Friday, 11 April 2014

Film School Friday Lesson #26 - How To Change Your Gender

Last time, Film School Friday taught readers how to annoy people at the cinema. If you got kicked out of the new Captain America movie then I apologize, but remember to only use your new found skills sparingly as a revenge tactic on those who munch natchos too loudly. With great power, comes great responsibility...
Apologies also for being a week late with this new edition of Film School Friday. Life in South Korea is a whirlwind of donuts and soju which takes some getting used to. I barely had to time to watch the new Captain America movie 6 times. That's how busy I am!
The temptation to tenuously link today's feature with the previous edition is as strong as ever, but today I will resist and simply introduce  our new lesson.

boygirlthingLesson #26 - How To Change Your Gender
Why would you want to change your gender I hear you ask? People have struggled with sexual and gender identity for centuries and the reality of being born as an intersex or transgendered person is a nightmare for many. The Argentine film Xxy is a powerful example of this. Today's article covers a sensitive issue for some, so if you are the one weird person who wants to change their gender just to check out their own junk in the mirror, please leave now. I have no time for you.
Whatever your thoughts on this issue though, Hollywood has devised some pretty inventive means of changing your gender, so prepare to be educated!
Change Your Wardrobe
Those considering a huge life change like this may want to just dip their toes in the water by cross dressing. Of course it's not the same thing by any means, but it may give you some more perspective. It certainly helped Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire. Lose your kids in a bitter divorce? Slap on some make up and dress like an old lady. What if you're Amanda Bynes and you want to play on the boys soccer team? Throw on a boys blazer and hang out in the locker room. And if you're two African American FBI agents struggling on a case, what other alternative is there except for dressing undercover as two Caucasian sisters? White Chicks is now officially part of the FBI handbook, in case you were wondering.
TransamericaPermanent Changes
Controversially, few Hollywood movies have tackled the subject of gender reassignment surgery and those that have tend to explore an extreme or unrealistic angle, such as Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In. One notable exception to this rule was the indie drama Transamerica, which starred female actress Felicity Huffman as a man in the process of becoming a woman. If I were Huffman, I may have been mildly offended that casting agents thought I looked like a man trying to be a woman, but hey, that's show business!
Transamerica highlighted only a few of the many difficulties transgendered people face on a daily basis and unfortunately, the reality of gender reassignment surgery is still a long and painful process, but what if life was more like the movies? ....
Body Swapping
One day, science may catch up with Hollywood, but for now, wouldn't it be great if people could just swap bodies in a matter of seconds? Not only would this create an instant fix for people experiencing gender or identity issues, but even simple day to day problems could be overcome straight away. Children could swap with adults to drive cars, old people could swap with teenagers to play sports again and working adults could swap with unemployed adults to finally complete that Walking Dead marathon they never had time for. Fictional body swapping is the way to go people!
freaky-fridayBut how do we do such a thing? According to Hollywood, body swapping is as easy as waiting until it's Friday 13th and uttering the line, "I wish I could switch places with her for just one day" at the same time as someone else. However, this method seems like it requires some patience as you wait around for that Freaky Friday, so I would consider going another route instead. All Jennifer Garner needed to swap bodies in 13 Going On 30 was a dolls house and some magic wishing dust, but if neither of these common items are to hand, then try the method used in It's A Boy/Girl Thing.
All the boy and girl had to do to swap bodies in this film was argue in front of an Aztec statue on a school trip to a museum. Clearly, Aztec spirits have nothing better to do with their time than educate arguing teenagers on gender differences, so if there's a museum in your town, just lure a friend there with you, find some Aztec relic and tell your friend how terrible their face looks. It sure as hell beats magic doll house dust! Trust me...
Remember to come back in two weeks time to learn more useless information about the world of film! It's a date!

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