Artwork is not created in a vacuum. Artists can't help but let their own personal issues inform their work. For example, take the theory that Van Gogh's artistic genius was influenced by his own colorblindness or how a giant spider murdered Jon Peters' mother, so now he jams one in every film he works on, whether it makes sense or not. And we have other examples, too -- shockingly, in list form!
5 Joss Whedon Loves Torturing Strong Women
Joss Whedon is responsible for Firefly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and The Avengers movies. He basically invented the modern nerd. Plus, nobody does strong female characters like him. Oh, and also nobody tortures the holy shit out of those strong female characters like him.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's revealed that part of Black Widow's warrior training involved her being forcibly sterilized. In Firefly, the relentlessly ass-kicking River Tam is given her super kung fu powers via a long process of torture, experimentation, and brain surgery.
It's Morpheus by way of Mengele.
And we've already mentioned a planned episode in which the show's other female lead, Inara, was to be gang-raped by a mob of space cannibals that she defeats by poisoning her vagina, an episode that was thankfully left on the cutting room floor, swept into the cutting room trashcan, and then thrown into the cutting room furnace.
The ill-fated series Dollhouse was about a bunch of women who give up their agency, have their memories wiped, and are sent on a bunch of sexually-charged adventures. Luckily, Buffy seems to have been granted superpowers without any horrible trauma involved, but Anya Jenkins got her powers after an abusive relationship with her Viking husband. And the two most prominent female villains, Darla and Drusilla, were both turned into vampires through violent vampire abuse.
Basically, the only way a woman gets to be a badass in the Whedon-verse is by first enduring some intense torture-porn. We're not saying that makes him sexist or anything, we're just saying we don't want to see what's in his basement.
4 M. Night Shyamalan Uses His Cameos To Feed His Ego
M. Night Shyamalan is famous for three things: his twist endings, the inexplicably diminishing critical acclaim of his work, and his cameo appearances. Filmmaker cameos are usually walk-in Easter egg roles, something for supernerds to pick up on during their 12th viewing. They don't usually cast themselves as major, pivotal characters, unless they're M. Night Shyamalan.
In Signs, he plays the neighbor of Mel Gibson's character, the guy who reveals to Gibson and the audience the fact that the aliens can be defeated with water.
Then in The Village, he cast himself as the park ranger who keeps the titular village secret from the outside world.
Lady In The Water is the story of a fairy creature that comes to Earth to seek out the greatest writer in history before the forces of evil can assassinate him. Guess whom Shyamalan cast as that writer? And in case that wasn't explicit enough, the movie also features a film critic who suffers a violent death in a way that doesn't at all suggest Shyamalan is projecting his frustrations.
We're not making a diagnosis here, but we're just going to point out that the diagnostic criteria for clinical narcissism include a grandiose sense of self-importance, fantasies of unlimited success, a belief in oneself being extremely unique, and an unhealthy fascination with twist endings.
We may have made up that last one.