Watch: David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Is a Symphony of Angles
When I first learned that David Fincher would be directing the American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ I was a bit concerned: I was partial to the original Swedish adaptation, to Noomi Rapace’s steady glare, which somehow managed to be both understated and aggressive, simultaneously. Beyond that, I wasn’t sure what Rooney Mara could do with Lisbeth Salander–she had projected strength in ‘The Social Network,’ but the capacity for violence seemed a bit of a stretch. Also, Fincher tends to devour when adapting–he turned ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘ into such a distinctive creation that, sadly, many critics ignored the marvelous F. Scott Fitzgerald story on which it’s based. This movie was a slightly different case: Fincher does consume and re-interpret the original text, but the consumption here is in service of the book, and as such is a (literally) thrilling visual phenomenon. Kristin Slater’s restless and forceful piece points out something integral to the film’s approach: that its angles tell a greater story, in some ways, than the script. That the constant adjustment and rejiggering of the viewer’s perspective takes us quite convincingly inside the mind of Lisbeth, into her unique and tortured way of seeing the world. Unstable? Perhaps. Or maybe just… correct.
Watch: A Supercut of Over 300 Ass-Kicking Women
There’s a lot of visceral pleasure to be had in Entertainment Weekly‘s new supercut of "women who kick ass." First, there’s the title. What does it mean, exactly? If someone "kicks ass," does that mean they’re vindictive? Don’t take prisoners? Judge with an iron fist? Yep. Or could it mean the individual in question is a trendsetter (hateful word, but accurate)? Or is it just a sexiness thing, the thought being that once a woman reaches a certain level of sex appeal, she can be said to… "kick ass"? Or maybe the "kicking ass" came first? Whose ass, exactly? Everyone’s? One person’s in particular? Sure, it’s a metaphor, but the farther you dig into it, the more elusive it becomes. In any event, the video is wonderful. It’s fun to watch Joan Jett do anything, but singing "I Love Rock’n’Roll" is one of those things. The same goes for Nancy Sinatra and "Bang Bang." Or Mary Poppins. Or Madonna. The way Jonathan Keogh mixes and matches these images of women in moments of power and electricity is thrilling–two particularly choice moments were watching Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice dancing to "All the Single Ladies" or hearing Maureen Stapleton’s Edith Bunker shout "I ain’t taking no orders," followed immediately by Ellen DeGeneres saying, "Yes, I’m gay." But there are many others. These clips have nothing and everything to do with each other–they illustrate a paradigm that has survived and grown through a century of cultural rippling, a paradigm of matriarchy, a paradigm of femininity.