It is, absolutely. I find it interesting, in a lot of ways, that this movie – of all the movies I’ve made – has been universally hated by fanboys, which I find really interesting. It’s like a fanboy indictment, in some ways. They can’t have fun with the geek culture sexual hang ups.
I thought it was basically you commenting on those attendants at Comic-Con who shout, “You’re hot!” at beautiful cast members.
Yeah! 100%. They don’t know how to be around it. It’s funny because someone asked me about why I dressed the girls like that and I said, “Do you not get the metaphor there? The girls are in a brothel performing for men in the dark. In the fantasy sequences, the men in the dark are us. The men in the dark are basically me: dorky sci-fi kids.”
Is it wrong to enjoy seeing Babydoll in that school girl outfit, though?
I have no problem with this dichotomy as to why she is in the outfit. You can say what you want about the movie, but I did not shoot the girls in an exploitative way. They might be dressed sexually, but I didn’t shoot the movie to exploit their sexuality. There’s no close-ups of cleavage, or stuff like that. I really wanted it to be up to the viewer to feel those feelings or not. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it’s like a guilty-pleasure.
100%. As long as you’re self-aware about it, then you’re okay.
Do you feel like most people are missing that? Aren’t there self-referential lines about that in the film, like when Sweet Pea says the dances have to be more than titillation?
Oh yeah. There’s a few of those. She says, “The dance should be more than titillation, and mine’s personal,” and that’s exactly a comment on the movie itself. I think 90% are missing it or they just don’t care. See, I don’t know. I haven’t had the opportunity to question people about the film, and I feel like that’s the next step with taking the time to interview people about what they saw or what they thought they saw.
The other line that I think is important is, as soon as the fantasy starts, there’s that whole sequence where Sweet Pea breaks it down and says, “This is a joke, right? I get the sexy school girl and nurse thing, but what’s this? A lobotomized vegetable? How about something more commercial?” That is basically my comment on the film as well. She’s saying, “Why are you making this movie? You need to make a movie more commercial. It shouldn’t be so dark and weird.”
Likewise, Moviebob made a 2 part special where he basically deconstructed the movie and explains things in more detail. Here are those youtube links:
You know... if a game company is so "pressured" into changing their characters to appease a certain group of people... then they probably didn't actually believe in their initial convictions. If they did genuinely believe in their vision, they wouldn't back down and please other people. But the fact of the matter is, they did change things, and the games did not suffer anything substantial from it. Elizabeth's reduced breast size? Probably made her a more relate-able and likable character. A lot of the times changes happen because the developers are so busy focusing on making their game they don't realize that certain things they're doing are actually sexist and offensive. When they become aware of this, they make the necessary changes not because they're trying to appease "Activists" or "feminists," but because they genuinely didn't understand what was wrong before and now they do. Changing your mind based on new information is an OK thing to do.
Now you have to understand that there's a difference between being critical of something and outright censoring. I can complain as much as I want about Quiet's design, but I have no actual power to force the game to be altered to my whims. And the fact that Kojima is sticking to his guns and keeping her design despite the fan outcry shows that he DOES actually believe in his vision enough to NOT give in to the "activists" and "feminists."
The world is changing and we can't keep relying on old tropes to get through things. Demographics change. What we once thought was all male is now 45% female and growing. Women ARE a bigger part of our marketing demographics now and we shouldn't IGNORE them because we wanna be stubborn and try and keep everything the same. You are not losing "big boobed panty ninja twelve" by giving gamers CHOICES. And being angry at reality is simply ignorance.
Try to stop seeing the world is such stark black and white terms. Because the world ISN'T that simple. It IS possible to enjoy sexy women and scantly clad characters, have an appreciation for them, while also still being critical of the trope and it's constant use in mainstream media.