05 09 11 - 10:02Did they parrot what was popular at the time, or create the popularity, or just egg it on?
MALE AND FEMALE, 1919
But then came movie stars and, in particular, Gloria Swanson. Half forgotten now, she was a Hollywood star in Capital Letters. It wasnât Swanson on her own who changed the world, but Swanson reflected in the mirror of her times. As Cari Beauchamp tells me in my film, in the 1910s and 1920s, people lived in bell jars. Most didnât travel more than 100 miles from their homes. But at night they went to see a film like Male and Female, in which Cecil b Demille directed Swanson. She plays Lady Mary Lasenby, dressed in feathers and furs, a creature unlike any that most women had ever met. She travelled and sinned, and women projected their wanderlust, their explorer instincts, on to her. In one scene in this movie, Swanson lies down as a lion paws her. Freud would have had a field day. Films like Male and Female gave to the 20th century, images of decadent, adventurous women that changed womenâs inner lives. - The Telegraph
Having been given the vote, and immediately wreaked havoc on politics with Prohibition, the women of America and Europe decided they wanted to assert themselves more. After all, it seemed like the traditional order was falling apart, thanks mostly to WWI and other fallout of the French Revolution.
So we have a surge in drama.
It will end up taking a century, but women are starting to see that this was a bad path. "Freedom" led them away from everything that made life fulfilling. And what does it end up looking like?
An empty apartment, too many empty bottles of wine, a "Cougar" designation, an empty womb and a life devoid of meaning.