Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly talks about the Twilight Saga and how its girl-driven success might be good for future movies.
Offhand, it would be hard to think of a pop phenomenon as rapturously beloved as the Twilight saga that is also as vociferously hated. My God, the hate! If swoony-gauzy teen-bloodsucker romanticism with a golden-eyed indie-rock James Dean as love object isn’t your cup of passion, then fine — so be it. But why the frothing torrents of resentment? I was seriously shocked, for instance, reading some of the comments on Lisa’s recent post, to see that this much stone-pelting hostility could be directed at an actress as lovely and expressive as Kristen Stewart. What is her crime? Having a personality moody and brainy and distinctive enough that it carries over, maybe a bit too much, from one role to the next? (That was true, as well, of the young Jane Fonda, whom Stewart often recalls.) It makes me wonder what, deep down, is getting the haters so flea-bitten scratchy under the collar.
Frankly, I think it’s this: The ascendance of the Twilight saga represents an essential paradigm shift in youth-gender control of the pop marketplace. For the better part of two decades, teenage boys, and overgrown teenage boys, have essentially held sway over Hollywood, dictating, to a gargantuan degree, the varieties of movies that get made. Explosive truck-smashing action and grisly machete-wielding horror, inflated superhero fantasy and knockabout road-trip comedy: It has been, at heart, a boys’ pig-out, a playpen of testosterone at the megaplex. Sure, we have “chick flicks,” but that (demeaning) term implies that they’re an exception, a side course in the great popcorn smorgasboard. Read More
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