cest_what: (natasha in sunlight)
I've been thinking about movie-verse Black Widow in relation to this excellent blog post lately. In particular the idea that because women in comics/video games/geek media tend to be portrayed as unrealistically sexy and eye-candy-esque in their clothing and poses while doing kickass masculine-coded things (being amazing fighters, hackers, engineers etc), people often consider that that competence itself is part of the fantasy, rather than a quality that's realistic for a female character.

I have mixed feelings about parts of Natasha's arc in Avengers. On an individual character level, the fact that Natasha is afraid and deals with it is great: it's part of what gives her the human depth that's missing from her role in Iron Man 2. On a broader level, the fact that Natasha, the only female Avenger, is also the only one of them we see frightened and running scared, is unfortunate.

What I don't have any mixed feelings about, though, is that in addition to seeing her scared, we see Natasha doing things that are fucking hard, and that we see the effort it takes. Natasha's coolest moment in Iron Man 2 is, undoubtedly, her fight scene in the corridor. It's well choreographed, her hair looks great, her outfit looks great, and basically the whole thing looks really cool. It's also effortless: she doesn't break a sweat, she never looks less than stunning, and every move displays her body in, not a hypersexualised way, but in an entirely photogenic way. It's not something you would look at and think "god that's so objectifying", but in the most literal way, that's absolutely what it is: there's nothing at all to take you inside the character's POV, you're just watching a beautiful kickass fantasy woman do cool shit.

I think the photogenic damn that's cool moments are really important for action movies and superhero movies in particular. Natasha gets as many of them in Avengers as the other Avengers do. But she also, like the other Avengers, gets the moments where effort makes her ugly. When she catches a ride on one of the alien planes, for example, you see her look incredibly cool as she jumps and then you see her with this brutal grimace of effort while she struggles with the aliens and wrestles the vehicle into submission.

In Avengers, unlike in Iron Man 2, Natasha's super agent competence isn't undercut by a need for her to be unrealistically attractive in every shot - especially during her fight scenes. Sometimes she is, sometimes she isn't, just like the boys. It's a pretty simple thing, but I almost think it's the most important thing the film did for her.
cest_what: (natasha in sunlight)
Avengers | Clint & Natasha, Clint & Loki | AO3

'The Crow' by Dessa
Summary: Barton's been compromised.

Password: budapest

Download from MediaFire.
cest_what: face the world (face the world)
I've spent the last three nights vidding Avengers, and wow, this is going so much faster than anything else I've tried to vid.

I'm still feeling my way with this medium: in two years of occasional-vidding I've finished two and left I think six unfinished in the graveyard of my hard drive, plus the playlist of never-to-be-made vids on my ipod. So I don't know if this one is so much quicker because it's the first time I've worked from a single source - especially as my characters have ensemble roles in the film, so there's even less canon to wrangle - or if I've just got saner about clipping. It's working so much better, anyway. I'm two thirds of the way through the song in three nights of working on it (plus two months of mentally mapping the vid out before I actually started, but, well). How You Survived the War took me freaking months, like possibly six of them I can't remember, and with technical dramas and losing the file and switching software, I didn't post (Don't You Mess Around With) My Little Sister until over a year after I started it.

It's a Clint & Natasha + Loki vid to Dessa's 'The Crow'. The challenges so far are trying to fit the clips into rap lyrics - because seriously slow down, woman, Clint didn't finish firing his bow yet - and trying to push all of my Natasha and Natasha/Clint and Loki feels into a single vid. They, uh, don't fit. Obviously. But I've been periodically trying to find a song I could vid Natasha & Clint to since the movie came out - I never got properly into Avengers fic, but the vids are my favourite thing in the world, and Co-Dependent Messed Up SHIELD Assassins vids were pretty much all I came out of the movie truly wanting - and I kind of don't think I'll find another one. So I've been messing up the storyline a bit by trying to force all of my thoughts about Natasha and monsters and vulnerability and redemption and heroism into a vid that is, in fact, about Loki suborning Clint. So, you know. Whoops.
cest_what: (Default)
Man, sometimes I just feel like all Avengers fic is taunting me. Like, yes, I would like to read all of this prolific and hilarious and engaging fic! But I don't have time. I already have a fandom, it's also full of prolific and hilarious and engaging fic, how will I ever get to you, eight million awesome-looking fics about Loki and/or Darcy saved in my bookmarks?

Plus I keep accidentally reading Teen Wolf fic instead. (WHYYYYY do I like Teen Wolf fic, Teen Wolf fic is mostly terrible.)


cest_what: (Default)
c'est what

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