Molding Maggie

While reading the Guardian's recent interview with iconic actor Maggie Cheung, in which she describes her working relationships with directors Olivier Assayas (her ex-husband) and Wong Kar-wai, I'm reminded how much cinema can be little more than a conduit for male desire and obsession, even at its artiest level:
"These two men, how they like their women to be is so different," she says. "The way Wong sees beauty, or women related to beauty, it has to be that sensual, perfect thing, whereas Olivier is more interested in something more internal and modern. But I feel happy to be able to fit into their desires of what they want to see on the screen."
Idealized visions of sensually beautiful women are deliriously intoxicating, but there are moments when I feel a bit self-conscious that I'm such a willing and grateful participant in the cycle of voyeurism.

Perhaps the reigns of cinema should be forcibly yanked from obsessive men every once in a while and handed to artists with other points-of-view.

1 comment:

Edmund Hardy said...

Yes, I think it is striking, and ridiculous - that "cinema is the art of the woman" (was it Truffaut who said that?), but directed by a man: it would seem to be stifling the potential of the form, when, still, the list of women directors in Hollywood, or else established as arthouse names, is so brief.