"It's getting late"
“It’s getting late” makes a powerful statement of female empowerment. It begins with a woman (the woman back from a party) coming under the male gaze. All the men look at her. She is defined by their look. But that situation, those men, that look, are captured within an old movie from many years ago. It is not the situation today.
Today, a woman is looking at that movie… and she is looking at it from a position of control. She is in the control room. She is the only person in the control room. What is seen on all the screens is under her control. She decides what’s next. And she stops the situation… and takes her own next move… which is to start to get changed.
The movie then shows four different women, in four different situations. An experienced TV/film executive, a midlevel executive, a young mother, and a young woman who is writing a blog. All of them are productive in what they are doing, and shown as in control of their situations. An implicit statement is made that all these ways of being are good. All the women go through a process of “leaving work behind” and getting ready for some event. They take control of their person by reconfiguring their fashion and self-presentation. They then express their desire through movement to the event(s) for which they have been preparing. (I especially liked the fun sportscar in which the TV/film exec fired up).
Here is where “It’s getting late” takes a special turn. What are all the women getting ready for? In my mind, the expectation was “a date.” (My masculine view!) But that was not it at all. They all came together to watch a performance, by a woman, the singer Zola Jesus. The performance itself (the beginning of her song Vessel) defines a mood. The song has words but Zola performs it in a way that the words are not easily distinguishable. It comes across as pure emotion. At the end of the film, she raises her hands in a gesture of strength, a gesture which communicates energy to all the women gathered there.
The women changed their fashion and presentation, and went out on their own, to see and share in a presentation of female strength by a woman. No men required! Here I think is the key message behind “It’s getting late”… it’s time already to move beyond a vision of women constructed by men as in the “old time movie” with which this short film begins. That was then, this is now. What’s next?
Note: I discovered this video on the blog of the model Hanneli (http://www.hanneli.com) who in real life is living out the idea of empowerment expressed in the short film. For more on Hanneli see http://www.hanneli.com/about/.
More on Zola Jesus below.
Versions (on Amazon)
Copyright © 2012. Alan Bush. All rights reserved.