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We can add IT to the growing list of 2017’s massive creative let-downs.

[Spoiler alerts for the new IT adaptation.] The long-anticipated and much-hyped adaptation of Stephen King’s monster opus IT opened yesterday with a lucky September 7 at 7 showing. Since my corner of Florida is in Hurricane Irma’s devastating path and the other local movie theaters were closed, this first official public screening was packed — and with a really fun crowd of clappers, screamers, and talk-backers who like me, vocally interacted with the madness on-screen. The woman across the aisle from me even pulled out two bottles of wine and uncorked them with gusto. Tensions are high and we all needed some welcome relief and a couple of hours of escape. Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of IT definitely provided a brief getaway from the potential devastation en route here in real life. But unfortunately the film didn’t provide much else but sanctuary from storm worries. King’s novel is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it when I was 11 and in the almost-thirty years since, I’ve revisited its pages 8 or 9 times. While the evil force behind Pennywise the Clown is indeed terrifying, what is scarier in the novel is the unequivocal theme that humans are ultimately the monsters and architects of the horrors of childhood abuse, domestic violence, racial and sexuality-motivated crimes, and generational apathy that allows justifying looking away when terrible things go on. These themes only marginally made it into the new IT film, and while the 1990 TV movie fields much criticism, all these important messages from the book are front and center there.

Joss Whedon’s version of the movie is entirely told through Steve Trevor’s perspective. The script reeks of the typical male gaze that is already rampant in mainstream media.

By Roslyn Talusan
If you’ve been on the Internet at all this month, you’ve probably seen countless pieces on the amazing progressiveness that is Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. Women all over the world have been moved to tears by the revolutionary scene of strong female warriors training in combat, with nary a man in sight. I personally cried at least 8 times throughout the film – I think it’s the best superhero film to date. However, that doesn’t mean the film is free from critique – it hardly solves the issues that affect non-cishet, non-white, disabled women, and it basically wasn't that much of a win for diverse representation in mainstream media. For one thing, Gal Gadot is a Zionist. She is also not someone who black and brown women see themselves represented in. The Amazons of color are relegated to background, non-speaking roles, and do not appear past the first act of the film. Moreover, while directed by a woman, the screenplay was written entirely by white men. Aside from Jenkins, Deborah Snyder is the only other woman credited in the production of the film.
The next DC film to star a woman as its main character is Batgirl, and Joss Whedon has been announced to direct the film. I know, I know – Whedon wrote one of the most feminist pieces of media out there, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Don’t get me wrong, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a formative part of my feminist identity. But given Whedon’s recent track record as a so-called feminist, I’m worried for the film. Last night, Twitter user @_sashayed livetweeted her reading Whedon’s proposed script for Wonder Woman back in 2007. Folks, this doesn’t look good for us – sure, it was written in 2007, but for someone who has always championed himself as an ally to women, Whedon should know better than to pull the stunning amount of bullshit in this script. https://twitter.com/_sashayed/status/875485223399587840 Joss Whedon’s version of the movie is entirely told through Steve Trevor’s perspective. The script reeks of the typical male gaze that is already rampant in mainstream media. A direct example of this is the way Whedon describes Steve versus the way he describes Diana and Hippolyte: Here we have a man with a simple descriptor that speaks solely to his character. In contrast, Diana’s description entirely focuses on her appearance, objectifying her, and ignoring her character completely with creepy, male-gaze descriptors:  "To say she is beautiful is almost to miss the point. She is elemental, as natural and wild as the luminous flora surrounding. Her dark hair waterfalls to her shoulder in soft arcs and curls. Her body is curvaceous, but taut as a drawn bow."   For some reason, Whedon needed to specify that Hyppolyte is middle-aged, but despite this, she is “very much in her prime.” These descriptions perpetuate the tropes that women are nothing more than their appearance, and that women past the age of 25 become less capable and less useful to society.

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