Review: Death Proof

While I was not planning to see this movie, I decided spontaneously to watch Death Proof from Quentin Tarantino in the Das Kino. I had mixed feelings toward the film.
Knowing from trailers that there would be sexy women and fast cars, I had doubts that this would be a film that I would enjoy. (Yes this is correct, sexy women and fast cars
AREN’T a criterion for a good movie in my opinion.)

And I was right.. There were lap dances, short skirts and wild car chases. Don’t forget the often sexual related conversations.
But… something was different with this film… It was TO exaggerated… It took stereotypes and brought them to new levels.

My conclusion is.. The film is about feminism… Why, would you say, why do you think that a film with lap dances and shirt skirts is about feminism?

The film shows that there ARE women who are in control of their life. They decide what and when they want something from men. They aren’t only decoration, they
are the important roles in the film.

And it also show that women can defend themselves, have the right to talk sexually and think about their life.

This said.. I didn’t like the film because of its lot of violence. But what the violence represented.

  I give the film… 7 out of 10 emancipated women

Update: I surfed the net for a while and found another entry about the film on the blog of feminist activism.
I left a link to this blog entry in the comment and some of them took the chance to discuss a little bit with me on the comments below. Thx again for doing this!

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11 Responses to “Review: Death Proof”

  1. Gabor Says:

    women talk sexually like we do.
    however.
    maybe feminism isnt doing any good for females.
    ever thought about that?

    most women dont want to be admired for being female. they want to admire us for being male. that’s the most admirable thing about women.

    maybe, it is about strong women, because quentin likes strong women, and he is a guy.

  2. stefon Says:

    >women talk sexually like we do.
    I know *g* But was i meant is: We don’t see this that much in the movies

    >most women dont want to be admired for being female. they want >to admire us for being male. that’s the most admirable thing about >women.
    You mean it is important for them to admire us? To tell us how good and great we are?
    Doesn’t this degrade them of being dependent on us more then we are on them?

    >maybe, it is about strong women, because quentin likes strong >women, and he is a guy.
    You mean its less a political statement than a statement of flavor?

    btw. did you see the film?

  3. Gecki Says:

    Thank you for the review Stefon:
    Much appreciated.

    Greetings,
    Gecki

  4. Debs Says:

    You have a strange definition of feminism. It has nothing to do with behaving like a man would in any given situation.

    You say “there ARE women who are in control of their life. They decide what and when they want something from men.”

    First, it does not necessarily follow that women who are in control of their lives will be feminists. Secondly, feminism is not about getting anything from men, except respect. Unless that is what you meant, which I don’t think you did.

  5. stefon Says:

    >You have a strange definition of feminism. It has nothing to do with >behaving like a man would in any given situation.
    I dont thing this is feminsm too. Sorry if I gave the impression that I was thinking this.

    >First, it does not necessarily follow that women who are in control >of their lives will be feminists.
    True, but dont you think its necessary or important to be in control of your life to be a feminist?

    >Secondly, feminism is not about getting anything from men, >except respect. Unless that is what you meant, which I don’t think >you did.
    Maybe this wasn’t clearly formulated by me… What I mean is… IF they want something.. they aren’t sitting and waiting that the man shows the initiative. They decide when and how they are comfortable with something.

    And you are 100% right about the last argument.

    But can you explain me why YOU think the film is sexist?

  6. poly styrene Says:

    Hi Stefon

    If you watched the TV series Sex and the City you would have seen women talking about sex non stop, but I don’t really think that was feminist either, because the women in it were mostly obsessed with meeting men. For me feminism is about more than individual women being in control of their lives, or having the right to talk about sex, or being able to defend themselves against male attackers.

    In reality of course men are physically stronger than women, so it’s unrealistic to expect a woman to fight off a man, and women I know who have been attacked have just frozen with fear and been unable to fight back anyway, but that’s kind of missing the point.

    The goal of feminism for me, is saying that male violence against women of this type is unacceptable and trying to eliminate the things that happen in society to make so many men violent against women. And although Tarantino’s film may show the women fighting back, it’s not feminist it depicts them in an objectifying way in the first place in the first place, because it contributes to the societal structures which lead some men in real life to believe that they have the right to be violent against women.

    It’s important to remember with Death Proof also that it was intended to be seen as part of the whole film of Grindhouse – the films were split because they weren’t commercially successful in the US market. Grindhouse, particularly the mock trailers in the middle has some very nasty images of violence against women. And that’s why I think the film isn’t feminist.

  7. Debs Says:

    In answer to your question, I don’t think it is necessary to be in control of your life to be a feminist. Feminism is a set of beliefs/opinions etc, not a way of life. Although ideally if you were to act upon your feminist beliefs you may well become in control of your life.

    I haven’t seen the film, so cannot really comment on it with any authority. From what I know about the content of the film by reading reviews/opinion pieces about it, I would find it very hard to describe it as a feminist film, and I would say almost certainly Tarantino is not a feminist.

  8. stefon Says:

    Hi poly…

    >If you watched the TV series Sex and the City you would have seen >women talking about sex non stop, but I don’t really think that was >feminist either, because the women in it were mostly obsessed with >meeting men.
    I would never say that sex and the city is about feminism… In my opinion sex and the city praises capitalism and want to make us believe that a woman without a man is less worth…
    So no, i dont like the series *g*

    >…it depicts them in an objectifying way in the first place in the >first place, because it contributes to the societal structures which >lead some men in real life to believe that they have the right to be >violent against women….
    This is the point i DON’T understand… I didn’t see any sign of praising violence against women. YES it showed a lot of this, true. But i didn’t had the feeling that the film supports it.
    And at the end… it is shown that the man pays for its behavior.

    Maybe I have to repeat myself *g* I’m a pacifist and so Im not a fan of violence. It was just that I reinterpret the violence in the film.

    But you two have made a lot of good points…
    For example the lap dance scene… This a scene were Im not so sure about my theory… It seems to objectify the woman.

    At the end, I want to thank you both for posting and showing me your opinions… I like this kind of discussion very much

  9. poly styrene Says:

    Hi Stefon

    I think you have to think about Grindhouse as a whole when you’re thinking about Death Proof simply because that was how Tarantino expected Death Proof to be seen. And that has been criticised for it’s violent and misogynistic nature. Here’s a link to an article in The Guardian which describes it.

    http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,2069286,00.html

    It’s been pointed out that the violence isn’t realistic, of course it isn’t – but if you have explicit images of violence presented in this cartoonish way I think that can be worse actually because it’s desensitising. Personally I couldn’t watch the film clockwork orange because of its explicit violence, but that’s the point – it’s MEANT to horrify you.

    The film doesn’t explicitly say violence against women is good, that’s true. But if you constantly present women as the victims of violence in this way you’re reinforcing the idea of violence against women as a normal thing. And the way Tarantino has marketed his film, with the rapist no 1 doll, has trivialised rape.

    You may find it interesting to read some articles about feminist film theory and in particular the idea of ‘the male gaze’ . The idea of this, put simply, is that films usually view the action from the viewpoint of a male, even if the main characters are female. So we don’t get to see the action from the female characters point of view, but from the point of view of a man observing them. I think from what I’ve seen of it that’s true of Death Proof.

  10. Pinar Says:

    hi stefon!

    I make it short!

    I didn’t see the film but according to descriptions and Trailer I agree your statement with the exaggerated part. In some films they can really exaggerate.

    The next point I would like to bring up is that women in most cases have also control of men. Not only of their own life :)) women are God’s gift to men *g*!
    And in my opinion women (generally said) appear more weakly as they are because that is what the most men likes.

    And thats all from me!!

  11. stefon Says:

    Hi Pinar…

    Do you also want to be seen more weakly than you are to attract men?
    This would mean that you pretend to be something else just to fulfill a role model that was forced upon you by the society.
    Wouldn’t be it much better if you could show how you REALLY are?
    Men should be strong enough to be attracted by strong women.

    Also.. I’m not willing to behave like a hard strong man. Just because I don’t feel like being this. And I don’t want to pretend that I’m somebody else to get more attention from women. Even if this is not a good strategy to get in a relationship *g*

    That DOESN’T mean that working on your strength and weaknesses is bad. Just don’t try to transform yourself into something other people see in you…

    cheer
    stefon

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