what would you be saying to yourself?
I’ll tell you what you wouldn’t be saying. You wouldn’t be saying “Hmmm, this film seems to be affecting certain women in a way that indicates a lot of rooting interest and enthusiasm when it opens commercially!” More likely you would be saying “Uhm, this movie is definitely not Room.”
I tried doubling down with some of the twitter goons, and then I tried reasoning with a few others. It’s really no use. They’re a pack of salivating jackals.
I said that my “forget women seeing this” remark referred to Jane Popcorn from Tenafly, Sonoma, Pittsburgh and Waco, and that urban-artist, X-factor women are exempt from the equation.
I told one that they need to “shut up and consider the context…I was there and never have I seen such movie cowardice from my female dp pal ever…no balls. Hats off if you see & embrace The Revenant but a serious hardcore career woman (a friend) cowered and shivered like a chipmunk during the rough parts.”
Twitter fascists will kill anyone who suggests there’s such a thing as movies with a gender-centric appeal because it argues with their non-denominational view of things in which everyone is everything and there are no gender-centric movies because it’s sexist to even use that term because 2015 is all about, you know, sexual fluidity and the coolest people being non-binary and all that. God help the free thinker who steps outside of accepted p.c. doctrine because the knives will come out and your throat will be slit faster than a chicken’s.
It’s a fascist dictatorship out there, and if you don’t step very carefully you’ll be stabbed and clubbed and the dogs will lick your blood.