Guns, girls and sex

Jean-Luc Godard famously said that all you need for a movie is a gun and a girl. Of course he was making a broader point about the motive force of sex and violence (or potential violence), but in some sense the expression also used to have some literal truth. When I watch something from the 40’s or the 50’s, particularly film noir, there’s always a frisson of excitement and danger when those two things are combined. A woman pulling out a gun was often the pivotal moment in a film, even when it happened off camera. In modern movies that has been lost. Under the influence of video games, comic books and CGI, there’s an endless succession of big breasted girls wielding enormous firearms at the slightest provocation. It still can be fun, Trinity helping to trash the building lobby springs to mind, but the edge has gone.

Arguably that loss might be a good thing. A lot of the tension in those old movies comes from the fact that a woman wasn’t expected to wield a gun. So when she did it was a deviation from the norm, and always came at a moment of great tension. Movies allow equal opportunity murder and mayhem these days. On a personal level however, I do mourn the decline of the deadly femme fatale.

The first image below is one of the greatest femme fatale roles every committed to celluloid, Jane Greer as Kathie in Out of the Past. It’s a brilliant movie and she’s mesmerizing in it. I came across this image on this film noir tumblr. Slave domnei also blogged about it earlier this year.

The second image has a more vague provenience. I think it’s an actress called Naike Rivelli, but I’m not sure where I found it or what the context for the shot is. I just liked it for her expression and body language (and body). There’s definitely a suggestion of something nefarious going on. She’s just been caught doing something, or about to do something, and isn’t sure how you might react.

Oddly I find the first image actually pushes more of my internal buttons than the second. I’m not really sure why, but there’s something about that buttoned up sexuality that seems more dangerous, and hence more appealing.

Jane Greer in Out of the Past
Naked girl with gun

 

Author: paltego

See the 'about' page if you really want to know about me.

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