jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
jmtorres ([personal profile] jmtorres) wrote2009-08-16 07:29 am

Vividcon Themed Show: The Bechdel Test playlist

The official description of the Bechdel show [personal profile] niqaeli and I put together for [ profile] vividcon is:

In 1985 in the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel gave us this test to evaluate gender equality in a movie: 1) it has to have at least two women in it who 2) talk to each other about 3) something other than a man. This vid show is about the spirit of the Bechdel Test, showcasing vids about two or more women interacting and relating with each other, in ways that don't have anything to do with men. Femslash optional.

A fairly dry definition of the Bechdel Test, in case anyone didn't know; "femslash optional" was our wry comment on what we thought most vids-that-passed-Bechdel would be about. We were thrillingly shocked to find that vidders had found and shown and celebrated female characters having an incredible range of relationships and conversations. This is a show full of vids about: friendship, family, sisterhood, mothers and daughters, adopting each other, finding your place in the world, making your place in the world, being part of something bigger than yourself, death and grief, history, identity, societal roles and how to break out of them and the extent to which that's possible--and also, kicking ass, taking names, robots, cheerleading, rocking out, and hot lesbian sex.

Vid: I'm the Girl
Vidder: [personal profile] killabeez/[ profile] killabeez
Fandom: Highlander
Music: Heather Nova
Blurb: Amanda's all things to all people.
Link: Killa's vids are not available online.

Vid: Sister Don't Cry (premiere)
Vidder: [personal profile] traykor/[ profile] traykor
Fandom: Read or Dream (R. O. D. the TV)
Music: Collective Soul
Blurb: Chosen sisters have the strongest bonds.

Vid: The Middle
Vidder: Laura Faiss
Fandom: Gilmore Girls
Music: Jimmy Eat World
Blurb: Rory conquers high school.

Vid: Non Lievi Alchun
Vidder: [ profile] halcyon_shift
Fandom: Merlin
Music: Love is Colder than Death
Blurb: For it giveth unto all lovers courage.

Vid: I Want What I Want (premiere)
Vidder: [personal profile] dualbunny
Fandom: Bionic Woman
Music: Lauren Christy
Blurb: The lives of bionic women.
Link: forthcoming

Vid: Girl Anachronism
Vidder: [ profile] lierdumoa
Fandom: Gia
Music: Dresden Dolls
Blurb: She's fucking up (but she's trying for you).

Vid: Recessional
Vidder: [ profile] keewick
Fandom: Dead Like Me
Music: Vienna Teng
Blurb: Sisterhood transcends death.

Vid: Swallowed (premiere)
Vidder: [personal profile] echan
Fandom: Bring It On
Music: Bush
Blurb: Your traditional designated good girl activity is just a little unfulfilling.
Link: forthcoming

Vid: Celebrity Skin (premiere)
Vidder: [personal profile] jetpack_monkey
Fandom: Josie and the Pussycats
Music: Hole
Blurb: Fame sucks. Don't be a sell-out.

Vid: Black Betty
Vidder: [personal profile] bonibaru, remastered by [personal profile] niqaeli
Fandom: Witchblade
Music: Ram Jam
Blurb: Cat fight!!!
Link: forthcoming

Vid: She Walks (premiere)
Vidder: [personal profile] jmtorres
Fandom: Dollhouse
Music: Hole
Blurb: What gives you the right to do this to me?

Vid: Hera Has Six Mommies
Vidder: [ profile] tallulah71
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Music: Mash-up by Wax Audio (PJ Harvey vs Tori Amos vs Bjork vs Massive Attack)
Blurb: Motherhood crosses species lines.

Vid: Boulevard of
Vidder: [ profile] shati
Fandom: Buffy
Music: Mash-up by Party Ben (Green Day vs Oasis vs Travis vs Aerosmith vs Eminem)
Blurb: The one girl in all the world is not, after all, alone.

Vid: I'm Your Man
Vidder: [ profile] charmax
Fandom: Multi
Music: Patricia O'Callaghan
Blurb: Femslash extravaganza.

Part of my cunning plan in the order of this playlist was starting with a vid about a single woman, who interacted with both men and women, then go to vids about couples or small groupings of women, and then move up to vids about lots of women and arguably about the female condition. I know that some people thought that there were more vids that passed Bechdel more frequently that I could have put in. [personal profile] killabeez thought of other vids of her own. So, a question--did anyone feel cheated by the first vid? Too many mans? I love Amanda and one of the things I loved about that vid was that I found it without going looking for Bechdel vids. It was one of the vids that inspired me to want a whole show full of Bechdel vids.

What Bechdel Test means to me: This is not a girl power show specifically; positivity about women is only one kind of conversation that can happen between women and I wanted to show lots of conversations. I wanted families, lovers, professional relationships, talking about a wide range of topics, not all of which are "we're so awesome," to be more representative of the range of conversations we have in real life. When I was asking vidders for their vids, I found myself explaining that a lot: yes, it's fine that your vid is about women fighting each other, that's still an interaction between women that I want in my show (as long as they're not fighting over a man!).

A handful of comments on specific vids (I am not commenting on all specifically but I am deeply fond of them all or I would not have picked them for our show):

The moment in the Buffy vid Boulevard of that gets me is when I realized that [ profile] shati had intercut and interfaded the wakening of all the Slayers at the end of the series with the rising up of the Sunnydale High School graduating class in season three: when I saw Cordelia in there, I realized this vid expanded the sharing of female power beyond the Slayers to ordinary women. We are all amazing.

Hera Has Six Mommies: This vid is beautiful, but I have never seen the show. Would any Battlestar Galactica fans like to explain this vid to me comment on its relevance?

One thing that made it difficult to choose vids was that many vidders who make vids who pass Bechdel do it all the time, so there was the question of which of this vidder's awesome vids to use? The only reason it wasn't a question with [ profile] charmax was that I'm Your Man had to be our show-closing number, without doubt. But you should go look at her other stuff if you want more! And check out what these other vidders have done as well.
kiki_miserychic: A Dinosaur and Kate Spade Shoes Fairytale (Default)

[personal profile] kiki_miserychic 2009-08-16 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Hera Has Six Mommies: This vid is beautiful, but I have never seen the show. Would any Battlestar Galactica fans like to explain this vid to me comment on its relevance?
Julie's post explains it partly and Hera Has Six Mommies (A Transmedia Love Story): Orphan Television and Lesbian Spectacles does too.
kiki_miserychic: A Dinosaur and Kate Spade Shoes Fairytale (Default)

[personal profile] kiki_miserychic 2009-08-16 06:08 pm (UTC)(link)
P.S. Thanks for putting up the playlist so quick too! *grabby hands*
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)

[personal profile] laurashapiro 2009-08-18 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I was really bummed to miss this show, so thank you so much for the linky playlist!