sofia coppola literally just heard about the bechdel test
We’ve all mind-blanked on tests, but this one is kind of important.
This article was originally published by i-D UK.
Director Sofia Coppola, known for women-led films like Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, and The Bling Ring, has let slip in a recent interview that she had no idea what the Bechdel Test was. Promoting her new gothic horror The Beguiled, Sofia spoke to GQ about the special effects and her Best Director win at Cannes, and was asked if she thought the film would pass the Bechdel Test. "The what test?" she asks, "I've never heard of that. What's that?".
The Test, named after American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who attributes the idea for the test to friend Liz Wallace, requires that two named women characters speak to each other about something other than a man (sometimes for a certain period of time). Unless you're a feminist (shout out!), you might be surprised at how few films pass this already very low barrier for women's representation. According to bechdeltest.com, where entries are made by feminist film fans, Get Out doesn't pass; The Mummy doesn't pass (feminist lol); and neither does the new Pirates of the Caribbean film.
After the Test is described to Sofia, she says, "Oh, I guess I've never studied film. That's so funny, but there are a lot of women talking about a man in this." Which is a shame, considering that many of her earlier films did pass, in spite of her mind-blank on the Test. I guess if we had more women film directors directing not-male characters, the Test might 'accidentally' get passed a little more often.
Text Charlotte Gush
Image via Dick Thomas Johnson