This weekend The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire finally comes out. I know, don’t all scream at once! Seriously though, the continuing adventures of Katniss are big news, but not for the reason you might think – Jennifer Lawrence’s smart, self-sufficient badass is a big step forward for lady action heroes. We might be seeing a bunch of them lately; Angelina Jolie in Salt, Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass, Kristen Stewart in Twilight (OK, maybe not), but how many do we really have?
Katherine Gilpatrick, a researcher who’s been studying female action heroes for years, has some surprising stats: Of the 157 heroines that Gilpatrick looked at in her 20 year study, only 7% of them were real action heroines, meaning they took control of their situation with their wits and fists, over 58.6% of them were submissive to their male counterparts (hello Batgirl!), and a whopping 30% ended up dead at the end!
How did things go so bad? They started off so well in the 70′s, with the original badass b*tch, Pam Grier! And you might remember her from Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown if you’re not quite as old and bored as I am. The ladies of the How Stuff Works show Stuff Mom Never Told You dig deep and come up with the intriguing, troubling history of the female action hero.
How Stuff Works – Stuff Mom Never Told You: “The Rise of Female Action Heroes”
The Hunger Games series isn’t the only female-led action-y films coming out these days. As the ladies of Stuff Your Mom Never Told You mention, we’re about to see a deluge thanks to Katniss’ success, and the first of them are already here. Frequent flyer, fighter, and Hannah star Saoirse Ronan is an almost unrecognizable blonde BATA (“Bad Ass Teen Ager” if you’re wondering) in a new Sci-Fi future-romance, How I Live Now, and newbie Sophie Nélisse cuts against some nasty Nazis in The Book Thief, both of which are playing now.
CBC – Eli Glasner on Film: “The Book Thief and How I Live Now”
Wait…you haven’t seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire already? Grab a quick rundown of the flick’s big moments and a little bitty review. Don’t worry, it’s NPR, you can trust them.
NPR – Movie Reviews: “‘Hunger Game’ Fans Will Enjoy Thrills In ‘Catching Fire’”