In his opus about French, Rule 5, and Alyssa Milano, Stacy McCain asks this question regarding The Film That Will Not Be Named:
What is all the more shocking is that The Movie I Will Not Name was directed by a woman, Anne Goursaud. You cannot tell me that Goursaud, whose primary career is as a film editor, could not have cut that scene down to eliminate its awful creeptastic lingering quality.
If it creeps me out? Yeah, it’s just plain wrong.
So here was young Alyssa Milano, just a couple years past Who’s the Boss? and trying to break out of the dreaded Hollywood child-actor career trap, no doubt hoping for a breakthrough role that would get her noticed as capable of starring roles in serious dramatic films. Instead, she gets subjected to this dreadful exposure — by a female director?
We sort of expect a French dude to display Valérie Allain’s assets. We expect James Cameron to give us Kate Winslett naked. This we can explain either by reference to the ordinary impulses of human nature or (if we are feminist ideologues) as the typical oppression of the patriarchy. But I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone could explain Anne Goursaud’s treatment of Alyssa Milano in that movie.
[Emphasis mine] For all of Stacy’s shenanigans, he’s obviously never eavesdropped on girl talk. So let me explain the obvious: Anne Goursaud Epstein started directing films in the 1970s. The internets are silent as to her exact date of birth, but she had to have been at least 45 when she directed The Movie That Shall Not Be Named. Alyssa was twenty. She’s now 40 and is still absurdly hot. This is a semi-recent picture of Anne Goursaud.
In case anyone needs it spelled out even more explicitly, some older women can be complete twats to younger women. I’m not Anne Goursaud; I spent the early ’90s in middle school, on the science team and not in Hollywood; but, having been around the block a few times, when an aging women gratuitously exploits or degrades a younger woman, it’s jealously. Aging Anne Goursaud, who was probably never half as lovely as Alyssa, apparently couldn’t resist the impulse to take the young beauty down a notch. Other directors may show off women’s lovely bodies to get ratings, or to throw a bone to men who are dragged to Titanic by their girlfriends, but Goursaud’s exploitation is nothing but jealousy – the jealousy of someone who competes by degrading the opposition.
Leave it to others to decide if this is a remnant of the patriarchy, evidence that sexism is okay, or some other twaddle. I’m just here, as the resident thirtysomething, to point out that older women can be dreadful to younger women. (Heavens, some of them will write in national publications about how they can’t handle aging.) I think it’s an individual thing – not a woman thing, not a patriarchy thing, but a conscious choice by certain people to be ugly inside. Because, after all, the world is also full of middle-aged men who hate young, successful women.