Follow That Ass (Tropes That Have to Die)

Follow That Ass (Tropes That Have to Die)

If you’ve seen a lot of older movies, especially after they allowed the Pencil Skirt onto the screen, you’ll know the shot. Two guys are having a conversation and they stop to admire some Stacked Beauty [pick a sex symbol, any sex symbol] walks past. The camera pans away from the fellows and puts the lady’s butt almost smack dab in the middle of the screen so everyone knows what they’re admiring.

The woman’s emotions don’t matter. Her story doesn’t matter. Her willingness to be ogled doesn’t matter. The only thing of import is her arse as it wiggles and jiggles as she walks. The rest of the woman is superfluous.

As time passed, directors got more subtle about it. They learned about the Rule of Thirds and Sweet Spots, and started placing all the T&A there.

Brief education for people who aren’t as nerdy about this stuff as I am: The Rule of Thirds is: Something is more interesting if it’s off in one of the side thirds of the screen. You want to show the audience that this is an otherwise empty desert where the heroes have crashed? Wide shot of the sand with the ruined ship off to one side, usually on the right.

There’s vertical thirds, too, but the important bit is generally found in the bottom third.

And where those third-lines cross, you get “sweet spots”. They are where the eye likes to look.

Therefore, whenever there is a sexy woman on the screen, male directors like to make sure the T&A lands squarely on those sweet spots. And sometimes, the lady’s butt winds up in centre screen.

This, my dear readers, is Pervy Cam. Sometimes, it’s at a subtle level where you don’t notice it until it’s pointed out. But it can effect how a lady in an action movie appears when she’s doing the action.

Male characters get something called ‘headroom’, where they can theoretically gesticulate above their heads without the director having to move the camera. Their faces are more likely to wind up in centre screen, because what they’re feeling is important.

Female characters, on the other hand, have to tilt their heads, or restrict their action-y movements, because their boobs and/or bum have to end up on those Sweet Spots.

And as for Follow That Ass… that’s when the Pervy Cam follows our Action Gal as she does some heroic run… but the camera lands her butt on a Third Line, a Sweet Spot, or just plain old center screen. Or when the camera follows any lady’s arse for that matter. The reason doesn’t matter, the point is the objectification of a person.

And it’s kind of sick when a male director does it to a sixteen-year-old actress.

Yes, I am looking at Michael Bay and the T&A shots he decided were essential in Transformers: Last Knight. In fact, that pervert pedo scum alleged professional inspired me to get down and dirty and write this entry up. This is a grown-arse 30+ man¹ aiming the camera at a 16YO girl so as to highlight her body in a manner easily interpreted as sexual. There’s at least one shot where he makes sure she has cleavage visible on screen.

If it was any other 30+YO man hanging around teenagers and filming their bodies like that, he’d get arrested. But because he’s a million-dollar property, he gets away with Soft Pedo-porn.

There should be a stink rising about this noise.

The fact that there isn’t one speaks volumes about Rape Culture and permissible letchery.


¹: I didn’t research how old he is, but he has to be at LEAST thirty.