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Female Characters Appreciation, Villains: Part 1

“Isn’t it time to acknowledge the ugly side? I’ve grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over), not chilly WASP mothers (emotionally distant isn’t necessarily evil), not soapy vixens (merely bitchy doesn’t qualify either). I’m talking violent, wicked women. Scary women. Don’t tell me you don’t know some. The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves — to the point of almost parodic encouragement — we’ve left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.”

rewatching stoker and thinking about the handmaiden, park chan-wook’s movies are all about guys overestimating how easy it is to manipulate young women and we the audience implicitly go along with that assumption until ¾ towards the end of the movie or more where both the male antagonist and we the audience are shocked to discover that even when we’re inches away from a woman’s face, we’re not even close to guessing her inner life or motives, and it’s fucking great

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My ears hear what others cannot hear; small faraway things people cannot normally see are visible to me. These senses are the fruits of a lifetime of longing, longing to be rescued, to be completed. Just as the skirt needs the wind to billow, I’m not formed by things that are of myself alone. I wear my father’s belt tied around my mother’s blouse, and shoes which are from my uncle. This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we have come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free, and to become adult is to become free.

Stoker (2013) dir. Park Chan-wook 

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“I wear my father’s belt tied around my mother’s blouse, and shoes which are from my uncle. This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we have come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free, and to become adult is to become free.”

Stoker (2013) dir. Chan-wook Park

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Stoker (2013) - dir. Chan-wook Park

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself, taken when you didn’t know you were being photographed, from an angle that you don’t usually see when you look in a mirror, and you think: “That’s me… that’s also me.” Do you know what I’m talking about?

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Stoker (2013) - dir. Chan-wook Park

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself, taken when you didn’t know you were being photographed, from an angle that you don’t usually see when you look in a mirror, and you think: “That’s me… that’s also me.” Do you know what I’m talking about?