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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....

Missing since: 20 Jun 2010
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Using Cybil's sexuality as a reason for her probably not being able to be a mother is a bit silly, imo. These days there are many ways for gays and lesbians to have a family without having to have sex with a gender they aren't attracted to. For example; IVF, or adoption. There could be many other reasons for why Cybil wouldn't want children that could add more to her character than limitations from her sexuality.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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For my part, I'm approaching from my utter ambivalence toward other people's sexuality. Someone tells me they're gay, my response is something along the lines of, "Cool story, bro."

"Cool story, bro," is hardly the entry point to deep and meaningful consideration. :P

Like I said, nothing to think about. Not in and of itself. Give me more than that, and you'll get more thought outta me, but it'll probably never swing around to, "So that's why s/he's gay... I get it now!"

Incidentally, I've been trying to square a Cybil with a pathological fear of hair with her treatment of Rose. Doesn't quite work, but it's fun trying! :P

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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 15 Oct 2011
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Wow, Cybil being a stereotypical lesbian just knocked down the original movie almost an entire peg, for me.

Because not only all the above, but her death is now a moment of Bury Your Gays.


somehow I knew that last phrase was tvtropes.org although I set a personal record by stopping after 6 pages this time.

Why not think of it as a closeted anti-homophobia scene? The cult is biggest stereotype in the film of: backwards, backwater. inbred, all white, small town, Bible clingers [but no guns!?]. Who's to say that they didn't view homosexuality as witchcraft or demonic possession? The 2nd most suggestive scene was Rose and Cybil standing before the cult just after Anna's death. The cult starts screaming WITCH! at the female couple within 5 seconds.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
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Kenji wrote:
teosoleil wrote:
How often do we hear requests to have a SH story so deep as to have the main character be gay/lesbian?

The presence of a gay character doesn't automatically make something "deep." Simply being gay, by itself, doesn't make someone interesting, either.

Let me illustrate my point by writing this sentence: "Cybil Bennett looks and acts butch because she's a lesbian." There's a snappier way to write that, but I'll opt for discretion, instead.

Before I'm even done writing that sentence, I've stopped thinking about it. It's so simple and reductive that there's nothing left to think about. There'd be more to think about if we'd instead learned that Cybil has a pathological fear of hair.

So much this. I think there's much more substance in a character with masculine and feminine traits. I always thought of Cybil as a brave and masculine woman, an Ellen Ripley, but once you stick the gay label on her she's an archetype. These unusual character traits about her become almost expected and stereotypical.

I'm not going to think too far into this as she's one of my favourite movie characters and there's so much more to her than 'lesbian in leather'.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Apr 2004
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Ughhh. . . having gay characters in movies & shows these days is just so overdone and boring! It use to be "edgy" and a bit "taboo" using such a character as one of the main characters. Remember when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her sitcom and it was a huge shock to everybody??? Ever since that point in time every other show or film had to "ONE-UP" the previous one in order to SHOCK us and have people chatting it up by the water cooler at work! It has happened so much now that NOTHING shocks us like that anymore, it is almost expected to occur, it is pretty dull, and finally by being over-done again and again it in itself it has become cliche'.
But anyways, I wonder if Avery really wrote Cybil to be a lesbian or if it is just a possible implication because of her physical strength? She's not gay in the game because it is implied there that Harry has a thing for her and in the GOOD + ending, they end up together!
I have no negative feelings about gay people, but the Gay & Lesbian Agenda bothers me a lot. Reason being that they feel they have to announce to everyone how gay they are and shove it in my face with parades, conventions, and rallies! I don't go to a club or bar and dance on the bar while announcing how straight I am and this and that. See what I mean? Same with B.E.T. channel! I guess I have a problem with the two previous groups I have talked about because it is about exclusivity and it causes more people to look at differences in people (which causes greater problems) rather than similarities! We are all people and should all get along despite our differences because those are just minor issues that give each of us our uniqueness!

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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I have no negative feelings about gay people, but the Gay & Lesbian Agenda bothers me a lot.


Er...maybe you should've ended your post right before this sentence. It stopped being about anything Silent Hill-related like a paragraph ago.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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SHH Cult Subscriber
SHH Cult Subscriber
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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Scanman22 wrote:
But anyways, I wonder if Avery really wrote Cybil to be a lesbian or if it is just a possible implication because of her physical strength? She's not gay in the game

She's not a lesbian in the movie either, bud. Well, I'm not saying it's not possible, but I really don't see why we should think she is. There's such a thing as strong straight women and straight women with short haircuts and straight women cops and straight women mechanics and straight women soldiers and.... I hope you get the point. That mentality is super annoying to me.

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because it is implied there that Harry has a thing for her
What? Other than *maybe* the good + ending, I don't know what you could mean.

Oh and... you don't have to stand up for your straightness for the same reason that white people didn't have to stand up for their rights in the 1960s the way blacks did.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Oct 2011
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I prefer the subtle (and technically ambiguous) approach because it makes the viewer think a bit. And come to think of it, it provides a thin cover from the thought police.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2011
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I would rather think that Cybil wasn't homosexual, mostly because it really does make her character into a stereotype. Cybil is the only character from the game adapted pretty much directly into the film (her appearance and personality are essentially identical), but in the video game she was apparently attracted to men, at least in the good+ ending. Making her homosexual in the film sounds like someone took one look at her character from the video game, realized that she was a female police officer with short-cropped hair, and decided that she needed a sexuality flip because of her appearance and chosen career. It's almost as bad as altering Harry's gender because his actions appeared maternal.

Going back to the OP, though, my main issue with the idea that all of the manifestations of Alessa's psyche are related to molestation is that it creeps dangerously close to being an example of rape-as-backstory. There are some monsters linked to it more or less clearly (obviously the janitor monster, and possibly the horrifying way Alessa kills Christabella), but it's stretching to assume that the grey children represent that event. After the disaster that was her childhood (proving that she could survive far more than Rasputin), there are quite a few things she can draw on to torture the cultists.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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Last seen at: Houston, Tx.
Feeling Harry's actions were maternal wasn't the only reason Gans made Harry into Rose. He also wanted the film to be about maternity and matriarchy, which is hard to do if your lead character is male.


I'm certain Cybil is homosexual in the film, but I doubt it had anything to do with Gans not understanding the games. It seems to have been done to set her up as everything the cult despises: someone who is a devout atheist and a homosexual. That's very likely why Christabella makes it a point to look straight at Cybil when she says "Perhaps not" after telling Rose that her faith might protect her.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Oct 2011
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globalwolf wrote:
I would rather think that Cybil wasn't homosexual, mostly because it really does make her character into a stereotype. . . . It's almost as bad as altering Harry's gender because his actions appeared maternal.


Your difference is kind of the point. Gans/Avary were doing a tour de force of many types of women as they could with a limited amount of characters. The Cybil character was taken right out of the LOGO channel. Sure you can read the film without that but you disregard some heavy-handed symbolism [tight leather, sunglasses at night].

Quote:
Going back to the OP, though, my main issue with the idea that all of the manifestations of Alessa's psyche are related to molestation is that it creeps dangerously close to being an example of rape-as-backstory. There are some monsters linked to it more or less clearly (obviously the janitor monster, and possibly the horrifying way Alessa kills Christabella), but it's stretching to assume that the grey children represent that event. After the disaster that was her childhood (proving that she could survive far more than Rasputin), there are quite a few things she can draw on to torture the cultists.


Right, the imagery refers to Alessa's entire past. OP overextended a bit. Glad you dropped by in the SHH Township :)


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2011
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JKristine35 wrote:
Feeling Harry's actions were maternal wasn't the only reason Gans made Harry into Rose. He also wanted the film to be about maternity and matriarchy, which is hard to do if your lead character is male.


I can see that. I was really only aware of the one, more confusing reason, rather than the maternity angle, which is a lot better. It seems like the idea behind the conflict in Aliens, only with more flawed maternal figures (Dahlia is obviously not the greatest mother, and Rose da Silva, while meaning well, makes many mistakes along the way).

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I'm certain Cybil is homosexual in the film, but I doubt it had anything to do with Gans not understanding the games. It seems to have been done to set her up as everything the cult despises: someone who is a devout atheist and a homosexual. That's very likely why Christabella makes it a point to look straight at Cybil when she says "Perhaps not" after telling Rose that her faith might protect her.


It seems pretty likely. Although I'm sure that Gans didn't misunderstand the game (he really seems to have respected the subject material), I have a hard time imagining that the change wouldn't have been based at least partially off of her appearance, though. That does seem to reinforce some stereotypes. I can imagine several reasons for Cybil, as a police officer, not to dress in a traditionally feminine way, since it would be a liability.

tbonesays wrote:
The Cybil character was taken right out of the LOGO channel


I really hate to sound dumb right now, but what's the LOGO channel?

Oh, and thanks for the welcome :D


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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globalwolf wrote:
I can see that. I was really only aware of the one, more confusing reason, rather than the maternity angle, which is a lot better. It seems like the idea behind the conflict in Aliens, only with more flawed maternal figures (Dahlia is obviously not the greatest mother, and Rose da Silva, while meaning well, makes many mistakes along the way).

Yep, literally every female in the film is a representation of maternity in some way. From the official production notes:

Quote:
The leitmotiv in "Silent Hill" is motherhood, faith and persecution, all presented on a symbolic level. Gans' film Brotherhood of the Wolf (which he regards as his 'boy's film'), features Mani, a shamanistic North American Aboriginal who believed in the forces of nature. Silent Hill is the feminine counterpart in which Gans explores the force of motherhood against intolerance. "Rose, as Sharon's adoptive mother, loves the child so much, Sharon becomes her own. In this way, motherhood in the film is about Immaculate Conception - motherhood achieved in the noblest way. And that is the saving grace of the film. All these female characters have different ways of coping with motherhood."

Complementing Rose is Cybil, the childless police officer who adopts Rose's quest; Dahlia, the suffering mother who lost her child to a fanatical sect; Cristabella, the religious leader who has turned away from motherhood for what she believes is the greater good of the community; Anna, the innocent who grasps onto anything that fashioned itself as a mother; and Dark Alessa, who tends to her namesake with all the savagery that the maternal instinct can mobilize.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2011
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I can see it pretty easily, now that I think about it. Dahlia Gillespie was literally a biological mother, but she was terrible at actually being a parent. She tried somewhat, but decided to take her daughter to her sister to be "purified" when the pressure to do that went too far (and, regardless of what she claims, Christabella is so creepy that there's no way she thought that wouldn't involve attempted murder).

Christabella was a sort of spiritual mother, but rather than "raise her children" to be decent human beings, she twisted them into a rabble of psychopaths. So, she was also a badly failed mother, even if she had no biological children. Anna clung to that, because she saw her as a mother figure, and she ruined Anna's life and eventually led to her death.

Dark Alessa is Alessa's manifestation of her desire to have a mother who will actually protect her, rather than Dahlia or Christabella. However, her "protection" of Alessa involves blinding an entirely innocent nurse, killing Anna (who is also relatively innocent), and lots of horrifying bloody slaughter. She also doesn't do anything to actually rescue Alessa, despite the fact that she probably could have.

The nurse performs some of the functions of a mother, providing sustenance for Alessa. She's forced into the situation, though, and probably hates and fears her "child".

Rose da Silva is the loving mother. She's blinded by her affection for her daughter sometimes (obviously taking her across state lines to a dangerous abandoned mining town was a bad idea, even without the supernatural elements), but she's willing to go through hell and back for her, so she isn't totally awful. Alessa decides to stick with her in the end, rather than her neglectful biological mother or the wrathful Dark Alessa (this doesn't count the second movie, but Gans probably didn't have its plot in mind when he developed the motif, and I will take any chance I have to ignore it).

Cybil's a little harder to fit in. The "surrogate child" part is pretty well a given, with the production notes taken into account. She almost seems to fit the same role as Dark Alessa, too, but as with Highlanders, there can be only one. Unlike the case with Highlanders, allowing cultists to slow-roast her works just as well as decapitation.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Oct 2011
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I really hate to sound dumb right now, but what's the LOGO channel?

Oh, and thanks for the welcome :D


LOGO is the gay themed cable tv channel they added to my package. It shows gay programming such as Underworld. :roll:

Of the many things to criticize Gans for, he got more than his fair share, is that he had an idea for a feminine and contemporary religious critique, and then shoe-horned Silent Hill into his plan. i.e. Harry -> Rose, Cybil->Leather Stereotype. I wonder if he could have made his own movie separately, although that would require new monsters.

I'm going to disagree that the movie was specifically based on motherhood because there were only two characters who really acted in a maternal role. I'd say it was a panfemalethon. (help me get that word to take off). a group of distinct types of women. On the bright side they succeeded there where the remake of The Wicker Man managed all of two versions of woman: young and old.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2011
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tbonesays wrote:

LOGO is the gay themed cable tv channel they added to my package. It shows gay programming such as Underworld. :roll:



Ah, so it's a channel nominally related to homosexuality, while actually showing terrible movies. Kind of like how the Discovery Channel Planet Green was about environmentalism, but actually showed nothing but re-runs (toward the end, anyway).

tbonesays wrote:
Of the many things to criticize Gans for, he got more than his fair share, is that he had an idea for a feminine and contemporary religious critique, and then shoe-horned Silent Hill into his plan. i.e. Harry -> Rose, Cybil->Leather Stereotype. I wonder if he could have made his own movie separately, although that would require new monsters.


I really doubt that it would have been the same film. Silent Hill feels like it utilizes the aesthetic and the setting of the video game to pretty good effect, even if there are parts that could have been done better. If you were to make a movie dealing with fanaticism's impact on children in Alessa's familial situation in a different way, it would probably end up somewhere between The Village of the Damned and The Wicker Man. I can imagine it being similar to Alessa Gillespie's childhood, only without the supernatural aspects, if the director wanted to avoid too close a similarity to Carrie.

Quote:
I'm going to disagree that the movie was specifically based on motherhood because there were only two characters who really acted in a maternal role. I'd say it was a panfemalethon. (help me get that word to take off). a group of distinct types of women. On the bright side they succeeded there where the remake of The Wicker Man managed all of two versions of woman: young and old.


It can be both. They're not mutually exclusive, and there are forms of "motherhood" outside of the side of actual biological or adoptive motherhood. The movie does portray more female archetypes than the remake of The Wicker Man, but the overarching theme of motherhood does still seem to make sense.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Oct 2011
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globalwolf wrote:
tbonesays wrote:

LOGO is the gay themed cable tv channel they added to my package. It shows gay programming such as Underworld. :roll:



Ah, so it's a channel nominally related to homosexuality, while actually showing terrible movies. Kind of like how the Discovery Channel Planet Green was about environmentalism, but actually showed nothing but re-runs (toward the end, anyway).

tbonesays wrote:
Of the many things to criticize Gans for, he got more than his fair share, is that he had an idea for a feminine and contemporary religious critique, and then shoe-horned Silent Hill into his plan. i.e. Harry -> Rose, Cybil->Leather Stereotype. I wonder if he could have made his own movie separately, although that would require new monsters.


I really doubt that it would have been the same film. Silent Hill feels like it utilizes the aesthetic and the setting of the video game to pretty good effect, even if there are parts that could have been done better. If you were to make a movie dealing with fanaticism's impact on children in Alessa's familial situation in a different way, it would probably end up somewhere between The Village of the Damned and The Wicker Man. I can imagine it being similar to Alessa Gillespie's childhood, only without the supernatural aspects, if the director wanted to avoid too close a similarity to Carrie.

Quote:
I'm going to disagree that the movie was specifically based on motherhood because there were only two characters who really acted in a maternal role. I'd say it was a panfemalethon. (help me get that word to take off). a group of distinct types of women. On the bright side they succeeded there where the remake of The Wicker Man managed all of two versions of woman: young and old.


It can be both. They're not mutually exclusive, and there are forms of "motherhood" outside of the side of actual biological or adoptive motherhood. The movie does portray more female archetypes than the remake of The Wicker Man, but the overarching theme of motherhood does still seem to make sense.


Mostly their conglomerate creep where the big companies have to spread out their porgramming without many reasons. You probably didn't see that pro wrestling was science ficiton until it appeared on SighFi. Maybe they would be an appropriate producer for Silent Hill Made 4 TV.

On other ways to make the movie. The Alessa backstory isn't shown until the last third and end of the movie. True if he made one just about that it might have wound up on Lifetime.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2011
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tbonesays wrote:
Mostly their conglomerate creep where the big companies have to spread out their porgramming without many reasons. You probably didn't see that pro wrestling was science ficiton until it appeared on SighFi. Maybe they would be an appropriate producer for Silent Hill Made 4 TV.


The History Channel is probably an even better example of this. First, it was Modern Marvels, but that show was pretty cool and it had historical stuff in it. Then, they started airing Ice Road Truckers, which has absolutely nothing to do with history. Now, all they ever show is Pawn Stars spin-offs and Ancient Aliens, the latter of which has about as much to do with history properly carried out as What the Bleep Do We Know!? has to do with actual quantum physics (that is to say, not much).

That just made me sad.

Quote:
On other ways to make the movie. The Alessa backstory isn't shown until the last third and end of the movie. True if he made one just about that it might have wound up on Lifetime.


Well, that was kind of the part that connected it all to feminity and fanaticism. So, if you were to try to make this movie without the supernatural elements, it would totally end up on Lifetime.

There's a parody poster in here somewhere...


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Gans on Alessa being molested....
     
         
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Missing since: 16 Oct 2012
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JKristine35 wrote:
According to Laurie Holden, Cybil can't have children due to her "lifestyle", meaning it's because she's a lesbian.

Has anyone ever considered the possibility that Cybil's "lifestyle" might have more to do with her dedication as a cop, and less to do with her sexuality? Lesbians can have children, too, be it through adoption or artificial insemination. But I can see Cybil as being a very hard-working woman, not to mention running the risk of putting herself in harm's way every day, which to me doesn't leave a whole lot of room for raising a child.

I'm sorry, I just don't want to buy the "stereotypical lesbian" look when that's not the only lifestyle that gets in the way of a woman being able to have children in this day and age.


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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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Yes, people have considered that, since it's been mentioned repeatedly in this thread.


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