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Was the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype always a complete fabrication?

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posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:47 PM
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The femme fatale is one of the great archetypes in American cinema history. Translated from French, the term quite literally means “deadly woman.” These sexy temptresses bewitch men and lure them into dangerous, often lethal, situations. They manipulate us through our lust and desire. They use us to murder their husbands, hide their misdeeds and ultimately take the wrap for any crimes committed.

Despite the fact that these women are out to destroy all men, we can’t help ourselves -- they have us under their spell.
Link to article



www.youtube.com...

Was the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype always a complete fabrication? Do they still exist? Have they ever existed?

I don't know because I don't think I've ever met one. I think that's what this question boils down to: Have you ever met one?

Let's consider Marilyn Monroe. From a distance she looked like a true example of the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype. But, wait, that was the whole point for her! She was meant to be portrayed that way. That was the image and style that she was going for. Who knows what she was like in her personal life because anything we hear about that is hearsay.

That kind of sums up my experience with this issue. I've seen many women that tried to portray themselves as femme fatales and they had me believing they were. Until I got to know them better and then I saw them more for who and what they really were. Let's just say it's often the opposite of how they try to portray themselves in public.

In my opinion, if we're going to find the truth here we can only go on our own personal experience, so to rephrase the question:

Have you met a woman that you truly believe embodied the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype in reality, all the time?

If none of us can confirm that such a thing has ever existed in our experience, we can't say with certainty that such a thing has ever existed IMHO.

edit on 25-8-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Hmmmmm according to Ian Fleming (the creator of the James Bond novels) they are real




One of the key double agents was a woman - one who more resembled Fleming's concept of the Bond girl.

Codenamed the Queen of Hearts, David Scherr describes their first encounter:

"This was a woman in her 30S whose dress, mannerisms speech and general appearance made her a rather seedy but not unattractive imitation of the seductive female spy of the thrillerette type," he recalls.

"She sat down, crossed her legs (adjusting her skirt to reveal them to the best advantage), slowly lit a cigarette, inhaled, breathed out the smoke in a furtive fashion, looking down her long aquiline nose at the same time, and then smiled across at her interrogator: 'I am the Queen of Hearts. Who are you?'"


news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 12:10 AM
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I dont think femme fatale was ever a shared human experience.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 12:14 AM
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If you mean a beautiful woman that ensnares her lovers into desperate situations..... I've known a few...

They tend to be drunks or pill addicts from my experience. If you hang out in bars enough, you will encounter a few.

I once was involved with a beautiful exotic Filipino woman; barely made it out alive. Perfect for a neo noir screenplay, but I really don't want to relive that scary BS.








edit on 26-8-2015 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: Profusion
If you are in a state of self destruction, you are like a sinking ship and are quiet happy to take anybody else with you. Whether you have a female or male body, the end result is the same. Only women are more convincing for me than men. So I would go as far as to say, yes they do exist. Also if there is a hatred towards the opposite gender, it would make the destructive act easier to fore-fill. Having said that gender is not always the issue, rather innocence is what is seeked out, myths hold the truths of many of our human reasons for acting in one way or another.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 12:32 AM
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Personally I have not met a femme fatale but I have heard of one via the experience of a friend of mine.

Now I have not known either of them when this happened. My friend told me that he was married, he had no words of description of her at all only that he was madly in love with her. One evening they were discussing their future and making plans where their lives would be heading to, starting a family, new car and the likes. Next morning he left for work after a reassuring goodby and a sweet kiss. After work he arrived back home to an empty house and upon checking his bank account he found that one empty also.

Knowing my friend a fair bit I would not see him as a looser which makes me convinced that she was a deadly spider or, a femme fatale.

But then again, I have not heard her side of the story.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 01:11 AM
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a reply to: Profusion[quote]Have you met a woman that you truly believe embodied the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype in reality, all the time?

With absolute certainty. There is a woman who ran an underground casino, stabbed one of the baddest guys around, another that bilked her lover for all he was worth before coaxing him, wait, before he decided suicide was the way to go.

[local stories]

Oh and Griselda Blaco, the woman who killed all her drug rivals in the early 80s drug war en.wikipedia.org...

She dealt with the biggest names in the trade, Escobar, Ochoas, etc


She was an important member of the Medellin Cartel but developed a bad rapport with the Cartel when she had the niece of the Ochoa family of the Medellin Cartel, Marta Saldarriaga Ochoa, murdered in order to not pay for a shipment of coc aine delivered by Marta. Her plan was to say she never received the shipment and that the young lady disappeared with it. After the young woman's body was found on a rural south Florida road, it became open season on Griselda and she was subsequently "on the run".


Theres not even a question to it.

In fact, theres more out there than most realize, woman have used the facade of innocence to their advantage since men were stupid enough to assign it to them.
edit on 26-8-2015 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 01:58 AM
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a reply to: Profusion


"femme fatale" Hollywood archetype

Cultural myopia much?

The words femme fatale are French, not American. That should provide a clue that Hollywood is not the origin of the type.

Etymological dictionary

Perhaps you've heard of such famous historical femmes fatales as Cleopatra, Zenobia of Palmyra and Mata Hari?



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 02:11 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Profusion


"femme fatale" Hollywood archetype

Cultural myopia much?

The words femme fatale are French, not American. That should provide a clue that Hollywood is not the origin of the type.

Etymological dictionary

Perhaps you've heard of such famous historical femmes fatales as Cleopatra, Zenobia of Palmyra and Mata Hari?


I wanted to limit the discussion in this thread to the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype only. I'm not saying that it doesn't exist in other places and cultures but personally I like the Hollywood version best. Also, I take history as "his story", we can almost certainly know that the women you mentioned existed. But when it comes to knowing anything about their true personalities and/or styles, I don't think that's possible. I can't take seriously any detailed discussion about the personalities of people I've never met because the vast majority of the time all we've got to go on is hearsay evidence and that's not nearly enough for me at all.

That's why this thread is in the film forum after all. If I wanted to discuss the broader concept of femme fatales throughout all of history and the various cultures of the world I would have made that clear in the original post and I would have put this thread in another forum.

I happen to be a fan of film noir and I sometimes think about how much all of the aspects of film noir pertain to true reality. I've just been thinking about the "femme fatale" aspect the last couple of days and that's where the idea for this thread came from.

If you want to discuss this topic in a broader sense, please start a new thread about it, I would be very interested in reading it.

It could even fit in this forum, "How does the Hollywood concept of femme fatales compare to the concept in other places and cultures?"

edit on 26-8-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 09:16 PM
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oh they exist I used to date one. and no they are not worth the b.s. and games you have to deal with. most of them are straight up crazy.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: Profusion


I wanted to limit the discussion in this thread to the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype only

If something is limited by place and time, it is not an archetype.

The femme fatale is one aspect of the archetypal feminine as described by Jung. More here

Hollywood invented nothing. It is a profoundly unoriginal place, one where innovations go to die.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 01:12 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Profusion


I wanted to limit the discussion in this thread to the "femme fatale" Hollywood archetype only

If something is limited by place and time, it is not an archetype.

The femme fatale is one aspect of the archetypal feminine as described by Jung. More here

Hollywood invented nothing. It is a profoundly unoriginal place, one where innovations go to die.


First, is the emboldened statement above true? According to the definitions of the word "archetype" given below, the statement is true according to only one of them:


archetype

Psychoanalysis (In Jungian psychology) a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious.
www.oxforddictionaries.com...


If you want to believe that that's the only true definition of "archetype", I have no problem with that. I just don't think it's fair to force that on others. I've read some Jungian theories that I thought were excellent. But, it's still unprovable theory, it's speculation. To claim it's absolutely true isn't realistic at all.

Another thing about your statement, "If something is limited by place and time, it is not an archetype." I found this in my research on that:


Universal vs. Cultural Archetypes

What I am calling cultural archetypes, also referred to as ‘stock characters,’ are the types of characters that commonly inhabit our stories/movies. The Pirate, The Heroine, The Punk, The Dog-Catcher and a few hundred thousand more, are all examples of these characters.
germansgaffes.wordpress.com...


If you want to label what I'm calling "the 'femme fatale' Hollywood archetype" as a "cultural archetype", that's fine with me. But, to claim that it's not an archetype at all is not consistent with the more widely accepted definitions of the word "archetype."

I think I have a personal quirk that comes into play here. I don't believe any supposed "truths" from "history" as being absolute fact just based on something being written down on paper. When you're talking about time before films and audio recordings, all we've got is what's written on paper (including photographs in a sense). I would never discuss any of that as having any validity when it comes to proving if "femme fatales" existed in history. It's hard enough to prove that a particular person existed in history at all. Forget about proving their personality/style, I think that's ridiculous.

But, with "the 'femme fatale' Hollywood archetype" as I'm discussing in this thread, we have detailed records in film and audio recordings to go by so that's why I personally would start there (and pretty much end there) in my journey.

I will look at Jung's theory on this because you seem to believe in it so much. I've read theories by Jung that I thought sounded very accurate but I think we have to keep in mind that it's just theory that can never be proven.

"Hollywood invented nothing."

There are works that are created for Hollywood every decade that I think are incredibly enlightening and original. I find what I consider to be enlightening Hollywood films from the past (and even the present) all the time, I don't think you're being fair.
edit on 27-8-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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I think everyone knows an evil woman come on what kind of question is this? lol.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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I'm pretty sure there isn't a single Hollywood trope that exists in reality. Pretty much all of them are one-dimensional caricatures of how Hollywood thinks people act.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 12:43 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
I'm pretty sure there isn't a single Hollywood trope that exists in reality. Pretty much all of them are one-dimensional caricatures of how Hollywood thinks people act.
keep in mind tho archtypes and tropes existed before Hollywood and were around in ancient greek plays for example.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: HorusChrist

Ok, fair enough, but even then the archetypes are still too one dimensional to be true. Sure we can all find examples of people acting like an archetype, but then again on other days we can find where they may act like another archetype.

In reality, archetypes are just molds that a story's writer can use to quickly flesh out the behavior of his character without worrying about too much depth. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. Real humans have WAY more depth and trying to include even close to that amount of depth for even ONE character in your story would result in the story being way to long and likely disjointed.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 01:44 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: HorusChrist

Ok, fair enough, but even then the archetypes are still too one dimensional to be true. Sure we can all find examples of people acting like an archetype, but then again on other days we can find where they may act like another archetype.

In reality, archetypes are just molds that a story's writer can use to quickly flesh out the behavior of his character without worrying about too much depth. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. Real humans have WAY more depth and trying to include even close to that amount of depth for even ONE character in your story would result in the story being way to long and likely disjointed.
yeah there are different archtypes because there are different types of people but I think the ycome down to good or evil. there are many evil women hence the femme fatale arhtype. there good females hence the hooker with a heart of gold archtype. hooker part is cuz no one is really purely good. same with men. Not many fictional stories with a purely good protagonist in it, bible is one I can think of but most are flawed or antiheroes.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: HorusChrist

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: HorusChrist

Ok, fair enough, but even then the archetypes are still too one dimensional to be true. Sure we can all find examples of people acting like an archetype, but then again on other days we can find where they may act like another archetype.

In reality, archetypes are just molds that a story's writer can use to quickly flesh out the behavior of his character without worrying about too much depth. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. Real humans have WAY more depth and trying to include even close to that amount of depth for even ONE character in your story would result in the story being way to long and likely disjointed.
yeah there are different archtypes because there are different types of people but I think the ycome down to good or evil. there are many evil women hence the femme fatale arhtype. there good females hence the hooker with a heart of gold archtype. hooker part is cuz no one is really purely good. same with men. Not many fictional stories with a purely good protagonist in it, bible is one I can think of but most are flawed or antiheroes.


to build on my own post, the idiot by Dostoyevsky is an example of him trying to have a purely good protagonist as an archtype. they called him an idiot in the book cuz everyone else was flawed or evil and thought he had to be an idiot to be so kind .



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: HorusChrist

Actually Jesus created an archetype all by himself. The idea of an outsider with super powers coming and sacrificing himself to save everyone else is actually a VERY common trope. Off the top of my head for characters that fit that trope are: Neo, Superman, and Goku.

Here's a whole page on TV Tropes about it:
Messianic Archetype

Here's a similar but different one about being super loving:
All-Loving Hero
edit on 29-10-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: HorusChrist

Actually Jesus created an archetype all by himself. The idea of an outsider with super powers coming and sacrificing himself to save everyone else is actually a VERY common trope. Off the top of my head for characters that fit that trope are: Neo, Superman, and Goku.

Here's a whole page on TV Tropes about it:
Messianic Archetype
True altho Jesus wasn't the first and like that says he hijacked it not created it.



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