Friday February 17, 2012
The Bechdel Test, Stein, Hemingway and Woody Allen
“What's even more embarassing about this film [Midnight in Paris] is that one of the more important historical figures that Gil interacts with is Gertrude Stein. For those of you who aren't familiar with her, Stein is one of the most famous writers, and lesbians, in American history. And Woody Allen has the nerve to not have her speak to another female character in the entire film?”
Anita Sarkeesian, in her video, The 2012 Oscars and the Bechdel Test, below, at the 3:30 mark. (But keep reading beyond the video.)
“Miss Stein was very big but not tall and was heavily built like a peasant woman. She had beautiful eyes and a strong German-Jewish face that also could have been Friulano and she reminded me of a northern Italian peasant woman with her clothes, her mobile face and her lovely, thick, alive immigrant hair which she wore put up in the same way she had probably worn it in college. She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places.
“Her companion [Alice B. Toklas] had a very pleasant voice, was small, very dark, with her hair cut like Joan of Arc in the Boutet de Monvel illustrations and had a very hooked nose. She was working on a piece of needlepoint when we first met them and she worked on this and saw to the food and drink and talked to my wife. She made one conversation and listened to two and often interrupted the one she was not making. Afterwards she explained to me that she always talked to the wives. The wives, my wife and I felt, were tolerated...
“'I said to my wife, ”You know, Gertrude is nice, anyway.“ ...
”'I never hear her,' my wife said. 'I'm a wife. It's her friend that talks to me.'“
Ernest Hemingway, ”A Moveable Feast"