In our latest piece for the Gazelli residency C.A.R.L.A. and I needed to find a response to the violence that erupted in the U.S. this past weekend by a group of “boys,” far-right “Western chauvinists” whose moniker need not be shared here. After searching a fantastic list of science fiction films by female directors, we landed on the 1995 film “Tank Girl” directed by Rachel Talalay. A feminist cult film that passes the Bechdel test with flying colors and glorifies the 1990s’ Riot Grrrl aesthetic, it was the kind of punk, kick ass feminist movie we needed to watch and then to embody (with capital A Agency) in VR.
In my last post I wrote about a nightmare where I was forced to play wargames. I am a pacifist, but war and violence and malevolence persist as we know, so who better to turn to in this context, than Tank Girl and her colleague, Jet Girl. The film is set in 2033, on a post-apocalyptic earth, enduring a decade-long drought and overlorded by a corrupt corporate villain, Kesslee. Loosely based on the comic Tank Girl, our heroine befriends a shy, but brilliant engineer (later to become Jet Girl), and they embark on a mission to bring down the misogynistic sadist Kesslee.
For a great revisit of Tank Girl’s themes and cultural impact, I recommend “‘Tank Girl’ taught Hollywood representation matters — 25 years later the message still does,” written in April of this year by Megan Carpentier, editor of THINK magazine. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/tank-girl-taught-hollywood-representation-matters-25-years-later-message-ncna1172986
“The movie delighted a generation of women who wanted to see the ways they saw the world arrayed against them reflected onscreen — and who also wanted to wear combat boots with fishnets.” – Carpentier,