I am quite a fan of TED Talks – for their content and the spiffy way they illustrate a talk should go in a quick 20 minutes or so. I often show students one of my favorites – Chimamanda Adiche’s “The Danger of a Single Story” and show my friend, Art Benjamin’s TED Talks in some of my humanities courses. I was deeply pleased to be asked to give my own TED Talk, “A Female Voice In The Room”, when CalPolyPomona hosted their own TED@CPP event a few years ago. So when I find a new one worth sharing – I share it.
The latest TED Talk to catch my attention was given by film producer Lindsay Doran in 2012. “Saving the World Vs Kissing the Girl” is a fascinating look at how ‘action’ movies end on the announcement of the success to someone the protagonist is in a relationship with, making the culmination of the relationship more important than the ‘saving the world’ part.
For instance, at the end of Rocky he doesn’t say “Yo, Adrian, I won” because he doesn’t win the fight. He only survived it. The movie ends with Rocky and Adrian struggling to get to each other in the crowd. When they reach each other, they clutch each other saying, “I love you” over and over again. THAT’s the win.
Using Dirty Dancing, Karate Kid, and The King’s Speech she explains how positive relationships are more important than positive accomplishments in films. They always end with the healing of a primary relationship. Heroes who don’t win their fight (Rocky in Rocky, George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird) are so inspirational because they win their relationships.
Then she says that women don’t need to learn that relationships are more important than accomplishments in life – men do. So perhaps these action films are women’s way of teaching that lesson that no man is a failure who has friends.
I LOVE that idea!