Swedish cinemas rate films on their Bechdel Test score


#1

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#2

Wow, go Sweden! That’s awesome.

Hard to imagine a movement like this in American movie houses, let alone even one of them.


#3

This seems overly strict. Thinking back to the last movie I saw (Gravity) it failed this test yet is something that I would love to inspire my daughter.

Edit: Wait, I think this movie may have squeaked by in the first couple of minutes with some mission chatter before the only other woman in it is killed off.


#4

No one is saying all movies need to pass this test to be any good. The test is more useful as an aggregate measure of how women are portrayed in film than an indicator of quality for any individual movie.

It’s pretty hard to come up with more than a handful of movies that would fail a gender-reversed version of the test though.


#5

You’d be in good shape if you ran a Swedish lesbian porn theatre.


#6

Does it count if the women are not talking about a specific man? For example, I was watching a crappy movie about zombie strippers on Netflix the other day, and two named women were talking about zombies, the majority of which were male.


#7

Tarantino’s “Death Proof” fits these rules perfectly, and yet I’ll bet it was mostly guys that went to see it.


#8

An all-out action movie that passes this test and has sneaky feminist undertones: DREDD
for reals. see it. in 3D.


#9

When was the “two women conversing” part?


#10

I was surprised that the TV series Arrow has passed the Bechdel test twice this year in 4 episodes.


#11

When the bad Judge met Ma Ma.


#12

Craked lists the Dead or Alive video game movie as passing the test, easily, despite being nearly softcore porn.

So the test isn’t perfect.


#13

No claimed it was a perfect indicator for a feminist film - it exists to illustrate a point about the quality and quantity of female representation in film.


#14

It isn’t meant to be perfect. It is just pointing out the fucked up world we live in where men talk to each other in movies all the time without it being about a woman but the reverse is rarely true.


#15

What may be an issue in this particular thread is that, while the Bechdel Test makes good points about gender bias in movies in aggregate, and about general problems of gender representation, it is, as everyone points out, not very good for rating films individually, and that’s exactly what this story is about it being used for.

I’ve always felt like much of the “does this pass the Bechdel test” discussion, rather than discussion of the test in general as as part of a discussion about gender bias, is ridiculous pedantry, leading to utterly absurd things like listing Koyaanisqatsi as a film that fails the test (I assume this must be a joke?), arguing about whether two minor female characters might have said something to each other in incredibly misogynist films, or trying to decide whether, when the aunts in Arsenic and Old Lace talk about murdering people (who are men), that counts as talking about something other than men.

Is deciding whether a film, regardless of how genders are actually represented in it, technically passes or doesn’t pass some set of criteria designed for abstract discussion and aggregate analysis really something that’s at all useful; is it something that films should be “graded” on, and result in them being shown or not shown? That is what is being discussed here, not the perfectly reasonable uses of the test.


#16

Remember folks, the Bechdel test is meant to be indicitive, not definitive.


#17

The test isn’t supposed to get you an A - just a “not an F”. And movies don’t always have to pass it (maybe there aren’t enough named characters or whatever) to be ok. But it’s a good guideline.


#18

Were it not for the fact that just about every film passes the reverse Bechdel Test, you’d have a point.


#19

Does the comic actually pass the test though?
They talk about a hypothetical man that the women in the movie must have a conversation without referencing said hypothetical man.
Is the hypothetical man enough of a man that the comic fails its own test?

I say: hypothetically yes.


#20