Unlikely Heroines: Last In A Series
Whenever we get into the analysis of films, I get nervous. And must point out that Campaspe of Self-Styled Siren (link right) is the real film critic in this neighborhood.
But keeter, the one-woman public relations arm of the Comme de Garcons' fragrance series has cornered me.
She has met me IRL and says I'm Mrs. Winifred Banks of the film Mary Poppins. And I'm here to explain my unlikely heroine status.
A scatterbrained but well intentioned member of the suffragette movement, I seem to neglect my children (hey! I got them a flying Nanny, for heaven's sake. And, erm, I don't have any children. Except Bucky.) for my duties on behalf of women's rights.
I am often seen about town in a blue and orange Edwardian-style dress with a white and blue sash that reads "Votes for Women" in black letters. Note that I accessorize with white gloves. Note also that in the film I am blond and buxom. In real life, I am dark haired and buxom.
(No good sash-augmented picture was available; I have substituted something I like better.)
I will now share the good part with you, with shameless coaching from wikipedia:
There exist interpretations of Mary Poppins, including those by structuralist semiologists (? maybe Winterwheat will explain this to us) suggesting the film has a subliminal subtext, intended to prepare America's youth for the political radicalism of the 1960s.
These analyses point to radical themes addressed in the film, including:
- women's suffrage
- the homeless
- animal rights
- mockery of militarism
The children's list of requirements for a new nanny can be viewed as a political manifesto and Mary Poppins as an anarchist mentor, who consorts with chimney sweep Bert and his friends, reps of the blighted urban proletariat, in an Imperialism-fattened London in its final days before World War I. (I would love to meet whoever wrote this, and look in his/her medicine cabinet.)
At film's end, however, in an unexpected switcharound, my heroism emerges in counterpoint to the progressive theory put forward by the chemically enhanced semiologists (?).
I throw away my suffragist banner -- once more a good wife and mother -- and join my family in a kite-flying get-together.
I have forsaken all that women's lib nonsense, come to my senses and once again propound an appropriate message, the conservative ideal.
Far from being an anarchist, Mary Poppins is arguably a savior-figure, sent to rescue the nuclear family from itself.
Ok, keeter. There's Mrs. Banks. Pretty cool, huh?