A series of short, snappy pieces of Players, Scenes, Quotes, Shots, Locations, from films directed by women throughout September.
In recent years, you will struggle to find such an immersive chemistry in a three-way relationship on-screen, as that of Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote, in 2017’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. An under-rated gem, sadly missing the boat with many audiences last year.
A perfect companion piece to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, this could not be more different perhaps. Also directed by a woman, Angela Robinson, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women depicts, to a an extent, the derivation of the female super-heroine.
William Moulton Marston (Evans) relays his story, under testimony, of how he came from a successful teacher, to fathering children from two different women. And that the three of them started, and settled into, a polyamorous relationship. Career-shattering stuff, but Marston would go on to create the fictional character that would become Wonder Woman.
Marston and his wife (Hall), are successful, when he hires one his his students, Olive (Heathcote) to assist their research work. On the verge of inventing the lie detector machine, the married couple find they eventually both love Olive, and an unlikely, consensual relationship soon forms between the trio.
As their sexual relations flourish, Marston introduces a kind of fetishistic element to their escapades. While trying on an exotic, revealing costume (with lasso and tiara), Olive becomes an even greater object of affection for both husband and wife. Cinematographer Bryce Fortner, and crew, crank up the visuals for this.
Already a gorgeous display of the early parts of the twentieth century, what with the production design and costumes, the defining moment is accentuated with fluid, superbly-lit photography and motion. It’s an iconic moment, inviting us in vivid fashion to the birth of Wonder Woman – sartorially speaking.
The sexually experimental portion of the threesome over the years, finds its way to some degree into Marston’s comics. Controversy ensues, even after National Periodical Publications, A.K.A. DC Comics, have taken the Amazonian talisman on. Olive’s parents were a strong force of the feminist movement, and this followed suit in her relationship with both Marstons.
The lesbian and sadomasochistic elements of the Wonder Woman comics, would be toned down over the years. Wonder Woman would make a comeback into the world when making the cover of the very first publication of Ms. Magazine in 1972. Again, to symbolize a radical female empowerment. The rest is, of course, herstory.