Kameron Hurley looks at depictions of (white male) hegemony in Snowpiercer and Guardians of the Galaxy.
I haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy nor do I have any desire to; I forswore Marvel films somewhere around the Avengers/Iron Man 3 era, mostly after growing tired with watching endless reels of tedious white manchildren spew out justification after justification as to why they really, really need to be excused for wholesale property damage in order to commit mass murder and/or genocide against thinly-veiled racist stereotypes. I like explosions as much as the next girl, but the violent US-centric colonialist exceptionalism rhetoric there got a bit too blatant even for me.
Besides, Marvel’s movie arm isn’t getting another dollar from me until I get my Captain Marvel film.
Snowpiercer, on the other hand… Oy.
I watched that a little while ago solely based on recommendations from the internet. Perhaps this meant my expectations were too high–they were pretty high–but… Jesus, that film was bad. And it was bad in that really, really enraging way, the same way something like X-Men: Days of Future Past was bad, in that it seemed there was some actually interesting narrative that kept getting obscured by the fact boring white men kept stealing all the screen time.
Snowpiercer gave me a new rule: If a piece of media has any scene containing only white men, then that media has too many white men.
And, like, don’t get me wrong. I get what Snowpiercer was trying to do, and the myth it was trying to deconstruct (which Hurley goes into more in her post). I get that, I do. But…
But. It was really hard, as a non-American, not to read Snowpiercer as, well, like I said on Twitter (‘scuse typos):
And in that context… yeah. Not so much. Hegemony comes in different flavours, after all.
(Also I get the “hope” at the end was that the Asian chick and the Black kid are the only ones saved but, like. The rest of humanity is dead? And they’re about to be eaten by polar bears? A species can’t recover from a bottleneck population of two, is all I’m saying, right.)
The upshot of this is that I think I’ve pretty much given up on genre films for the time being. (Except maybe old 80s horror movies, but that’s a different tangent…)