so, I argued with hubby that the fact that none of the women characters had their own voice-overs was representative of the hopeless sexism in Sin City, a strong marker that it's not just that everybody's life sucks in Sin City, but that the women are more objects than the men (something I don't remember feeling when reading the Elektra cycle of Daredevil, for example?)...
...have I gotten old and cranky?
...is it true that Sin City, unlike pure (canonical, textbook, original, whatever adjective floats your boat) noir, has no real point or question to ask of the audience? That's it's just art-sploitation?

Mysti
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@reader1.panix.com:
so, I argued with hubby that the fact that none of the women characters had their own voice-overs was representative ... (something I don't remember feeling when reading the Elektra cycle of Daredevil, for example?)... ...have I gotten old and cranky?

Local critics had the same thing to say about the movie's portrayal of women, attributing it to QT's influence.
I haven't read the comic books, so I couldn't tell you whether the adaptation is faithful. Brian? Anyone?
jaybee
So it is just a gore-fest, or what? Are there any redeeming qualities to it? The Washington Post reviewer made it sound nihilistic and ultra-violent, which doesn't appeal to me.
I saw some of "the making of" on E!, and I really loved the look of the film. But if it's just a stylized killing spree, I won't waste my time.

Lois
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@reader1.panix.com:

so, I argued with hubby that the fact that none ... of Daredevil, for example?)... ...have I gotten old and cranky?

Local critics had the same thing to say about the movie's portrayal of women, attributing it to QT's influence. I haven't read the comic books, so I couldn't tell you whether the adaptation is faithful. Brian? Anyone?

I still haven't seen the movie (I have a phobia of crowds and make it a point to never see a film until its second or third week of release), but everything I've heard and seen indicates that the movie is faithful to Miller's comics to an almost slavish degree. Mind you, that's not necessarily a good thing when you consider the fact that, while it is often a very cinematic medium, Miller has been the spearhead of a movement to move comics away from simply being illustrated imitations of movies to an art form in its own right. Bottom line: what works on the page might not work on the screen.
The most important thing to understand about "Sin City" is that it is not based on old Film Noir movies - it's based on old crime comics from the 40's and 50's. These naughty little confections were published alongside the notorious EC horror comics (i.e."Tales From the Crypt", "Vault of Horror") of the same era and, like them, were violent, often lurid morality tales. Although the EC horror comics were Public Enemy #1 of Dr. Fredric Wertham's (highly successful) censorship campaign against comics in the 50's, these crime comics certainly held the dubious honor of being #2.

If you're familiar with these comics you're much more likely to enjoy the "Sin City" stories. The sometimes stiff, clumsy or clichéd narration becomes an in-joke that has you snickering along with the author, an irony that might be lost on most moviegoers. These lurid, violent and (hell yeah) sexist comics were Miller's first and foremost influence as a child and "Sin City" was his way of fulfilling a lifelong ambition to do crime comics of his own. His groundbreaking work on "Daredevil" gave him a taste of this sort of thing, but with "Sin City" he was just diving in headfirst with the glee and enthusiasm of a little boy with the talents and skills of a master craftsman.
Are the comics sexist? Absolutely. Does this mean that Frank Miller is sexist? Absolutely not. The sexism is as much a part of that world as booze, cigarettes, guns, violence and depravity, and to skimp on any of those things
were result in a half-assed, watered-down, pussified PC version of those old crime comics. And who the hell would want to sit through that?

Anyway, I look forward to seeing it.
Cheers,
B
so, I argued with hubby that the fact that none of the women characters had their own voice-overs was representative ... adjective floats your boat) noir, has no real point or question to ask of the audience? That's it's just art-sploitation?

I didn't mind watching it, because it really was pretty much unlike anything else, (and both Mickey and Clive were great), but I sure am glad I persuaded my wife to let me check it out first. She would have hated it in a big way.
This review in LA Weekly may clarify what I mean:
Pulp Diction
Sin City gets high on style and juvenile hijinks
by ELLA TAYLOR
Sin City, an exquisitely made, unbearably faddish movie that will strike joy into the hearts of all who revere amputation and apocalypse, opens with a swoony love scene culminating in a murder for the heck of it. From there it moves smartly to the promise of child molestation and, with the culprit having had both his face and his balls shot off by Bruce Willis, steams merrily along toward cannibalism, electrocution and the mounting of severed female heads on walls. Had enough? If not, then you are in all likelihood an adult male aging ungracefully, or a pimply youth with a pimply youth’s fondness for comic books about hell on Earth. If you’re a woman of any age who gets off on this stuff, even with its feeble stabs at feminist role reversals, I throw up my hands.
For the rest of the review:
http://www.laweekly.com/ink/05/19/film-taylor.php
But hey, there's still a huge amount of creativity on display, and I think it's great that Rodriguez wants to stay clear of the Hollywood machine.
Ken
I didn't mind watching it, because it really was pretty much unlike anything else, (and both Mickey and Clive were ... who gets off on this stuff, even with its feeble stabs at feminist role reversals, I throw up my hands.

I'll be sure to bring my girlfriend along when I check it out, but then she's not type of gal who is easily offended and happens to share my sweet tooth for sleazy, lurid Italian exploitation and horror films. If she enjoyed "The Toolbox Murders"...
Speaking of comics, I'm thrilled to see that your friend Paul Chadwick's "Concrete" is back (after a five-year hiatus no less!) and better than ever. It's easily the most artfully crafted and thoughtful thing on the racks at the moment. Here's hoping that comic book crazy Hollywood will finally get that "Concrete" movie off the ground.
Cheers,
B
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Are the comics sexist? Absolutely. Does this mean that Frank Miller is sexist? Absolutely not. The sexism is as much ... half-assed, watered-down, pussified PC version of those old crime comics. And who the hell would want to sit through that?

Let me start off by saying that I haven't read the Sin City comic books or (yet) seen the film, so I'm not commenting no whether or not they're sexist.
That being said, it's not enough to defend yourself from a charge of sexism by claiming, "well, my source material is sexist, and I'm just being true to that."
You can use sexist source material and make something of it, or you can just repeat it. The former is entirely defensible; a good example might be "Die Another Day," one of the more recent Bond movies where Bond's famous tail-chasing becomes a plot-point in the main story (as a weapon used by his adversaries).
Are the comics sexist? Absolutely. Does this mean that Frank ... And who the hell would want to sit through that?

Let me start off by saying that I haven't read the Sin City comic books or (yet) seen the film, ... from a charge of sexism by claiming, "well, my source material is sexist, and I'm just being true to that."

Just so you know, Miller has (to the best of my knowledge) made no such claim.
Cheers,
B
Are the comics sexist? Absolutely. Does this mean that Frank ... And who the hell would want to sit through that?

Let me start off by saying that I haven't read the Sin City comic books or (yet) seen the film, ... from a charge of sexism by claiming, "well, my source material is sexist, and I'm just being true to that."

Brian's statement is a little ambiguous. Is the comic sexist or does it just portray sexism? Certainly I think we can all agree that the depiction of sexism doesn't amount to sexism itself. But then, if - in the portrayal of that sexism - the comic takes on a sort of sexist attitude (as an homage/mimicry of the world being portrayed), that's sort of a tough tightrope to walk, and not always easy to declare one way or another that it is or isn't sexist.
FWIW, Ebert gave it four stars and I've always found him to be pretty sensitive (sometimes too sensitive) about the social aspect of films he reviews. Then again, Alexander Nevsky is Soviet propaganda and still a great film (Gone With the Wind, anyone?).

Stephen Mack
"Nobody's smart enough to be wrong all the time." -Ken Wilber
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