Bret Easton Ellis, the author of “American Psycho,” “Less Than Zero,” “The Informers” and “The Rules of Attraction,” all of which have been made into films, ripped “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow in a series of Tweets.
Ellis tweeted, “Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she’s a very hot woman she’s really overrated.” He also tweeted:
“Zero Dark Thirty” might win critics awards but “Silver Linings Playbook” will win the Best Picture Oscar. This is how it always happens… Strange Days, K-19 The Widowmaker, Blue Steel, The Hurt Locker. Are we talking about visionary filmmaking or just OK junk?
He has a point. Bigelow won an Oscar for directing “The Hurt Locker,” a professionally done film which essentially played the same scene over and over again.
Bigelow fans were furious; they seized on his recent Tweet in which he wrote: “Come over at do bring coke now.” He later mocked his own Tweet, writing, “‘Come over at do bring coke now…’ Christ, I should have tweeted that while sitting through Les Miserables. I might have liked it then.”
Indiewire TV editor Alison Willmore tweeted indignantly, “Can’t we just agree not to indulge Bret Easton Ellis’ transparent grabs for attention? For his own good! We’re totes feeding his addiction!”
She was echoed by MSN’s Glenn Kenny: “@BretEastonEllis would be considered a mildly interesting writer if he was a mildly interesting writer.”
(By the way, Mr. Kenny, you might want to look up the subjunctive case; that’s “if he were an interesting writer.”)
Ellis is right about Bigelow, but it’s not because he isn’t sexist. In 2010, when he was asked about his traditional devaluation of film directors, Ellis said:
There’s something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze. We’re watching, and we’re aroused by looking, whereas I don’t think women respond that way to films, just because of how they’re built.
When he was asked, “You don’t think they have an overt level of arousal?”, Ellis responded:
[They have one] that’s not so stimulated by the visual. I think, to a degree, all the women I named aren’t particularly visual directors. You could argue that Lost in Translation is beautiful, but is that [cinematographer Lance Acord]? I don’t know. Regardless of the business aspect of things, is there a reason that there isn’t a female Hitchcock or a female Scorsese or a female Spielberg? I don’t know. I think it’s a medium that really is built for the male gaze and for a male sensibility. I mean, the best art is made under not an indifference to, but a neutrality [toward] the kind of emotionalism that I think can be a trap for women directors. But I have to get over it, you’re right, because so far this year, two of my favorite movies were made by women, Fish Tank and The Runaways. I’ve got to start rethinking that, although I have to say that a lot of the big studio movies I saw last year that were directed by women were far worse than the sh***y big-budget studio movies that were directed by men.
The feminist Obama-Worshiper Bigelow on one side, and the misogynistic Ellis on the other; NOW vs. the Caveman. Should make for interesting viewing.