6 Comments

A very thoughtful, and thought-provoking article. Among many telling points you write '...American films have frequently depicted female nudity in such a way as to perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes, reinforcing a culture of sexism and misogyny...' and I would wholly agree with that, but I am not so sure that French cinema is blameless in that respect - rather, the inherent exploitation reflects the fundamental nature of the society that produces it...

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Thank you for a well-written and thoughtful article.

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Feb 9Liked by Evan Nicks

I think the movie is much more complex vs the media reaction. Based on your other articles, you know much more about film than I do, so I'm open to being held to account. But from what I do know, the writer is the same who wrote Promising Young Woman, which also contained about abundance of hyperbole and edgy expressions.

I don't think the writer should be held to account for that there isn't an offset to a more erotic presentation of the body. I want to give space for both ends, because it seemed well done. I might need to rewatch it, but I don't recall feeling there was a gender imbalance in the movie. There were plays on gendered roles but there seemed to be power associated with each role. Equality in nudity and sexual freedom. And a statement on the arrogance of inherited power. Much like Promising Young Woman was a statement on the cruelty of ego and appearance.

What's more on my mind is Bianca Censori and her recent nudity. I can't put into words how concerned I am that it's allowed to continue. For every younger male and female who is seeing the behaviour, absorbing it and moving towards imitating it.

Go ahead and dance naked, I don't care.

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French comedy has always been free spirited. See, for example, Dix Pour Cent, aka Call My Agent, on Netflix.

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Your two examples are hardly a representative sample of American cinema. The vast majority of films I see have no nudity or very little nudity, even when nudity would make sense. That is inconsistent with your blanket statement about American cinema.

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Cinema not only influences culture, it represents it as well. My experience with nudity in Western Europe and even in the UK, is a mix of ambivalence, understanding, acknowledgment, humor, and even respect and admiration.

In contrast, as of late in the US, nudity is increasingly viewed as perverse, immoral, dirty, offensive, harmful to others, and purely sexual. Of course, not all see it that way, but a vocal, and powerful element of society seems to.

While I painted that dichotomy with a very broad brush, I do so simply to highlight that finding nudity treated differently across distinct cultures isn’t a surprise. But personally, it is disheartening.

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