Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nikita was no Charlie's Angel

"I think that the best way to judge movies is 10 years after they're released. I don't think that the Academy Awards necessarily get it right. I think they get it wrong more often than they get it right."
-- Academy Award Winner, Matt Damon


Last week I had the honor of being a presenter for the 20/20 Awards a ceremony held in Seattle that annually revisits the Academy Awards, using the advantage of 20 years of hindsight to re-evaluate the choices made two decades earlier.

Now in its second year, the ceremony has consistently stripped previous Academy Award winners while also donning new awards to some films that weren’t even nominated 20 years earlier. I loved the concept when I first heard about it from my friend and 20/20 founder Kris Kristensen, but then became a complete convert last year when the award for Best Documentary was given by 20/20 to Michael Moore’s “Roger & Me”—a film that wasn’t even nominated by the Academy in 1990 yet completely changed the landscape of documentary filmmaking from that date onward.

So last week, I got the opportunity to present the 20/20 award for Best Foreign Language Film. And again, the 20/20 voting syndicate stripped the original winner of this award (Journey of Hopeever heard of it?) in favor of the French film La Femme Nikita.

La Femme Nikita wasnt even nominated in this category 20 years ago, yet it not only has endured as a stylish piece of cinema but it opened the door for a new genre of the female action hero.

I loved this film when it came out in 1990. In 20/20 hindsight of my own life path, this film not only inspired me to launch a career committed to women being represented in the media both in front of and behind the camera (Yay Reel Grrls!) but also inspired my 20+ year training in the martial arts.

However, the film critics hated Nikita. The LA Times called it An ultra-violent imitation of an American high tech urban thriller. Entertainment Weekly called it The Terminator re-imagined by French Vogue.

While La Femme Nikita is a violent film (it is secret agent thriller after all) I believe that the real criticism was fueled by critics and audiences not being used to seeing women exercise power in the action genre in a very raw and unapologetic way. Nikita was no Charlies Angelshe was scrappy, tough and morally ambiguous. She was punk. Nothing like the saccharin, botoxed male-fantasy female action heroes that have been spawned by Hollywood since then. In the same way that the music industry has tried to co-opt strong women musicians, indie grrl bands like Sleater Kinney blazed a trail that cant be commodified. Punk in sheeps clothing doesnt fly. Hollywood may say it likes Bad Girls but really it likes Good Girls who wear spandex.

In accepting the 20/20 Award for La Femme Nikita last week I assert that Nikita had something 20 years ago that hit a nerve and it hasnt been seen since. Final take-away? Nikita could kick Lara Crofts ass. Kudos to 20/20 for finally giving the icon Nikita the spotlight she deserves.



10 comments:

Holly said...

Awesome. Moving it up in my Netflix queue right now!

Anonymous said...

MADOM.
With DERELLY and on DERST and that's DJOHST- ?
This is what " HOLLY" says.
And the fact that OLAH and OLIVER NORTH are GUN- RUNNING with MICATT and CHO is a no brainer.
But it's the " HAMBURGER RING" with CRYPHO that brought us all to TEARS.
GE- RITE AID- UGGS and QUARONAK.
" Reel Grris & Reel Grrl".....EARL & DON have their own
" POCASIE ".

Anonymous said...

WAMYTOC.
You got your WHAMBANGO.
You asked for it on ASKWOR , and it's coming up faster than COMSTUL, and not even the QUEEN can get a grip.
And MITZELS to MICATT are delivering the pizza like you wouldn't " belief".

Anonymous said...

You crazy fucks...look what you've done.
" Misery Masqk" with Miss & Mister Summer and Mishka.
You poor things.
" Etack"?
There are more than one hundred blogs following all your messages and rings and this is going to be some blockbuster movie called : " Kansas Kings".
So, she's no longer Somatids?
Ok.
We'll call her Summer.
It's good for biz.
It's going to be very bad for Hollywood.
And Miccat.

Michelle said...

NYACK?
That's NYE- GERMANY- ACE- CK.
They got HOUGGENN with NYE- DOT.
They also got GOPPER- HOPPER- and there goes the UN.
And now there's not only SQUESSO- SQUILLE- SQUET- there's also QUESSES!
Well, what do you expect with GREED ARK?
It's RICK.
And it's " HAMBURGER RING".

Anonymous said...

SESSESTS...this was the " gig" .
It wasn't just warfare on poor children for organs and profits, they wanted to trash the planet , as well.
And they did a good job of it with Dr. Dragon Ball.
And Killa Coles, helped.
And the Queen in all her " Dragons & Dungeons" threw out nets for UPEDRAY .
TASHELL.
One more QUESSO.
We the people, want death to those proven as a threat to our globe.

Anonymous said...

BOORS.
Here's another.
And we know who this is.
This is CONDOLEEZA RICE.
She's supposedly the PEDOPHILE with the most
" voracious" appetite.
And she's close to JEB BUSH, of course!
And the HO is EDWARD MEESE.
He works with BERRIRO, is what they all say.
And the BEE in ONTARIO for all this child- trafficking is the GREYHOUND guy called HEVENER?
Are you joking?

Anonymous said...

They got STATESS and now they got STAKIS and this is DON- KIZ 14.
They say it's KISS.
Can you believe these rings of PEDOPHILES?
They are gun- running with cartels?

Anonymous said...

DEPP and SCHAR are a WODEN BLUES TEAM!

Anonymous said...

SEADR.
COMSTUL calling.
There's a LOCH NESS wanting COCHONS.
SEADR.
MICATT ringing.
There's a SEA DRAGON diving for PEARLS.
SEADR.
There's COSYMST spraying CAPTAIN BLOOD.
SEADR.
You need to co-operate.
Everyone's SEESIGH for LUST.