Quick Links and Quotes: Force Awakens and Jessica Jones

Two quick links.

The Force Awakens

There can be no more discussion about whether the success of a given female-centric or female-led mainstream entertainment means anything other than the now indisputable fact that women will go to the movies with women and/or about women in numbers significant enough to justify those films being made. And moreover, there is no longer an argument about whether placing a female character at the center of a mainstream blockbuster does a box office disservice to said film here and abroad. We already knew the answer. But now everyone does. All they have to do is look at the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a female-led superhero sci-fi action blockbuster fantasy, is now the biggest-grossing movie of all time. Will this change things? Conventional wisdom says no, but conventional wisdom says The Force Awakens would have been better off making Rey the love interest rather than the hero.

— Scott Mendelson @ Forbes ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ A Female-Led Superhero Movie, Will Be The Biggest-Grossing Film Ever

I disagree a bit in that I saw Force Awakens as more of an ensemble film. And I think that Force Awakens and Hunger Games demonstrate that an action-adventure film with a leading actress can be a blockbuster if it gets equivalent production and promotion attention.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg interviewed by Libby Hill.

Television seems to struggle when it is tackling depictions of sex, both consensual and otherwise. Was it important for you to have a lot of sex-positive encounters on the show? Conversely, how did you make your choices regarding depicting or not depicting rape?

With rape, I think we all know what that looks like. We’ve seen plenty of it on television and I didn’t have any need to see it, but I wanted to experience the damage that it does. I wanted the audience to really viscerally feel the scars that it leaves. It was not important to me, on any level, to actually see it. TV has plenty of that, way too often, used as titillation, which is horrifying.

— Libby Hill And Melissa Rosenberg @ LA Times, 'Jessica Jones' showrunner Melissa Rosenberg talks casting, adaptation, and female sexuality – LA Times

Which I think was also a good idea, also because any on-screen depiction of rape ends up dissected for ambiguity. Jessica Jones was doggedly unambiguous on the subject.