Textual Research

Gabrielle-Isis Meunier

603-BXE-DW: Nonfiction Writing

Jeffrey Gandell

March 7th 2017


Research Report


Program of study: Cinema & Communications

Question: How are women represented in movies and what does it communicate to our society?

  • Mulan. Dir.Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook. Walt Disney Pictures,1998. Film.

Mulan wants to save her father from dying in the army, but by doing this she becomes a great heroine. This movie will serve as example for the lack of female dialogue in movies. The story of this movie is about Mulan and she is the main character, however, she talks less than her fellow dragon!

  • Casino. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Universal Pictures, 1995. Film.

Casino is the story of the problems that surge between a mafia underboss and a casino owner. (This is a super brief explanation of the movie, as the story is much more complicated). Casino will serve as my example for “emotionally unstable” representation women often get in movies. Ginger McKenna, a high-class prostitute who marries the casino owner, will be my focus. Even if her husband treats her well and she is immensely rich, she is unhappy and tries to go back to her pimp. What does this tell about women?

  • The Dark Knight Rises. Dir.Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros, 2012. Film.

This movie is the third of the Batman movies. In this one, Batman has the help of Selena (AKA Cat Woman). The character of Cat Woman will serve as my example for the idealized image that we have of women. We want women to be strong and able to defend themselves, yet not look like it (look sexy, look slim even if you are strong, always be elegant, etc.).

This article talks about how woman are still mostly silent in movies and possibly why this is the case. This article was very helpful and will surely be used in my own article. It offers a reason as to why women roles are silent and the repercussions of this. It also gives an example of what sometimes happens when female roles speak up by talking about Rey’s character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The article also offers some information about the question I had asked in my first draft: “Are we feeding back the industry in return?”. The article says: “women make up a larger share of movie audiences in the US than men and female-led movies have a stronger return-on-investment than male-led movies”. (I did not put these hyperlinks, they were already there in the article that I quoted it from). The fact that female-led movies create better profit is the contrary of what I thought, which I found very interesting.

This source provides very specific studies about the way the genders are depicted, even under different types of rating (G,PG, R, etc)! It is organized and elaborate. There is a lot to retain from this source and I will have to sift through what is relevant and what isn’t for my article. An interesting aspect of this article is that it focuses on the impact seeing these representations of gender has on the young ones.

This source analyses film dialogue from 2000 different screenplays and breaks down its information by gender and age. I like it because it is very organized and offers diagrams that pop-up in different angles to help the reader better comprehend them. Also, in some of the diagrams they put the name of the movies they analysed, which could come in handy. For example, they analysed some Disney movies and the stats about Mulan will certainly help, especially since I am using Mulan as my example for lack of female dialogue in movies.

This source offers different statistics about women and men in the cinema industry to demonstrate the inequality that exists. This source is like a goldmine! I am not sure which information from it will be used into my text, but it covers the subject from dressing, to speaking, to women who work behind the scenes, to the amount of money the stars make, etc ! This source reassured my fear of not finding precise information and that feels great.

This article talks concretely about female superheroes in movies. I like this article because it explains more elaborately the problem of these characters being a regroupment of opposites. It also explains what effect these representations have. For example, it says that “the sexualization of the superheroine characters serves to reinforce rather than challenge stereotypical gender role beliefs […]”. Hence, this article is very helpful for me in relation to the Cat Woman example I will be giving.

For this source I wrote the website’s link instead of the book’s, because I did not have all the information about the book and the website offers only a 2 page abstract. However, in these 2 pages is information that is relevant. Just as the title says, this abstract talks about the “badass” girls that are in action movies and comic books, like those in Terminator for example. It offers views of the subject that I had not thought about before. For example, the writer points out that action heroines might be simply embodying masculinity rather than female heroism.

This source analyses in depth the representation of women in American film. The part that I found most interesting and which could be used in my article starts from p. 32. It talks about how society and Hollywood evolved together. This source will help me elaborate on two aspects of my article: the image of women in cinema and also if we, as society, keep encouraging Hollywood to create these fake ideas. ” Audiences came to expect a woman who got everything right” (p.36).


One thought on “Textual Research

  1. This looks good. You need to narrow down your topic. You need to look at one way women are represented in movies. You talk about dressing, speaking, working behind the scenes, pay, etc. This is too much stuff. You say a few times how women speak less than men in movies. This could be a good precise thing to focus on.

    In a similar way, focus on one or two movies as examples. You don’t want to talk about too many. You can talk about one or two as an example. The implication is that if this is a problem in this one movie, it’s a problem for all movies.

    Great topic, just be sure to narrow it down a bit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s