Tank Girl/Doctor Who director Rachel Talalay on industry sexism: “You have to be some version of perfect.”



I recently watched Tank Girl for the first time and really liked a lot of it. And then we got into the kangaroos.

She lost me on the kangaroos. I know that it’s the era of TMNT and their success, but it comes off as being more hokey instead of fun in the third act.

Did make me want to read the comics though.

What a great idea for a thread. But we all know what’s coming…3…2…1…


How was that the director and not the screenplay?

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Because she’s in charge of the visual presentation of the work. I don’t have a problem with the characters being kangaroo-men, it’s just that they are staggeringly bad versions of kangaroo-men that don’t really work in the piece very well. The droopy ears, the patchy face prosthetics, they come off as half-baked in a world where the rest of the production design is fun, exciting and vibrant.

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Well, yeah, and she also spends over 2/3 of the interview excerpts quoted by Boing Boing talking about how if she questions too much stuff, or asks for too many redos, she gets called “whiny” or “difficult”. Film-making is supposed to be a team process. There are very few directors who have the clout to get everything the way they want.

Gene Roddenberry had to call in a personal favour to get the right ears for Spock – his official prosthetic source kept sending him funny animal ears. If you’re a director who is part of a marginalised group (and women are rare enough in it that for this profession they count as marginalised), you may not have that many strings to pull.


Absolutely. I’ve had many directors tell me they get one thing they get to throw a fit over.

She picked the wrong thing, these guys are supposed to anchor the third act and it really falls flat in comparison to the rest of the work. Tank? Perfect. Casting? Amazing. Production dance number? Top notch. Bad guy: Fantastic. Action sequences? Nailed 'em.

The effects company (Stan Winston) asked to work on this. Cut their rates to work on this. Their sketches… eh.

I have no issues with female directors. Bigelow’s Oscar for Hurt Locker is well deserved and Point Break is amazing. I consider Amy Heckerling one of the top comedic directors and am disappointed to not see her name everywhere. My wife is one. But that equality means I’m also going to call out where a director dropped the ball, and in this case it’s in making those Rippers too cute.

There are also very few directors who get as much studio interference as Talalay had to contend with making Tank Girl.

I think the third act nosedive may have more to do with the studio than the rippers. :wink:

For some details: goodbadflicks


Has there ever been prosthetic makeup as cooly expressive as a Jamie Hewlett drawing? Look what they did to Dr. Seuss & Chuck Jones with zillion-dollar budgets.


You mean-- reductionist, nitpicking, prolix babble-comments that avoid addressing the article’s central issues??

3…2…1… {reads comments below…}


Or maybe I should say ‘Boing-o!’

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