Bret Easton Ellis is silly. Again. (and other things about the female gaze)

Briefly distracted from work this morning by Roger Ebert’s tweet:

Bret Easton Ellis doesn’t believe women can make great films because they lack the male gaze. Down, Bret! Here’s a yummy.

He then linked here: Defining the female gaze

Where she linked here to Jezebel: Bret Easton Ellis: Women Can’t Direct

Which finally linked here to Movieline: Bret Easton Ellis on American Psycho, Christian Bale, and His Problem with Female Directors

So follow the link trail and you’ll get the low down on Male Gaze (yay Laura Mulvey!), Female Gaze, and why Bret Easton Ellis is still silly and kinda a dickwad sometimes.

We here (we being Lauren and I who are both working really hard right now) have three theories on this:

1) Bret Easton Ellis is silly and kinda a dickwad.

2) Bret Easton Ellis likes to shock people and talks like a dickwad for this purpose.

3) Bret Easton Ellis is still peeved that Mary Harron turned his book into a movie that is a whole bunch of (delightful) gay.

I leave you to decide which theory you want to subscribe to. I think I like #3 best but mostly because I really enjoy looking at Christian Bale through the perspective Mary Harron presents us with in American Psycho.

Take that Bret Easton Ellis!

Seriously, I like looking at men a whole lot and when Ellis says things like ladies aren’t aroused by looking at film the same way men are I say this. Sure, I’m not aroused the same way men are. Cause I’m a woman. And I’m straight. And while I appreciate the loveliness of the female form it’s not my usual go to for arousal.

I won’t necessarily go so far as to say I’m aroused by American Psycho (which may or may not be true, depending on my mood) but I certainly appreciate looking at Christian Bale a whole lot. Pretty much always.

I have to admit I’m annoyed also by his premise that women can’t be and aren’t visual directors. And when he grudgingly admits that Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is a beautiful film he immediately has to give the credit to the male cinematographer.

[They have one] that’s not so stimulated by the visual. I think, to a degree, all the women I named aren’t particularly visual directors. You could argue that Lost in Translation is beautiful, but is that [cinematographer Lance Acord]? I don’t know.

Come on? Really? You can’t make a generalization and then say the one exception you name is because of someone else. What about the cinematographers of the other films he wants to use as examples? Or writers even? How about The Proposal )which he uses as an example of why mainstream female directed films suck) and the male DP, writer, or even producers responsible for it?

Or I guess you can do that. Especially if you’re Bret Easton Ellis.

Hey, I’m gonna go back to work now!

(after I briefly mention that Movieline is so fired for their terrible headlines, regardless of context.)