Fragile male masculinity is a trending topic right now. Lily Cole, a supermodel, actress, social and environmental activist, Cambridge graduate and all round celebrity type has recently been asked to be a creative partner for the celebrations marking the bicentennial of Emily Bronte’s birth, with the Parsonage Museum in West Yorkshire. Nick Holland, author of several books on the Bronte sisters and tantrum throwing sexist, has quit the Bronte Society citing Cole’s appointment as ‘’farce’’ completely disregarding the fact his point of contention has a double first in History of Art from one of the world’s top universities, and complaining that Bronte would have hated the appointment of a mere supermodel, diluting a multi faceted woman down to her nth point.
Firstly, Cole’s contribution to the project is a short film about Bronte’s most famous anti hero Heathcliffe, discussing gender politics, and the fact that it is also the one hundred year anniversary of women getting the vote. Who better to discuss such a subject than a scholar, and woman?
Secondly, I may not know much about Emily Bronte, but do know this. She was a woman, an icon for modern feminists, intelligent, and let’s face it; no woman who holds strong opinions, wants a man to presume to speak for her. Studying an author who represents some of the basic concepts of feminism and not being able to understand the irony of judging a woman on one job she held as a teenager, make you not only small minded and petty, but incredibly patronising and stupid for someone who feels qualified enough to make an assessment on the perceived intellect of others.
After all, the Bronte sisters had to write under male pseudonyms to even get published originally, because they were aware of the prejudice towards women in their own time, so it is doubtful that they would advocate it in ours. And let’s face it, a society celebrating the lives and works of three strong women, who bucked against the expectations of gender stereotypes, will be much better off without a bigot like Nick Holland.
Final Girl is about bucking the trends of gender stereotyping also, about underestimating a woman based on how she looks, and being schooled royally.
A group of high school boys in a small town are having a lot of fun luring pretty, young blondes into the woods, making a game of stripping down their defences with their gentlemanly charm, and then hunting them down like animals. Abigail Breslin, plays Veronica, a mysterious young girl who is sent to even the odds.
I really can’t sing this films praises enough. It’s clever, kitsch, and stylistically charming. It has a wonderful fifties vibe, that echoes films like Cry Baby and Heathers, while managing to be both original and deliciously entertaining.
Cinematically it has a beautifully retro yet dark colour pallet, with Veronica’s character being the only colourful part of the film, both literally and visually. And yes, while the plot is a little underdeveloped, with many unanswered questions when it comes to Veronica’s background and the shadowy organisation that has groomed her into a coiffed Hit-Girl, but honestly, I enjoyed it’s tongue in cheek style so much that it papered over a lot of the cracks enough for me not to care.
That being said, it is a B Movie, and they are always polarising, so from the reactions I have seen to the film on the dark recesses of the horror fan forums, you will either gleefully watch it with tongue firmly against your inner cheek, or finger firmly pressed down on the off button; which, sadly is not something we have for small individuals such as the aforementioned Mr Holland.