Author Topic: Cuties  (Read 2599 times)

Mister Six

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2020, 06:49:58 PM »
I watched the trailer and lasted about 10 seconds (stop it), I'll never watch it but it does seem like these kind of sexualised kiddie dance troupes have been featured in films before (Little Miss Sunshine, Donnie Darko, Bugsy Malone) without any issue.

As a friend of mine pointed out, shit like this has been on US TV for a decade at least without all these dipshits freaking out--



--but when a black woman makes a film critiquing this stuff, it gets held up as child pornography.

I know it's just a bunch of thick cunts reacting to some misleading article churned out by a bored hack for a trashy tabloid, same as the Brass Eye furore years back, but fuck me it's wearying seeing it come on the heels of all the plandemic/antifa will eat your kids bullshit. People are just so fucking stupid.

I don't even care about this film, I'm never going to watch it (although I skimmed the plot summary on Wikipedia and it's clearly a rejection of both religious oppression and secular libertarian laissez-faire parenting), I'm just sick of all this rampant idiocy.

Re: Cuties
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2020, 07:02:07 PM »

zomgmouse

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2020, 01:51:59 AM »
Yeah I'm not entirely convinced by the insane backlash, but judging from clips I've seen it spends a bit too long lingering on very young teens bodies, even if the intent is good I'm not sure the way it was shot is necessary to make the point it's making. I suspect it's only a small bit of the film though? I have to say the trailer did not make the film look particularly good.

the point is that it's uncomfortable! that's the point!!

EDIT: have now actually seen the film. people are nuts if they can't find the critique in the image or uncover a complex thought. it's not that difficult. 'sake.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 02:27:43 AM by zomgmouse »

zomgmouse

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2020, 07:58:39 AM »
The director has written a statement in the Washington Post.

Quote
These scenes can be hard to watch but are no less true as a result.

Quote
Like most 11- and 12-year-olds, our actors in the film had already seen these types of dances and more. Despite this, during filming we were extremely mindful of their age. A trained counselor was present on set. There was no nudity except for a one-second shot in which the main characters see the exposed breast of an actress over 18 while watching a video of a dance routine on a grainy mobile screen. The project was even approved by the French government's child protection authorities.

Re: Cuties
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2020, 11:06:02 AM »
Since Netflix is owned by the same investment companies (BlackRock, Capital Group, Fidelity, Vanguard, T Rowe Price, Prudential, Baillie Gifford, etc) that own all the big companies and employ all the politicians and their spouses, I doubt a serious Netflix boycott is on the cards.

Retinend

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2020, 11:58:51 AM »
A trademark long post from me now because I am irritated by the ignorant reception of this film and I am fully behind the critics who commended it.

Let's cut to the chase - does this film sexualise children? No.

The film is about girls aspiring to be women: for the mind of an average 11 year old girl, freedom means to be a woman. It is to wear make up and to dance like the glamorous women in music videos. That is it.

This film is not about twerking. It's about having split allegiances to one's heritage and to the culture one finds oneself in. Namely it's the Wolof-speaking Senegalese community in Paris. It's an immigrant's tale, no different to any other.

Neither is this a film harshly judging conservative religious values. The religious characters - even the imposing elderly aunt - are all portrayed as having the best intentions at heart, and being fundamentally decent people. The clash of values in this film is not a "culture war". It portrays something everyone goes through in modern societies: discovering for oneself where in that grey zone between inherited values and the youth culture to situate oneself.

It might sound like I'm intellectualizing it, but this is the tone of the film I'm relaying here. Part of our "google it" culture - as this film shows - is that content is king and tone is lost.


In one scene the gang is in the woods (or as close to "the woods" as you can get to in urban Paris). One of the gang picks up a used condom and inflates it with her mouth. It's all good fun until she is told that what she did was disgusting and that she is dirty and disgusting. She begins to cry and the girls decide to resolve the issue by scrubbing her tongue with soap (so she and no one else in the gang gets AIDS). "We have to get rid of all the AIDS microbes", they say as they scrub.  It's a scene you could easily sensationalize and stoke outrage about. Yet the clear intention is to show young girls' notions of sex (such as sexualised dance moves) are as childish as boys notions of war while playing with guns.

A scene of the protagonist Amy being forced into an overly modest dress is symbolic of the pressure to "please her mother in everything she does" (as her female church leader advises her). Her worried face shows her desire to live a life not just like her mother's. Namely, she doesn't want to be beholden to a husband who can essentially dump her and take another wife (a perfectly within patriarchal muslim law) when she grows up. The provocative scenes therefore represent a rejection of patriarchy.

And the scenes of twerking are not gratuitous. At first, the girls' rehearsed moves are exaggerated and stiffly executed. That goes for everything that would be deemed "sexualised" in this film: they are the awkward first attempts of girls to behave like women. It is actually a funny, touching film if you can get it out of your head that the girls are girating for a male gaze. At one point in a rehearsal for the big show, each of the girls bites their lip or lifts a finger to touch their lip which, in an adult context, would obviously be sexual... Yet in the stereotyped, stiff manner in which the girls imitate the mannerisms of a contemporary porn-adjacent popstar, it is a piece of observational humour.

What's more, this is a French film we're talking about. It's not American. Is it not plausible that the scenes of child sexualisation are intended to show the crass realities of americanisation? Watch the film. To my eye, and knowing a little about French culture, I suspect there is something ironic about how the youth's fascination with a hyper-sexualised American pop culture. Not merely presenting it uncritically as the antidote to religious prudishness. Just a thought.


These were my thoughts as I watched the film, tidied up a bit. I've found an interesting looking article by the director which at first glance seems to confirm my hunch that she is criticising the Americanized culture of sexualisation as well she might:

Quote
I was at a community event in Paris a few years ago when a group of young girls came on the stage dressed and dancing in a very risque way. They were only 11 years old, and their performance was shocking. Curious to understand what was happening on that platform, I spent the next year and a half interviewing more than a hundred 10- and 11-year-old girls across the city.

The result was my movie "Mignonnes," or "Cuties" in English. I wanted to make a film in the hope of starting a conversation about the sexualization of children. The movie has certainly started a debate, though not the one that I intended.

Puberty is such a confusing time. You are still a child, with all that wonderful naivete and innocence, but your body is changing, and you're self-conscious and curious about its impact on others all at the same time.

The stories that the girls I spoke to shared with me were remarkably similar. They saw that the sexier a woman is on Instagram or TikTok, the more likes she gets. They tried to imitate that sexuality in the belief that it would make them more popular. Spend an hour on social media and you'll see preteens %u2014 often in makeup %u2014 pouting their lips and strutting their stuff as if they were grown women. The problem, of course, is that they are not women, and they don't realize what they are doing. They construct their self-esteem based on social media likes and the number of followers they have.

To see these youngsters put so much pressure on themselves so early was heartbreaking. Their insights and experiences with social media informed "Cuties."

The main character in the film is an 11-year-old girl called Amy whose family, like mine, came from Senegal and lives in Paris. Frustrated by her mother's failure to take control of her own life, Amy decides to seek freedom by joining a clique of girls at school who are preparing to enter a local dance contest and design increasingly risque routines copying what they've seen on their phones. The girls don't have the maturity, however, to realize what their gestures and dance moves look like to the audience. It is only in seeing the shock on parents' faces in the audience, and at the same time thinking of what her mother is going through, that Amy realizes that these dance routines bring no freedom at all. She chooses her own path, balancing her family's traditional roots and the more liberal city in which she lives.

Some people have found certain scenes in my film uncomfortable to watch. But if one really listens to 11-year-old girls, their lives are uncomfortable.

We, as adults, have not given children the tools to grow up healthy in our society. I wanted to open people's eyes to what's truly happening in schools and on social media, forcing them to confront images of young girls made up, dressed up and dancing suggestively to imitate their favorite pop icon. I wanted adults to spend 96 minutes seeing the world through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl, as she lives 24 hours a day. These scenes can be hard to watch but are no less true as a result. Like most 11- and 12-year-olds, our actors in the film had already seen these types of dances and more. Despite this, during filming we were extremely mindful of their age. A trained counselor was present on set. There was no nudity except for a one-second shot in which the main characters see the exposed breast of an actress over 18 while watching a video of a dance routine on a grainy mobile screen. The project was even approved by the French government's child protection authorities.

This film is my own story. All my life, I have juggled two cultures: Senegalese and French. As a result, people often ask me about the oppression of women in more traditional societies. And I always ask: But isn't the objectification of women's bodies in Western Europe and the United States another kind of oppression? When girls feel so judged at such a young age, how much freedom will they ever truly have in life?

And that's why I made "Cuties": to start a debate about the sexualization of children in society today so that maybe %u2014 just maybe %u2014 politicians, artists, parents and educators could work together to make a change that will benefit children for generations to come. It's my sincerest hope that this conversation doesn't become so difficult that it too gets caught up in today's "cancel culture."

Retinend

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2020, 02:37:37 PM »
ZOMGmouse posted the link while I was writing mine. Sorry for the repost.

chveik

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2020, 06:39:13 PM »
good post Retinend

Re: Cuties
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2020, 08:09:44 PM »
Hey cuties,

I have no interest in watching this, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be telling you. But I’ve enjoyed the memes that have been inspired by this review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9CQxIu9_cw&t=752s&has_verified=1

Re: Cuties
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2020, 08:27:00 PM »
Christ the comments section is a bit scary.

Re: Cuties
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2020, 09:36:26 PM »
the point is that it's uncomfortable! that's the point!!

EDIT: have now actually seen the film. people are nuts if they can't find the critique in the image or uncover a complex thought. it's not that difficult. 'sake.

I don’t want it banned or anything, I understand the intent. It’s also going to be a popular film with internet creeps though isn’t it. I’ve only seen clips and the trailer at this point so will reserve judgment. I would point out there are a number of ways to make audiences uncomfortable to make a point that might not involve pre teen butt/crotch close ups, you could emphasise the gaze of those they’re performing in front of for example. I’ve no doubt there is similar stuff out there that hasn’t had this backlash.

Retinend

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2020, 10:41:34 PM »
Hey cuties,

I have no interest in watching this, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be telling you. But I’ve enjoyed the memes that have been inspired by this review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9CQxIu9_cw&t=752s&has_verified=1

Is that the funny meme where thousands of anonymous losers on the internet try to ruin an innocent person's life en masse in order to assert power they lack in the real world?

Re: Cuties
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2020, 10:56:13 PM »
Honest to god I thought I was a paedophile for a second reading that comments section. Most people are thick, aggressive cunts that need shoeing away from art and discourse. 

chveik

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2020, 11:05:40 PM »
yikes. these people are scum.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2020, 11:19:28 PM »
I have no interest in or desire to see the film, but it can't be any worse than (nor, probably, anywhere near as dodge as) the aforementioned Dance Moms, nor that American mockudrama on CBBC about a kids' dance school, both of which little Nose went through a period of binge watching.

zomgmouse

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2020, 02:48:43 AM »
you could emphasise the gaze of those they’re performing in front of for example

you say this but a pivotal scene towards the end involves the protagonist realising what she's gotten into while seeing the reactions of the audience in front of her

Re: Cuties
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2020, 08:32:41 AM »
I saw it - it’s pretty lurid in its depiction of the dance bits in my view and a shite film to boot - not sure about the whole “social commentary“ excuse to be frank - it came across as easy access wanking material for peados to me

zomgmouse

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2020, 10:13:17 AM »
I saw it - it’s pretty lurid in its depiction of the dance bits in my view and a shite film to boot - not sure about the whole “social commentary“ excuse to be frank - it came across as easy access wanking material for peados to me

nah

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2020, 10:18:31 AM »


I may not have seen the movie but have a rare test pressing of the K-tel album from 1982


Retinend

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Re: Cuties
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2020, 10:49:35 AM »
not sure about the whole "social commentary" excuse to be frank - it came across as easy access wanking material for peados to me

I guess you were fast forwarding through the boring bits, like the scenes of urban social deprivation and ghettoization.

Re: Cuties
« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2020, 10:51:27 AM »
No I watched it the whole way through - I didn’t really see what that had to do with the zoom in shots of 11 year old girls arses

Re: Cuties
« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2020, 04:53:22 PM »
you say this but a pivotal scene towards the end involves the protagonist realising what she's gotten into while seeing the reactions of the audience in front of her

Aye I'm sure it is done in other ways, I've yet to see the film. But my point was that you can make the audience uncomfortable in many different ways, and don't necessarily have to use close ups of butts/crotches at all. In the same way that obscuring violence and gore in horror films often tends to make them more effective rather than less.

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