Let's watch Cuties

Chew Toy McCoy

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I don't know what the target demographic is for this movie but I'm pretty sure it's not 47-year-old males who don't have children and aren't pedophiles. So that leaves me out, at least according to the controversy. All I know is the religious right is throwing a shit fit and Netlfix's stock is supposedly getting hammered for releasing it.

I was listening to a podcast on the way home from work and a good chunk of it was Hollywood currently flailing about trying to please everybody or atone for its past. This is often misguided and there are still examples of "how come this got demonized but this similar thing got a pass?". So with this in mind I thought I would invite my colleagues on here with Netflix accounts to watch Cuties this weekend, not at a specific time or together, just watch it at some point this weekend and hopefully we can get a productive discussion about it. Whose in?


2 million dislikes. That's quite an accomplishment, but I have a feeling a good percentage of those are just using their jump to conclusions board.
 

Alli

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The problem with the whole thing is that if you look at pop culture like honey booboo and child pageantry, the precedent has already been set for dressing up preteens like little hos and parading them in front of an audience.

How is this any different?
 

Renzatic

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It's not. I fast forwarded through it to see what all the hooplah was about, and yeah, it's tasteless, but that's the point the movie is trying to make.

Though I do think it's funny how people are saying on social media that people are being arrested for making this movie.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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The problem with the whole thing is that if you look at pop culture like honey booboo and child pageantry, the precedent has already been set for dressing up preteens like little hos and parading them in front of an audience.

How is this any different?

The problem is I haven't seen the movie (have you?). Maybe there's a different message or other things to focus on in the arc of the story. Dare I say, it might even feature people or the family members of these girls also finding issue with it.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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It's not. I fast forwarded through it to see what all the hooplah was about, and yeah, it's tasteless, but that's the point the movie is trying to make.

Though I do think it's funny how people are saying on social media that people are being arrested for making this movie.

I feel like this isn't a movie you can fast forward through because then of course all you are going to get is the images people find distasteful but you don't get any of the dialogue that might also be against the images.
 

ericgtr12

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I'm afraid I'll be put on a list if I watch this thing.

They're doing the same thing on Instagram BTW. I literally use it just for photography and guitar/musician related browsing/posting and all of a sudden when I go to search for this related content (which was always very targetted) I get a bunch of videos of young girls dancing. WTF is with this??

I think they're trying to steal the Tik Tok theme or something but it's enough to make me want to abandon the app entirely, It's a shame because it was always such a great platform for sharing images.
 

Renzatic

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I feel like this isn't a movie you can fast forward through because then of course all you are going to get is the images people find distasteful but you don't get any of the dialogue that might also be against the images.

I didn't get a nuanced view of it, no, but considering that some people are claiming it to be nothing but these kids dancing, a half step above child pornography, I could at least tell from what I saw that it's very much not that. The questionable dancing happens in one scene towards the end, which isn't well received by the shocked and appalled audience. The main character runs off the stage crying afterwards.

Basically, Netflix did a very bad job marketing it as a sexualized Fame style movie, but with preteen girls, and the outrage brigade picked up on it, and are now doing their THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN thing.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Personally, I don't give a damn about the actual movie, but I do give a damn about a culture that tolerates, promotes, connives at, and merchandises the sexualisation of children, especially girls, and, concomitant with that, the infantilisation of adult women.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Personally, I don't give a damn about the actual movie, but I do give a damn about a culture that tolerates, promotes, connives at, and merchandises the sexualisation of children, especially girls, and, concomitant with that, the infantilisation of adult women.

I think it’s funny that an industry is now acting all concerned or outraged about a culture that they created, as well as the people who bought into it. It wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t generating revenue and not everyone who has fed the machine is a deviant, perv, or danger to society.
 

Scepticalscribe

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The movie entertainment industry has long been a bastion of double, if not triple, standards.

Besides, I don't take them for a moral compass on anything, and their products, for the most part, neither entertain me nor interest me.

In fact, these days, I look to the Bechdel test, as a rough guide of whether a movie would remotely be of interest to me before I even think to watch it; that, plus favourable reviews from writers whose opinion I respect, and word of mouth recommendations, again from people I respect. Otherwise, I will not waste my time, or strain my eyes, or insult my intelligence, watching such brainless, and sexist, rubbish.

Of course such stuff generates revenue, but that is not much of a justification, (except to morally bankrupt philistines, such as the shareholders of such companies) for its existence, still less an excuse.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Watched it. So lets do this.

First none spoiler stuff.

Netflix clearly cut the trailer to amplify the possible (predicted?) controversy factor and I think we can all agree it worked. Way more people have probably now watched or started to had that not happened. Having watched it I'm still not sure who the target audience. It's an indy movie with a message.

The writer spent a year interviewing girls in the age group to find out what was going in their lives as well as reflecting on her childhood. This wasn't just speculative horseshit she pulled out of her ass for shock value.

This movie originally got praise and won awards at an indy film festival. There's no shortage of controversial or upsetting movies at film festivals and they get noted as such. That didn't happen with this movie.

There aren't any predators in the movie and there are scenes where adults do react with outrage over how the girls are dressing, acting, or dancing. There's no adult preening here. This isn't a stage mom movie. They are getting their dance ideas from where else, the internet. Is the current top song still WAP (Wet Ass Pussy), or has that been knocked down the charts by another profound jam?

There are other countries and cultures whose traditional dances would seem way more sexualized to western eyes. I'm not saying that is what is happening here, but it was mentioned in an interview with one of the actors.

Listened to a podcast talking about it and one of the hosts is a feminist, although not militant. She said this is once again females being told how to act or dress because men can't control themselves. And that's exactly what the outrage is and you shouldn't see it for anything other than that.

Would this movie give pedos a chubby? Absolutely, but so would any other song and dance show that features young girls (or boys).

SPOLIERS AHEAD:

This is mainly the story of a girl approaching puberty in a family who believes women should cover themselves so as not to tempt men or offend God while her dad is in the process of marrying his second wife, which her mom tries to act like she is cool with it but really she's heartbroken about it. So the girl rebels by joining "the wrong crowd" which in this case is fellow classmates who want to enter and win a pop dance competition. As wrong crowds go, it could be a lot worse.

There were some scenes I initially thought were a little over the top and unnecessary but upon reflection I realized they were important to the narrative of a girl going through an identity crisis coming from a family that is oppressive to females and running to a society full of sexualization. Her actions were how she felt the latter was telling her about how she should act. Again, as I mentioned above, to the credit of this movie there were no predators in it.

I thought it had the perfect ending of her walking out of her house and father's second marriage reception in normal causal clothes and joining other kids jump roping with a big smile on her face. It's like she experienced both extremes and realized she didn't need to choose either.
 
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