Gerwig abounds with cues and effects, many of which he orchestrated to make the film “authentically contrived”, with everything “fake, but… truly fake”—imaginative yet tactile and tactile like playing with a real toy. I called Peter Weir, director of The Truman Show, to ask how he “did something simultaneously artificial and sentimental.” She tried to air musicals like “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “ Singin’ in the Rain” that it says does the same. Many of the special effects were based on analog techniques from 1959, a year chosen because that’s when Barbie first appeared. The mermaid Barbie we see splashing behind plastic waves from Jeff Koons-esque hoisted by a platform like a hammock.The expanse of blue that hovers over Barbie Land isn’t a green screen; it’s a vast backdrop of painted skies.
“Barbie” has a greater scope, budget, and audience potential than any of Gerwig’s previous work. That was part of its appeal: Gerwig’s range was intentionally expanded. However, she still focuses on the characters’ footsteps into adulthood. (Her next project is a Netflix adaptation of the Narnia universe.) The heroes she played in Frances Ha and Mistress of America—a collaboration with Baumbach—would probably make cool notes on the IP blockbuster Barbie, but they also were knowing who they. So were the heroines of director Gerwig’s debut, “Lady Bird,” loosely based on her childhood in Sacramento, and its follow-up, “Little Woman,” based on her favorite childhood book.
“Barbie” is also a coming-of-age story. The coming-of-age figure happens to be a fully grown hunk of plastic. “Little Women” would have been a great alternate title for it. Same with “Mothers & Daughters”, which is a working title for “Lady Bird”. For Barbie, as in both other films, growing up is a motherly affair. It’s something you do with your mom, sisters, and aunts. Or, in Barbie’s case, with the women involved in your product history.
in the beginning, There was Ruth Handler eavesdropping on her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls. As young Barbie Handler and her cutie friend dress up in different outfits, they imagine their careers and personalities. Her mother’s seemingly quite feminist outlook was that there were no 3D dolls that allowed girls to explore being mature women, only baby dolls that encouraged them to practice motherhood.
Handler and her husband, Elliot, were already running Mattel, a toy company they founded in their California garage in 1945. She ran the company, and created the toys. Her suggestion of a non-baby doll stalled until she reached Switzerland, when she found a potential prototype. Bild Lilli was a novelty toy, modeled after a blonde vixen from a West German comic strip, that could be used to decorate an adult man’s car, like Playboy-silhouette mud flaps. Handler brought some home as a proof of concept. Manufacturers, retailers, and even Mattel weren’t sure that mothers would buy their daughters a toy with such a va-va-voom shape, but the company was advised by a famous Freudian marketing consultant that mothers could be neutered if they thought Barbie was teaching correct behavior. They may not like her precocious sexuality, but they’ll tolerate her for having her dominant femininity ideal.