In the western world, the myth and imagery of a pirate is a specific one. We may conjure up the image of Tyrone Power in one of the swashbuckling action films from the days of old Hollywood or Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. A woman, especially a woman of color is not usually what we picture.
Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas, by Laura Sook Duncombe was published in 2019. In the book, Duncombe breaks through the idea of who and what we think a pirate is. She takes the reader through history, introducing them to female privateers who they may or may not have heard of. Using both proved historical facts and legends that have been circulating throughout the centuries, she tells the stories of women who broke the mold, but have not been given their place in the historical spotlight.
This book is fabulous. Though these women are few in number compared to male pirates, their contribution cannot be overlooked. What Duncombe does well is differentiate fact from fiction, pointing out where history ends and folklore begins. She also makes a very point in linking the actions of these women to the modern feminist movement.
The list of prominent men accused of sexual assault or harassment by their female colleagues continues to grow. The newest name on this list is Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.
Rush, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, has stepped down from his role as as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts because of claims of inappropriate behavior by female staff.
The fact is that male privilege has gone unchecked for far too long. We are so ingrained, as a worldwide culture to not only show preference to men, but to look away and/or call women names who have had the balls to speak up when men have taken advantage of us sexually.
Frankly, it’s about bloody time that change is finally happening. If it makes some people (especially men) uncomfortable, then so be it. I would rather be uncomfortable and know that we are finally seeing real change rather than go back to watching the same sh*t happen all over again.
I could go on, but I think the skit from Saturday Night Live last night says it all.
Audiences have always had a fascination with pirates. There is something intriguing (despite the dangers) of throwing off the cape of convention and living by your own rules.
In 2003, Disney released Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, a movie based on the ride with the same title.
Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith who is in love with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the governors daughter. But she is engaged to Norrington (Jack Davenport). When Elizabeth is taken by pirates, led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will must team up with the eccentric pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to bring her home.
This movie is very interesting. Relying on certain traditional character and plot tropes for the genre, this is a movie for the masses. I have two issues with the movie. The first is that for the most part, Elizabeth is nothing more than the traditional love interest/damsel in distress (which was thankfully corrected in later films in the series) and it’s seemingly endless number of sequels. The premise worked for the first three films. After that, the writers and producers seemed to be scrambling to fill the growing plot holes.
Do I recommend this film? As a standalone film, it’s not bad. But as the first in a series of films that get worse with each release, I would say stay away, especially the more recent sequels.
The people in Hollywood know a good thing when they see it. In 2003, when Pirates Of The Carribean: Curse Of The Black Pearl was released, it was a massive success. That gave movie makers the green light to continue with the franchise. The problem is (as it is if often the case with most sequels) that as each consecutive movie was released, the reviews were not so full of praise and the audiences began to stay away.
Such is the case with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) are out of the picture. Making strange bedfellows/pirate odd couple are Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Their quest is locate the fountain of youth. But they are not the only ones who are eager to locate the legendary fountain. Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) are also on the same path. It’s not just a question of who will reach the fountain first, it’s a question of will the past and relationship that Jack had with Angelica come back to bite him in the behind?
This movie attempts to recreate the magic of the first film. Attempts is the key word here. Even without Bloom and Knightley in the cast, something is missing. Whether it is the fact that Jack Sparrow is becoming old or that the filmmakers attempts to inject a period appropriate character like Blackbeard, just something is missing.