Florence Foster Jenkins : Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel Test

Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel Test

But plenty of male only scenes. If you're unfamiliar with the bechdel test, it basically means any scene with just women. Two or more females talking with no men present.

Flunked.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Didn't know the Bechdel test was something a film could pass or fail.

So we may have to evaluate this movie on just its artistic merit.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Totally agree!

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Sure, but that's not the point which was that this movie surprisingly fails the Bechdel test. FTR, it requires that two female characters have at least one meaningful discussion on anything other than the men. It's that last clause that trips up so many movies. Bechdel test passed (http://www.imdb.com/keyword/bechdel-test-passed/?ref_=fn_kw_kw_2">http://www.imdb.com/keyword/bechdel-test-passed/?ref_=fn_kw_kw_2) and failed (http://www.imdb.com/keyword/bechdel-test-failed/?ref_=fn_kw_kw_3">http://www.imdb.com/keyword/bechdel-test-failed/?ref_=fn_kw_kw_3) are IMDB keywords. check them out.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

It has the word "test" in it, so obviously failing is an option. Your ignorance is showing again.

I can't find merit in a movie factory (Hollywood) that deliberately avoids focusing on just women because of some incredibly sexist misconception that women aren't interested enough to engage an audience's attention for an entire scene. Make no mistake, it is done on purpose. Film students are taught to not have women speak too long without a man involved. The peno-centric, patriarchal premise which all movies are built on assumes that a scene amongst women only has no merit. Men can't pay attention to women who are fully clothed for very long. I'm not sure which gender this is more offensive to, but it should be a concept rejected by all of society at once.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

*interesting enough

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


It has the word "test" in it, so obviously failing is an option.

Really? You'll have to explain how one fails a Rorscach test.

"Peno-centric"? ROTFL!!!

Sad ravings from a rabid anti-male sexist who makes bigoted assertions she can't substantiate, with no concern for justice or reason.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

My assertions are not bigoted and I can and did substantiate them. I could list concrete numbers of films that fail the test, yet have plenty of scenes with just males. Again, this film is centered on a woman. There's sexism going on and not from my end.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

I don't want to get into the fray here, but I see the film more about the lengths people will do to protect those they love. In this case, they are the men, who are protecting FFJ's dream. One might see them as being enablers, but she was an seriously ill woman whose lifespan had already passed what it might have been had they not been there for her.

And we she did see FFJ speaking with her society friends—as someone further down on the board has mentioned. As I recall, the "Bechdel Test" only requires two named female characters to speak to each other about a topic other than men/romance. This was accomplished: they talked about music.

___________________________________
Never say never…

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Thanks Jennie. I think that's all that needs to be said.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Granted I only saw the film once, so I might've missed a scene. However, I seem to recall one of the men being in all scenes. Even if two women exchanged a sentence, men were present. Also, were the women named characters? The maid had a name and FFJ did address her, but the husband was close in toe.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


Sad ravings from a rabid anti-male sexist who makes bigoted assertions she can't substantiate, with no concern for justice or reason.

Right. Just like recognizing the world is mostly led by white men makes someone a racist.

How is saying a movie failed the Bechdel Test (and yes it's a test you can fail, google it) makes someone "anti male"? It's about women in movies. There are plenty of male oriented, and male-led, movies that pass the test.

Also, you're only assuming the OP is a woman. I guess that's based on your limited view of genders.

For every lie I unlearn I learn something new - Ani Difranco

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


Just like recognizing the world is mostly led by white men makes someone a racist.

Where did I call Jupiter a racist? I didnt.


How is saying a movie failed the Bechdel Testmakes [sic] someone "anti male"?
Dont know why you ask, since I never said it did. But a comment like Jupiters Men can't pay attention to women who are fully clothed for very long is anti-male.


Also, you're only assuming the OP is a woman. I guess that's based on your limited view of genders.

LOL! Given Jupiter's low opinion of men, that's a logical assumption. How many men do you know who use terms like "peno-centric"?

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

You misinterpreted my statement about men not being able to pay attention to women if they're fully clothed. That was sarcasm on my part, and loosely paraphrased explanations that screenwriters have given as an excuse for not having women interact with each other for too long. They blame it on men, saying their attention span is ailing when it comes to women on screen. They subconsciously assume they're talking about their period or Kim Kardashian and stop paying attention to the scene, so pertinent plot information is rarely exchanged between two women unless the subject is a main male character. Anyway, this is all getting awful involved and it's something that you could totally overlook if you so choose, but if you pay attention to film after film it becomes impossible to deny.

So again, my assertions about attention span were sarcasm and not something I believe. I even said "not sure which gender that's more offensive to". I don't consider myself anti male, though I am pro-female. I believe that women are given fewer scenes in movies simply because men find women boring and possibly lacking in credibility. In short, they (writers, directors, producers– mostly male though that's finally changing) simply have more interest in stories that they can relate to, that focus on them. It's a simple explanation and that's my theory.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


Film students are taught to not have women speak too long without a man involved.


Interesting way of looking at the movie. But I wonder if this can even be true? Wouldn't it be authors who write the books the movie is based on? Or screenwriters not film students?

One thought I had about this was that the vast(?) majority of screenwriters and authors are male. It would seem almost natural for men to shy away a bit from writing dialog between two women.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Yes, screen writers are included in film students.

You're also correct that they're mostly male and perhaps this is indeed a reason they "shy away from" writing dialogue for female characters. There are many reasons. Some do it deliberately. Some do it u wittingly. Some try and fail so they rewrite. Many reasons… but in any event there is a problem and it needs to be fixed. One fix is to have more female writers and directors. This shift is already taking place. However, for whatever reason many female centric films still have at least one scene with only men. For instance, Trainwreck. I have no problem with films being geared toward or focusing on one gender more than another but would like to see more balance.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


Florence speaks to her female society friends at breakfast and to her maid. So it passes.

Defender of the weak, and enemy of the weak minded.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

I think men were still present, unlike several scenes between all men in which women weren't present.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

I looked up "Bechtel Test" on the internet and this is what it said:

A work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.

The emphasis is that they are (1) Women and (2) talking about something other than a man.

If they are in a room where men happen to be around that doesn't obviate the test. People have conversations at parties and restaurants. People of multiple genders may be around. It is the discussion and the parties involved that matter.
___________________________________
Never say never…

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Okay then I'll slightly change the intonation of this thread to say that that even a film with a title female character doesn't have any scenes with just women, while there's at least 3 scenes with just men. The point stands.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

So what? people should stop watching this?

~Hasta la vista..Baby

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


But plenty of male only scenes. If you're unfamiliar with the bechdel test, it basically means any scene with just women. Two or more females talking with no men present.

To be fair, the fact the title is a woman's name doesn't make or break anything in terms of Bechdel.

The movie is about her character, and the nature of her relationship with two men. It wouldn't have made much sense for them to create female characters just to have her have a conversation with them.

She wasn't going to talk to her husband's girlfriend and her female friends were mostly socialites with whom her conversations were limited.

For every lie I unlearn I learn something new - Ani Difranco

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

"and her female friends were mostly socialites with whom conversations were at a minimum"

Gee.. I wonder why. If you want to believe that it's incidental that the female interaction is kept at a minimum, you're more than welcome. The fact is that it's deliberate. Scripts strategically AVOID having women talk "too much." This isn't an issue with this film in particular, though it must've been extra challenging to write the titular character out of so many scenes, while the interaction between men only was abundant. This is a theme in Hollywood. They've managed to brainwash you into thinking that's just how it worked out. You say they shouldn't have to try extra hard to create dialogue between two female characters… how very silly of you. They tried extra hard to avoid it.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


The fact is that it's deliberate. Scripts strategically AVOID having women talk "too much."

And you know this…how? Your proof? Again, no substantiation. It looks like you're not the least sincere - just a garden-variety troll trying to stir things up for the fun of it.

Don't just pile more on. Surprise us with some facts. (Hint: you can't, b/c you have none.)

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

THAT is your only proof?!? ROTFL! An accusation by a bigot who writes articles entitled Creepy Entitled Men and vomits out her sexist hate with prose like this:

[Middle-aged white men] just need a Mommy figure keeping them in line in order to achieve even marginal functionalityDont I know my life is all about their deep inadequacies? Their pathetic, neurotic need to stand on top of a woman to make themselves feel halfway human?

How would you react if a man wrote that about a woman? Youd be outraged. So why would it be acceptable for a woman to express the insults, hate and prejudice she does about men? It isnt.

And if that's an example of what you consider a balanced, reliable source - sad, sad, sad.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Because something can only be factual if those accused admit it? Good thing OJ Simpson is innocent and, just so you don't whine "sexism! Bigotry!," I'll include it's also a good thing Casey Anthony didn't murder her daughter. Right? Right.

Thanks for the assumptions and conjecture regarding what my hypothetical reaction would be if certain things were to happen . Let's get one thing straight – you don't know me.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Just because it's a deliberate choice to limit women's lines doesn't mean Hollywood is attempting to brainwash anyone. The more natural reason would be that Hollywood believes that the target audience doesn't want to hear too much talking from actresses, even if that is not what they say or think they want.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

"Good morning folks! What are we offended by today?"
____
If you walk a mile in my shoes, you will end up at a bar!

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


If you're unfamiliar with the bechdel test, it basically means any scene with just women. Two or more females talking with no men present.
No, it doesn't. You've gotten a misguided idea of the Bechdel Test. The only requirements are:
1) The movie has to have at least two female characters in it
2) Who talk to each other
3) About something other than a man.

That's it. There is nothing about having to have a "scene with just women" or that the conversation between women has to take place with "no men present."

Here is the cartoon in which Alison Bechdel first proposed the idea (which she actually credits to her friend Liz Wallace):
http://movies.mxdwn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BechdelRule.png">http://movies.mxdwn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BechdelRule.png

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel

Soooo one line of Florence asking Kitty the maid where the key is and barely even stopping as she walks past her while St. Claire is still very much in the frame constitutes passing the test?? That's crap. That doesn't assess anything. Not when we have a scene of St. Claire and Mr. McMoon sitting idly having a lengthy conversation for more than 1 scene
To be fair, their conversations were about FFJ, so by the reverse bechdel test for men arguably it wouldn't pass. Anyway call it whatever you want. The bechdel test proper or just straight up sexism in filmmaking. I'm tired of not seeing SCENES between two women in films. Not LINES…but SCENES.

Re: Even a movie with a female title character doesn't pass the Bechdel


Soooo one line of Florence asking Kitty the maid where the key is and barely even stopping as she walks past her while St. Claire is still very much in the frame constitutes passing the test?? That's crap. That doesn't assess anything. Not when we have a scene of St. Claire and Mr. McMoon sitting idly having a lengthy conversation for more than 1 scene
To be fair, their conversations were about FFJ, so by the reverse bechdel test for men arguably it wouldn't pass. Anyway call it whatever you want. The bechdel test proper or just straight up sexism in filmmaking. I'm tired of not seeing SCENES between two women in films. Not LINES…but SCENES.

I think you responded to the wrong person. I didn't say anything about Florence Foster Jenkins passing or not passing the test–or, actually, anything about the movie at all. My post only said that you were wrong about the definition of the Bechdel Test in your original post, which you were.

I think the Bechdel Test (or, as Alison Bechdel wants us to call it, the Bechdel-Wallace Test) is a good way to start a conversation about equal representation in media, but by itself it is not really worth much as a gauge of whether or not a movie is worthwhile, inclusive, or feminist. And Alison Bechdel has said in many interviews that she agrees with that assessment–that the test shouldn't be a hard-and-fast way to decide which movies to see or not see:

In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan (conducted by Dissolve contributor Kate Erbland), Bechdel mentioned some films shes loved recently that dont pass the test: Quentin Tarantinos Jackie Brown, which she just saw for the first time, the more recent Wes Anderson adventure The Grand Budapest Hotel, and the groundbreaking time-travel story About Time. Im not a stickler about the Testif I were, I wouldnt see many movies, Bechdel told Cosmo.
https://thedissolve.com/news/3285-bechdel-test-originator-alison-bechdel-given-a-mac/">https://thedissolve.com/news/3285-bechdel-test-originator-alison-bechdel-given-a-mac/


Bechdel is also opposed to adding more rules to the test, the way you tried to do:

Asked if she wanted to further edit or clarify the test, she was firm and to the point: No. I think its a nice, simple metric. That may be annoying to the people whove been analyzing it at sites like BechdelTest.com, suggesting additions ranging from simple (the women should be actual named characters; the conversation should last at least 30 seconds) to baroque (there shouldnt be a man present in the scene, and a man shouldnt be named or referenced in any way during the conversation, or the whole thing is invalidated, no matter how long it is). But then again, if it was a 30-item list of requirements, its much less likely that the Bechdel Test would have endured as it has.
https://thedissolve.com/news/3285-bechdel-test-originator-alison-bechdel-given-a-mac/">https://thedissolve.com/news/3285-bechdel-test-originator-alison-bechdel-given-a-mac/
Top