The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas is exactly as he sounds – odd. He is able to see the dead (amongst other things) which he keeps secret. However, despite keeping his abilities a secret, he has been using his gift to solve crimes as an undercover detective. One day, a creepy man appears and a bunch of bodachs (invisible creatures who signal death) are following him. Odd and his girlfriend then follow this man and work together to prevent an impending massacre. 

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Odd Thomas passes the Bechdel test but does not pass the Russo or race test. 

There are a couple of instances in Odd Thomas where named women talk to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Stormy and Viola) so the film passes the Bechdel test. However, Odd Thomas does not pass the Russo or race test as there are no LGBTI characters, and the non-White characters in the film never talk to each other.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

*The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a film passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in film. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the film.

Advertisements