Friday, July 11, 2014

Female roles: Lana del Rey and Maleficent

Recently I saw Lana del Rey live and I got very upset with the way she was portraying herself as a woman. I would like to talk about her role opposed to the one played by Angelina Jolie in Maleficent.

You might say that I shouldn't compare a real person with a Disney character. After seeing del Rey's show I can say that she is an invented product, as much as Maleficent. The images projected during the show, the good looking band members, the omniprensence of the american flag and the thousands of teenagers singing her name allows me to treat them as fictional characters.
That being said, lets see what a Femme Fatale is according to  Film Noir Studies: "The femme fatale represents the most direct attack on traditional womanhood and the nuclear family. She refuses to play the role of devoted wife and loving mother that mainstream society prescribes for women. She finds marriage to be confining, loveless, sexless, and dull, and she uses all of her cunning and sexual attractiveness
to gain her independence."

Poor little rich girl

In Lana del Rey I saw a young woman in the 1950s that just got married, a little bit of a caricature of the lady in The bridges of Madison County. A woman that is beautiful and has followed what society was expecting and now is not happy. Like a good Femme Fatale she doesn't want to play the role of devoted wife and loving mother but Lana doesn't have enough skills to fight that properly, at least not yet. So she just sits at home, smokes, swears and paints her nails red to mean "Danger". Cry wolf. Perro ladrador, poco mordedor.

She portraits herself as a stupid woman, most of the lyrics of her album "Born to die" refer to a man, either describing him or begging him for something. "Everytime I close my eyes / It's like a dark paradise / No one compares to you / I'm scared that you won't be waiting on the other side". She presents her character like a helpless, submissive and careless woman, a female that is trapped inside the American Dream, a victim with no skills, intelligence or will to exit that situation.

A powerful woman

On the other hand Maleficent is an intelligent, courageous and powerful woman. A woman that is strong and defends her world against the enemies. Maleficent has no problem living without the man she loves. Like Lana del Rey she also has long nails, but hers have a clear color, she doesn't need her nails to pretend, they don't represent her, she can use her hands to act and doesn't need to paint them every day. Maleficient has red sensual lips like Lana del Rey but she uses them to communicate, to learn, to make mistakes and to grow.

Maleficent is a real victim, her wings were cut off but she doesn't act like a victim, she is a warrior. She is in a true cage because she cannot fly but she find other ways to move around and act. Maleficent is action, Lana is passivity.

Maleficent doesn't need to be a femme fatale, she is so beyond that point that it wouldn't make sense for her to be upset or attack what the tradition stated. She is so confident that instead of crying and swearing, she wants to built, she wants to forgive and she wants to fight for what she things is the right thing. The femme fatale makes no sense anymore!

After reading this post, you can imagine my surprise when I heard Lana del Rey sing the song during the credits! :-D I hope Lana del Rey will surprise us and in the future will leave this outdated role and present herself as an intelligent and powerful woman that I am sure she is!

3 comentarios:

the religion spiritualistic in general ; those that believe in reencarnation and improve the spirit for the next life prove evereything in life and postlife rationally .

Your explanation about maleficent and lanna del rey , is rationally explained but between a man and a woman lies the LOVE , and this as some things on christianity for example has no explanation , may be to feed the love some inexplicable acts are required in a relationship

acts like lana del rey ( sometimes )

acts like lana del rey ( sometimes )