Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Issa bop.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – important sidebar: if you don’t like that full title, then I’m afraid you and I can no longer be friends – is jam-packed full of those tell-tale female-driven creative decisions and, even more specifically, how director Cathy Yan, screenwriter Christina Hodson, and producer & star Margot Robbie prioritise letting these creative decisions just be rather than utilise them for self-conscious points-scoring.  Take the new costumes by Erin Benach, for instance.  By and large, they are a lot less male-gaze-y than in Suicide Squad and cinematographer Matthew Libatique refrains from gratuitous butt shots, boob shots, or other fanservice-y leering of exposed skin.  But the costumes are still strikingly designed, and they’re arguably still sexy.  The difference is that the designs are more in-keeping with each character’s personality, their inner strength and self-confidence, and the camera is fixated on the feminine power (both mental and physical) they exude and gain from the manner in which they dress.  It’s a difference in perspective; communicating the desires of the characters rather than the desires of titillated teenage boys in the audience or consumerist marketers looking to sell expensive branded clothing.

This kind of smart reframing and recontextualization of the prior DCEU groundwork and aesthetics – I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that one of the earliest decisions Yan, Hodson and Robbie came to was ‘what if we took the deliberately garish pop-punk live-action Liquid Television aesthetic David Ayer was going for in Suicide Squad but feminised and made it not shit?’ – is endemic of the pleasures that Birds of Prey has to offer.”

Full review exclusively on Soundsphere Magazine (link).

Callie Petch wants revolution GIRL STYLE NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!!

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