Great film, great song (the last victim’s singing along to it on her radio as she drives home from work), but neither’s about female empowerment as I thought they once were.
I started writing an essay a few years ago about how, like Tootsie (don’t get me started on the anti-feminism dripping from that script), Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling is at the mercy of men: Hannibal Lecter (“They don’t have a name for what he is.”), his sing-songy, riddle-laden hints–as if speaking to a child (“You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.”)–as to how to find the serial killer (“It rubs the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again.”). More rhyming! He wants her skin to outfit himself as a woman, yet refers to his victim as “it.” And the song above–men defining what it means to be an “American Girl.” I even started researching starlings to find a link between the birds’ attributes and Clarice’s (or women’s).
My first English class back at college (3rd try) was “Films of the 70’s and 80’s: Cultural Relevance and Criticism,” something like that. It and my professor were AWESOME. Watching, discussing, and writing papers on some of the best films ever? Semester ended too soon for me.