127 Movie Review: Feminist Analysis of Ex Machina
In episode two of our five-part media review and analysis series, we are talking about Ex Machina: an intriguing and highly watchable sci-fi film that is, just like Wonder Woman last week, a “feminist” tale told from a male perspective.
In This Episode
We talk about a LOT of things in this episode, starting off with a video by Pop Culture Detective on YouTube, sent to us by Andy at The Bearded Vegans about the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope which better explains what Nichole was trying to say about Wonder Woman and The Fifth Element, and other films that present us with a powerful but powerfully naive woman who becomes dependent on and then falls in love with a mediocre man who shows her the ways of the world and often of sex.
We then discuss our thoughts and feelings about Norm, a short film that uses rape as an analogy for animal consumption. We will not link to this video, it traumatized both of us for several days and was too upsetting to play or discuss in detail on air. We give our thoughts about using rape to sell veganism, particularly in the specific way it was done in this film.
Finally, we tackle Ex Machina, a movie Nichole has been yearning to discuss since she saw it a couple years ago. While a highly-entertaining, gorgeous, well-made piece of sci-fi that explores themes related to artificial intelligence, one of Nichole’s favorite topics (androids! robots! talking computers!), it falls extremely short of passing the Bechdel test, an irony for a film lauded by many for being “feminist.”
Much like Wonder Woman, we found most of the problems of this film arose from a woman’s story being told from a male perspective, along with some very serious issues around gender assignment, gender roles, sexuality and especially racism (oh, the racism).
Joke in the Middle
What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit?
Next week: The Handmaid’s Tale, season 1!
Links and Information
- “Pink slime” lawsuit worth $5.7 billion could change journalism (Vice)
- Vegan Companies Dominate List of Most-Funded Brands (VegNews)
Feminist Analyses about Ex Machina We Loved and Referenced in the Show
- Ex Machina’s Failure to be Radical: Or How Ava is the Anti-thesis of a Feminist Cyborg (Skirt Collective)
- Ex Machina Has a Serious Fembot Problem (Wired)
- How Ex Machina Toys with its Female Characters (Bitch Media)
- ‘Ex Machina’ Review: Gorgeous Futurism, But Flawed Gender Depictions (Huffington Post)
- The Gender Politics of Ex Machina (Legion of Leia)
- Gender and Feminism in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (Words on Film)
- Goddess from the Machine: A Look at Ex Machina’s Gender Politics (Feministing)
- How Ex Machina Fails to be Radical (MS Magazine)
- Ex Machina: A White Feminist Parable for Our Time (Women Write About Comics)
Other Related Articles of Interest