OpinionPodcastTelevision & Film

THE TIM HARVEY SHOW #5: More Bad Behavior & Horror For The Stage and Film!

I wasn’t planning on repeating last week’s rant about Men Treating Women Badly, but then the news about Harvey Weinstein broke. Hopefully this isn’t going to turn into a weekly rant because that’ll be terribly depressing.

What isn’t depressing is the plan to record a series of live short horror script readings later this month, which we hope will be a new segment of the show, all for your aural and visual pleasure. We bring you the news about that, consider James Cameron’s Wonder Woman fit, and ponder the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode, spoiler-free.

Plus, recommendations on horror films for the holiday!

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

One thought on “THE TIM HARVEY SHOW #5: More Bad Behavior & Horror For The Stage and Film!

  • I think Cameron’s comments viz Wonder Woman had to do with depth and development of character rather than whether or not Wonder Woman was a strong female lead. Looked at objectively, her evolution as a character in the course of the movie is limited. She begins her adventure as a hero. She ends it as a goddess – the death of her sacrificial boyfriend the catalyst that transforms her from awesome to even *more* awesome.

    Gal Gadot does an amazing job of delivering the character. Her Wonder Woman is a portrait of strength, tempered by warmth, humor and emotional nuance. Even so, the development arc of Diana’s character, however well delivered, is fairly flat. She is, after all, a goddess. Goddesses tend to make their entrances fully formed. It is a fair criticism to point out that Wonder Woman never really struggles to realize her heroism, to overcome self-doubt. The weakness is with humanity, not Diana. Diana’s trial of the soul occupies about ten minutes of screen time, during which she doubts humanity is worthy of her efforts – doubts banished by the selfless death of Chris Pine.

    What Cameron misses (and perhaps finds puzzling) is the degree to which Diana’s belief from the outset in her own strength and heroic destiny resonates with the audience. Diana comes from a place where the strength of women, and their place in the pantheon of heroes, is a given. The assumption of strength and confidence as a woman’s birthright is a different story than finding those qualities where their assumption is absent, but it is no less inspiring a story. Sarah Connor’s journey from hapless waitress to badass hero is a discovery of courage, strength and resourcefulness she didn’t know she had. Diana, like any true amazon, sets out on her journey with those qualities as standard equipment. Sara’s central journey is one of self-discovery. Diana’s is much more outward-focused, a discovery of the world she has dedicated herself to saving from its worst impulses, and inspiring toward its best impulses.

    The Cameron dust-up illustrates one reason I so dislike the tendency to treat comic book universes as unqualified examples of the science fiction genre. If you squint a bit and don’t look directly at them, comics look kinda-sorta like science fiction. But the rules of the road and expectations for comic books and science fiction are very different. (More on that another time.)
    I can understand why Cameron, who comes from the science fiction side of the fence, might be a bit bewildered at the degree of squee over Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

    I can also understand the general reaction among ‘Wonder Woman’ fans to Cameron’s criticism, especially given the counter-example to Diana’s character was one of his own. Here we have a crazy successful Summer blockbuster with a woman in the lead, and Cameron seems to be saying his hero was better.

    Having said that, I do wish SciFi4Me had offered a thoughtful response to Cameron’s criticism rather than dismissing it by attacking Cameron as a person. I do believe that if it was any movie other than ‘Wonder Woman’, Tim would have rolled up his sleeves, put on his wellies, and waded in to address the criticism. I rely on SciFi4Me to illuminate the science fiction landscape, not cloud it over with stale social media smoke.


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