Swedish Cinemas introduce rating system to test female presence in films

BY newsdesk  November 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM EST

The Bio Rio art-house theater in Sweden. Photo by Flickr Creative Commons User Hannu-Makarainen

Be prepared to add “rated A” to your movie vocabulary.

Bio Rio, an art-house theater in Sweden, is one of four Swedish cinemas that recently launched a new rating system based on what is known as the “Bechdel test” in order to measure meaningful female presence in films, the AP reports. The film will get an “A” rating if it fulfills the requirements of the test, which are as follows:

– The film has two female characters

  • These characters talk to each other
  • Their conversation is about something other than a man.

The concept of the Bechdel test was first introduced in 1985 in a comic strip entitled “The Rule,” written by comic author and rule namesake Alison Bechdel.

The AP reports popular films that pass the test include “The Hunger Games,” “The Iron Lady” and “Savages.” Yet the standards don’t involve a film’s quality or popularity, as many acclaimed films fail the test, Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, told the AP.

“The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test,” explained Tejle.
“The goal is to see more female stories and perspectives on cinema screens.”

H/T Cindy Huang