Woman gets voice, woman loses voice

In a silent movie, obviously, no-one can talk. So what happens if one woman finds her voice? That’s the premise of Silent, a film which has the potential to examine some interesting ideas about attitudes to women who speak out, on the basis of the trailer and synoposis:

Reminiscent of “Pleasantville”, in this Gothic comedy heroine Abigaile Archibald suddenly develops a speaking voice in a world that is otherwise silent. Delighted, she secretly indulges in the joys of talking and singing — until the townspeople launch a witch hunt to find the source of the mysterious sound.

(H/T – Mike)

Meanwhile, Bidisha has an interesting post on Comment is Free, about the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The novel, written by a woman, falls into a sound tradition of middle-aged women in literature:

These women are not always glamorous, nor beautiful, nor entertainingly witty. They are not always morally good. But they have something which is usually a given for males in film and books: they have charisma, power and independence. They are no one’s helpmeet, and this gives them the space to influence their own storylines, for good or ill. They are middle-aged women with minds of their own.

But Bidisha has some interesting reflections on the transition of Miss Pettigrew from book to screen:

Miss Pettigrew was written by a women, about women and published beautifully by Persephone Books who are dedicated to the history of women’s writing. The novel has been eaten up by the Hollywood machine and spat out with a male club pulling all the strings: the director is Bharat Nalluri and the writers are David Magee and Simon Beaufoy. Ultimately, the only female magnificence in this project is the delightful illusion in front of the cameras, far away from the real power.