In the wake of the hard body action films of the 1980’s, there lies a cache of films re-examining what it means to be a woman and re-defining gender roles through depictions of female sexual liberation. I’ve chosen to compare and contrast two very different depictions of this liberation Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (1986) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (1991). How is gender defined in each of these films? What does it mean to be a female? How is masculinity re-evaluated?
One of the most important comparisons between the two films is acknowledging the presence, influence, and gaze of a male director. Can Lee and Scott create accurate representations of a sense of female liberation if they’re males? Who is the one characterizing and defining Nola Darling’s “liberation”? What are the differences between a sexually liberated white female as opposed to a black female?