Snarky's Machine talks Action movies

Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

If you enjoyed hearing Angelina Anderson, aka Snarky’s Machine, talk about Dame Judie Dench starring in her own action movie, listen to this full interview that touches on race in film, James Bond, a remake of Wildcats, and more.

For more Snarky, check out her personal blog, I Fry Mine in Butter, Snarky’s Cinemachine on Bitch (including her post on Dame Judi), and for all your office supply needs, Does This Pen Write?.


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3 Comments Have Been Posted

I loved this breakdown

Of how action movies are more diverse/role bending than other movie genres. One thing it got me thinking about, is what started the current generation of ass-kicking women. The women action leads today are allowed to perform physically in ways that Pam Grier, Grace Jones, Jane Fonda, even Sharon Stone were not given. I think 1994 was a turning point in this respect - that year gave us Jamie Lee Curtis in "True Lies" and Juliet Lewis in "Natural Born Killers".

Of course, Jamie Lee was critical in breaking the mold when it came to women in horror flicks - she didn't run in the woods in high heels, didn't stop to put her robe/coat/sweater on, and she fought back. But in "True Lies" she gets to knock guys out, do car stunts, hang out of helicopters, all the traditional guy stuff. Ahnold's movies have a long and stong history of Ass Kickin Chicks - right from Conan the Barbarian forward - but JLC isn't merely supporting Schwarzenegger in True Lies, she's right up there in the business with him.

I am a fan of "Natural Born Killers" for many reasons - it's certainly got some problematic shit going on, but it also broke lots of new ground, and people wave off NBK with one hand, and steal all kinds of stuff it did first with the other. But that opening scene: A guy is being a douchebro with Mallory (Juliet Lewis), and she's playing tease with him, and you're not quite sure where this is going - maybe expecting her boyfriend to step in? maybe she pulls out a gun? But no, she punches his shit OUT. She BOXES HIM! She flat out beats him up. Then the guns come out... I do not recall seeing a woman positioned as a physical violent threat in this way before this. And you could feel Mallory's LIBERATION in doing what she was doing - ugly as it was. So it seems to me that these two roles busted the door open for all the good stuff we're seeing now w/r/t women action heroes.

Anyway, I just loved this interview and the topics and I hope we get more of them from you, Snarky!


This is a great interview, thanks for this. it's exactly what I like to hear from Bitch: refreshing insights from feminists who are determined to be entertained by mainstream pop culture, and not by simply suspending their disbelief in order to do so. Really poignant commentary on some great topics here.

As a sci-fi fan, I loved hearing "Why is Uhura basically just a telephone operator in outer space?" and a great description of Alien as a long overdue step away from sci-fi's lame depictions of women's roles.

The commentary on the trajectories of female acting careers vs those of male actors was right on, and not something I haven't been able to express so eloquently in conversation before. Again, it's the type of stuff I look for in Bitch: smart, well spoken women putting the muddled stuff I struggle to express into eloquent accessible language. I'm grateful to the Bitch staff for that.

I've only recently admitted

I've only recently admitted to myself that I love action movies (I just watched the full Predator series if you need proof). I discovered this later in life (I'm 33). I think it took learning to suspend my disbelief and realize I enjoyed the action as escape, which I guess is the whole point of these movies. I had noticed the same thing as Snarky—that there was/is often a more diverse cast in the genre, which I like. I wonder why that became a 'thing' so much earlier in this particular genre?

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