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Art Gallery of Alberta, Gerard Depardieu, William Conrad and violence against women in film.

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These are a few shots taken yesterday of the new art gallery building (still under construction) designed by Randall Stout. Edmonton has too few striking structures and I am glad to see more going up (even if it is a little behind the wave).

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And Gerard Depardieu? Nothing to do with the gallery bit.

I was watching Diamant 13 and two things came to mind.

The first is the increasing girth of Depardieu. I won’t give him a hard time for gaining weight; it has no bearing on his considerable skills and once you’ve been in close to 200 films, and you are over 60, who’s business is it anyways other than his. However this is a policier, a police thriller with an active aggressive detective played by Depardieu. And apart from taking down many younger and obviously fitter men, he scales a water tower to talk down a suicide. It all reminded me of Cannon played by William Conrad.

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Cannon was always a hoot to watch because as one of the first food loving wine swilling private eyes he was also the only proudly fat one. And how empowering he must have been in that every show would have him not only beating the bejeebers out of anyone who started something but he could also catch them if they ran.

Depardieu also stretches the credulity in his lambasting his foes throughout the film and just the continuing visual incongruity of being more than chunky; the profiles threaten to imbalance the compositions.

The second thing that came to mind and this was probably because earlier I had watched the inventive In China They Eat Dogs (another great and unusual script from the Dane, Anders Thomas Jensen) was that in some European film there is less of a reluctance to have scenes where for instance in a bank robbery scene a woman is smashed in the face by a rifle butt, or just randomly shot. There is a kind of gender equality violence in these films.

In American films, women only seem to be hurt if there is a sexual or slasher component. Women are brutalized demeaned and tortured in ways less common in European film but there is very little simple violence against women; there is an odd sort of hands off feeling about it which is all the more obvious when you see these scenes in European films and realize you just don’t see these things elsewhere.

You could argue that this signals a greater gender equality in society in general.

One comment on “Art Gallery of Alberta, Gerard Depardieu, William Conrad and violence against women in film.

  1. […] Art & Photography by flann4 on February 28, 2010 A little while back I took a few pictures of the outside of this building; now I finally made it down to see the innards, and of course, the exhibits. Gallery Interior Main […]

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