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The awaited sex and the city film

Introduction

In 2008 the awaited Sex and the City film was first displayed to millions of thirty-something women across the world. The film was produced, based on the success of the television show that saw four different women celebrate and discuss topics such as friendship, singledom, sex and fashion. The times writer Kate Spicer suggested Sex and the City is a demographic for the way women can break away from old traditions. “It’s for a new Russian demographic – women trying to break away from old Asian ideas about the man being the main provider . . . struggling with the problems equality and freedom can bring (Spicer, 2008).

For me, Sex and the City may have highlighted areas of celebration for women. However, it has also highlighted areas of negativity, such as the discussion of the feminist and the women’s actions being exploited negatively. The purpose of this Dissertation is to first develop a better understanding about the nature of feminism, according to researchers in the field, look at contemporary sources. The second is to compare this to what other writers have said about Sex and the City, concentrating on the research done by other writers of Sex and the City. I will then complete my research by trying to understand the issues that focus around the professional gendered work place, I believe this will give me enough structure to be able to research both Sex and the City films. Below, I have presented my Hypothesis, that will be followed by my main objectives, goals and research questions and a brief structure of the dissertation.

The back ground of the key issues surrounding my Hypothesis are; 1) Sex and the City has many critics, this is due to the nature of the characters that take risks. Unfortunately this has caused the audience to segment. Are the view of feminists the same2) Socially, the television series highlighted areas of lust for women, did the contemporary thirty something women of the show change the way the protagonist acts3) Has Sex and the City ‘swayed’ into another area of pop culture?

The people who will most value the research are people that talk and share ideas about contemporary feminism issues. The approach I am using is more direct – looking at the scholars, and comparing core texts to a fiction adaptation that is more popular. If Sex and the City display an encouraging sense of feminism, then the younger generation will be able to understand more about the roots of feminism.

Chapter two is the Literature Review and is the account on what has been published on the topic. I will focus on primary research and articles accredited by scholars and researchers. Here I will be able to synthesize results into a summary of what is already known, identify areas of controversy in the literature and formulate questions that need to further research. Chapter three is the Research Methodology and this section simply explains what I have done, why I did it, where I did it and with whom I did it. Each of my data collection will be described in detail in justification to my research questions. Chapter four is the Analysis of my results and presentation of the data I captured. This will either be by comment from observation. Here I will be discussing my hypothesis and whether or not that tests was confirmed or rejected. Chapter five is the Discussion of the results which will overview my research. My final chapter will be my Bibliography which ill contain a complete listing of all the materials (journal, website, books and magazines) that I have cited in the body of the dissertation.

Research problem

Feminism is a term that is often heard to explain women’s liberations in the 1970’s. In relates to problems connected with society and sexism. For the purpose of this literature review I want to find out how feminism first relates to Sex and the City, then discuss the different types, if any of feminism – hopefully this will underpin any sub problems.

Firstly, the idea that feminism is a single coherent view point is not true. Feminists are different and throughout history the way in which feminism has been treated varies by ‘waves’. These waves according to many scholars fall at certain points in time, which are most relevantI noticed that many scholars used terms to present the way in which SATC is illustrated towards it’s audience.

In an era of ‘must see television’ Negra believes that, “The series’ highly ambivalent investment in a notion of ‘post feminism,’ a cultural catchphrase most often used to express a widely-shared assumption that feminism is no longer desirable or viable” (Negra, 2004).
According to Baxter, “The lives of four white, middle class, thirty something, female friends negotiating the consumer and mating culture of New York, challenged former media representations of femininities” (Baxter, 2000).
Kuruc suggests, “Despite its reputation as innovative programme that allows women a ‘distinct’ voice with a male dominated society, ‘Sex and the City,’ reinforces gender based stereotypes with the use of fashion” (Kuruc, 1998).
Arthurs suggests, “Sex and the City can be compared to previous examples of post feminist, women cantered drama produced for prime time network television in the US. These dramas that in the wake of the second wave feminism selectively deploy feminist discourses as a response to cultural changes in the lives of their potential audience that is addressed to white, heterosexual, and relatively youthful and affluent” (Arthurs, 2003).

Thus, each problem refers to a different matter surrounding feminism. These problem broadly are ‘Post Feminism’ – what is this?, Stereotypes and representations of women and discourses show the cultural changes in society for women. For my second review of literature I will focus my discussion based on the results of the previous data.

The earliest account of feminism, according to many scholars is the first wave of feminism. The First Wave refers to the middle of the 19th century, in a time when gender equality was politically perceptible. For women of this era, “the unjust political standings of the governments officially mandated inequalities helped produce a women’s movement” (Krolokke, 2005). Arguably, in the UK and the USA there were many feminist women who helped shape the movements who eventually went onto win reforms in education, healthcare, workplace and see women’s rights to the vote. Writer (2007) suggests these people were; “Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Olympia Brown, and Helen Pitts; there are countless more. Most people consider the first-wave to have ended when the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed, granting women the right to vote” (Writer, 2007). However, Krolokke suggests that the in-equality for women goes further back than the 19th century. “The struggles of bourgeois European women for education and civil rights in the wake of the French Revolution (1789–99)” (Krolokke, 2005.p.2) were equally hard struggles. The First Wave of Feminism arguably is the birth of this feminist debate. However the problems encountered in the first wave were more social problem, rather than the ones that scholars of SATC were talking about.

The second wave feminists assert both the equality of both men and women using political and legal forms. They must not be confused for people who dislike men, but as people who envisioned equality in the non-altering views of society. In Whites book ‘Women’s Magazines between 1693 – 1968’, an indication of women’s occupations throughout the industrial revolution (18th and 19th century) represent second wave feminism. One of Whites most clear example is the illustrious Emily Faithfull who wrote several magazines for women’s freedom of free thinking. “Emily Faithful was exceptional in actually achieving the establishment of her own printing press” (Davis, 2005). She battle trade unions, she commented on men and women’s job roles in a society driven by men, “provided opportunities for women in the print industry” (Davis, 2005) and this “challenged long-term assumptions about the kinds of work women could do” (Davis, 2005). The term feminist during the industrial revolution stood for exclusion, male centered judgment and undervalued for women who experienced work. Faithfuls was a social rebellion in the 18th and 19th century, however her visions on second wave prejudice targeted women as victims of society empowered women on a even bigger social scale. These actions, according to Krolokke suggests, second wave feminism refers to “the radical feminism of women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and 70s” (Krolokke, 2005, p.7). Women in the early 1960’s and 1970’s were also subjects to a slaughter of brand and consumer culture that many women saw as, “victims of oppressive beauty culture” (Krolokke, 2005, p8). They wanted freedom against a patriarchal-commercialized society dominated by men. This made women protest against sexist discrepancies in their everydayness throughout the 19th century.

However now with forms such as The Equal Pay Act and the professional status is more equal. Below are examples of the why the US Department of Labour sanctioned many anti-discriminating policies that offer women’s right in a Western society;

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

“Amended the FLSA to prohibit pay discrimination because of sex” (FWS, 2005). “The Equal Pay Act (1963) required employers to pay men and women equally. Men and women must have equal responsibility, skills and efforts in the same conditions” (FWS, 2005).

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

“This also protects workers against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, or national origin in most on-the-job aspects of employment” (FWS, 2005). “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 It states that employers must recruit for jobs without discrimination, however in a male dominated working world some people could argue that the design of promoting jobs is not sensitive enough. However Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1978, specifically prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy. Employers cannot refuse to employ a woman because of pregnancy or terminate her, force her to go on leave at an arbitrary point during pregnancy, or penalize her because of pregnancy in reinstatement rights including credit for previous service, accrued retirement benefits, and accumulated seniority” (FWS, 2005).

Second wave feminists in thetwenty first century tackle more personal obstacles. An example may be when a women is ‘devalued’ by a man due to unequal standings in domestic sphere or in the work place. Spheres that genders occupy have been the focus study of gender constructions through society but the root comes from the way genders are shaped from birth. This is a Marxist view on society and suggests “sexism is the sole route cause for inequality debate” (Seidman et al, 2006). Seidman et al raises strong arguments on feminism as a social identity. He believes that feminism contrasts the Marx approach of social studies by suggesting “we are conditioned to act as a certain gender type” (Seidman et al, 2006). His visions of conditioning gender through experience would therefore “change the nature of how we act through urban society as men and women” (Seidman et al, 2006).

According to Krolokke “The third wave is buoyed by the confidence of having more opportunities and less sexism” (Krolokke, 2005). We understand that women were miss-treated and victims of the 60s and 70s, could the third wave suggest that they have now reformedRockler-Gladen (2007), suggest the “Third Wave focuses on the economic, political, social, and personal empowerment of women. This wave of feminism focuses more on the individual empowerment of a women and less on active nature of social reform. ‘It celebrates women’s journeys to build meaningful identities in the complex contemporary world” (Rockler-Gladen, 2007).

We can relate Krolokee’s understanding of third wave feminism to my primary research argued by Jane Arthurs. Thus, Arthurs suggested, “These dramas that in the wake of the second wave feminism selectively deploy feminist discourses as a response to cultural changes” (Arthurs, 2003). Often people get confused about the third wave due to the image of feminism that popular culture has constructed. According to Krolokke, this is a “one-sided portrayal” (Krolokke, 2005, p.16). Thus, third wave feminists have certain characteristics. They ‘encourage women to explore sexual options and express themselves in whatever ways they feel comfortable’ (Suite101, 2010), “celebrate diversity” (Suite101, 2010) “invite women to be to be angry, aggressive, and outspoken” (Suite101, 2010) but overall “third wave feminists like to think of themselves as survivors, not victims” (Suite101, 2010). Therefore does SATC promote women in the sense of third wave feminismTo an extent the literature is also suggesting the third wave often celebrates the second waves achievements. Sex and the City if often referred to as forum for feminist discussion because it is structured round four middle class women who relate to political, individual and socialistic problems.

The demographic that Arthur recognises suits Krolokke’s ideas that the media has a “one-sided portrayal” (Krolokke, 2005, p.16) of feminism. However, Negra suggests, “that feminism is not about the state of one women’s suffrage, it is a lot wider” (Negra, 2004). For example, the ideal demographic for SATC is a women from a white middle class background. She is a victim of feminism because she is undervalued solely because she is a women, when she attends a interview that she does not get because she is not a man. This is considerably different to someone from Africa, who’s bases for women’s rights are because they’re children cannot go to school. Thus, there are differences in feminism, that come from different geographical backgrounds. Therefore there is a more universal objectives for many third wave feminists who “challenge notions of universal womanhood and articulate ways in which groups of women confront complex intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class and age related concerns” (Krolokee, 2005).

The Post Feminist feeling of today stems from popular culture according to many scholars. It is apparent that many writers suggest that television shows such as Ally McBeal (1997-2002), Designer Women (1986 – 1993) and Zena Warrior Princess (1995 -2001) are “texts of post-revolution feminist sensibility” (Gerhard, 2005, p.40). This relates heavily you the way in which Baxter challenges representations of feminism through popular culture, though Lotz’s suggests “confusion over the terminology many signify one of the key obstacles facing feminist advances at the dawn of the 21st century” (Lotz, 2001, p.1). Is this a problem that faces SATCThus, Gerhard suggests “Lotz’s description of contemporary feminism theory is accurate, her use of the term post-feminism to describe these developments are confusing” (Gerhard, 2005, p.41). Therefore to describe Post Feminism from another approach, by Arthurs or Moseley is the “convergence of popular culture and select aspects of feminism organized through revisiting the distinction between feminism and femininity” (Gerhard, 2005, p.41). Therefore looking back at the previous waves and selecting aspects of different series, produced for the empowerment of women that suggests that the characteristics of feminism are no longer there. So we can see that evidently the views upon Post Feminism have a certain notion of female confusion.

My discussion refers to the significance of how the term is used because It is played on a synonymous meaning of the third wave but refers to the contemporary term that feminists are no longer needed. To better understand the term, I will find some examples using literature and texts to further discover what is meant;

Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth (1991)’ published with the “backlash against feminism” (Whelehan, 1995, p.216) in the time when ‘Post Feminism’ was coined. “The oppressive book preceded to surround feminism in particular constraints, however using a new perspective on some old problems for feminism” (Whelehan, 1995, p.216). Wolf argued that the second wave feminism era was full of beauty culture and society struggles and that contemporary issues regarding women’s un finished bodies and influences to get plastic surgery Is brainwashing and is feminism. The counter-acts the idea that ‘Post Feminism’ is needed in today’s society.

Thornham suggest, “More recent writing has been less hostile” (Thornham, 2007). This relates to Brudson (1997) who suggests the term is, “useful in describing a cultural shift in both discourse and popular representations” (Thornham; Brudson, 1997). This shows a cultural shift in how the term is less represented or radical which relates to Arthurs suggestion that 1) “Sex and the City can be compared to previous examples of post feminist” (Arthurs, 2003) and 2) using “discourses as a response to cultural changes in the lives of their potential audience that is addressed to white, heterosexual, and relatively youthful and affluent” (Arthurs, 2003). Thornham’s book is one similar to others regarding Women, Feminism and Media studies that all seem to have similar contemporary views on Post Feminism.

Small Summary

From selected reading I was able to define the concepts of feminism in regards to SATC. I found out the SATC is a text that not only evaluates the life’s of women, but also stereotypes the old traditions of women. Carrying on my secondary research I will ask the following questions based on surrounding problems that I found above;

1)What do other writers believe are the problems surrounding feminism in SATC?

2)The previous waves of feminism have taught me that the problems in the modern day are more personal. So, what social problems arise for women in the professional working environment?

Literature research two (a): What writers say about Sex and the City

A growing aspect of SATC is the demanding battle to keep the sense of the tradition, for women. Because if not kept, then the ideal femininities of feminism, tilt away from the root cause. This is often blamed by emerging programmes, “the programmes have emerged at a time when young women in Western societies are gaining better educational qualifications, entering the labour market in unprecedented numbers…” (McRobbie, 2008, p.534). Similar to Arthurs suggestion of cultural change. This relates to ‘hyper feminine’ figures in such television dramas as SATC that often play out a celebratory roles that path and engage with women, in this case influence or promote the post modernist approach of women and work. Hyper feminine characters of SATC are often noted as a ‘forum’ of sexuality for television and the feminist movement to thrive from, the women are often seen ‘in-line with the popular culture’ thus, according to Negra “pathologize thirty something single women as abject, deviant or deficient” (Negra, 2004, p.4). Therefore the modernist approach is seen as celebratory for women but the post modern approach can some times be miss-leading, tilting away from their common social norms can be seen as negative. However, Kuruc’s idea of using fashion to display the individualities relates heavily to the hyper feminine figure because women who have an interest in clothes who are the typical the demographic for SATC.

However, most scholars have shared their views on feminism and the SATC films in many different lights. Baxter suggests that someone who understands the modernist or feminist approach to SATC is someone who “who has personal and political liberation from male patriarchy” (Baxter, 2009, p.91). He then suggests, somebody who reads SATC in the light of a post-modernist or Post Feminist “is someone who see’s life in a is complexity, multiplicity, richness of experience, connections with other s and action based nature of modern life” (Baxter 2009, Butler, 2006; Mills, 2002; Weedon, 1997). Baxter raises the argument that relates to Kuruc’s suggestion, “various life style identities are polarized in terms of their representations of stereotypical femininity and masculinity, other times multiple versions of gender are celebrated and problematical” (Baxter, 2009, p.94). Thus, we understand third wave feminists often celebrate the diminish of sexism, but the polarization that Baxter mentions shows how the text SATC, connotes second wave dilemmas.

Henry suggests that because of the recent shift in romance and women based television dramas there has been a “shifting representation of feminism on TV” (Henry, 2004) that has been the cause of popular feminine culture changing in the US. The US was where SATC was most popular, according to Sex and the City user rating is in the top one hundred television series of all time rating at number seventy-six and having just under eleven million viewers each week throughout the series (IMDB, 2010). Looking into the importance of the media images of sexuality, dramas and films such as Bridget Jones (2001), Ally McBeal (1997-2002) and other anti-feminist texts, has enhanced the sexual freedom of a women. SATC “embodies what is now referred to as ‘third wave feminism’. During the last decade numerous books, magazines and websites emerged, proclaiming the arrival of feminism’s next generation” (Henry, 2004, p.70).

Negra explores the concept taken up after the 9/11 attacks of New York and how recent films since the attacks has made the City, the ideal sensitive place to set a ‘chick flick’. Thus, Negra’s idea was that, films that were once set in the City portrayed women as either “misguided and troubled” (Negra, 2008, p.54). According to Negra films such as Attraction (1987) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) “privatized female work” (Negra, 2008, p.54). The attacks on New York (September 11th 2001) have left the City vulnerable and sensitive, therefore women’s work and profession have become more resourceful in many film and television dramas. This could be blame on the buildings that could “express singular power” (Negra, 2008, p.52) in a sensitive environment, thus SATC does use the expressions of urban architecture in its series.

Kuruc studied the feminist tools of fashion throughout the television series of Sex and the City. She experienced signs of gendering and sexism that relate to the liberal battles women under went. Each character wore different styles of fashions throughout the series is excel their identity for example, business, leisure or style. This apposed to men who were generally seen in suits at work, the women were rarely seen at work relying on an image where women’s best kept occupation lies in marriage. The women seemed to be fine with not working, however three had good jobs, however they never were talked about. It was a sign the feminism meant that economically they were financially stable because they were suited by a male figure. Thus, many liberal or second wave feminists would find this offensive – “each character produces elements of narrative that symbolize gender” (Kuruc, 1998, p.203). The verdict that many scholars experienced is that, to a degree the contemporary cosmopolitan illustration can be read by a modernist and post modernist perspective.

Literature research two (b): What are the issues in the gendered professional city?

Websites such as The F word have been set up to help encourage young feminists to collectively come together to share ideas, interests and views on different matters to show that “feminism does exist today” (F –Word, 2010). Feminist writers or educators such as Catherine Redfern (F-Word UK) felt inspired to regularly update their press to thousands of readers each day and find new feminist voices. The F-Word brand themselves as “contemporary UK feminism” (F-Word, 2010); they are a webzine “designed to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here” (F-Word).

They recently posted an article called The professional masquerade: Women working in corporate finance are expected to adhere to sexist and objectifying dress codes, the story was objectifying the notion that women were still seen as objects (2010). Even though there has been a great implement on the equality of gender in a contemporary city, there has been much research done looking at a women’s visibility in urban environments. “To most casual observers there is no difference, but according to Booth some work, however attracts less notice, household and domestic work” (Booth, 1996).. These dynamic factors developed our understanding of today’s labour market and the Industrial revolution shaped jobs for women as we have seen in the second wave of feminism in newly developed cities such as London. The expansion of this meant additional positions for women and new opportunity determined women’s roles shaping the urban environment. New labour had great emphasis on regeneration that would battle social exclusion that looks at women’s experience in urban generation. These are signs of a cosmopolitan city in particular the customs that suburban women have bought to the city such as sensitivity that could argue the need for the policies and reforms suggested earlier.

Fawcett Online are a website that aims to close the gap between gender inequality. Research done by Fawcett suggest “that 72% of the 2010 budget cuts George Osborne proposed, savings will be coming out of women’s pockets” (Fawcett, 2010). Online activists such as Fawcett online are seeking a judicial review of the budget. Thanks to legislations from reforms in 2007, “the equality act states that public authorities have “due regard” to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, and promote equality of opportunity between men and women” (Fawcett, 2010).

Fawcett Online were also at the front of the equal pay in the UK published in 2010 as they found “women working full-time in the UK are still paid on average 16.4% less per hour than men” (Fawcett, 2010). Again Fawcett called upon the government to bridge a gap between them and equality. This relates to Reinardy, who found that “The stress of women is compounded by family issues, sexism, discrimination and the proverbial glass ceiling that limits professional prosperity” (Reinardy, 2009, p.43). Reinardy’s theory that women are more likely to leave work falls into the category of in-equality at the work place and relates to the gender pay gap. As suggested before there are numerous policies to over come these problems but with so many women leaving work, “In the U.S in 2005, women accounted for 46.3 percent of the labour force” (Reinardy, 2009, p.42) but “(25 percent) leaving because of working conditions” (Reinardy, 2009, p.43) it still seems clear that there is increased pressure for women to work.

Bitch magazine (Response to popular pop culture quarterly) are a non-profit feminism magazine that offer a voice to young women who may be influenced by pop culture. It is a chance for women to speak freely about the issues that they want to speak freely about. The website offers more contemporary and political reading, however the majority of the content is based around sexuality, and how or what we should be wearing similar to the issues contemporary feminists the F-Word are discussing. The Women’s Library “is a cultural centre housing the most extensive collection of women’s history in the UK” (London met, 2010). The website is an over view for the Library situated in the Met University. The registered museum dedicated to women of London offers collections on women’s rights such as employment. Books on topics such as equality laws are found, and often loaned out to women to create a wider voice of feminism.

In Youth Media Reporter (Issue 6, 2008) Pouncey highlighted areas of bias for women of the seats of Congress. “In 2007, only 86 of the 535 seats in Congress were held by women – a mere 16.3%” (Pouncey, 2008, p.258). Youth Media Reporter like other non profit magazines are out there to spread a new voice because they believe many young women still get affected by feminism. Feminism according to Pouncey and Youth Media Reporters is “the lifelong inability to take myself seriously as a worker” (Pouncey, 2008, p.258) that according to my research suggest that they see feminism through the second wave. This statement is part of their ambition to show young women that there are great women role models out there; such as the magazines above, this Youth Media Reporter produce a monthly magazine so they make a more accurate reflection on our 21st century world. SATC was produced for women, however a study showed that in 2007 “only 15% of behind the scenes talent (directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors) on top grossing films in the U.S were women, and the number in fact decreased in the last 10 years” (Pouncey, 2008, p.258). For many contemporary women, the emphasis on culture, in particular film, is delivering mixed messages to women. However, the third wave suggests that through sexuality women can express themselves on a more personal level, it even encourages it. The films director Michael Patrick King, is gay, a testament of the third wave liberation and the chance for women to accept the sexuality of a man in this circumstance. Thus, when a culture changes, so does the control behind it, many feminist liberators have created means and ways of auctioning and showing support to popular culture in the way of websites, work shops and books. Borda recognizes that the third wave of feminism is not out dated, she believes that this I still a topic of discussion and concerns her topics about the conflict between women’s professional and personal identities. She suggests that third wave feminism is misguided and understood wrong, scholars that identified the new wave, were robbed by the thoughts of the media who branded it with the edge of women’s way of getting away from the notion of second wave and what was not complete. Her essay on the Live Nude Girls demonstrates contemporary women’s culture which is “mainly economic and gender oppression that women continue to face during their daily lives” (Borda, 2009).

To summarise this part of my secondary literature review I can see that the demographic for women and work based around the contemporary City relates to Arthurs suggestion again. In the western environment according to Beasley, “Divides gender into two categories, one being male and the other being female” (Beasley, 2005, p.37). This refers to ‘gendering’ in a contemporary Western society as binary. “Two categories are not merely regarded as distinct and opposed, they are also put into hierarchy in which one is typically cast a positive and negative” (Beasley, 2005, p.37). Beasley’s argument is understandable and visible to most, the argument relates to gender stereotyping that has led us to believe that “gender is not neutral, typically this can be seen as sexist in areas such as the work place” (Beasley, 2005, p.40). Beasley evaluated research that he had done on the roles of different genders in urban environments. He found that western cultures allocate men and women’s roles, “Men typically have more of a public involvement, due to work, sports and leisure that are seen as masculine roles. Women have a predominately domestic role in life such as housework, housewife’s and childcare. In a contemporary city this is seen as sexist because both sexes occupy the same space” (Beasley, 2005, p.42). Pringle found that “corporate managing roles are normally male dominated jobs, while women’s roles are less active, such as secretaries (Pringle, 2005, p.38). This relates to the sexual division of labour, that can be related to the survival instincts of animals. Pringle suggests, “the hunter is the man and the career and gatherer is the woman” (Pringle, 2005). Pringles irrational debate of women connotes feminism; in today’s post-feminist world some would argue these visions started liberal action for women against society in the late 1960’s and 70’s.

An interesting point to make clear would be to emphasise how theory related to social studies relates to the way in which SATC is transcribed in reference to the way in which the working women in the professional city is seen. Group dynamics is a topic influenced by many different scholars, thus it fits the nature of the surrounding topic, in particular the Classical Organization Theory. This refers to male power in professional organizations is sometimes known as homosociability. It is a term that illustrates the understandings of the male gender and the “organisational cultures and ideas of rational decision-making and effective management are overlaid with notions of masculinity” (Ramsay and Parker, 1992). So it is an irrational view of the constructions of a gendered society.

There are many gender related theories that are based on a rational view of society. A modern approach one called the Classical Organization Theory, which is based on universal rationality. Max Weber (1864 – 1920)developed the theory based on bureaucracy, power and control, of basic knowledge through the use of legal authority. His primary goal was to find a way in “which avoided the corruption, unfairness and nepotism characterizing most 19th century organizations” (HRM, 2010). To succeed that, “power is principally exemplified within organizations by the process of control” (HRM, 2010). Therefore in the purest form a respect for equality amongst a universal demographic within the workplace was his goal. Weber outlined some main functions that organizations are characterized by, an example according to HRM is; “…a continuous organization of official functions bound by rule”‘ (HRM, 2010). In terms of Male power in the work place, there are often signs of bureaucracy amongst the modern day environment. Gender neutral is many organizations such as the public services are traditionally noted for being irrational. Today, signs of rationality are changing that stigma; policemen and firemen are either becoming officers or rationally sharing the practice of fire or policewomen when needed.

From a Liberal Feminists point of view according to Acker (1991), the aims for women in the workplace is ‘empowerment’ and thinks of “organizations as gender neutral” (Acker, 1991). In terms of a Post Modern feminist approach, one “recognises that gender and sexuality are constantly at work in organizations” (Acker, 1991) and “investigates how gender identities are constantly produced in organizations” (Acker, 1991). Thus, Weber’s theory can be criticised by gender as part of our identity and personality. The performance of us as individuals cannot always be played out by norm. Weber’s theory relies on authority and rules that can be broken. Thompson and McHugh (2002) point out that “their working conditions are conducive to psychological failure. In short, people are treated more as infants than competent human beings” (HRM, 2010). According to scholars however, this can be the cause of making gender visible in the work place. Sexual harassment, gender discrimination and the gender gap are problems n the work force seen each day.

Although men and women occupy the same space in many organizations such as work, they are bullied as a minority by a male dominated environment. Following on from the Classical Organizational Theory, is theory based on group space and the diversity of a group. People who function well together to achieve goals are sometimes called in-groups. They produce positive work and use each others strengths to achieve goals. According to many scholars in group dynamics, this is normally formed in the orientation stage of groups. In a work place, “positive attitudes to in-groups enable people to bolster their self-esteem” (Stainton, 2003). The opposed, however refers to a negative dynamic functions of a group. These groups are called out-groups “negative attitudes to out-groups allow them to distance themselves from groups who threaten their self-esteem” (Stainton, 2003).

Positive attitudes come from individuals in a group that can influence. Based on their personality group individuals can en-force a group to hit targets and manage together. Personality can be positive because many factors can account; the way in which you are brought up can influence your work ethic, drive, social skills and balance. However, negative attitudes come from the same source. Too much work ethic can drive others away, the drive and social skills may vary from others causing other group roles and smaller groups to form. This according to relates to leading scholars Tuckman, Banet and Jones theories about negative cohesions in a group; often Interdependence and Intragroup Conflict can arise.

Tuckman developed the four stages of group dynamics that can produce a functioning group. Forming, this according to team building UK is “Time is spent planning, collecting information and bonding” (TBUK, 2010). The second stage is the most important stage in the group process and the most social ‘storming’, “Relationships between team members will be made or broken in this phase and some may never recover” (TBUK, 2010) often referred to storming. In many working environments peoples interactions and based on a more professional level, rather than social therefore bonds are often built on a positive nature and develop into negative bonds. However, males with personal sexist issues often express their beliefs in this stage. The third stage ‘norming’ “tends to be a move towards harmonious working practices with teams agreeing on the rules and values by which they operate” (TBUK, 2010). Therefore the final stage ‘performing’ is based on how well the other groups functions. The work place can cause conflicts in many ways.

Women can be victims of homosociability. In reference to the theory, it is obvious how women are diverted by men into out groups; In-groups consisting of males produce negative dynamics in a group, there can be prejudice and sexual discrimination as a cause and research shows that in-groups will try and control out-groups.

Referring back to literature research two (a): What writers say about Sex and the City

From the film, I found that the encouragement of sexuality and diversity is used on many occasions. In relation to the reading, this is a sign on individual and personal empowerment that many scholars believe is third wave feminism. An example from the film is Samantha. On various occasions Samantha’s mouth gets the better of her. One of the most important scenes is when Carrie and Big are celebrating their engagement dinner when one of Bigs old work friends is being boisterous, talking over Samantha’s speech. Her reaction first of all is to leave it, however after the second occasion she feels the need to tell him to “Shut up you Jackass”. This is an example of Samantha celebrating unfeminine emotions that wouldn’t have been acceptable in the past. Being loud, angry and outspoken Samantha’s comments relate to the reading in terms of Gladen (2007) social and personal empowerment. This relates to the shifting representation of feminism on TV made by Henry (2004), the importance of media images and sexuality is SATC enhances the sexual freedom. This is third wave because scholars believe that these characteristics signify third wave feminism.

From the first film, I found that the ladies from SATC represent their own struggles through the forms of sexualized representations of other people. When the ladies attend an auction for a previous wife of a millionaire prince who’s auctioning of her fortune to ‘punish’ him for what he has done to the relationship, the girls are evoked by the struggles that the women went through. This is a metaphor for the way in which Sex and the City viewers and what women of this generation may see as popular culture. As we know, popular culture is a way for third wave feminism to express itself- images of previous feminism that women can relate their personal and identities through it. Thus, it was noted earlier that third wave feminism often celebrates the achievements of the second wave through the consumption of media dramas and television.

There are however, some major criticisms of the third wave that can apply to Sex and the City. Sometimes Sex and the City is regarded as not being political enough – as stated by many scholars and Weber in his CO theory. ‘This discourages women from being wider feminists’ (Suite 101, 2010). Sex and the City then, can be criticised for the way in which third wave feminism promoted the well being of the individual and not so much as a society. Female empowerment is seen as negative in Sex and the City. As suggested in the reading the middle class women from the Western society who in Sex and the City have the luxury to spend $50,000 for personal ‘expressive self image’ do not benefit from capitalism in society the same way that a poorer working prostitute in the poorer districts of New York City would. The individual in Sex and the City ‘leads to the promotion of sexualisation for women in society’ (Suite 101, 2010).

However Krolokee’s vision of a one sided media represents the third wave encouragements of the film. Therefore the answer to my question earlier: does SATC promote women in the sense of third wave feminismThe answer is yes. This draws us back to the idea of the demographic and the “notions of universal womanhood” (Krolokee, 2005), in the second film the producers capture a different environment other than New York. When the ladies head to the Middle East they are boycotted by the issues surrounding women and the Burka, Carrie relates to the feminine problems of weight and desire for fast food in humours way suggesting that women will ‘go out of the way of fashion for food’. Thus, the images connotes that the feminist battle is not that wide, well in fact Carries view is less socially weighted. Women of the Western world are not confined by their husbands to wear a Burka, therefore SATC displays something that is very second wave, regarding the political stance. The ladies, while on holiday are also known for having an individual male butler which is a common job for Indian men in the Middle East, however without the support of a wife, the young butlers are at their services of a white-middle class women who is seen as more wealthy and free than this man. She leaves the butler money and the end of the film suggesting that Carrie is a helper to the mans needs, however feminism for the butlers wife is not displayed, the work and social norms of each character is very different from Carrie and SATC’s view on the universal feminist battle.

In the Sex and the City films I found that various life style identities are choices by women of Post feminism. In the second film Samantha in particular voices the horror of turning fifty, her forties saw her exploring her sexuality and giving of a good look for women in their forties. However, the debate between beauty culture and feminism is overseen in Sex and the City, it is in fact a great deal of their lives. The sense that women can make their own post revolution choices about what they wear and what beauty enhances they use is their choice. This is often seen in Sex and the City, again when Samantha buys a dress to promote her youth, being told by a youthful figure that I may be to young. She is expressing her post feminist thoughts to the worker, the deeper meaning however relates to the work read about Wolf and oppressed beauty culture. Her views on changing ones self contradicts feminism and is not post feminism, this is a new perspective on the culture of beauty and suggests that the choices are post revolutionary but negative reform of feminism.

Samantha turning forty to fifty throughout both films I believe is a metaphor for the shift in cultural norms. Thus, a Post Feminist promotes the shift in society and attitudes between men and women, however in Sex and the City the characters lack emotional repress of relationships. Carries disregard for Bigs wants, after work in the First and Second film causes issues that negatively affect their relationship. In the first film she pays no attention to the needs of his marriage that ends up with her admitting that she was wrong. In the second film, her disregard for his feelings about private marriage space ends with her cheating with an old boyfriend, Aiden. This relates to the issues that Thornham noted about Post Feminist discourse. It shows that the term Post Feminist is a term that is less radical and representative of the ideas of feminism, however they do not for fill the gratifications of the other waves. It also relates to the post-revolution feminist sensibility by Gerhard (2005) and argues, Baxter challenges representations of feminism through popular culture, though Lotz’s suggests “confusion over the terminology many signify one of the key obstacles facing feminist advances at the dawn of the 21st century” (Lotz, 2001, p.1). In which they were right.

Wolf argued that second wave culture was full of beauty influences. In relation to Kurucs idea about presenting ourselves as women in a male dominated society is post feminist. For example, Wolfs idea that we currently live in an era full of women who want to change themselves is a post feminist choice made by women. Plastic surgery relates to the way in which the characters use fashion to display their characters as, Wolf noted “using a new perspective on some old problems for feminism” (Whelehan, 1995, p.216) so we can see that the uses of fashion are ways are post feminist decisions made by the women of SATC. I believe that from what I found in Sex and the City and compared to my literature review that the drama is a perspective of Third Wave feminism. Using sources that I choose from the film, I encounter for many aspects that could argue an un-bias view of Sex and the City. For me the show is Third Wave and based on personal empowerment for the stated reasons above and because of the criticisms that also point out the Third Wave perspectives. Overall, I found traits of both types of feminine input into the film. When evaluating the film it is evident that the ways in which the film is Third Wave produce a positive enthuses on women’s feelings.

Referring back to literature research two (b): What are the issues in the gendered professional city?

Within the film Sex and the City there are occasions that the women are subject to discrimination, proof that it has not been abolished. I found from the Sex and the City film that Miranda is the main subject for feeling undervalued at work, her role as a mother and full time worker relates to thousands of women in the UK today. At the start of the second film she is subject to discrimination that means leaves her feeling undervalued, she eventually quits because she argues back to the masculine figure that dominantly associates with other male figures rather than her, because she is a women. In terms of society today, Fawcett have also published new figures stating that the gender pay gap has decreased by 2.2% over the last year (Fawcett Online, 2010). This shows that male power in the work place is becoming more gender neutral, this represents the state of media culture as Brudson (1997) argues that the state of contemporary political issues are often played out in the shifting discourse of popular media. This issues that surrounded Miranda’s problems for many women relate to Reinardy statement about “The stress of women is compounded by family issues, sexism, discrimination and the proverbial glass ceiling that limits professional prosperity” (Reinardy, 2009, p.43).

The dilemma this arises relates to the CO theory: Weber’s theory relates to rational views on society and in this example Miranda is victim to the process of control over male patriarchy. Amongst other rules and regulations, Miranda like other women in her situation would have the option to make her discrimination visible, however chooses the option to spend more time with her family. The situation she is in is seen from a Third Wave point of view: the aims for empowerment for women in the workplace. This relates to the work recently done by the F-Word who posted the article: The professional masquerade: Women working in corporate finance are expected to adhere to sexist and objectifying dress codes, the story was objectifying the notion that women were still seen as objects (2010). The characters of SATC are able to display these illustrations of real world women who suffer real world social problems like this, as part of being visionaries for other women they also play a big part in contemporary feminism. Luckily, the F-Word and other new technologies enable feminism to be shared quicker and more detailed to more women across the world.

In terms of sexuality Carries job as a writer, working for herself is way to express her sexuality which is a trait of third wave feminism. Her job relates to the way in which millions of feminists share views in the real world. Bitch Magazine are a response to popular culture, relating to a chance for women to speak freely about the issues that they want to speak freely about. Carries books all have the titles of real world issues that face relationships of women, as the women’s library in London books are loaned out to women to create a wider voice of feminism. Carries job is very individualistic because she has no constraints of the male dominated work place, unlike her friends she is unaware of the social problems

In terms of the debate between the Western environment and the theories surrounding the problems I can initially see that gender is divided into two. These spheres for men and women are becoming more reformed due to the visibility of the issues. Pringles research showed us that “corporate managing roles are normally male dominated jobs, while women’s roles are less active, such as secretaries (Pringle, 2005, p.38). So the division of labour is seen as negative for women.

Conclusion

SATC touched on feminist choices, I found that each character promotes individual feminism. The show is used in a Post Feminist tense because the ladies are socially unrestricted. The encouragement of sexuality and diversity, as first was a trait of third wave feminism. Liberal issues were played upon the text and in each film there were experiences of most waves, however as a whole the wider scale of SATC is to promote feminist discourse in a post – revolutionary perspective or post feminism.

The writers in SATC believed that the show appealed to a particular demographic, from my results I can see that this is true. The argument between geographical based feminism showed the universal struggles of women around the world, I found ‘lead to the sexualisation of women’ and could be the cause for the one sided portrayal of the media in the Western society.

According to many contemporary feminist websites such as the F-Word and Fawcett Online there are different cases of feminism that arise. The concept relating to the waves of feminism in my secondary research is revolution, how feminism has changed throughout history, however has managed to appear in different circumstances within the work place. Even though the work place is a place of managing diversity, a) for the business and b) for the wellbeing of equality there is visibly still certain circumstances that effect the stigma of women and work.

Throughout the last months I have been carrying out research based on the films SATC 1 and 2. Whilst doing this I have been collecting results that I think measure up to theory of feminism. Before I started this project, feminism was a term that is misunderstood. Due to my wider understanding of peoples theories and objectives, I am now more aware of the term.

References

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Baxter, J. (2009). Constructions of Active Womanhood and New Femininities . From a Feminist Linguistic Perspective, is Sex and the City a modernist or a Post Modernist TV text?. 32 (1), p91-96.

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Fawcett. (2010). Progress on equal pay stalling, new figures show. Available: http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?Pageid=9. Last accessed 6th Jan 2011.

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Free Essays

Who creates meaning in a film – the director or the spectator? With reference to critical texts and using examples, discuss the notion that the film spectator is as important as the film author in the creation of meaning. Choose a recent animated film, or body of films, and make a case study analysis of the creation of meaning within that film/s.

Introduction

In An Introduction to Film Studies (2001), Jill Nelmes talks about the different types of spectator, the first being the ‘passive spectator’, the Linguistic Theory suggests that “we can only think outside the terms that language provides us with; indeed language does our thinking for us, it speaks us” (Nelmes, 2001: 105), and that neither the film-maker or the spectator can “speak” outside of these structures. The work of psychoanalysis Jacques Lacan “encouraged a comparison to be made between the act of spectatorship and a specific period in the development of the young child” (Nelmes, 2001:106), Which further goes on to state that a child is born wanting to be complete and the child will “console itself with imaginary solutions, especially idealised version of its self”(Nelmes, 2001: 106). What this means is that when the spectator views the images within a film they are looking for a link between their own situations no matter how unrealistic through the desire for completeness. Marxists views can be derived from both of these views on spectatorship and that film exploits the viewers desires to make them irresistible. But also the idea of ‘interpellation’ and ‘cinema apparatus’, where the subject (spectator) is being controlled by the whole system which implies that the spectator has no control over the film itself (Nelmes, 2001). Through the ability to hold the viewer in place comes greater control over the viewer’s interpretation and ability to find meaning. Although today’s film goers have the option to watch within the comfort of their own home, this then adds the possibility of receiving a different interpretation. Then there is the active spectator, where the viewer learns to read the films, looking for familiar aspects of narrative and genre conventions. “When we are confronted with a new experience, we look for familiar patterns that allow us to orient ourselves and make sense of what is in front of us” (Nelmes, 2001:108), through this gradual understanding we learn how to recognise things like genre and narrative and also meaning from within the films. Because our brain does this on a day to day basis with almost every situation we encounter it can be described “as a ‘realist’ approach to spectatorship and response”Nelmes108. From both of these points it suggests that we all carry out the same cognitive processes while watching a film and the ‘determinacy of effect’ which reduces the ‘openness of meaning’ for the spectator. “As an alert perceiver, the spectator is constantly testing the work for larger significance, for what it says or suggests. The sort of meanings that the spectator attributes to a film may vary considerably.” (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction 6th Edition 2001: 60).

Also the definition of genre can alter the spectator’s response entirely, for example “if an actor grimaces in agony, the emotion of pain is presented in the film. On the other hand, the viewer who sees the painful expression laughs (as the viewer of a comedy might)” (Bordwell & Thompson, 2001: 44), this difference has formal implications upon what the viewer sees. It is the power of the director himself to interpret the meaning within this context but it is the content of the film determines what meanings can be created by either the director or the spectator.

The importance of the writer can also be overlooked as taken from the ideas of “we can only think outside the terms that language provides us with; indeed language does our thinking for us, it speaks us” (Nelmes, 2001: 105), and that neither the film-maker or the spectator can “speak “outside of these structures. This job of the writer, to tell the story and through only his choose of words can an interpretation is made which “means that the spectators ‘passive’ role is even pronounced – not only unable to intervene in the work of the film, but unable to think outside the language-like structures it employs” (Nelmes, 2001: 106).

As cinema is constantly changing and evolving it’s becoming increasingly hard to define not only genres but also the jobs of those within the whole creative process. As mentioned before the job of the writer is to write a script and set out the scene but what is becoming more and more apparent within films today is that directors can have a greater input into the story. But it’s not only the directors that could have a say on how the film should turn out, because of the heavy visual affects involved in many of today’s film it is appropriate that that these studios start the project as early as possible due to their importance within the films. As an example many directors like Christopher Nolan work very closely with double negative and other studios throughout the production of their films and in a way these studios help to create visual meaning within films but only as a tool of the director.

Over time the power and role of the director has changed significantly, today’s film-goers are shown from beginning to end the name of the directors, one the best examples would be James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) was plastered across magazines and TV screens months before its realise and also Steven Spielberg, both of these names seem to add more profitability and expectation from the audiences. Back in the 30’s and 40’s, the producer on the pay roll was the only person to see the picture from beginning to end. Directors on salary were there to make sure actors hit their cues while the cameras were still running. They soon left the entire production once the shooting period was over. It was the money moguls at the top of the chain that told the producers what shots they wanted, it was then the producer would direct the director to what shots he should be making each day. The studios were still churning out formulaic genre pictures, an endless stream of Doris day and rock Hudson movies, with big budgets like Tora! Tora! Tora! Hawaii, the bible, Krakatau and D-Day the sixth of June. The 60’s did manage to produce a few expensive musicals like my fair lady and the sound of music, which spawned a huge amount of imitations like Camelot, doctor do little, and song of Norway which budgets spiralled out of control. In the half decade that followed, the war in Vietnam grew from a blip on the map somewhere in Southeast Asia to a reality that might easily claim the life of the boy next door. When the studios cut back in the 50’s, these men, often veterans from the second and First World War, were the last to be hired and the first to be fired. This meant the day to day operations of the studios were still being run by the pre-war generation of producers, director, studio heads, and crews who were in there fifty’s, sixty’s and seventy’s. Norman Taurus, Hollywood veteran best known for boy’s town with Spencer Tracey in 1938, spent his last few years directing with one blind eye and then having to retire after losing his eyesight entirely. (Biskind,1999)

While the director can visualise meaning and interpretation in different ways and his script set out the course of the story and film from the start. Recently it seem that many more directors have become involved in some way with scripts, whether it be “to get the foot in the door” of the industry or maybe to help them visualise and create meaning from their own perspective. For example, Pixar, they only consider film ideas and scripts from people within the company itself and do not work with any directors outside of their own studio. By doing this, it has given Pixar undoubted one of the best reputations in animated filmmaking for any prospective animation student because of its openness and opportunity.

As the target audiences from the studios become larger to create more revenue the films themselves become harder to define within a certain genre. Genres have a great affect on creation of meaning within a film for both the director and the spectator. A more relevant example would be the animated documentary, Waltz with Bashir (2008), which tells the story of real life events within the Israeli – Lebanon War. Because there is no real footage and it’s completely animated but is based on real events, it challenges the spectator to look at animation in a different way to what many are used to. The meaning is immediate, describing the horror of war and the consequences not only during but after on the soldiers. What documentaries offer is a real insight into a situation and the aim is to open the eyes of the viewer but also the interpretation of different points of view within give the viewer the opportunity to make their minds up and create their own meaning. But with any piece of film making the director has the choice of what to show on the screen and as an animation, Ari Folman had complete control, being able to create the characters, scenarios and the world in which it all takes place. So because of this it weakens the validity of it being a documentary because as mentioned before documentary are supposed to offer a real incite into a situation.

With any narrative plot, the meaning can be seen within the script. With less narrative it becomes more about the actor or the animators, as they physical become the characters. To understand it better silent films play a great role, through the comedies of 1920 silent era can be seen to create meaning. Using no narrative at all the spectators can understand, maybe with some visual prompts can see how funny or scary something is. Today’s film animation demonstrates this very well, with very little narrative the viewer can find several meanings within the film WALL-E (2008). One being a direct link with the character of WALL-E, his naivety and lack of ability to communicate provides a link with those who have also felt lonely at some time. Another meaning within the films context is that our own impact on our environment could cause us to flee earth and also the enormity and power of corporations within the future. Within these meanings created in the film, it is difficult to point the finger at who creates it, with the first, the meaning of loneliness and wanting to find love could be seen to have been created by the viewer because it would have some link to he or she’s past or current life experiences and with the film having very little narrative it helps to push it towards the spectator creating the meaning but in fact the animators themselves create the whole character. As an animator it is their job to bring a character to life and Pixar have been at the forefront of this for many years and the best example of this can be seen in Luxo Jr (1986), with no plot or narrative there is no meaning at all other than watching a lamp chase a ball yet you can forget that and still smile. So without great animators, WALL-E would have had no chance of connecting in as meaningful a way as it did. So within the second meaning of film being our impact on our environment and consumerism. This comes from within the context of the film which in turn is the writer and the director which happens to be the same person, Andrew Stanton. It is through his decision to show earth as a baron and deescalate landscape and then to show the current human population far away within the comfort of their own armchairs seemingly without a care in the universe. Through his visions of the two contrasting settings he helps create the idea of the human being thoughtless and uncaring towards ourselves and others. What he also manages to do is create such a discomfort for the spectator viewing the humans, making it difficult to connect with them while a lonely robot that struggles to speak as the main character which the audience can directly relate to.

In conclusion I think it comes down to the intent of the director and/or the writer as the spectator can only create meaning from what they are shown on the screen. They have the choice of what is on the screen and have complete control over the viewer’s perception. Genre is instrumental in defining meaning with in a film, it pigeon holes it for the studios and the public so they know what to expect from the film and the director can only act within the boundaries of the script which is always within the boundaries of the genre its aiming for. Experimental film and animation could be the only genre where the viewer solely creates meaning but because the average spectator is constantly looking for meaning and many are used to reading films with narrative and context, experimental film has become an acquired taste and difficult to relate to because of its openness.

By Marc Cullen

Bibliography

Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex ‘N’ Drugs ‘N’ Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. Biskind. (1999) Bloomsbury. London. Pg 13 – 52.

Film Art: An Introduction. Bordwell & Thompson. 6th Edition (2001) McGraw – Hill. New York. Pg 39 -59.

Theory of film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. Kracauer (1965). Oxford University Press. Oxford. Pg 157 – 171.

A Companion to Film Theory. Miller & Stam. (2004) Blackwell. Oxford. Pg 123 – 165.

An Introduction to film Studies. Nelmes. 3rd Edition (2001) Routledge. London. Pg 91 – 128.

Films

WALL – E (2008) Directed by Andrew Stanton. (DVD). USA. Disney Pixar.

Waltz with Bashir (2008) Directed By Ari Folman. Isreal. (DVD) SONY PICTURE CLASSICS.

Luxo Jr. (1986) Directed By John Lasseter. (DVD) Disney Pixar.

Categories
Free Essays

Surrealism and Film- According to Harper and Stone, Un Chien Andalou: ‘revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state’Discuss this proposition using either Un Chien Andalou or any other film from the early period of Surrealism

Abstract

This essay has been written to explore the metaphor behind the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou. Harper and Stone (2007) have stated that this ‘…revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ Harper and Stone (2007:8). This essay will be discussed in conjunction with the Surrealist movement, a brief overview of scholars work to date shall then be given, the film will then be introduced, then the directors intentions shall be discussed. From here the metaphor of the dream, state shall then be examined and then a brief outline of Freud shall be given.

Once each of these factors have been discussed conclusions shall be drawn regarding the statement that the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ Harper and Stone (2007:8).

1. Introduction

This essay has been written to explore the metaphor behind the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou. Since the surrealism movement started in the 1920s, many have noted the similarities between films that were produced during this time and this faction. At this time, films that were produced were experimental. They explored relationships between reality and the many images, which could be shown, on the screen to many people. They explored these realities through a number of means by reflecting what they perceived to be a dream world, which could capture the imagination and consciousness of mass audiences. Thus, reality was redefined through these films to seek to capture the hearts and minds of this generation.

Many of the early surrealists wrote about how the cinema at this time reflected the reality of the present say. Yet unlike many other forms of art, film was not truly perceived as being surrealist at this time as much as, poetry, fiction, painting, photography, or collage. Subsequently, the scholarship that has evolved around the development of surrealism and film has become highly varied. Each of these variations is due to the time in which scholars have sought to examine these two factors in conjunction with each other.

The earliest examinations of the relationships between surrealism and film were mainly derived from French writers who sought to understand why these films were so popular (Dennison & Lim, 2006; Kyrou, 2005). Then a second group of scholars started to examine surrealist films, their directors, and a number of other related scenarios. These scholars believed that each of these factors had influenced each other whilst these films had been made. Finally, more recently, a number of scholars have sought to understand the relationships between these films and surrealism (Dennison & Lim, 2006; Kyrou, 2005). They have sought to develop a number of theories or concepts that allow these phenomena to be classified into a number of fields such as, literary or cultural studies (Kyrou, 2005). Each of these forms of academic investigation into the relationships between surrealism and these films has resulted in a number of differing viewpoints. One of these is that the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ Harper and Stone (2007:8), however there are also others. These scholar’s views shall now be briefly outlined to seek to understand what these are.

2.Academic Studies and Surrealism

In order to fully understand how Harper and Stone (2006), reached their understanding of surrealism, it is necessary to give a brief overview on how academics have examined this and the factors surrounding it, in relation to film. Therefore a brief overview of this shall now be undertaken.

As has already been outlined above, a number of scholars have sought to explore the relationships between film and surrealism. Many of these started to be undertaken in the middle of the 20th century (Graham & Labanyi, 1995; Kyrou, 2005). Many film critics, which were associated with the French cinema movement also sought to understand these relationships between the surrealist movement and cinema (Graham & Labanyi, 1995; Kyrou, 2005). However, since this time academics have sought to understand a number of elements, which may be derived from specific disciplines. Matthews (1971) and Kovacs (1980) started to seek to understand the general interests that the surrealists had in film and they wanted to know what the aspirations of these thinkers were in relation to the specific elements of each film. Thus, the analysis of the surrealist movement and film started to take shape. Beyond this, other scholars such as, Short (2008) and Richardson (2006) started to discuss the actual surrealist film makers in an attempt to bridge the gap between what they were trying to attain whilst they were making these films, as many other scholars had focused on a number of other specific elements (Kyrou, 2005). Other works had focused on analysing the relationships between surrealism and cinema, such as, Lancanian psycholinguistic analysis (Williams, 1981) and theories that are more recently new have evolved. Both Kuenzli (1996) and Harper and Stone (2006) have broadened these examinations of the relationships between surrealism and cinema. Kuenzli (1996) focuses on the French surrealist films that were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, whereas Harper and Stone (2006) have sought to understand the cultural genres, which may be associated with these surrealistic films. In particular, Harper and Stone (2006) surmise that:

“….Surrealist cinema presents an unsilvered screen offering no refection to an audience except the possibility of examining, through unsettling the status quo, the truth of their own lives; reality, that is caught in the moments, the memories, the unexpected glimpses beyond the everyday. A sometimes dark Truth, therefore, but equally an often potent comedy of human existence” (Harper and Stone, 2006: 8).

Thus, they have sought to understand the cultural aspects that may be related to surrealism and film. However, though this is a useful way through which to understand the relationship between surrealism and film (Bordwell, Thompson & Ashton, 1997). There is much more that may be said about the relationship between these two factors, one may considered the origins, manifestations, images and a number of other surrealist works which may have influenced this movement. One may also examine the fact that the surrealist movement if often associated with the idea of revolt. This was because what evolved in the ear of the First World War era, where ideas were rejected, as they appeared to be out-dated in a radical time of political or social change and devastation. This, it may be seen that surrealism tried to address these out-dated ideas by seeking to explored new means of expression which were relevant to the time when they were produced. The fact is that it encompassed so many ideas and so many variable forms of art that it may be examined by scholars from a number of perspectives. From this, it may be derived that there is not one way of examining the relationships between surrealism and film. However, for the purposes of this essay, we shall now seek to understand this in the context of the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou that Harper and Stone believed ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8).

1. Freud and the surrealist movement

Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst he studied under Jean-Martin Charcot before opening his own medical practice in Vienna. He is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, which have been alluded to throughout this essay. He believed that he could understand the unconscious mind through the practice of psychoanalysis (Freud, 1913). This consisted of a specialised dialogue that was undertaken through free association between a doctor and his patient. He became renowned for a number of his theories at this time however; the most pertinent to surrealism is his theory of dreams. He published his Interpretation of Dreams in the early part of the twentieth century (Freud, 1913). In it, he states that:

“The naive judgment of the dreamer on waking assumes that the dream – even if it does not come from another world – has at all events transported ….all the material composing the content of a dream is somehow derived from experience, that it is reproduced or remembered in the dream – this at least may be accepted as an incontestable fact. Yet, it would be wrong to assume that such a connection between the dream-content and reality will be easily obvious from a comparison between the two. On the contrary, the connection must be carefully sought, and in quite a number of cases, it may for a long while elude discovery. The reason for this is to be found in a number of peculiarities evinced by the faculty of memory in dreams; which peculiarities, though generally observed, have hitherto defied explanation. It will be worth our while to examine these characteristics exhaustively the dreamer into another world.” (Freud, 1913: Preface)

Twenty to thirty years later, the surrealist movement used this as they sought to depict how dreams may be used to depict reality (Bordwell, Thompson & Ashton, 1997). This is shown through the film, which is discussed in more detail below.

2.The Film Un Chien Andalou

In his autobiography, the director, Luis Bunuel, wrote about his film Un Chien Andalou he stated that:

“…I’d felt increasingly seduced by that passion for the irrational which was so characteristic of surrealism… in the working out of the plot every idea of a rational, aesthetic or other preoccupation with technical matters was rejected as irrelevant….”(Bunuel, 1984: 100).

He also alludes to his own approach to surrealism:

“The real purpose of surrealism was not to create a new literary, artistic, or even philosophical movement, but to explode the social order, to transform life itself.” (Bunuel, 1984: 107).

Both of these statements provide us with a useful insight into what Bunuel was seeking to achieve. He saw that the script and the film as a production from his unconscious. He regarded this as a great resource through which he could express and understand irrational things, which formed the world around him. Thus, one approach that may be adopted to understand the film Un Chien Andalou may be to seek to treat the film as a manifestation of the director’s psychological processes either from an unconscious or conscious perspective (Williams, 1981). One could adopt an approach that is derived from psychoanalysis to seek to understand his motivations and thought processes. Either way, we must consider the emotional aspects, which are related to this film, as this is how the director created Un Chien Andalou. This could be undertaken through examining the visual experiences of an audience as they watched the film or through examining the dialogue and its metaphors. Breton commented that:

“the Surrealist atmosphere created by automatic writing, which I have wanted to put within the reach of everyone, is especially conducive to the production of the most beautiful images.” (Breton, 1924: online)

For him, the images were in the surrealist films that were so striking. He believed that these created juxtaposition between two opposing elements, which were reality, and fantasy, like the “man cut in two by the window“(Breton, 1924: online). Thus one may say that from this perspective that Harper and Stones statement that surrealist films ‘…revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8), was true. This may be seen as one of the key strengths of this genre, it reveals and explores a new reality, which the audience may experience first hand.

Many have said that the imagery in Bunuel’s films was very beautiful and unforgettable (see as an example: Breton, 1924: Harper and Stone, 2007). This is what made them so emotionally insightful and gave the audience the feeling that they understood their conflicts and desires. A sequence from this film may be used as an example to illustrate this. The extract sequence begins after the stranger in a suit and hat enters the cyclist’s room, pulls off the cyclist’s drag garb and box and throws them out the window, then orders him to stand facing the wall with his arms up as if on a crucifix:

An inter- title reads, “Seize ans avant (Sixteen years ago)”, and as the stranger turns to leave, we find that he is a spitting image of the cyclist. He spots some books scribbled upon by ink, walks over, closes the books, and holds them to his chest with an air of disapproval. He returns to the cyclist, still standing by the wall, and hands him the books, shaking his head as if in disappointment. After he turns once again to leave, the cyclist suddenly spins around with a glower on his face, and the books in his hands become guns. The doppelganger turns to face the cyclist with a hurt look, but the cyclist mercilessly fires several shots. The doppelganger’s eyes roll back and he begins his slow-motion collapse, but falls in a meadow by a gentle lake, next to a nude woman who sits with her back facing the camera. He reaches out and tries to clasp her, but his fingers claw down her bare back, and he falls as the woman vanishes.

This excerpt show sus how we may seek to understand this film from a number of perspectives, if we adopt a psychoanalytical approach to this we can see that the cyclist may have been disenchanted with constraining effects of the super ego and thus, he lashes out by retaliating by turning the objects against him, the books are turned into weapons which he uses like guns. The killing of the doppelganger, which is like a father to him, seems to be related to the Oedipal complex interpretations too. This sequence is also emotionally powerful and this reflects the ids impulse that allows us to act out, thus a number of emotions are acted out though the surrealist nature of this film. From this when we review Harper and Stones statement that surrealist films ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8), we may see that this statement may also be extended to the psychoanalytical means through which this film maybe examined.

In conclusion, whether the director’s film was created by his unconscious mind or his conscious reality, which he perceived to be true, we can see how surrealism may have sought to imitate those images, which may be derived from a dream state that is created in our unconscious mind. Thus, the director and the film that he has created have explored and depicted a new reality that some may relate to through a series of emotional responses.

3.The metaphor of a dream state

From this when we review Harper and Stones statement that surrealist films ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8), we can see what the surrealists saw dreams as. They believed that this was one way through which they could gain access to the unconscious and in making these films, they also gave others access to the parts of their minds which they may not normally be aware of (Bordwell, Thompson & Ashton, 1997). From his perspective, they used their films as a metaphor through which they could show audiences the dream state, as Breton (1924) states:

“It is quite right that Freud has analysed dreams. It is inadmissible that this considerable part of our psychic activity should have received so little attention” (Breton, 1924: 21–22).

This, through these films reality was depicted as a dream and dreams were depicted as reality. These states were derived from Freud’s theory of dreams, which was created at this time, thus this had a significant influence on the surrealist movement.

The image was very important to the surrealist movement and thus we may see how the film Un Chien Andalou may be to seen as a manifestation of the directors psychological processes either from an unconscious or conscious perspective (Williams, 1981). This is pertinent in regards to the statement that was to be discussed at the beginning of this essay which was surrealist films ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8). Now we may fully understand how Harper and Stone (2007) reached their conclusions.

4.Conclusion

In conclusion the statement which was made by Harper and Stone (2007) which states that surrealist films ‘… revealed the cinema as the true metaphor of the dream state…’ (Harper and Stone, 2007:8) in relation to the film Un Chien Andalou, may be seen to be derived from a number of perspectives. These are based on the images, which are depicted in the film, the director’s unconscious or conscious mind that influenced how the film was made, the sequences, which occurred throughout the film and the ways through which each of these factors may be understood through psychoanalytical theory or Freud’s work the Interpretation of Dreams (Freud, 1913).

Each of these factors shows how this film was derived and sought to show mass audiences how reality may be depicted through the metaphor of dreams. This is the common approach which has been associated with the surrealist movement and each of the forms of art or expression that are used to depict how reality may be perceived by dreams and vice versa. From this perspective the analysis and the discussion, which has been undertaken in this essay, supports the statement, which was made by Harper and Stone (2007).

However, though that conclusion may be drawn in relation to the discussion that has been undertaken through this essay other conclusions may also be drawn. These are related to the means through which the analysis of the surrealist movement saw and sought to create metaphorical depictions of reality through the expression of the dream state via a number of means. There is much more that may be said about the relationship between these two factors, one may considered the origins, manifestations, images and a number of other surrealist works which may have influenced this movement. One may also examine the fact that the surrealist movement if often associated with the idea of revolt. This was because what evolved in the ear of the First World War era, where ideas were rejected, as they appeared to be out-dated in a radical time of political or social change and devastation. Thus, it may be seen that surrealism tried to address these out-dated ideas by seeking to explore new means of expression, which were relevant to the time when they were produced. The fact is that it encompassed so many ideas and so many variable forms of art that scholars from a number of perspectives may examine it. From this, it may be derived that there is not one way of examining the relationships between surrealism and film.

References

Bordwell, D., Thompson, K., & Ashton, J. (1997). Film art: an introduction (Vol. 7). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Breton, A. (1924) Manifesto of Surrealism. Available from http://pers-www.wlv.ac.uk/~fa1871/surrext.html (Accessed 29/05/2013)

Bunuel, L. (1984) My Last Sigh. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Dennison, S., & Lim, S. H. (2006). Remapping world cinema: identity, culture and politics in film. Wallflower Pr.

Freud, S. (1913) The Interpretation of Dreams, Third Edition. Trans. by A. A. Brill. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Graham, H., & Labanyi, Y. J. (Eds.). (1995). Spanish cultural studies: an introduction: the struggle for modernity (p. 18). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harper, G. and Stone, R. (2007) The Unsilvered Screen: Surrealism on Film. London: Wallflower.

Kovacs, S. (1980) From Enchantment to Rage: The Story of Surrealist Cinema. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Kuenzli, R. (1996) Dada and Surrealist Film. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press.

Kyrou, A. (2005) Le surrealisme au cinema. Paris: Editions Ramsay.

Matthews, J. H. (1971) Surrealism and Film. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Short, R. (2008) The Age of Gold: Surrealist Cinema. Los Angeles: Solar.

Richardson, M. (2006) Surrealism and Cinema. Oxford: Berg.

Williams, L. (1981) Figures of Desire: A Theory and Analysis of Surrealist Film. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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Free Essays

Looking at THE MATRIX Films

When Robert Gibson created the science-fiction subgenre known as “cyber-punk” in the novel NEUROMANCER most people had high hopes for this literary movement. This was because the concept of a technologically advanced corporatist dark future had a sense of realism that STAR TREK and STAR WARS missed. Yet, cinematic endeavors in cyber-punk never truly succeeded. Then, along came THE MATRIX which remains one of the most brilliant of the realistic science-fiction films ever devised.

Created by Larry and Andy Wachowski, the plot of THE MATRIX centers on a world where humans live in an internal pseudo-reality world where life is crafted to perfection. When the hero, Neo, discovers this he launches a rebellion against the machines that have placed humans into a suspended animation sleep. At the core of this rebellion is the theme of the film: if reality is not reality then does it have any value?

This can be seen as a metaphor for a number of ways in which humans numb themselves into alternative realities whether it is drugs, videogames, consumer culture et al. As such, THE MATRIX was the right movie for the right time and it has become a science-fiction masterpiece with millions of fans.

It would be difficult to discuss THE MATRIX without discussing the world in which the story takes place. (That is, THE MATRIX itself) Probably the most difficult aspect of creating science-fiction is making a believable world. Often, science-fiction crafts worlds that while entertaining simply aren’t believable.

This detracts greatly from the ability for the film to work. In THE MATRIX, we have an incredibly believable world because the “the world” exists almost exclusively in the mind. As such, the viewer becomes drawn into the story because there exist some credibility to the fact that the world of THE MATRIX could actually exist. This is the brilliance of THE MATRIX and what makes it such a classic work.

THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS is the third film in THE MATRIX TRILOGY (The less said about the second film the better) and it is a sweeping action-adventure film that seeks to bring a final conclusion to the series. The goal of the film is the same as the original film: dissolve alternative reality and bring humans to their original state.

This is what makes THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS such an excellent film. It centers on the notion of revolutionary struggle for a good cause. In a way, one could even see parallels to the American Revolution and other colonial liberation struggles and struggles against totalitarianism. As such, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS becomes a thrilling and engaging film that taps into the natural human sentiment to be free. Yes, it takes place in a fantastic world but this does not make the film any less “real’. Well, perhaps this is not 100% accurate.

If there ever was a major flaw found in THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS it would be that the world of the story deviates from the earthen realness of the original film and delves into the “space opera” genre. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach although it does make the themes of the film less striking. However, the themes of “what makes a human” remain as the central focus of the film never deviates from the human struggle for self-actualization. That is a powerful theme no matter how it is presented.

Personally, I found the first film in the trilogy to be a brilliant exercise in science-fiction mainly because its mix of realism and surrealism made the film a unique experience. The shift to action-adventure in the third film was somewhat disappointing but the film was still a quality work. Ultimately, it is the themes that appealed to me the greatest and this is why I consider these two films seminal works in the science-fiction genre.

Bibliography

Hanley, Richard. (2006) “The Philosophy of THE MATRIX.” Retrieved April 15, 2008 from            http://www.onwardoverland.com/matrix/philosophy.html#reflect

Takle, Brian. (2006) THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS EXPLAINED. Retrieved April 15,        2008, from http://wylfing.net/essays/matrix_revolutions.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Free Essays

“Nobody Knows” and “Maboroshi”: Films about Pain and Struggle

These two Japanese films were directed by the critically acclaimed director Hirokazu Koreida. Both films were well accepted by the general public. These two films also garnered numerous awards and are known for their compelling storylines. Film critics around the world praised these two films on almost every department. “Maboroshi” was released in 1995, while “Nobody Knows” was released in 2004. There is a noticeable gap between the times these two movies were released, but director Hirokazu Koreida never lost his style and vision in film making.

“Maboroshi” is Koreida’s first film. It revolves around the life of a woman named Yomiko. After her husband committed suicide, she was left miserable and alone. She struggled to put the past behind as she was consumed by pain and depression. As she struggles to battle her own insecurities, regrets and doubts, she is forced to resolve the inexplicable cause for her grief through an eventual renewal of love and companionship. It seems that Yumiko cannot escape the ghost of the past.

Yet, she has renewed hope and comfort in the arms of another man. She decided to marry this man who is a fisherman. This man was lost after a storm came while he was fishing at the sea. After his return, Yomiko was never the same. Her doubts and fears have consumed her. She was also troubled with anxiety. She was stuck in the past, lost in thoughts that could bring pain and depression. These are the reasons why she could not fully commit herself to her second husband.

The film “Nobody knows” is a story about four children who were abandoned by their parents. The film was based on actual events which took place in 1988. It was said that the actual even was more depressing than the movie adaptation. The story begins when a woman named Keiko abandons her young children in a shabby apartment in an unknown Japanese city. She left her children with almost no money for survival. Her character shows us how irresponsible parents could be.

Akira, her eldest son, took the role of their parents. He had to take care of his three siblings. He tried his best to be a good parent by borrowing money from people he knew and even gave gifts for his siblings during Christmas. The film gives a picture of how hard life can be in an urban setting, where life is fast and only the fittest would survive. The film is about the struggle of these four children in finding comfort, security, happiness and salvation.

Film Analysis and Comparison

The analysis and comparison will be divided into three parts. The first part will tackle the technical aspects of both films. Then the second part will tackle the theme and the story of both films. We will try to see if the two films are somewhat parallel. The last part of the analysis and comparison is about the message of the two films.

Technical Aspects

Since both films were directed by the same person, they do not differ that much in terms of the technical stuff. These two films boast greatness in cinematography. The shots were meticulously framed and scenes were carefully orchestrated. The lighting in both films helped a lot in accentuating the mood and emotion that a certain scene elicits. This was more evident in “Maboroshi”.

The film has a distinct imagery which was achieved by the contrast of colors and proper lighting effects. There are scenes from the film that actually looks like a canvass. The primary colors came in very effectively to highlight certain objects. An example would be the moving vehicles which brings luminous contrast. Even just the small details like the pink ball thrown by a child, the illuminated rooms bathed in light, and the blue paint in fishing boats were are all captivating. The film is pleasing to the eye. The scenes from this film were shot from a distance, making it more like a piece of artwork.

This actually makes the audience feel distant from the characters and the story. “Maboroshi” could be described as an art film that is crafted by a master artist. Just like “Maboroshi”, “Nobody Knows” can also be called an art film. It is quite different because it is like a documentary. The film feels more like a documentary on the story of the four abandoned children rather than a regular film. It is quite noticeable that there are only few dialogues in both films. Certain scenes are actually shot pretty long and camera movement was seldom.

The sparse dialogue and minimalist production actually worked well with “Nobody Knows” because it made the film more authentic. The movie’s slow pace and quietness made the plot build up more emotional. The set’s close quarters and bright lighting puts emphasis on the isolation and loneliness of the children’s apartment. The documentary style of filming that was employed in this film allowed the audience to see things from the children’s point of view.

Both films were well directed and the actors gave a wonderful performance. Since dialogue was sparse in both films, the body movement and facial expression of the actors had to play a big part in the story telling. We should applaud the actors in both films because they delivered well in this department. A number of them actually garnered acting awards. Yuya Yugira (Akira) from “Nobody Knows” won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival. He was only a novice at that time. Koreida revealed the emotions and thoughts of his characters through the use of body movement and facial expressions. Emotions could be felt even by just looking at the eyes of the children. The best directors simply know how to use this style. The connection between the characters and the audience is the grand result of these stylistic choices.

The Story and Theme

If we look deeper into these two films, we will notice that their respective themes are quite parallel. “Maboroshi” and “Nobody Knows” both talk about pain and struggle. These two themes are the driving forces of the two films. If we look back and recall the plot of “Maboroshi”, we would notice that the story is about the pain and struggles that the main character (Yomiko) was going through. She was always in a situation wherein she has to confront her pain and struggles. This is the same for the movie “Nobody Knows”. The story was also about pain and struggle. The four abandoned kids had to go through a lot because they had irresponsible parents. The whole story was about their struggle for survival and their continuous search for salvation.

The director employed the proper style and method to illustrate these two themes. The quietness and sparse dialogues helped a lot in relating these two themes to the audience. This is also the same reason why the two films are somewhat depressing. Although it’s necessary that films about these themes should be dark and gloomy, the use of contrast and a little bit of humor could still be effective. Director Hirokazu Koreida was successful in utilizing this style.

In “Maboroshi”, he used contrast of colors to bring light into the overall mood of the story. He made the audience see beauty amidst the gloom that surrounds the film. In “Nobody Knows”, he used a bit of humor and optimism that is quite unexpected in the worst of situations. There was a part when one of the kids had these funny squeaking shoes which could represent the privilege of finding hope as they leave their shelter for the first time.

The two films are about the universal concept of pain. They explore the emotion that makes us human. The question on how to deal with it is actually answered in the two films.

Message

Maboroshi is a Japanese word that loosely translates to “illusory light.” It is an incomprehensible mirage that occasionally unveils itself along the waves of the sea, leading many curious sailors to their impending doom. Its origin is still a mystery. Nobody knows why men are lured by its worldly promises. There are things in this world that cannot be explained. There are events that are incomprehensible. It only reminds us of our limitations and our humanity. The lesson that we can draw from the film is that there tragedies and misfortunes in life that we cannot immediately understand, but this does not mean that we should give up on our search for redemption and recovery. One must learn to accept these tragedies to be able to move on with life.

The message that we can draw from “Nobody Knows” is similar to “Maboroshi”. The film shows us that there is hope amidst the worst of situations. Akira showed courage and devotion, even though it seemed that the weight of the world is upon him. The four siblings showed determination to survive, hoping that someday they will find a place in the harsh world they live in.

“Maboroshi” and “Nobody Knows” were crafted artistically. They are unique, full of emotion, and captivating. They reach through the hearts of the audience, pleading for sympathy and compassion. These two films are undeniably deserving of the praise and recognition they have received.

 

 

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Free Essays

National Identity in Film

The Piano, by Campion, and Truman Show, by Weir both interact with concepts of national identity in separate ways.  Both of these films are products of New Zealand culture, either through production or in cultural discourse.  Both films have also been well received and heavily awarded.

The Piano tells the story of Ada McGrath.  She is a Scotswoman from New Zealand who is sold into marriage.  The film is staged in 1851. She doesn’t speak throughout the majority of the film, but expresses herself through her piano playing; this is until her husband leaves her piano on a beach.  This is symbolic of his lack of love for her and an example of the emptiness in Ada’s life.  The piano is then sold to their neighbor George Baines who convinces Ada to give him piano lessons and eventually sexual favors.  As Ada gradually falls in love with Baines through their connection of the piano, she finds meaning for her life.

The Truman Show is directed by Australian Peter Weir and written by New Zealander Andrew Niccol.  The story follows Truman Burbank who is unaware that his entire life, since birth, has been an organized farce for a television series/project.  He is luckily chosen, out of a group of five baby orphans, to be the star of the show.  The Truman Show represents Truman’s life.  Viewers are told that Truman’s birth was broadcast live on television, but his child rearing is not presented in the film.

The idea behind national identity is that one defines their self through the identity of their nation.  In their article, National Identity and Self-Esteem, Jeff Spinner-Halev and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse analyze the nature of national identity.  They adopt the theory that if the self-esteem of an individual is tied to their nation than it’s the perfect proponent to maintain safe and secure nations.  They feel that there is an immediate connection between self respect and group identity; so much so, it could lead to one sacrificing their own personal needs for the good of the group.

They also acknowledge that there is a competitive nature within group self esteem; this meaning that most groups want their group to do better than others.  This is often seen in the patriotic nature of political propaganda, carried out by many countries to convince soldiers to go to war.  This system of control is one known for cajoling groups to fallow a certain program or way of thinking by catering to individuals’ wants, needs, or taking advantage of their fears.

This complex of national identity is a major aspect of a government’s societal control, as well as a significant ideal satirized in The Truman Show.  It is most visibly personified in the character of the show’s producer Christof.  He argues that human beings accept the world in which they are presented, and uses this to justify why Truman hasn’t figured out his predicament up to this point.  All of the employees, of the studio, acting as Truman’s family, friends and extras living within the town, can all be viewed as nationalists to the studio’s regime.

The National Identity of these films can be directly corresponded to the culture and history of New Zealand.  In 1945, the New Zealand Film Critic Gordon Mirams argued that if there was a New Zealand culture, it was a mostly a Hollywood creation. The only thing more popular than going to the movies, in New Zealand, was drinking tea, during that time period. This idea is supported by the statistic that for many years New Zealanders were the most frequenters of the movie world.

In their book New Zealand Film 1912-1996 Helen Martin and Sam Edwards analyze the filmography of many films produced during this century in New Zealand.  This book basically analyzes the entire history of film in New Zealand.  The two authors managed to find more than 162 films.  In formulating their list and deciding on what they would identify as New Zealand Films, they decided the film had to have a significant connection to the location in terms of the film’s creators, cast, copyright holder, financiers, production team, and technical equipment.

They also felt that a film that holds a sociological connection to New Zealand should be categorized as a New Zealand films as well.  Thus, they included The Piano in their list of films pointing out that though it was not filmed in New Zealand, its story was still set there.  The authors also felt it the film addressed social issues pertaining to the history of New Zealand within the time frame it was set.

The Piano, identified as a socially conscious New Zealander film, it is identified as such through its understanding of national identity and the plight of the New Zealand people.  This can be seen in the fact that the film is a historically place romance, and has much cultural significance.  The film is often credited for its style, in that it is deemed as a historical romance and a contemporary romance in a historical setting.

In his article, Lost causes: the ideology of national identity in Australian cinema, John Slavin does an in-depth analysis of the cultural connotations present in cinema when using it to understand a nation.  His stance is that cinema as well as reality have an interweaving relationship with each other that ultimately define the national identity of a nation.  He further explains this in his closing statements when he says,

Ideology transforms individuals into constitutive social subjects by interpelation, the Althusserian term for the seductive mirror images of coherent identity promoted by cultural artifacts such as the popular cinema. But this thesis follows the suggestion that it is the purpose of ideology to represent an imaginary relationship of the cinematic viewer to his/her real conditions of existence. Those real conditions, based on psychic and social displacement are symptomatic of the Marxist definition of alienation… In other words, representations of identity, both national and individual, are thrown into critical doubt within the mythic narratives. (Slavin, 2002).

Slavin’s view that though ideology is used in film, national identity is virtually dependant on film narrative is very ironic, considering that he uses ideology by connecting his argument to Marxism.  In the end, the interpretation of his argument, just like national identity, are both dependant on the work and views of their creator, no matter how drenched in history they.

Even within this corruption of the true nature of things, Slavin acknowledges that the transitional tendency of film images, etiquette and social relations over the years is a perfect source for study of socio-economic change.  Once one grasps a clear understanding of cinema’s use of ideology to mold national culture, the only question left is, how is ideology used, and national culture shaped, specifically within these two films?

In their novel, Piano Lessons: Approaches to the Piano by Felicity Coombs and Suzanne Germmell, the authors work to claim a better understanding of The Piano.  They point out the films originally human nature in the fact that there is no main villain.  The audience is often incited to pity, empathize and despise all three main characters.

Baines, Stewart, and Ada can all be viewed as human because they all have their flaws.  It is wrong for Stewart to disregard his wife they way he does, though the nature of his arrange marriage is a notable statement pertaining to the era of the film’s plot.  The audience is allowed to relate to this sociological circumstance, while at the same time despise Stewart for his treatment of Ada.  Whereas Ada is presented as a victim of the cultural norms of her time period, she still transcends beyond this, to adopt contemporary ideals and relate to the audience.  The fact that she cheats on her husband is a motive for dislike, but it is also key to the liberation she achieves from her mundane existence.

The fact that she does not embody the role of the victim throughout the entire film is testament to the film’s reality.  Baines also becomes an equally likeable figure in that his sexual advances evolve from something seemingly corrupt to an actual full blown love affair.  This triangular relationship between the three main characters says a lot about male and female relations during the time.  The authors also correspond to Ada’s relationship with men to the nature of post-colonialism, which was also a big part of New Zealand at this time and also a big part of this film.

The relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed is a key theme in the relationships Ada has with men.  The colonial history of 1850’s New Zealand is encompassed within the plot.  This is an example of how ideology is used in narrative to enhance the value of a message more relevant.  In confronting these ideals of colonization, the film came under much scrutiny.  Many felt the film gave a false presentation of race.  During this time there were many Maori, who argued they were the product of White New Zealanders’ social injustice.

They felt the film’s disregard for their cultural relevance was a form of national mythmaking, in avoiding the argument that whites staked claim on their land. This conflict is overlooked by the plot, but the nature of its severity is still implied through the topic being completely disregarded. It is also a common controversy within the land that many foreign investors come and buy land, from potentially the wrong owners. By disregarding their true history, the national identity presented for New Zealand is that of a small land with a history for sale. The connection with national identity here is cultural.  This differs from the connection visible in The Truman Show.

Just like The Piano, The Truman Show poses an argument larger than itself in respect to national identity, only this film speaks more metaphorically.  The idea previously posed in National Identity and Self Esteem, was that national identity is largely the product of a model that is followed by a group of people.  These people are so caught up in the ideals of the group, they rather sacrifice their own individual comforts for the good of the team.

The authors found that these groups are also very competitive with one another, identifying their identity with that of the group and basing the groups identity on their contrast from other groups.  This becomes very relative to some of Rene Girard’s views.  In his seminal theory of mediated desire Rene Girard argues that human desire is imitative.  His views is that the goals we hold most personal are actually the desires of others which we want to achieve because others want to achieve them.

This is very compatible with the ideals of national culture and the cult group fallowing it incites.  This is also seen constantly in The Truman Show, the main motivation for Truman to escape the studio/town is to travel to Fiji after his one true love.  If the character personifying his school crush had never desired to move there, Truman would have never desired to follow.  This is a direct personification of Girard’s theory, as well as an example of Morse and Halev’s version of national identity.  Here it is easy to see the differing way in which The Truman Show represents national identity from how it is used in The Piano.

In sum, through an understanding of identity theory and New Zealand culture, we can develop a better understanding of the directors’ use of national identity in the films The Piano, and The Truman Show.  National identity is depicted in The Piano through its cultural connotations, historical representation, and it authenticity to social norms.

Despite all of its awards, the films inability to stay true to the ethnic history of the town is proof that it attempts to mold national identity through its filmic ideals.  The directors pick and chose the ideology they identify with and disregard the other aspect of New Zealand culture.  Whereas The Truman Show does not attempt to shape the national culture of New Zealand, it is virtually unidentifiable as a New Zealand film, except for the fact that is written by a New Zealander. What the film contributes to national identity is its use of the theories backing it, and its own underlying message on the nature of the conflict.

What the film reveals about national identity is its dependency on the narrative of a film.  The ironic fact is that it does this through its own abuse of the power.  Truman represents everyman against the crowd.  The complex world he interacts with is very similar to the real world, only in his world he really is the center of attention.  The most intimate aspects of an individual’s life, like marriage, personal goals and beliefs are all a product of a false reality.

This concept is very similar to Freudian theory, Marxist theory, biblical references and even many science fiction narratives.  What the films reveals about national identity is its core nature.  The entire town operates in one direction and for one purpose.  Truman is the only one who is unaware of this purpose, but he still seems to follow along contributing to what he feels is the best interest of the group.  His desires are compatible with his nation’s desires, until he breaks free from this methodology of control.  Both of these films interact with national identity theory; both are products of New Zealander culture, and both are great films.

Work Cited

Adorno, Theodor W. and Max Horkheimer. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. 1947. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2002.

Chatman, Seymour (1978) Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).

Cheshire, Ellen. Jane Campion. Great Britain: Pocket Essentials, 2000.

Eric Young (Executive Producer). (1998). “How’s It Going To End? The Making of The Truman Show, Part II” [DVD (Special Feature)]. Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.

Girard, René. Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure. Trans. Yvonne Freccero. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1965.

Helen Martin and Sam Edwards, New Zealand Film, 1912-1996. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997. vi+215 pp. Illustrations, bibliography, index.

Kaufman, Cynthia. “Colonialism, Purity, and Resistance in The Piano.” Socialist Review 24 (1995): 251-55.

Sanes, Ken. Truman as Archetype. Transparencynow.com. 1996-2001. 29 July 2004. <http://www.transparencynow.com/truman.htm>.

Slavin, John (2002) Lost causes : the ideology of national identity in Australian cinema. PhD thesis, Department of English, University of Melbourne.

The Piano. (2007, January 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:37, January 22, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Piano&oldid=101515698

The Truman Show. (2007, January 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:33, January 22, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Truman_Show&oldid=101870034

The Truman Show (1998) Directed by Peter Weir, screenplay by Andrew Niccol (Hollywood, CA: Paramount).

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Realization from the film Muriel’s Wedding

Muriel’s wedding is a tragic-comedy film written and directed by P.J Hogan. This Australian film conveys various aspects related with change.  The main concepts of change seen from this movie are change in perspective and in attitude within the persona, ensuing from the understanding of whom you are and how to get there. Muriel’s wedding reveals these concepts through Muriel’s discovery of herself, and realizing that real life still continue to possess different trials that needs be overcome in order to achieve real growth.

Muriel Heslop, a hopeless romantic, overweight girl who lives in Porpoise Spit, Australia, with her parents and four siblings. Muriel lives her life in the fantasy world of Abba song and dreaming about getting married. She thinks that getting married is the best way for her to find the perfect happiness. Muriel’s character is not that positive. She has a low self-esteem and she looks herself as useless being. She lies, she steals and even tries to change her own identity, but in the end, she realized that all the things she had done would not give her the happiness her looking for.

Muriel life in Porpoise Spit is miserable. Her relationship to her family is quite undesirable. Bill Heslop, Muriel’s father, is a corrupt politician who is completely despicable man. He always tries to impress people with his connection and still manage to find his time to degrade his family. His slogan “You Can’t Stop Progress” but he manages to stop the progress of everyone in his family, by labeling them as useless and embarrassment, except for Muriel.

On the other side, Betty, Muriel’ mother, a painstakingly frightened woman who is treated by her children l and husband like a slave. Like Muriel, her mother was also arrested for stealing. Betty looked to be very lonely and unattached to reality herself because she gets all the blame from Muriel’s father for Muriel stealing their money. Betty died, a speculated suicide, after Muriel’s father wants to have a divorce to live with someone he is having an affair. Both Muriel and her mother appeared to have a lot in common as far as the ability to separate their selves from reality.

Another major character in the film was Rhoda, an old friend of Muriel from school that she meets on the trip. They both to get along with each other, then, Muriel realized that now she has more confident in herself and found someone who can call her a real friend. Rhoda has her own problem, she has a cancer and confined on a wheelchair and having her own crisis identity. Although Muriel and Rhoda are always having fun, still Muriel is unhappy because she really thinks that getting married will give her the prefect happiness. So, with the help of Rhoda, Muriel change her identity by changing her name to Mariel.

Then, eventually, she got married to an Olympic swimmer who only needs to have an Australian passport. Muriel think that she got the best option because she thinks that she’s hitting a bird in one stone, living in her fantasy of being a bride and wife and at the same time getting money to pay her father back. This perception of Muriel is like a “falsification of view”; that being a wife is all that she needs because her parents will also be happy, and at the same time, she can live her friend.

But when Muriel’s mother died, she came into realization that everything she’ve done really doesn’t give her the happiness she is looking for. She also realized that she never loved her husband at all. She wants to stop lying. She don’t want to “Mariel” anymore which she created when she was in Sydney. She ended up finding again her happiness in Sydney by helping her friend, Rhoda. She too helped her father realize the mistakes he had made with them. All these she did through discovering her identity (happiness). She no longer needed to be “Mariel”, Muriel found herself, Muriel. She was always there inside herself not knowing she was inside because she was just too busy looking inside of her fantasy world.

Reference:

Ebert, Roger.Muriel’s Wedding.March,1995. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950317/REVIEWS/503170304/1023

 

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Film Reflection- Race the Power of an Illusion

The informative film, Race The Power of an Illusion, Part 2 focused mainly gun point about Race, A category/ an idea. Assigning meaning based on how we look, different morals, values, beliefs and intellectual abilities. The social construct is mainly created by the society which occurred in the past and still to this day plays a roll in a humans everyday life. This film made me feel overwhelmed by the actions and behaviors because of ones race. It also made very good meaning full connections which have stuck in my head throughout the week.

I am able to connect this film in couple ways to my life because where I live at home consists of the majority of dark skin and it kills me to see an individual judge when on the inside everyone is the same. Just like the example the professor gave in class, if you have a brown egg and a white egg, when they are both cracked and sitting in a bowl, there would be no absolute way to tell the difference. The thing which baffles myself is that the film started on by looking at the Declaration and having it show that men are created equal with freedom and equality.

I personally am confused because with all the racial happenings occurring then, how could one call that “freedom’ and “equality. ” Today as we live life, freedom comes up in the dictionary as “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. ” (dictionary. com) From what I do understand, that is not what it resembled back when the differences of one caused converse. I really enjoyed this film, it left an impact on my life and it was a film that was entertaining with all of the interesting points and comments made.

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Big Fish Film Study Creative Assignment

Creative Writing Assignment 1. At the end of the film Will reconciles with his dying father. Write the eulogy that Will delivers at his father’s funeral. Consider what Will would say about what kind of father Ed was, what kind of man he was, what lessons he taught, or the type of man Will strives to be. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we can go through, so much more is it is a parent. No words can express what I am feeling right now and I’m sure that in time I will be able to accept the facts.

My father was one of those creative and story telling types. His creative sorties were the truth in our house. I used to love listening to the invogorating sroties he would tell me every night before bed. He would tell me that everything he said he did was true and not to let anyone tell me otherwise. As I grew older, I slowly drifted apart from him, not caring about the nonsense he called his life. I soon learned that the most important thing that i had was my family, weather we included him in it or not he would always be my dad.

Though he may never have said it out loud but I believe he told these stories to be remembered. I am the person i am today because of eveything his legends taught me. As most of you may know my father always had something to say. I remember when we were little and my father was gone on business quite often, at that point in time is when we got totally separated that we could barely carry on a conversation as friends let alone family. About 3 months ago when my father got very ill and my wife and i came to stay with my parents we grew much closer again.

He told me stories i had heard many times befoare and ones i had not yet heard. I discovered that the purpose of these legends is to be passed on throughout the generations, to be remembered adn to teach us a little something about life and ourselves. He showed strength until the end and still had some enlightening words for us. I promise that I will continue what my father has started, and i will tell adventerous stories whenever i can. I know I’ll be filling huge shoes but I think I can do it.

Let’s just remember everything that my father shared with us. And let’s be happy that he has finally in a better place. Critical Responses 1. “You are a big fish in a small pond, but this here is the ocean” –old Edward Bloom I believe that in this quote the fish represents Sandra, Ed’s wife. When Edward is in Spectre and he sees a naked woman where Jenny sees a fish. I also think that the fish is not real but a metaphor; it is whatever you want the most, and at the time Edward was looking for Sandra. 2. “And that was the lesson I learned that day… he day my son was born. Sometimes the only way to catch an uncatchable woman, is to offer her a wedding ring. ” –Edward Bloom In this text the fish represents Sandra as well because everyone says that the fish is uncatchable, which is true because it isn’t real. Sandra was the uncatchable fish at one point because at first Edward didn’t know who she was and when he finally found her and she was engaged. When Edward offered Sandra a wedding ring that is where we see him actually catching the fish because she is now catchable.

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U01A1 Zara Rapid Fire Fullfilment

U01a1 Zara Rapid-Fire Fulfillment Steven A. Shapiro Capella University European clothing retailer Zara has been highlighted in several publications as a model for its supply chain management. This retail chain exists as a subsidiary of “Spain’s largest apparel manufacturer and retailer” (Chopra & Meindl, 2012, p. 14). The most telling account of Zara’s success is detailed in an article for Harvard Business Review entitled, ‘Rapid-Fire Fulfillment’. Here, authors Ferdows, Lewis and Machuca (2004) describe three key principles that Zara relies on to maintain its success… * Close the communication loop Stick to a rhythm across the entire chain * Leverage your capital assets to increase supply chain flexibility (Ferdows, et al. , 2004) The first of these principles, ‘Close the communication loop’, outlines the processes by which information is transferred quickly between its valuable customer base and the designers. This open and nimble communication allows Zara to have a better understanding of the pulse of its customers; which in turn, allows the company to stock its stores with clothing the customer wants when they want it.

The next principle, ‘Stick to a rhythm across the entire chain’ is outlined by Ferdows, et al. (2007) when they wrote, “at Zara, rapid timing and synchronicity are paramount” (p. 107). The authors go on to highlight the rigidness by which Zara holds its retail stores to time-bound deadlines for things like product ordering. Missing a deadline is highly frowned upon and can result in a retail store losing that opportunity to obtain additional products.

The third principle, ‘Leverage your capital assets to increase supply chain flexibility’ is fairly self-explanatory. The concept is that Zara funds the supply chain not only to run at an efficient manner with their in-house processes, but it outsources the easier parts of the processes as well. The authors of the article write, “[Zara] produces complicated products in-house and outsources simple ones” (Ferdows, et al. , 2004, p. 107). These guiding principles allow Zara’s supply chain to drive the company’s growth and success versus its less agile competitors.

One example of this is given in the text, Supply Chain Management, by Chopra and Meindl (2012), these authors demonstrate this, saying, “Whereas design-to-sales cycle times in the apparel industry have traditionally averaged more than six months, Zara has achieved cycle times of four to six weeks” (p. 14). That difference is significant and is what allows Zara to take action based on the communication they receive above and rapidly react to customer demand in a way their competitors cannot.

The most unique aspect of Zara’s supply chain model is its level of control over all aspects of its business; far more than its competitors. The authors of the HBR piece build on this point, stating, “Instead of relying on outside partners, the company manages all design, warehousing, distribution, and logistics functions itself. Even many of its day-to-day operational procedures differ from the norm” (Ferdows, et al. , 2004, p. 106). Another component of Zara’s success, beyond just its maniacal control, is its belief in ensuring its processes and departments are funded for success.

This is especially true for the information technology department. A fact which Chopra and Meindl (2012) conveyed when they wrote, “Zara has also invested heavily in information technology to ensure that the latest sales data are available to drive replenishment and production decisions” (p. 14) In conclusion, though Zara has been highly praised for its innovative supply chain management techniques, this praise is well deserved. It is clear from reading these two disparate accounts of Zara’s practices that they have truly developed a successful and unique supply chain to enhance their business.

The three principles that are at the core of the Zara philosophy serve to enhance their customer’s experience and continue to deliver value for their customer where competitors cannot. References Chopra, S. , & Meindl, P. (2012). Supply chain management (5th ed. ) [Electronic]. Indianapolis, IN: Prentice Hall. Ferdows, K. , Lewis, M. A. , & Machuca, J. D. (2004). Rapid-Fire Fulfillment. Harvard Business Review, 82(11), 104-110.

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Film Analysis and Comparison of Documentaries

Comparison of Bowling for Columbine and Let’s Talk About Sex We all know the infamous author Michael Moore for his dark sense of humor that has shed its light on America in different ways. He is great at the craft of documentaries, and in my opinion it is one of the best that I have ever seen. “Bowling for Columbine,” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. In many ways this film had me uneasy, yet I feel it is one of the most compelling documentaries that I have seen. Throughout this documentary Moore enlightens us on the subject of guns in America, but in my opinion I really feel that he is depicting our countries culture of violence.

He goes on the give a detailed flashbacks of his beliefs for the reasons why so many Americans in todays society are often killed with guns. Moore has a very distinct style of filming, through his compelling sense of humor and strong personality. In specific when Moore walked into the Michigan bank. They were also a licensed firearm dealer, where he got a free gun for putting money into a Certificate of Deposit. The local ad in the newspaper for the deal read: “More Bang, for Your Buck. ” As alarming as this was, he later went to buy a bullet after getting a haircut.

This style was very appealing to me in the way that he showcased his main points. The style was straightforward and compelling that I believe people from many different backgrounds can all be able to understand and relate to. The next paper I will be comparing is the very controversial film “Let’s Talk About Sex. ” This film was packed with clips from TV shows, thrilling facts, and interviews with American and Dutch teens. This film emphasizes on how sex is portrayed and displayed in America in comparison to other countries.

This film serves as a great wake up call for people who believe that telling teens to “abstain” from sex is an effective way of keeping them safe and healthy. This film was accurate and timely, the film exposes the reasons behind our high teen pregnancy and STD rates. In Let’s Talk About Sex the attitudes of Americans is compared to Europeans on the subject of sex. The most controversial point in this film was probably the segment that involved gay teens. I personally feel that if members of the gay community were to watch this they would be disappointed they were represented in this aspect.

In comparison, both of these films traveled the country and presented many facts towards their topics of Guns and Sex. I feel that both of these films address two very important subject areas that need to be addressed in today’s society. Throughout the Let’s Talk about Sex film we met pregnant teens, young HIV positive people and kids who lied to parents about being sexually active. Through Moore’s film like many of his others appealed more to emotion than, to reason. His stylistic ways of the film were more provocative than informative.

Even though Moore’s views may not be very appealing to many, I feel that this film is one worth watching. The pinnacle point in the Bowling for Columbine that I found extremely moving was when Moore takes two of the survivors of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre to K-Mart headquarters in Troy, Michigan. The survivors requested they stop selling handgun bullets. After delay, K-Mart eventually came out and announced that they were phasing out of gun ammunition. This was actually a bright side of the film, yet it was still terrible to see the victims of the 1999 Columbine.

From the movie Let’s Talk About Sex, the pinnacle was probably through the comparison of the cultures of American Teens versus the Dutch Teens. The Dutch teens see carrying condoms as a sign of responsibility and proudly showed them off the to the camera while, American teens freaked out over the idea, using words like “pervert” or “douchebag”. All I believe both films were very compelling and their different styles fit each perfectly. Our society needed a persuasive film like Bowling for Columbine and we also needed the alarming facts of Let’s talk about Sex, to get their points across.

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Reflection of Baraka Film

Prior to watching Baraka, I had a firm belief that the world is truly a beautiful place to live. This film all the more strengthened my conception. The title of the film in itself proves this – the world is a blessing, and we are all privileged to call this world our home. Besides, where else would we live? Science can only take us so far. However, no one is blind to the horrors and tragedies of this world. Maybe ignorant, maybe selfish, but not blind. Poverty is prevalent everywhere in both developed and under-developed countries alike.

Countries are stricken by thousands that are living in the slums such as the favelas in Brazil. Many are thriving well below the poverty line. Even people in Calcutta depend on the landfills as their prime resource. Many result to exposing themselves to the drug market and prostitution as in South Africa for this is their only source of income. Horrific holocausts have wreaked havoc in various places of the world; the concentration camps in Auschwitz, Poland, the S21 torture chambers and killing fields in Cambodia, and even attempts to wipe out certain races such as that in Darfur, Sudan.

Undoubtedly, such events are overwhelming and discouraging, for these things are only a portion of the ongoing issues of the human race. As absurd as it may seem, the good in humanity still prevails. The tribulations of humans have taught us to be ever more perseverant and resilient. This results in the victorious overcoming of these problems and the glorious defeat of the enemy. Nations have come together to put an end to humanity. Despite how diverse the ethnicities, opinions, cultures, and religions may be, we still have the ability to unite and fight for the greater good.

It is that same diversity of lifestyles that makes the world so beautiful. Ancient empires and tribes have created such alluring temples and dwelling places such as the Durbar Square in Nepal, the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and the magnificent advancements of the Terrace Fields in Indonesia. Such places put us in a deep awe, even today in a technologically advanced era. People take great pride in their religions and build such sacred and radiant places of worship, whether it is the Catholic churches in Vatican City, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and the glorious Mausoleum of the Shah-e-Cheragh in Shiraz, Iran.

People are passionate about their practices such as the Whirling Dervishes in Turkey, and the Kecak Dance of the Balinese. No matter how different our ethnicities, cultures, religions, and socioeconomic statuses may be, we are all bound by the beauty of simply existing. We, as humans, are able to find happiness even in the presence of poverty and economic difficulties. The world is not exactly one’s perception of a utopia, but somehow, there is beauty in the midst of all its destruction.

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Boyz N the Hood

At the core of the film’s narrative is the relationship and interactions between three young Black males: Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr. ), Darrin “Doughboy” Baker (Ice Cube), and Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut). The audience witnesses how racism, indifference, rampant violence, and the increasing disintegration of the Black family in South Central Los Angeles militate against the coming of age of these three Black males. one of the most damaging structural elements in the film is the Black family itself. The film exposes an increasing dissolution of the Black family in South Central Los Angeles.

The most troubling way in which the film illuminates this is in how Brenda Baker (Tyra Ferrell) feels it necessary to favor her younger son (Ricky Baker) over her older son (Darrin “Doughboy” Baker), because the economic structure (capitalism) dominating her family’s situation compels her to favor him (from her perspective). For Brenda, Ricky, who is a star student-athlete with great potential to not only become a superstar college student-athlete, but also professional athlete, is her family’s only hope of moving into a more favorable position within the capitalist economic system.

The audience witnesses how the lack of meaningful economic and social opportunities for Black families in South Central Los Angeles conjoined with an absent father forces Brenda to not only commodify her children, but also to reify them: Darrin becomes her “waste” and Ricky becomes her financial investment. There are many differences between the realities of an upper class and a lower class society. One may see the difference when analyzing how society has an impact on the choices you make in life, the impact with a father figure in the hood, the impact even just one person can make on many people, and the impact of many other thing as well.

Making choices while living in the hood, many times can decide whether you are going to live or not. In the society in the hood, most of the time you have to shoot first or risk being shot. Singleton refrains from portraying his characters as inner-city misfits but instead he characterizes them as average American teenagers who are caught in a situation in which they have no control. Doughboy is an average American teenager but his behavior is not that of an average teenager. It is a result of the influence from the society he has experienced.

The film compares the differences between the lifestyles of Tre Styles and his friends’, Darren and Ricky Baker. Darren and Ricky are half-brothers who are nothing alike. Singleton demonstrates the importance of male leadership in a home in the ghetto of Los Angeles by comparing the difference between the lifestyles of Tre and his friends. While many adolescents in the hood have close friendships, some form close relationships by assembling gangs and create a world of violence due to alcohol abuse, which together ultimately breeds discrimination.

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Content Analysis of a Recent Film Compared

The film, Perfume, which directed by Tom Tykwer and released in 2006, was rated R because of its restricted scenes. Back to the 1930 to 1968 the United States, such a film like Perfume may have difficult in being released based on the Production Code. Production Code was an industry censorship guideline that governed most of United States motion picture. It has 3 General Principles which stated the films could not lower the audiences’ moral standards, should contain the correct standards of life and not be ridiculed.

According to the Production Code, Perfume will have 3 main problems, Crimes against the Law, Sex and Costume. Perfume has a subtitle called the Story of A Murderer. Obviously, it describes a story of crime. However, in the film, there are so many directly bloody, crucial scenes about murder, which are violation of the first rule in Production Code, Crime against the Law. For example, at the beginning of the film, when the main character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was a baby, he was sent to the orphanage.

While other orphans wanted to suffocate him with a pillow in order to keep their own possession. In this scene, the director showed the whole process of killing, which is against the rule that indicates brutal killings are not to be presented in detail. As the same, there are also brutal scenes about the old woman being cut the throat as well as Jean’s mother and the scapegoat of the murder being hung to death. All these scenes are clearly projected without any editing. Besides the violation of the Production Code of Crime against the Law, there are also restricted scenes about Sex.

For instance, one of these scenes is the birth of Jean. The director shot the whole process of the mother giving birth to Jean, even included her cutting umbilical. It must be against the rule of Sex that stated scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented. What is more, in the end of the film, when Jean was about to be killed in the square, he used his perfume to make onlookers excited and have sex with each other, even includes homosexual kiss.

In order to make shaking visual effect, the director didn’t do any editing on this scene, which strongly offense the Production Code of Sex. Apart from Crime against the Law and Sex, what the film violated the Production Code most must be Costume. Perfume told a story about odor. The murderer, Jean, found the most beautiful scent came from the natural smell of virgin. So he killed 13 virgins and took off their clothes to purity their scent. After each murder, the girl’s corpus would be found naked.

As a consequence, the violation of Costume can not be avoided. In the Production Code of Costume, it claimed that complete nudity is never permitted and undressing scenes should be avoided. Nevertheless, these scenes were all projected in Perfume. Moreover, the scene mentioned before about the group sex also conflict the Production Code of Costume. As an R rated film, Perfume exactly contains various restricted scenes. Except the violations mentioned before, there are also scenes counter the Production Code.

For example, Jean used a cat for experiment and put it into the distillation furnace, which can be considered as apparent cruelty to animal; as well as the violence and expletives. A movie like this apparently can not get PCA approval to be released. Nevertheless, the film can be played in theaters today without any cut and edit, even though it was rated R and could just be watched by portion of people. It witnessed that social standards of motion picture has changed a lot over time.

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Hitchcock Film Comparison

Although they all are their own independent films, there are undoubtedly several similarities between many of Alfred Hitchcock’s workings. Despite that they all may have different plot, the differences between the films are not very significant. There are three different types of Hitchcockian films that were watched in class; a psychological thriller (i. e. : Rope, Rear Window), the unexpected action filled plot (i. e. North By Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much), and the mix of the two (i. e. : Thirty Nine Steps, Family Plot). The majority of Hitchcock’s action films consist of an unexpecting citizen who ends up on the run for his life and meets an attractive blonde along the way that he becomes romantically involved in. The other type of plot is a more slow paced psychological thriller that takes place in a very confined area.

Of course there are chases, illegal activities done by the “bad guys”, and complications with the romantic pair that keep the first type of film moving at a quick pace, and in the psychological thrillers there is generally a simplistic background given towards the beginning of the film while there is a monumental action that takes place that is followed by a slow but steady plot that builds up to it’s climax at the end of the film.

From Rope to Family Plot the Hitchcockian directory style persists throughout the duration of the film grasping the attention ever so tightly of the audience and keeping them uncertain of what is to come until it actually arrives. After becoming a well renown director in the United Kingdom starting in 1921 with silent films and later moving up to “early talkies”, Alfred Hitchcock moved to Hollywood and became a United States citizen in 1956 in order to further his career. Even after becoming an American citizen, Hitchcock kept a “British subject” in his work whether or not it was intentional.

With an active career that lasted over half of a century, Hitchcock wrote twenty-two titles, stared in thirty-six films, and directed sixty-six films. Because of all of his unique techniques and styles that allowed him to manipulate his audiences into feeling anything from anxiety, fear, empathy, and so on, Hitchcock made quite the name for himself and thus gained the nickname “The Master of Suspense” while his unique directorial style became known as “Hitchcockian”. Hitchcock is now considered one of Britain’s greatest directors of all time and came in first in a 2007 poll of film critics in

Britain’s Daily Telegraph which referred to him as “Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these island, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else. ” Despite how well his work is thought of and remembered, Hitchcock’s career actually came to a painstakingly slow halt after the release of Family Plot.

After over six decades of directing Hitchcock became unmotivated to direct due to how poorly people received his film Family Plot. Despite his despair, towards the end of his life, Hitchcock had been working on a script for another movie, The Short Night, a projected spy thriller, however it was never filmed due to his lack of motivation, his failing health, and his concern involving his wife’s health. Much after his death, the script was published in a book concerning the final years of Alfred Hitchcock.

When thinking back to any one of Hitchcock’s films, many seem to light up and immediately begin discussing which one of them was their favorites, why, and once they find out that someone that they’re talking to hasn’t seen it, they begin to ever so anxiously describe it’s plot and just what makes it as good as it is. Whether or not Hitchcock’s films were as amazing as many consider them, there are undoubtedly many similarities between all of them. However, just because there may be some similarities, this doesn’t make any one of the films bad, it simply makes them similar.

Many viewers seemed to like the consistency of being able to go out to the movie theater and watch whatever Hitchcock’s new film may have been without any concern of it being bad; without even being told about the plot, and simply knowing that it will be a quality film undoubtedly worked in Hitch’s favor. Going out and seeing any one of Hitchcock’s movies became like a game in a sense; everyone went in with certain expectations and things that they were both looking for and hoping for.

Many found joy in trying to spot Alfred himself somewhere in the film towards the beginning of it whether it be amongst a crowd, walking away from the camera, or whatever it may be. In many ways being a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and seeing his films became more so of a social thing than anything; it gave people something to do and then later talk about with their friends and family. Whether or not this was Hitchcock’s intention, it worked and earned him the respect that he has to this day.

As previously stated, one of the reasons that many liked the Hitchcockian films was because of their consistency, however from a critic’s standpoint decades after the hype of Hitchcock, this gives some room for negative assessments of his career and films as a whole. Just because some may have liked the consistency from film to film, certainly doesn’t mean that everyone does, others may consider it repetitive or even predictable if they’ve seen some of his other work.

For example, although many of Hitchcock’s films are considered to be quality films, when compared to his others, those same films may be less appreciated because their uniqueness is taken away due to their numerous similarities. North By Northwest is undoubtedly an amazing film that is filled with suspense, love, action, and hope for our hero, many would consider The Man Who Knew Too Much to be predictably similar. In both cases an innocent middle aged white U. S. itizen finds himself in the middle of a dangerous, complex, and legally taboo situation through no fault of his own. Both films are very similar in the roller-coaster of emotions that they put the audience through and leave them with the same feelings and emotions by the end of the film. The same is true for Rope and Rear Window however instead of an action packed romantic feature film, the audience is brought through the more dark and scary course of events that follow one or two main characters.

With the psychological thrillers there is much more of a realistic and closer to home feeling rather than with the action films. The same is true for Psycho, so much so that most of those who watched it were left terrified, disturbed, and with an erie feeling about hotels for some time after. Just like Rope and Rear Window, Psycho takes place primarily in one location and is paced slowly but with a deep and dark plot that strikes fear and concern into the hearts of most who watch it.

Despite the fact that most of his films fall into one of the two previously mentioned categories, there is of course the shade of grey in Hitchcock’s other films; they are the ones that have more of a mix of action and romance but also consist of psychological torment and suspense. There will always be comparisons between certain things, especially so if there is something as similar as the same director to begin with, however there are always exceptions and middle grounds that end up surprising those who think that they know exactly what to expect.

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Little Miss Sunshine

“By the end, all have achieved a deeper appreciation of the others, a deeper understanding of the value of family, a better life were love, solidarity and understanding replace hatred, sarcasm and anger. ” Little Miss Sunshine (2006) directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, is an American road-comedy that shatters the mold. Incredibly satirical and ironic yet, is how deeply human as the Hover family is one of the most appealing in recent film history. The film has a fabulous beginning in which you meet each Hoover individually, pointing out their great differences, during their personal moments through a series of montage shots.

Throughout the road trip the family suffers many personal setbacks and discovers the need for each other’s support. Olive is the youngest of the Hoover family and the central character of Little Miss Sunshine. The film begins with her standing in front of the television mimicking the beauty pageant winner. When she finds out she has qualified in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant she is ecstatic but her Uncle, Brother and Father are not too keen on going. Because Olive is the centre of the family they all agree that it they will go and support but choose not to have any fun.

Richard puts a lot of pressure on Olive when they find out she’s in the final of the pageant. After listening to her dad talking about winning and losing all the time Olive is scared her dad won’t be proud of her like her Mother would be. Olive asks her Grandpa about the pageant and losing and Grandpa tells her “Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try”, he is not a big fan of Richards nine steps and gives his own definition of ‘Losers’.

On the way to Florida they stop at a gas station and realize they have left Olive there so they quickly turn around but Olive is still standing there waiting and is not at all worried they have forgotten her because she is the whole reason they are going. A big moment in the movie would be when there symbolic, yellow Volkswagen breaks down and they all have to push to get it started; for once they are all working together and become happier.

Despite everything that happens with the Hoover family, the biggest change in Olive throughout the whole movie would be that she finally accepts herself for who she is and doesn’t care what people think of her. Richard is the father of Olive and stepfather of Dwayne. A45 year old motivational speaker, he wears pleated pants, a golf shirt and sneakers. Richard can’t cope with losers, and with his nine steps to success that’s all he talks about at home. You can tell by the old technology he uses that his nine steps are not very successful; at this point he is not a winner but has strong belief.

When the family finds out Olive got into the finals of little miss sunshine Richard tries to talk them out of going because he could have a big break in his nine steps. When Sheryl tells Richard Frank is staying with them he doesn’t really care and asks about Stan Grossman calling in case he liked his proposal. Frank asks about Dwayne’s vow of silence Richard of course, goes on about his nine steps and the whole family is sick of it and tries to shut him off. Sheryl is set on taking Olive to Florida but Richard is being selfish and only cares about if Stan Grossman likes his ‘nine steps’.

When Sheryl finally convinces him to go he puts a lot of pressure on Olive about winning. I think Richard changes the most in Little Miss Sunshine as at the start of the movie he only cares about himself and his nine steps but throughout the movie and when he loses his father he begins to accept his family and doesn’t care about his “big break”. At the pageant he doesn’t want Olive to go on stage because he is afraid people will make fun of her and he really starts to care. Dwayne is first seen at the start of the movie lifting weights, doing push ups and sit up.

You then see him put a big cross on his calendar, by this you can see he has set a goal but not quite sure what it is yet. When the whole family is home, you notice Dwayne doesn’t talk and writes everything on a notepad. When Frank asks him about having any friends he writes on his notepad: “I hate everyone” Frank finds it weird and asks about his family, he then rolls his eyes and underlines everyone. Dwayne can not put up with Richards nine steps and when Frank asks him about his goal Richard butts in and is making it all about him.

When Dwayne finds out he is colour blind during the trip he gets really agitated in the car and starts hitting his head against the wall, they final stop the car and he lets out a big scream. When Sheryl goes to try and make him feel better he just says he hates his family and wants to be left alone. They agree that they cant do much else except wait for him to calm down, when Olive goes down she just leans her head on his shoulder and I guess he realises he is being kind of selfish and for the first time in the whole movie you hear Dwayne speak and apoligises to the family.

While at the beauty pageant Dwayne starts to really care for Olive and tells Sheryl not to let her on the stage otherwise everyone will make fun of her but even though one judge is shocked with Olive’s dance the rest of the family don’t care and go up and join her. Dwayne changes dramatically in the movie. Going from someone who didn’t talk, was very selfish and hated everyone to now really caring for his family, talking and overall a changed person.

There are heaps of different film techniques used in Little Miss Sunshine for instance, when Dwayne tries the colour test the music goes from happy music to the music where you know something bad is going to happen and that’s when you find out Dwayne is colour blind. The opening and closing scenes are completely opposite to one another. The effect it would have on the audience would be significant, like even a dysfunctional family like the Hoovers can get through tough times, anyone can. In conclusion the movie Little Miss Sunshine was very well filmed, it had a big effect on the audience and the actors worked really well.

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The Day the Earth Stood Still – 1951 vs 2008

“The Day the Earth Stood Still”, (1951) vs. “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, (2008) From the 19th to the 20th century there have been many changes in film. Movies went from silent features in black and white, to color with surround sound, and now to digital 3D. One of the biggest changes occurred with special effects and the help of CGI (Computer Generated Images), which enhanced movie scenes and brought imagination to life. History has shown us that technology dictates where and how we watch movies, and it is continually evolving. In the 1950’s, television started drawing people away from the movie theatres, until the introduction of technical innovations such as “Cinerama, Cinemascope, and 3D, reversed the trend.” (Art Institute of Pittsburg Online)

Since then, digital technology has brought movies back into the living room once again, delivered on DVD to our HDTV’s. These changes have had a huge impact on society, the way we view our lives, and the prospects of the future. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” compares two versions of the same movie made 57 years apart: the original was produced in 1951, and the remake was made in 2008. The original movie is one of the first alien invasion movies ever made and has become one of the classic sci-fi thrillers of our time. The alien in this movie, Klatuu, comes to Earth to issue a dire warning about its inhabitants’ aggressive nature.

He states that man’s constant violent nature against one another has raised the attention of “an alien species, which is now threatening to exterminate all of mankind.” (“The Day the Earth Stood Still”) The premise of the 2008 movie is that humans are destroying earth at an escalating rate, so they have to die in order to save the planet. “If humans die, earth lives. If humans live, earth dies.” With the melting of the polar ice caps and the threat of global warming, there are real-life consequences that give plausibility to this modern plot.

Klatuu requests a meeting with the leaders of all nations. In the older movie, this was redefined as “a meeting between the 2 super powers; the United States and Russia.” In the early 1950’s when this movie was produced, a meeting between the U.S. and Russia would be unthinkable. World War II had just ended and we were in the middle of the Cold War. McCarthyism was at its height and the paranoid fear of Soviet domination was an obsessive national past-time. The movie was influenced by the use of the atomic bomb and our wars against each other. In that time period, there was a test of the atomic bomb of out in the Yucca Flats in New Mexico. It was believed that if one day these bombs could be strapped to rockets, it would destroy the earth. Unfortunately, there are still wars going on around the world and in our own back yard.

In the 2008 movie, the U.S. government sends a woman to represent the president and gives her full authority to act on his behalf. She immediately orders the use of restraints and with the aid of a lie-detector test attempts to extract information from the alien. In another over excessive show of force, she orders all military forces to attack and destroy the alien ship. Klatuu manages to escape through the use of mind control and a lengthy visual display of electrical forces – alien style. In this part of the movie I found the special effects to be less than convincing.

Special effects were a very important part of the film remake, so the original story was modified in part to accommodate them. I noticed some of the differences in content are in the language and scenes. The 1951 version had more dialog and placed more emphasis on the meaning and lesson to be learned. Early era movies were more idealistic, with little to no objectionable content or language. They may have implied a situation, but didn’t show anything explicit. The 1951 version had the clean-cut charm of an old “Leave it to Beaver” episode. The 2008 version had more violence and scenes that were highly graphic in nature. The close-up surgical procedures in this film are not atypical of many of today’s shows and with the use of high density graphics, we get every gory detail.

Klatuu, comes to earth in human form in the 1951 movie, along with a robot that was obviously just a tall man in a rubber suit. In the newer movie, with the aid of special effects, he morphs from alien into human form right before our eyes. The robot in the newer movie is several stories high and much more compelling as an enforcer of peace for an entire planet.

The acting in the original movie seemed overly dramatized, which was a characteristic that was often used in the earlier films of this genre. Early attempts to simulate believable alien creatures and moving spaceships were crude at best. The first movie comes with a long list of revealing mistakes; wrinkles in metal and zippers in alien attire, while the space ship moving through the sky looked crude at best. The most obvious errors were in the scenes that show the “crowds running away in panic,” obviously created by speeding up the film. (Janson) In contrast, by 2008 special effects are widely used, portraying realistic action without the overdramatic characterization. Because special effects were not available during the earlier version, actors were much more athletic, usually performing their own stunts.

Another industry change that cannot be overlooked is budget. For example, the 1951 movie had an estimated budget of $1,200,000, while the cost of the 2008 movie soared to $80,000,000. This can be attributed in part to the cost of special effects, but we also have to consider that most of the earlier films were usually shorter in length than their modern counterparts. Another consideration for the rising cost in some of today’s movies is found in epic films which have crowd scenes that employ a very large number of actors at union wages.

In the final scene of both movies, Klatuu recognizes that the human race is worth saving after witnessing the heartfelt interactions between a woman and her young son. The story ends with Klatuu sacrificing himself to stop the planet’s destruction process and save the human race. This part of the story gives a human quality to the film.

In some ways, the old classic movies and today’s movies are the same. They all have a story line and are aimed at a select audience, whether it’s a particular age bracket, ethnicity, social status other special group. Some of the content in movies can also be related to one’s life, such as the relationship between mother and child, fear of the unknown, and the struggles between good and evil or the strong and the weak. Movies often share a common theme about human nature and bring a message home to the audience that is relative to its time.

Since the making of silent films to the movies of today, the emphasis has been on entertainment, making it a favorite family pastime throughout the years. It has created a multi-billion dollar industry that serves its creators as well as the public, because it does more than just entertain. It also educates and informs, gives hope, happiness and inspiration, raises awareness in individuals and creates a higher consciousness among people of all origins.

As the movie industry gets older and wiser, it gets better at its craft. As it harnesses technology on all levels, we can look forward to future remakes of today’s movies and the possibilities of tomorrow.

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Filmmaking Process

The filmmaking process is an extremely important, long, and complicated process. It usually takes between several months and several years. A film always starts with an original story idea, then a screenplay gets written, and then they shoot it. After that they edit the film and direct it. Then they distribute the film to its intended audience. There are also many people involved in the filmmaking process, from the directors to the cast, to the stage crew. The first step is coming up with the concept of the film, which is the idea. It could be an original story, or a remake. It could be part of a series.

It could also come from a book or a play. Then they have to make an outline which describes the dramatic structure in each scene, called a step outline. This tells who will be where, what’s going to be said, and pretty much everything that happens in the film. They also set up all the scenes in the correct order. Then they make a twenty five to thirty five page paper describing the characters of the story and the mood. This is called a treatment. It contains stage direction and a little dialogue. It also has pictures so they have something to look at showing what the movies are going to do.

This is the first step of the filmmaking process and really helps when it comes time to develop the screenplay. After this they start the screenplay. Writing the screenplay can take several months. They usually have to rewrite to improve things the dialogue, dramatization, characthers, structure, style, and to make it more clear. They develop screenplays in which the investers and other interested parties assess a process called script coverage. They have a film distributor look at it, and depending on how promising it looks, they guess how much financial help the film needs and how much it will get.

Then they figure out the genre of the film, the target audience, success of films that were similar, and the success of the actors, actresses, and directors in previous films. These factors show how much the film will appeal to the target audience. Then they come together and form a film pitch. If the film pitch goes through and is successful, then they have financial backing to make the film. Then they make up contracts for everyone involved. At this time, only the second step, they’ve already developed their marketing strategy, which is how they advertise the film.

They also have their target audience. Next is pre-production. During this stage every part of the filmmaking process is designed and planned out. The production is also storyboarded, in which the visual helps the concept artist and the illustrators. Then they have to make up a production budget. This is how much they plan on spending, and it includes insurance in case there is an accident. Then they start hiring their crew. The amount of people varies. If it is an important movie, like a Harry Potter movie, it would have over one hundred people.

If it was a smaller film it could include just eight or nine people. The first member of the crew is the director. The director is responsible for all the creative decisions and story telling, as well as the acting. The director yells out action and cut. After the director there is an assistant director, who manages the logistics of the film, including the shooting schedule. There is also a casting director who auditions actors for the characters, deciding who embodies which character best. The photography director supervises the photography during the film.

The audiography director makes sure all the sound in the film is correct. The location manager takes care of where the film is located. Although most parts are shot in a studio, there are some things that need to be shot off location. There is also a composer who decides when music should play, how loudly, and what to play. The production designer takes care of the visual conception of the film while the art director manages the building of the set and props. The costume designer creates the clothing for the actors and actresses, and usually ends up having to work closely with them.

There is also a hair and makeup designer, who styles each of the actors, making sure they look the same each time. There is also a choreagorapher. As is usual for a choreagorapher they create dances and fight scenes, as well as regular movements. After all of these people are hired they are ready for production. The next part is production. Production is the most grueling part of filmmaking. The cast and crew can frequently spend 12 or more hours on the set, filming only three or four pages of script, often in very uncomfortable ocations.

This goes on for days, weeks, months with the same schedule day after day, review dailies (the footage shot yesterday), shoot today’s footage, prepare for tomorrow’s filming. For many people though, this is the most exhilarating part of production and this is indeed where “the magic happens. ” Yet to some people it sometimes seems strange that a movie that will eventually only occupy two hours onscreen could take months to film. However, it does, and here’s just a few of the reason why. The first reason is lighting.

One of the single most important elements to a film’s visual appearance is lighting. However perfect lighting does not exist and takes time to create. Lighting must be made consistent (or inconsistent depending) and mood-enhancing, yet remain unobtrusive. It takes a great deal of planning and then man-hours by electricians and their assistants to create a light set-up for even a small set. The next reason is location. Sometimes it is possible to film an entire movie on a sound stage, however, more than likely it requires some traveling.

Since science has yet to create a teleportation device and all the magicians who know how to do it won’t reveal their secrets unless televised on broadcast television, it can take huge amounts of time to transport the cast and crew to even one location per day. There are probably close to 100 people involved in a major film, excluding crowd scene extras and so on, as well as literally tons of equipment to go along with them. Another reason is weather. Mother Nature doesn’t really care about Hollywood and can quite frequently hamper production.

Usually it is no more than a rain storm that stops production for a day or two, or a heat wave that causes shorter work days. But sometimes weather can be extremely costly. Such was the case of Kevin Costner’s Waterworld that saw entire sets destroyed and sunk by sea storms that not only seriously delayed the production, but also pushed the budget sky-high. Previously I mentioned that lighting is one of the most important elements in a movie. In addition to lighting, and of course the actors, cinemotography is the key element in a film’s visual appearance.

Though it takes years of either schooling or job experience to truly learn how to film well, there are a few basic pointers that anyone with a camera and eye towards making something better than a jerky home movie should know (because seriously, those “How to Film” videos they hand out now when you buy a camcorder are really just a twenty minutes session in which they try to sell you all the accessories). After production there is post-production, which is basically editing. Post-Production involves every step after primary filming, editing and corrections, and reshoots.

The process of reshooting is simple enough in concept (though perhaps not in actual process) that we can skip that one which leaves editing and corrections. Editing serves two purposes. First, the logistics of production often make it impossible to film in sequence. And even in the extremely rare case where a story is filmed in order, there are still numerous takes and unnecessary footage between the good shots. Thus, editing serves to eliminate this unwanted footage and to place the events in a coherent order. Second, even simple actions take up a great deal of time on film. For example imagine a sequence of a person getting dressed.

In real life this process takes about five minutes. Five minutes in the course of the human life is insignificant, but five minutes in the course of a two hour movie is a horrendous amount of time to spend on meaningless action. If that same person pulled clothes out of a closet and in the next shot walked into the kitchen, the obvious conclusion the audience will make is said person got dressed. Thus editing can serve to eliminate tedious and unnecessary footage so that the audience may focus on the story. Editing can also serve to create. The human eye, when viewing a scene does not remain stationary.

Watch two people talking, your eye will jump from person to person to watch speech or gauge reaction. You’ll find it extremely difficult to watch both at the same time and you could end up cross-eyed. Editing also serves to mimic this action of selective viewing. When a conversation between two people is put on film, it is filmed (usually) by switching back and forth between the characters to again, watch speech or gauge reaction. The natural switching back and forth is unobtrusive because in reality, you do it all the time. Thus editing serves to place shots into a coherent storyline, eliminate unnecessary footage, and create better flow.

Other examples of techniques in which the editing serves more interesting purposes are parallel editing and montage. Parallel editing is a technique in which two separate scenes are shown to take place at the same time. To do this, the editor cuts the two scenes together switching from one to the other. This is often used in scenes where the character is racing against time, such as the bomb’s clock counting down as the character tries to get out of the building. A montage sequence is another technique in which extremely short shots are edited together in quick succession to create general emotion.

Editing is not the entirety of post-production however. Once the picture is edited into its final narrative form, there are hundreds of tiny elements that need to be tweaked. Occasionally, different light schemes will produce different colors between shots, the differences are always slight, however, they need to be corrected to create continuity between shots. This process is called color-correction. Titles and credits, a key part to any movie, are also designed and added. Also at this stage any computer generated effects are added to footage, though in truth this will happen before the scene is edited.

While these visual components are polished, the audio portions of the film are tweaked elsewhere. Very rarely are the audio components you hear in the theater the sounds recorded during footage. Audio is recorded onto a separate track, which is kept in time with the footage via a sync machine (this is so your movie doesn’t end up looking like a cheap dubbing job). The microphones used to record the actors voices are extremely precise in their range, they pick up sound only from the air immediately in front of the actor.

This keeps the voice quality as high possible. Later on, background is added in when it can be adjusted to suitable levels. So if two characters are walking amidst a midnight orchard replete with singing nightbirds, the dialogue is really the only noise recorded at the time. The other noises, the crickets, nightbirds and the wind, are either recorded at the same location or elsewhere and then added in so that the night wildlife only adds to the mood of the scene, rather than drowning out the speech of the characters.

The final steps are distribution and release. They either sell the movie to a company who will release it in cinemas, or to one who will make it go out on DVD. They create movie trailers, posters, and other things to advertise the upcomoing film. The night the film is realeased it is celebrated with a launch party, and then if it is in cinemas, it will get released on DVD a few months later. In the end the distribution and production companies split the profit. As you can see, filmmaking is a very complicated process.

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Why We Crave Horror Movies

Why do we crave horror movies? Stephen king was asked this same question in an interview that was published in a Playboy magazine in 1981. King replied “we are all mentally ill” (1) and “to show we can”(3). King expressed his views on both sides stating that we all are guilty of acting mentally ill, and that we all simply enjoy watching horrifying movies. Both of these statements are true, but not necessarily accurate. King did not take in consideration human error or opinion, which creates flaws within his statements.

I can agree and disagree with King on both accounts, but the pure and simple enjoyment is why we crave horror films. Are we all insane? This is where I have a disagreement. Yes, almost everyone does something strange while they think no one is watching, as King stated, or abnormal phobias that are deemed weird to others. I do not believe either of these should have the power to label us as demented. Another flaw in his insane theory is the two degrees of insanity that he mentions are the extremes of both. Being compared to Jack the Ripper or the Cleveland Torso Murderer is like saying that we have a murderous nature.

King also states that talking to oneself under stress is a form of hysteria. I have yet to meet a person that does not talk to himself under stress. Talking aloud simply helps organize a cluttered brain, and the majority of people are guilty of it at one point or another. He also claims that nose picking is a sign of madness. Although it is not socially acceptable, I have a very hard time deeming the action as insane. Absurdity allows a place for us to place blame. If we cannot agree with the actions or thoughts of another person, then we make the accusation that he has a complex.

Craziness is measured in degrees, but the strength of the degree is in the hands of the accuser. Delirium is a plea we all will take if our thoughts become corrupted due to alarming films. There again is a place for us to lay the blame. Insanity, I believe, is too vague because opinion is too influential. On the other hand, I can sympathize with the author when he states that we watch such conflicting motion pictures to prove that we are not afraid, either to ourselves, or to another. The logic behind this theory is to prove how macho we are.

We go see the scary feature of the month with either an old friend or someone we wish to impress to show that we can watch the whole film without closing our eyes. We watch atrocious movies to feed our fear. We know while watching the production that it is fiction, but we still can’t help but jump at the slightest loud noise. We crave the reaction and adrenaline rush that such productions give to us. King says that we watch to “re-establish our feelings of essential normality”(4), I can agree with this statement. Our minds are allowed to wonder to places that would originally be considered criminal or unethical.

We are more likely to feel pathos toward a maimed or tortured person in a terror picture if they have been playing the antagonist, than if we witnessed the same actions against the protagonist of the film. As King also stated, we are willing to pay money to go sit in a theater to entice our nightmares. As humans we like to rationalize our actions. For us to go watch a horror flick, we have to be able to finish the entirety of it, so we can rest with ease knowing that it came to an end. Stephen King’s view on both derangement and self accomplishment can be argued or sympathized.

The insanity approach can be agreeable by the fact that people are crazy in their own way, it does not have to be stereotypical of how they are deemed fatuous, it is just so. The same statement can be argued for the fact that some people believe that only certain actions can deem you as insane, and those actions are not socially acceptable. The self accomplishment approach is agreeable because most everyone is proud to admit that they sat through a horror film, or they did not jump at the scariest scene. Whatever the reason may be, people like to brag when it comes to overcoming a fear.

This approach can be argued that people who watch horror films watch only to feed their demented imagination and self accomplishment plays no part. There are numerous reasons as to why we watch horror movies, or even what makes us crave them. Scary movies are attention grabbers. They are designed and advertised for the gruesome effects and the story line. The more the outline presses the morals and ethics of normalcy, the more we are intrigued by it. There is a certain balance that must be maintained throughout a horror movie.

If a production is scripted with nothing but blood and guts and no development, the audience will be too disgusted and not challenged enough intellectually, to want to continue. The same goes for the story line, if the plot is great but the effects throughout the scenes don’t match, the audience will give a bad review. For a horror movie to really last with the crowd, the scenes, plot, and amount of goriness must all be at an even level to balance the other out. King states that we are far from true ugliness in such enticing films, and he is right. Specific films have to be creatively scripted, and artfully set.

The film may not be as beautiful as a ballet or broad way show, but it they are nowhere near the massacre of what they could be. To reiterate, are we all mentally ill? I think not. But dare to argue your own perspective. Like I said previously, degrees of mental illness are influenced by opinion, and opinion is what runs society. Horror films are common nightmares that allow us to relate with another no matter what physical or mental differences we may have. To feel self accomplishment from watching a nightmare in almost realistic form is a natural stimulant that can improve the image we have of ourselves.

The thought of knowing that we have overcome such a small step as to watching a horror movie gives us the strength to want to try to overcome other fears we may have. In essence, watching a terrifying feature does not categorize you as mentally ill, nor does it assume you simply enjoy the film. Both of these are forms of opinion from which are accurate to the beholder. So, whether you are mentally sick, or proving you can watch your nightmare, remember your own perspective of the situation and chose your own category.

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American Independent Cinema: Representational Analysis of Women

“The Hollywood film industry itself has been (and continues to be to a large extent) male-dominated. Hence, male directors, producers, writers, and cinematographers all use the camera as an instrument to look at women. ” (Benshoff, pg. 235) Gender also plays a large responsibility in the film industry when pertaining to what females can and can not do in films. Male characters are usually main characters and “in charge” within films, whereas the female characters are usually limited to just looking pretty while still remaining passive and somewhat outside of all the action within the story.

Women today feel a large amount of pressure to look and behave like these female actresses portrayed on the big screen. With the preparation of these films women usually take a very long time in hair and make-up for the sole purpose of looking attractive and gaining more male attention in the films. Many females fail to realize how much time and preparation really goes into the looks and costume designs of the characters that are being portrayed within the film industry. In today’s society female’s feel as though they have to be beautiful and live up to a certain stereotype and “look” that is extremely unrealistic.

Related essay: Pestle Analysis for Odeon Cinema

Real Women Have Curves (2002)” was a film directed by Patricia Cardoso that challenges the representation of all women in society. Although the film is about a first generation Mexican-American female struggling with her family’s beliefs, her future, culture, and body, it reaches all female viewers with the same powerful message. The message is that all females can be empowered and should be proud of who they are and where they come from. Most importantly females should be proud of their bodies and not try to live up to the unlikely images that our American culture has welded for us today.

Another film and director that challenged the male dominated movie industry was Susan Seidelman with her 1985 low-budget ($5million) film “Desperately Seeking Susan. ” “…Seidelman doesn’t glamorize women at the expense of men. In fact, her strongest affinity is with desperate, aggressive women who never stop hustling. ” (Levy, pg. 356) Her film “Desperately Seeking Susan” looks at contemporary issues of fame, self fulfillment, and social relationships, as well as personal identity. The film is about a petite New Jersey housewife named Roberta, who is bored, unsatisfied, and tired of her marriage routine life at home.

She then begins to read the personals section of the New York newspaper for vicarious thrills and entertainment. Her favorite classified to read is one that features the romance of Jim who is a struggling musician and Susan who is a free-spirited single woman living her life in Soho New York. Susan had just recently escaped her ex boyfriend who was a mobster and stole a pair of very expensive Egyptian earrings. One bored day when Roberta reads the classified section she sees the ad “Desperately Seeking Susan” and decides to follow Susan and Jim.

The reasoning as to why Roberta decided to take this extreme measure is because this was a way for her to escape her daily average life and become someone else for a day. The film then takes an unexpected turn and becomes all about reinvention as the housewife Roberta unknowingly with amnesia transforms herself into the wild and care-free character of Susan. There were a number of different codes within the film “Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)” that made it easier to understand its viewpoint. Some of the cultural codes recognized within the film include cultural, narrative, artistic, cinematic, and intertexual.

The film took place during the 1980’s in a small suburban town in New Jersey as well as New York City. The characters of Roberta and Gary Glass are individuals being represented as members of an upper middle class society living in New Jersey. We know that they are upper middle class because of the context clues and dialogue that we see within the movie. We hear Mr. Glass tell his wife “what are we poor? ” when he tells her that she bought a used jacket that used to belong to Jimi Hendrix. Roberta is a bored, full-time housewife and he is a hardworking husband.

As the film continues we meet the other main character who is a fun loving, care-free, gold digging, woman named Susan from New York. The film is told through the eyes of the main character, which is a repressed and bored housewife named Roberta. The story is also partially told through the eyes of Susan the carefree and stylish woman from New York. The story is also told through the eyes of Roberta’s worried husband Gary and her love interest Dez. The film “Desperately Seeking Susan” was very creative and original.

Some of the artistic codes within the film include the music in which is exceedingly upbeat and perfect for the time period of the 80’s. The clothing design within the film is extremely important and relevant to the development of Robert’s character. “Susan’s individualized pyramid jacket signifies her unconventional personal style and her fluency in innovating her own look. The jacket binds the two women together. Susan’s trading of looks shows her competence in putting together an always evolving and eccentric look, while Roberta’s purchase of the (second hand) jacket is part of her adventure and escape. ” (Street, pg. 1)

The costumes in the film stated the socio-economic status of the main characters and the time period. At the beginning of the film we acknowledge Roberta well dressed with a suburban flare and we also noticed Susan dressed as a stylish, upbeat, rocker. (Complete Opposites! ) The genre of the film “Desperately Seeking Susan” was comedy, drama, and romance because of its portrayal. The film portrays comedic humor with the mistaken identity of two polar opposites Roberta and Susan. Their journey is a comedic mystery and we never know what will happen next as Roberta searches for adventure and Susan hunts for the stolen Egyptian earring.

The film also depicts drama with all of the confusion and an intense romance between Roberta and Jim. In conclusion, the film industry is particularly male dominated. However, there are more female directors, producers, etc. like Susan Seidelman and Patricia Cardoso who are making a remarkable change. These females are making films with predominately female casts, and with messages of strength, personal identity, social relationships and self- fulfillment. They’re challenging the film business and changing perceptions of women everywhere.

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Sociology of Sport Film Review

Bend it like beckham is based on Jess, a 17 year old British born, Sikh girl who has an undying passion for football, her favourite player is David Beckham and he is exactly who jess wants to be. But jess’s parents have taken every effort to stay in touch with the families Indian heritage. Jess’ father and mother are after their daughter to go to law school, learn to cook a traditional Indian dinner, and settle down with a nice Indian boy — the latter of which is high on the agenda of her older sister Pinky, who is soon to wed her long-time beau Teetu.

However, her family is unaware that Jess has a secret passion ,football. Her parents don’t know that in her spare time she likes to play a friendly game in the park with some of the boys in the neighbourhood. One day, while Jess and her pals kick the ball around, she meets Jules, who is quite impressed with Jess’ skills. Jules plays with a local semi-pro women’s football team, the Hounslow Harriers, and she thinks Jess has what it takes to make the team.

Jess knows that her parents would never approve of their daughter playing football, so she doesn’t tell them, and starts spinning an increasingly complex series of lies as she tries to keep up a double life as a student and a footballer. Jess soon discovers a number of her new friends have their own problems to overcome; Jules dreams of playing pro ball in America, but has to deal with her stubborn and disapproving mother, while Joe, Hounslow’s Irish coach, still struggles with the disappointment of a career as a professional athlete which was dashed by a knee injury.

Throughout Bend it like Beckham, clear sociological factors all appear, from stereotypical ideologies through to race, class and gender, bend it like Beckham is a enjoyable, funny film that can be used to explain more clearly how ideologies, identity, power and social influences all have a part to play in everyone’s lives. Ideologies are beliefs and ideas that people form to give meaning to their life experiences and make sense of the world, there are different types of ideologies, including class, race and gender ideologies and these ideologies form identities. Identity is about belonging, about what you have in common with some people and what differentiates you from others.

At its most basic it gives you a sense of personal location, the stable core to your individuality. But it is also about your social relationships, your complex involvement with others’ (Weeks 1990 p. 88 cited in Rutherford 1990 p. 88) Class ideologies are the beliefs that people have to understand economic inequalities, identify them in terms of their class position and evaluate the manner in which economic inequalities are and how they should be integrated into the organization of social worlds.

Class ideology is not an as important factor in the movie as the other forms of ideology but it picked up upon slightly when the father mentions that they are not rich, also the environment in which the movie is filmed portrayed her family as working class, however she is planning to go to university and wins a scholarship at the end so her education is pretty good. Racial ideology is one of the main ideologies depicted in the movie, it is a set of ideas and beliefs that people use to give meaning to skin colour and to evaluate people in terms of racial classifications.

Racial ideologies vary around the world, but they are powerful when people use them to classify humans into racial categories. In the film, jess is Sikh, this means the family generally follow strict cultural life preferences due to their religion and these preferences cause restrictions in jess’s freedom, she shouldn’t even show as much skin as a football kit reveals in general, let alone play football itself, with girls from other cultural backgrounds, she is seen as disgracing the family for her participation.

Racism is touched upon in a scene during which she retaliates to a tackle and receives a red card, only to find out that she was called a ‘paki’. The coach explains to her that he also received discrimination due to him being Irish. This informs us of the constraints of racial barriers still produced now, even in today’s multi-cultural society.

Another factor in the movie is that Jess and Joe ( the Irish coach) end up falling for each other which is another racial barrier that is not regularly crossed due more to the beliefs and culture of jess and her families religion. Gender ideology is also a set of ideas and beliefs but that masculinity, femininity, and male-female relationships. It is the Basis for defining what it means to be a man or a woman, evaluating and judging people and relationships and determining what is natural and moral related to gender.

The main issue relating the gender ideologies in this film relates to the race ideology and that is that she opposes the obvious stereotype of an Indian woman, An Indian woman’s identity is created by the tradition’s of an Indian woman, for example according to ideologies her job is to cook and look after the house and children. however her interest is not a family and learning how to cook, but to become a professional female footballer and attend university to study for a degree.

By Jess opposing this gender ideology, she is creating her own identity as an Indian woman footballer, trying to keep her femininity by falling for the Irish coach, sticking to her Indian traditions by wearing the clothes and learning to cook, however she does this all and still able to play football up to a scholarship standard, doing the best job to define her own identity. She also defies the stereotypical footballer, which for a start, is male, and is rarely Indian, in English society anyway. , emphasising on her identity as a woman footballer, not a man.

Jess opposes her parents and other groups of people with the same traditions and beliefs, who feel that women shouldn’t play football, and this is a clear example of femininity, also during a scene where jess is involved in a match, the same is being watched by 4 of jess’ male friends who shout sexist remarks at the team members, not in a malicious way but this still shows the males idea of women as an object, during this scene, jess’s secret gay friend ( who is also Indian and therefore causes another constraint in that omosexuality is frowned upon more than it is in other cultures) asks the boys, which are also his friends, as to why they can’t see the woman as footballers, and they all just laugh, which emphasises peoples stereotypical thoughts of women. In the film they also talk about the opinion that even Indian boys should not play football, so for a female Sikh to play is deemed as even worse, Jess is completely contradicting two ideologies, her gender ideology, and her race ideology.

But this way creating her own identity, its is a struggle for Jess to fight all the ideologies present to achieve her goal. Ideologies of women in sport mean that there are several gender barriers to overcome people still feel that sport is male dominant and there are certain sports that are for men, and certain sports that are for women, and bend it like Beckham contradicts this belief.

Power is also noticeable in the movie and there are different power hierarchies, the football coach is male, so still portrays the male dominance in the sport as he is seem as the leader and the team of females still have to do as he says. Also the parents have different levels of parent, jess’s mother seems to have influence over the father, and they both have influence over their daughter. Jess feels that she is being constrained and sees the football team as a social structure; Identity is formed in the relationships between ‘social structures’ and an individual ‘subjectivity’ (Hughson et al 2005 p. 110). She feels she can use this social structure to assert her agency; Jess knows that sporting achievement is a sign of social mobility, therefore she knows that her constraints could decrease in society if she can achieve high in a football career, barriers would decline and she would exceed expectation due to the stereotypes she is grouped in and opportunities in life would come more easily.

So Jess is taking her individualism as a Sikh female to create a relationship with a social structure, which is the football club. and she can achieve all this by the opportunity to play football. The film shows she achieving this to her best of her ability as she gets scouted and wins a scholarship to a top university to play football, where she can individually change peoples perception of Indian woman, and also influence other Indian females to start playing football.

The one key moment in the movie that I felt best exhibits all the main sociological factors of identity, ideology and power comes on 6 minutes into the movie, jess is walking through the local park when her male friend sees her and asks her to join in, as soon as she starts playing to can see power and gender ideologies already, the group of men that she is playing have there tops off for a start, and being able to take there tops off to play football shows male dominance and masculinity, which shows power is present as the men believe they are in charge because they are male.

Also they say sexist comments to jess about her football capabilities as a female for example, one of the men say “ can you chest it like Beckham, you know, give it sum bounce (emphasising on her chest) , it wasn’t malicious as they were all friends but it was another means so showing the gender ideology and male dominance, as well as gender discrimination. The movie continues and jess gets hold of the ball and takes it round all the boys before scoring, unknowingly being watched by Jules, her soon to be football partner and best friend.

Jules runs off and Jess continues to play football. The movie then continues into Jess’s room where she talks to her poster of David beckham, she says “its not fair that the boys never have to come home and help” what she is saying is that because of her families religion, there are rules that must abided to and one of them is that the women are the ones in the home, for cooking and cleaning and the boys are the ones who work..

This is one of the main barriers to participation she has, her ethnicity means she is going against her families beliefs by playing football. She also asks the question, of if she had an arranged marriage, would they let her play football? This emphasises on the constraint that her ethnicity causes for her participation in the sport. Her father then walks in the room and starts to moan about all the posters of ‘a bald man’ on her wall, the opposite of how a man should look like according to her religion.

The clip carries on into the engagement party located at her house, and by the large amount of people in the house, which is small as it is, this can be looked upon as defining her class ideology of a working class family, as they may not be able to afford a bigger area of the night. Now jess is dressed in all her traditional Indian clothing, a big contrast to her shorts and Manchester united top she wore down the park.

Jess is handing out a plate of food and an old lady, says to her that it will be her turn soon to get married and does she want a proper Sikh with a full bear and a turban, the direct opposite to David beckham, this links to race ideology as saying that their religion has a typical man and that her marriage and Sikh life in evitable, it also just hints on the barriers she must overcome to achieve her dream, she doesn’t want the traditional normal life of a female Sikh, she wants to be a professional footballer.

This key moment continues but now the scene is set back at the park, again she is playing football with the same group of topless men, whereas three girls who know jess, are watching on, checking out the men. Jess makes this a stark contradiction to the stereotypical scenario because even though she is female, she is playing football, in her football shirt, with the lads, rather than sit with the girls.

She contradicts her own stereotype by playing football, she is not the Sikh girl everyone wants her to be. Jess finds it easier to fit in with the girls by knowing the boys, he is very much a tomboy who would rather be out getting muddy than buying new clothes. Again contradicting her own gender ideology, she also comes across as gay to many of the Sikhs because of her unorthodox activities.

While playing football Jules goes over to jess, and in front of the lads asks her if she plays for any team, immediately afterwards one of the males says “ yer like who, Southport united sari squad” this is a dig at her ethnicity not at her gender or sex, so this explains my point that she has to overcome two main barriers that are her gender and her ethnicity, both ideologies constrain her from participation, and also male dominance and masculinity also don’t help with her problem of her being a female footballer either and the power influence can be seen underlying the movie.

This is where my key moment ended. In summary, I have learnt that social identities and ideologies are formed from sport societies, in today’s world, Groups and societies are characterised by shared values and conflicts of interest and sports forms are culturally produced, reproduced and/or transformed, sports forms are social constructions that change as power relations change and as narratives and discourses change. n relation to identity, ideology and power, Bend it like Beckham touches on several key sociological dimensions, it mainly focuses on how her cultural identity constraints her from participating in the sport she loves as her parents strict beliefs and traditions and they feel that she should be a proper Sikh and learn to cook Indian food, not play football. She should be focusing on becoming a lawyer according to her parents.

She also has to deal with the fact that she is a woman and football is a male dominated game, therefore, for an Indian female to wanting to play football, she must overcome social barriers and constraints to achieve her goal, and the film is based on her attempt to achieve this. Sport is a very important influence in everyone’s social lives, it effects peoples participation, culture and social groups, is a reflection on peoples social life.

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Born on the Fourth of July

Born on The 4th of July is a film based on the true story of Ron Kovic, a young, naive man who went to Vietnam in the noble efforts of serving his country – once there, he was shot in the chest and was forever paralyzed. He returned to a United States which didn’t believe in the war, and didn’t believe in him. He soon grows embittered with life, losing his chances to be a man, condemned to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He eventually joins the anti-war movement, gets thrown out of the Republican Convention where Richard Nixon is speaking, and finally is allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 1976.

The idyllic 1950’s to the turbulent 1960’s represented a dynamic shift in American culture. The end of World War II prompted a booming economy and the American dream of your own house with the white picket fence was born. Although the 50’s were picturesque in some respect the end of WWII entrenched a deep fear of Communism. As America entered Vietnam the conservative ideals of the WWII generation clashed with the rising student and youth awareness. This movie represents a modern view of the Vietnam War era and the transformation that occurred throughout the country with varying degrees of historical accuracy.

The opening scene of the movie pictures the mood of the country in the mid to late fifties. It romanticizes war with the parade scene and the kids playing army. This plays on the theme that some war is good, or at least justifiable. Kovic, the main character of the film, is a patriotic person wanting to serve his country and believing that Vietnam would be his chance. . The U. S. became polarized over the war. Many supporters of U. S. involvement argued for what was known as the domino theory, a theory that believed if one country fell to communism, then the bordering countries would be sure to fall as well, much like falling dominoes.

This theory was largely held due to the fall of eastern Europe to communism and the Soviet sphere of influence following World War II. In the movie as Kovic and his friends discuss entertaining the Marines the ideas of containment and the domino theory are discussed. Kovic enlist and the Marines, where he fights on the front line of the Vietnam war. He is later shot and thus paralyzed from half of his body. Kovic spends months in a Veteran hospital in Brooklyn, NY. The conditions of this hospital are deplorable.

Patients are left to lie in their own fecal matter while they are ignored and mistreated by the Doctors and Nurses. It is then that Kovic begins to see how Americans felt about the war he so proudly went into. By 1970 nearly 50,000 had already been killed and up to 200,000 wounded. Even though this number paled in comparison to the 100,000 South Vietnamese and more than 500,000 North Vietnamese who had died, many Americans thought the number far too high for the mere defense of a strip of jungle on the other side of the world.

Morale had fallen to an all-time low both for the families at home and for the men in the field. Veterans’ protest groups such as the Vietnam Veterans Against the War became increasingly vocal, attacking U. S. policy after they came home. Kovic eventually joined this group emerging as a strong voice against the war. The neglect and resentment of veterans was an unfortunate social effect of the war. While after other wars, the soldiers were welcomed back with parades and open arms, the Vietnam veterans were shunned, demeaned and booed.

This was accurately depicted in this movie when Kovic returns and is mistreated at the hospital, and during a Fourth of July Parade he is booded at. Since it was such an unpopular war, Americans held veterans responsible for the war, although many of them did not approve of the war either. The veterans’ situation was a tough one, especially with little or no support. About 150,000 veterans came home wounded, or amputated, and at least 21,000 were permanently disabled, unable to work for the rest of their lives.

Many developed illnesses after the war such as cancers liver disease and rashes, mostly due to exposure to Agent Orange. Having seen the horrors of Vietnam, many veterans were psychologically scarred. Nightmares, anxiety causing flashbacks, and fits of terror from loud noises were common behaviors reported amongst veterans. Approximately 830,000 survivors of Vietnam suffered mental and emotional disorders and showed symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) However many were unable to get the help they needed and deserved, because they were perceived as crazy and dangerous, and even deserving of their circumstance.

Economic medical and educational aid was not made available to them right away, and many veterans felt abandoned by the country they served. In trying to deal with this situation, some veterans developed drug or alcohol habits and many felt driven to suicide. As the proud daughter of one of these Vietnam Veterans, I can tell you that this movie was difficult to watch at times. Growing up, most of my memories with my father are going to see him in the Veterans hospital. Therefore, I had the privilege of growing up around many Vietnam war Veterans.

I saw firsthand the self medicating of drugs and alcohol. Many times when my sisters and I would visit my father, we never really knew who we were going to get, the fun loving father, or the drugged up father. As I got older my father slowly began to talk about his experiences in Vietnam. My father’s accounts of what happened during the war and after the war, are chilling. This movie accurately depicted many of them, as the stories my father has are not so different from many American Heroes that Served in the Vietnam War.

References

http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/vietnamwar/section9.rhtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_U.S._involvement_in_the_Vietnam_War

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The Cosby Show American the Different Sides

The Cosby Show changed the stereotypical roles that were usually handed to black films and movies. Before the Cosby Show there were shows like Sandford & Son and Good Times that portrayed black in poverty. The Cosby Show however focused on issues that pertained to everyone with a focus on black people. They addressed issues such as pregnancy, educatiion, marriage, and even touched on music. The days of poor black in television and movies are gone. Wtaching an episode of the Cosby Show is an inspiration to everyone who sees it. Being able to watch where there is a black family not struggling to pay the rent is rejuvenatihng t6o me.

We have a husband who is a doctor and a wife that is an attorney that shows examples of what living in America is like from a educational point of view versus just what a sterotypical black family life would be. The Cosby Show focuses on what it is like to be pregnant and go through labor and delivery pains in dealing with real life situations. The show also focuses on a happy married life and the problems that can arise within a family. I never knew how smooth jazz could be until I had seen an episode of the Cosby Show. Going to college is a dream that most people try to achieve.

Until I had watched the Cobsy Show I was never really informed on what it would be like to go to college. I never knew there were prominent black colleges and universities. I think that being able to have a good television show that shows real life examples of life is what helps make this a graet society to live in, the Cosby Show is that show. Once in a while the show highlighted musical guest usually jazz and blues artists. Three was an episode where BB King guest starred and showed America how he helped his guitar “Lucile”. The Cosby Show is an example of if you put your mind to it you can do anything, and today America knows that.

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Bride Wars and Year One

The American film Bride Wars was released in 2009, it is an example of a typical modern romantic comedy. It is about two best friends Liv and Emma, who have grown up together planning their “perfect” wedding. They both get engaged at around the same time, together they go shopping for everything needed for a wedding, both looking to create their perfect wedding day. They get the wedding planner of their dreams, Marion St Clair who turns out to be the wedding planner of their nightmares and accidently books their weddings on the same day! Neither of them will agree to change their date, so they become enemies.

As the tag line quotes “Even best friends can’t share the same wedding day. ” The cake knives are out, but how will everything turn out? “Year One” is an American film also released in 2009, it is an example of a romantic adventure comedy. It is about two accident-prone Palaeolithic warriors. Jack Black who plays “Zed “ is a prehistoric would-be hunter he gets kicked out of the tribe in the forest for eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. His side kick, “Oh” played by Michael Cera is a gatherer and turns up to “try” and save him.

The film is about their adventures set in the prehistoric era trying to save their two friends Maya and Eema. Both girls are from their former tribe and have been captured and sold into slavery, on their travels Zed and Oh meet Biblical characters on route to the city of Sodom. Do they succeed in saving them? Although they are of the same genre they couldn’t be more different films. “Bride Wars” is set in the 21st century, whereas “Year One” is set in Palaeolithic era, this means there is a very big contrast between them. Bride Wars gives the impression of being a comedy from the expressions on both the actors’ faces.

They are both looking straight into each other’s eyes showing a devious look with a comic smirk, in a horror film there would be no trace of a comic smirk. “Year One” has the aesthetics of a comedy with Jack Black’s expression being apprehensive and confused, his eyebrow is raised. Michael Cera’s facial expression is one of worried eyes which suggests he is just merely a side kick, and doesn’t really have a say in what Jack is going to do next! “Bride Wars” gives the impression of comedy on the poster, you would never expect brides to have a “war” or the weapons to be cake knives.

Year One” suggests that it is set in prehistoric times, the first year of man, but the title doesn’t really have a comic sense about it, I believe this is why the director cast Jack Black to star in it, he is a very well known for his comedy roles. People will know that a film with Jack as the main character is going to be entertaining and funny so will choose to see it on that basis. The advertising poster for “Bride Wars” implies some type of confrontation in the plot. In “Bride Wars” the actors Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway have a look in their eyes of pure distain. Anne Hathaway is a popular actress with female audiences of all ages.

She has featured in many other films such as Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, Devil wears Prada and Brokeback Mountain, again she has a good following. In the poster both young ladies are dressed in wedding dresses this helps to emphases the term “bride” to look more potent, The actors have their hair down, which suggest a fight is about to break out, as brides nearly always have their hair up in an “updo”. The poster for “Year One” doesn’t imply a lot, being dressed in animal cloth relates to the title of the film and lets the audience know that this movie is set in pre-historic times.

This leads me to think they might have gotten lost in an adventure, their body language looks like they have just seen something that is confusing or worrying to them. The colours used in each poster have soft tones, nothing potent or eye catching. Except the titles as this is what grabs the audience’s attention as they walk past. “Bride Wars” uses the colour theme of white and cream, these colours are usually associated with weddings e. g. purity, virgin brides, and wedding dresses, this again emphases the term “Bride.

Year One’s theme is a desert landscape with a blue sky, this suggests it’s a hot day and they might be lost. The actors are the main focus of these posters; this suggests that the films revolve around them. The tag lines are intriguing, the tag line for Bride Wars suggests a confrontation within the film, and the tag line for “Year One” doesn’t give any clues to the plot of the film. This makes the person reading the poster want to learn more about these tag lines and what happens in the film, these help to grab the audience’s attention to hopefully go and see the film to find out more about them.

The bold text in the “Year One” poster against the desert background makes the text stand out in the poster and catch people eye as they see it. The “Bride Wars” text on the word bride is similar to the text used on wedding invitations and further relates back to the film title. I think both posters have a target audience. Bride Wars is aimed at female teenagers and also would be appealing to female adults as it is about love and marriage. It is a feminine film, these are sometimes referred to as “chick flicks. ” Year One is more of a teenagers film, not quite as girly as Bride Wars so might appeal to a wider audience.

Teenagers are big fans of comedies and new movies that have just been released, they feel they can relate to them as they are light hearted and not serious. These posters inform their intended audience about the film, they try to entice them with intriguing tag lines that make the reader interested and wanting to see the film, and as they say “curiosity killed the cat. ” They also inform people about the name, age certificate, genre, actors, and director, trying to persuade them in every way they can to see their film, to make it a success.

In conclusion the posters are about as different as the films, “Year One” gives very little away about what is going to happen in the film so people will be curious to find out more, and perhaps research the film or discuss with friends what it’s about. Word of mouth is the best advert so getting people to talk about the film is a main goal for the poster. On the other hand the poster for “Bride Wars” lets you know the plot of the film, so when people see it they can make an instant decisions whether it interests them or not.

Seeing two brides holding knives makes your imagination run and you just want to know what is going to happen. Both posters have a different target market, which explains why they are so different as they are tailored to appeal to different audiences. The posters have to grab and get the attention and curiosity of the people that they are aimed at and ultimately encourage them to want to go and see the film. Hopefully after seeing the film they will relay their experiences and enjoyment to other people and that will entice them to see the film too!

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Change and Inner Journey

“Any Journey includes both realities and possibilities”, the three texts that we have studied in class, the film ‘Pleasantville’ by Gary Ross and the poems ‘Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost and ‘Journey to the Interior’ by Margaret Atwood, support this idea as these texts include the protagonist having embarked on not only physical and interior journeys in reality but also imaginary.

The journey is known to be imaginary for the audience, but for the characters of the text these journeys have led them to be in a different stage in life, not only physical but internally, evolving into different people or having what become completely different people due to these journeys. In the 1977 film ‘Pleasantville’ by Gary Ross, the protagonists, David and Jennifer begin their physical journey when they are “sucked” into the 1950’s television program “pleasantville” when it becomes imaginary; impossible.

When their journey was first embarked David and Jennifer where very different characters which is juxtaposed with the fact that they are brother and sister. At the beginning of the film David is portrayed as an awkward teenage boy, not being the popular one at school and definitely not having many friends. David is shown as being unhappy with his life and is therefore outlined using the television program “pleasantville” as an escape.

In Ross’s film this is shown in a scene between David and his mother, David’s mother is shown on the phone arguing to his father about who received custody of the children on that weekend, the audience can see the distance between the children and parents, this is one of the complications in David’s life. David is depicted sitting in the next room watching his favourite T. V program “pleasantville”, a close-up is used on David’s face to show his intense concentration on the program, he attempts to block out his mothers voice as she becomes louder by also increasing the volume of the television.

What David longs for is to be a part of Pleasantville where there is zero negativity. Opposed with David is his sister Jennifer. Typical 90’s teenage girl, Jennifer wears the latest clothes, and dating the “coolest” boys in school, her main priority is increasing her rank in the social ladder. These differences are depicted in a scene from the playground when David sits and talks to his friend about Pleasantville, the camera then pans the playground to the opposite side of a fence, where Jennifer is seen alking to her friends.

The pan shows the distance between the two characters, whilst the objective of the fence is to act as a symbolic object symbolising their differences. Once they are transported into pleasantville, physical and imaginative journey, David takes the role of “Bud” one of the protagonists in the program and Jennifer now taking on the role of “Mary Sue”, the roles of David and Jennifer have changed as David understands all the values of pleasantville, but it is all new to Jennifer.

Due to Jennifer’s lack of knowledge she doesn’t care about Pleantville like David does and she begins to make changes, David isn’t happy, “we have to play along or we will alter their universe”. Pleantville is David’s fantasy and he doesn’t want it to change in any way, “maybe it needs to be messed with” said by Jennifer demonstrates her opposing views. This gives the audience the knowledge that things are going to change. These changes are caused when the relationship between Jennifer, “Mary Sue” and Skip, captain of the basketball team, begins to advance.

The beginning of change is depicted by a red rose in the alternate black and white world. Colour is very symbolic in “Pleasantville”, it signifies not only physical change of pleasantville but also the inner journeys each character undergoes. The values of Pleasantville also change with the physical changes. Individuality is not tolerated and these changes increases the characters ability to have their own thoughts and beliefs.

David and Jennifer have remained black and white, even though they have been the cause of all the changes in pleantville, this symbolises that they are also in need for change. The intolerance for individuality is demonstrated when Betty, mother of Bud and Mary Sue, feel the need to hide the fact that she has also become coloured to conform to the norms of society, “I cant go out there looking like this” the grey make up is juxtaposed with the colour. Betty’s personal inner journey deals with her appreciating her individuality therefore her colour.

Her values as a housewife are also tested. David and Jennifer’s values and characteristics are also shaped and moulded, these changes occurred in when their physical journey became and inner journey. David is more confident and content with who he is, and Jennifer also begins to appreciate herself a lot more and begins making personal changes such as studying and reading books. Once the two protagonists have reached the end of their inner journeys, they too become coloured.

At the end of the film the audience is presented with the understanding that David and Jennifer have gone through a physical and inner journey not only in reality but in possibilities. “The Road not taken” by Robert Frost is an analogy of an inner journey in the form of a physical journey. “two roads lay in the yellow woods” this allows the reader to see the obvious possibilities involved in the journey the protagonist is undergoing, it also gives the reader the appearance of a physical journey.

The audience will then come to an understanding that it is also an inner journey, the fork in the road outlines the decisions and options one must make in life, and there is always more than one. Robert Frost creates the atmosphere that one can only choose one path in life and it determines everything, one must choose the path that is best suited for themselves although you may not know what the future holds, “looking down both, not seeing past where the path meets the undergrowth”.

The path that is chosen will grow and change the character of the person, therefore being an inner journey. The “yellow woods” are symbolic as they represent maturity. “I choose the one less travelled by and that made all the difference” this quote suggest that Frost has chosen the less popular option in his life, maybe utilising harder work, but that made all the difference in his future. The readers have great feeling that he has also grown as a person. “Journey to the Interior” by Margaret Atwood is another analogy of an inner journey in a physical journey.

Atwood uses the Canadian landscape to describe her conscience, she describes it as being “dark” and “spindly” also calling it “poor land”. Atwood allows the reader to feel as if inner journey to find oneself are treacherous and dangerous, and if undergoing a physical journey which will eventually be part of the inner journey one is presented with many distractions, a person may also feel completely lost and incapable like being caught “in tangles of branches” or an “invincible net of air”.

Like Robert Frost, Atwood makes the future seem uncertain, full of possibilities that one can not prepare for she describes the future as “not the easy going from point to point, a dotted line on a map… ”, she also mentions that one can not take directions from others on their own personal journey, they must be their own guide “a compass is useless… ”.

In her poem Margaret Atwood explains that a person must make time to find their inner self, keeping focused on the journey they began “whatever I do I must keep my head”, causing changes and becoming a better and happier version of their former self. These three text have outlined that any journey includes both realities and possibilities as there is always more than one option in life and in any situation presented. These possibilities and realities are also determined with the individual and how far they plan to exceed in their journeys.

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Jaws

The film ‘Jaws’, was made in 1975 and is a thriller set on a small American town called Amityville. The film is about a man-eating great white shark that terrorises the seas of Amityville and it’s public who swim in it. Steven Spielberg directs this nail-biting thriller. ‘Jaws’ is set on the 4th of July, which is an American Independence day. This film will keep you on the edge of your seats. This essay will show how Spielberg creates tension and suspense throughout the film. One of the most famous techniques used in the film ‘Jaws’ was the music.

At the start of the film the screen is dark and the music begins. The pitch is low and the tempo is slow, as the sequence goes on the tempo starts to speed up and the pitch gets higher. When the tempo of the music speeds up it is like the heartbeat of the shark, which is getting faster because the shark is getting excited about something. At the same time the audience get nervous about what the shark is preparing to do. This sequence is used throughout the film to make the audience aware that the shark is about to attack.

Before the first attack is about to happen there is a lot of chatter, firelight and mouth organs being played. This makes it a good contrast to the scary scene that is about to happen. When the girl runs off with the drunken boy the scene starts to get darker and quieter as they go further and further away from where all the people are. The girl runs into the water and the drunken boy lies down on the beach. The camera then points at the girl who is all alone in the water and there is no sound or light at all which makes the audience think that something bad is about to happen.

This is really helpful to build tension and to begin putting fear in the mind’s of the audience, through the contrasts in the setting and in the changes in the music. As well as the use of music in this film Spielberg similarly uses camera techniques to scare the audience. Before the second attack the camera shows a mid shot at the boy and the women who are close together which makes the audience think that the relationship between these two people is like mother and child. While Brody watches the sea Spielberg uses mid shots, medium close ups and close up shots to show that Brody is getting more anxious.

Then there is a point of view shot which is shot under water were the audience can see everyone’s legs. This creates a sense of dramatic irony where the audience know that something is underneath their feet but the people in the water don’t. As the second attack starts Brody realises suddenly what is happening and the camera zooms into his face. The camera also starts to show lots of flashing images of people panicking and the boy being eaten. This scares the audience because they have just witnessed an innocent child being eaten.

This keeps the tension up in the film which makes the audience think that if it can kill an innocent child, how much further will it go. Another way Spielberg builds up tension is by how he portrays the shark. In the first attack he doesn’t show the shark; this makes the audience think and imagine what is lurking under the waters. He also shows how strong this shark is when in the first attack the creature attacks the girl and swings her from side to side and eventually pulls her into the water.

Also into the second attack the creature eats the little boy and rips his Lillo to shreds. Throughout the film Spielberg reveals the shark bit by bit. Spielberg also shows real shark footage (when he films the attack in the cage) to make it look real and scare the audience, the audience is eager to see the shark which is another reason why he filmed it using a real shark. On the last attack the shark jumps onto the boat, the audience find it amusing because throughout the film they’ve been getting scared of a model shark.

When the shark bites the girl you can from her face immediately that she is in pain she also shows this because she screams hysterically which makes the audience think what is happening to her. Spielberg avoids the shark at this point because it’s so early in the film and if he shows it at this stage then the audience will realise that it’s only a model shark and there would be no point watching the film.

Another reason why he didn’t show the shark at this stage is because he wouldn’t have caught the audience out at the nd. So instead he used the characters’ reaction to show the power and the strength of the shark. Finally the way the story progresses will add to the tension of the film. Spielberg films the first two attacks together so throughout the film the audience will except an attack at any time which will make them always feel tense. The 4th of July is an American Independence Day which is a public holiday for everyone. It is summer and all the people are at the seaside having a good time.

Spielberg chose this scene because there are more people in danger which leads to a dramatic affect. This attack also involves Brody’s son, which keeps the audience tense because we know who Brody’s son is. The more you know about a character the more the more tense you will feel about them when they are being attacked. For example the last section of the film when all the main characters are under attack in this scene, the fact that we know more about the characters makes every moment tense when the shark circles around them.

Overall, the most tense moment in the film is the scene when the shark is attacking the cage. This scene is particularly scary because Spielberg used a real shark to film this scene which looks bigger and scarier, and the way it bent the cage bars really showed how strong the shark is. This is what I think is the most tense scene and is the scene that made most of the audience tense. These are the most important techniques that Steven Spielberg used to build tension and suspense in the audience’s minds.

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The Color Purple

Thesis: “The Color Purple” is more than just entertainment because the story shows what poverty in the old days was like, especially among the colored people and the hardship way of life created from the White man. This novel is dealing with real life situations that no one would talk about. Alice Walker’s prize winning novel “The Color Purple,” turned into motion picture in 1985. In the beginning, the film caused a wide range of controversy.

People who wrote hate letters and organization’s who threatened to boycott the whole production. The Black women’s story was told to millions of people by Hollywood. Another explanation for the movie was how many black people were illiterate, and some did not go to school. The movie influences the audience by showing how what can happen behind closed doors and expresses how that color is the same no matter what the color may be. The film also shows how men over powered women.

In a movie-based novel there is always question of becoming a Hollywood movie. Hollywood is notoriously insensitive to the concerns of women and people of color. Years after the release of the movie “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker expressed her opinion on the movie in the book “The same river twice” published in 1996. The book includes a draft of Alice Walker’s original screenplay, and some aspects and thoughts on the making and the reception of the film, which became the original story of “The Color Purple. ”

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Film Critique, Why Did I Get Married 2

Why Did I Get Married? Efrem Terrell ENG 225 Intro to Film Professor Nelly Aguilar April 22, 2012 Why Did I Get Married Released in 2007 by Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, the film Why Did I Get Married? is a comedy and drama that was written, produced, and directed by screen and playwright, Tyler Perry. Depicting the trials and tribulations of marriage, Why Did I Get Married? Was a hit at the box office earning $55,862,886 worldwide (Perry, 2007). Along with several other films and stage productions written and directed by Tyler Perry, the success of Why Did I Get Married? ay be credited to Perry’s expertise in film directing, digital musical selections, and humorous dialogue, along with the film’s dramatic, yet therapeutic storyline on how to sustain a healthy marriage and maintain lifelong friendships. As the director of Why Did I Get Married? , Tyler Perry utilizes incongruous editing in order to establish a central theme for the movie by allowing the audience to get to know each character and establish a theatrical connection with them.

As each main character is introduced, Perry jumps around in time displaying each character acting out dramatic and humorous scenes that revealed their true personalities, relationships with the other characters in the film, along with their roles in the movie. While most writers subtly introduce their characters to the audience, movie critics argue that this is an area in Perry’s writing that needs strengthening. According to freelance writer and movie critic, Eric D. Snider (2012), in the film Why Did I Get Married? Tyler Perry’s characters blatantly announce expository dialogue such as, “I am a Pediatrician,” “You have control issues,” and “You could lose about fifty pounds, then I might be somewhat attracted to you. ” Movie critics believe that stronger writing would reveal this information without the characters declaring it (Snider, 2012). While directors carefully select the best scenes for their movies, they also spend a great deal of time selecting the best soundtrack. Digital musical selections graced the original soundtrack for the film, Why Did I Get Married?.

R&B ballads that referenced love, relationships, break-ups, and heart-ache drove the central them of the movie which focuses on the ups and downs of marriage and friendships. Each song from the soundtrack played throughout the movie, helping to tell the story of the film, and draw the audience in by shaping the characters with tempo, range, pitch, and melody. The cinematography for the film, Why Did I Get Married? was performed by Toyomichi Kurita (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, 2012). Kurita creates strong moods and feelings throughout the film with the use of camera shots, movement, and lighting.

Scenes throughout the film are solid and clear creating a natural illusion of the set and atmosphere. The audience is able to relate to the emotions of the characters due to the imagery created by Kurita’s strong cinematography skills. Scenes throughout the film flowed seamlessly, displaying vibrant lighting, while establishing a strong connection between the audience and the film. Editing provided by Maysie Hoy appeared flawless throughout the film. There was strong cohesion among characters as they appeared to have all been filmed at the same place at the same time.

The transitions between scenes throughout the film created a natural setting and a feeling as though the viewers were traveling along on the same journey with the characters as the moved from place to place (Perry, 2007). The storyline of the film Why Did I Get Married? centers around the day-to-day struggles of maintaining solid relationships, successful careers, and strong friendships. In order to resolve marital problems, four married couples, who are old college friends, attended an annual retreat in the cold, wintery mountains of Colorado.

While the vacation was intended for married couples only, one of the wives decided to bring along an attractive and single female friend by the name of Trina. Throughout the week-long retreat, damaging secrets are revealed that puts each couple in the position to question their own marital relationships along with their friendships with the other couples. As bouts of infidelity come to light, it is also revealed that the single and seductive Miss Trina has been having an affair with the husband of the woman that referred to her as a friend and invited her to the retreat.

The film explores the emotional distress that infidelity, lust, and love may weigh upon a marriage. Continuous battles with issues of commitment, betrayal, and forgiveness force each character in the film to evaluate their lives as individuals and as committed couples (Snider, 2007). Patricia (Janet Jackson) is a highly regarded and very famous psychiatrist. Her book about marriage has just won a very prestigious award. Still, a tragedy in her past has driven a wedge into her marriage to architect Gavin (Malik Yoba).

Things aren’t much better with said pals; Angela (Tasha Smith) is a loudmouth drunk constantly denigrating her struggling husband Marcus (Michael Jai White). Diana (Sharon Leal) is a driven attorney. Having just made partner, she can’t find time for her young daughter, or depressed spouse (Perry). But the worst situation exists between Shelia (Jill Scott) and Mike (Richard T. Jones). He is constantly calling her fat. He’s also cheating on her with best friend Trina (Denis Boutte). When the group gets together for their annual vacation, everyone is on edge.

Soon secrets will be revealed, leaving everyone wondering about the state of their relationship (Perry, 2007). The recurring theme that is raised in Tyler Perry’s film Why Did I Get Married? Is “Can These Marriages Survive? ” The infidelity of two husbands leads to the discussion of the “80/20 Rule. ” The rule simply implies that within a marriage, most people only receive eighty-percent of what they want and need from their partners, leading them to go outside of their relationship in an effort to find what they think they are missing.

Usually, it’s not until the spouse has stepped out the relationship that they realize that now only twenty-percent of their needs are being met. At this point, they have left their eighty for their twenty, which is a significant downgrade. Watching a Tyler Perry movie is a strange and ecstatic experience, Perry’s desire for shenanigans, inanity and heightened emotions always makes for an entertaining evening, but his films are in a strange in-between space: between melodrama and traditional drama, between lternative cinema and Hollywood style, and between black authenticity and pure elitism. Through it all, what vexes film scholars especially critics, is how style, content, auteurism and culture clash and miss each other in Tyler Perry’s films. Still Perry is one of a handful of black filmmakers- including Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton, Spike Lee, and Lee Daniels, whom can all actually raise money for wide release films. Perry films are primarily ways to talk about black progress and authenticity in a “post-racial” world, and they absorb all the baggage involved in that project.

They are moral tales about maintaining traditional family structures (including, usually, men at the head), the importance of the church and elders, even at the exclusion of gays, and not always, though sometimes, of others: like loose and lost women, drug users etc (Snider, 2007). As of November 1, 2007, on the review Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 46% of the critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 33 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 54 out of 100 based on 12 reviews.

Paul Grenada said that while “there are times where the script seems stiff, it teaches without hammering, and you leave the movie feeling good about what you saw. ” Giving the movie a B-, Entertainment Weekly said that Perry is of the “spell-everything-in-capital-letters and act-it-out-loudly schools,” but added that “one performance glistens—Jill Scott’s as the sad, heavyset Shelia, who locates the faith that’s the source of love. ” Time magazine gave the film a B and called it the “usual artless mix of broad comedy, teary confessions and spiritual uplift. ” In the opening weekend, the film grossed $21. million in 3,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. In the second weekend, the film slipped to #2 in the box office charts, with a gross of $12. 1 million, bringing the 10-day total to over $38 million. In total, the film domestically grossed $55,862,886 (Gleiberman, 2007). The awards and nominations that the Tyler Perry’s film “Why Did I Get Married” received were from the Image Awards, it was nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture, Jill Scott who played Shelia in the film was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, Tyler

Perry himself was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, and then there’s Janet Jackson whom won the Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. The issue of matrimony is not a new one to Tyler Perry, almost all of his efforts, both for the stage and screen, have focused on relationships growing, struggling, dissolving, or playing out their post-breakup end games. The decision to create a single overview on the subject seems unnecessary at best. Yet Perry is nothing if not knowledgeable, especially when it comes to his audience.

He clearly understands that, even though he’s offering the same old stories, they can’t get enough of the way he tells them. For his film adaptation of the couple’s comedy why did I Get Married? He may have altered the very purpose of his otherwise amicable preaching. But at this point in Perry’s career his ability to sell movie tickets in spite of poor critical reception is no surprise, the actor, author, and filmmaker has gone from promoting his own plays to becoming a full-fledged brand, one that, although created outside of the Hollywood machine, is causing some industry people to take notice (Gleiberman 2007).

The film is filled with tears, laughter, and shocking disappointments as friends are betrayed and relationships fall apart due to the foibles of marriage. Have you taken a good look at your marriage lately? Is your marriage what you thought it would be? Have you had to deal with issues of commitment or betrayal or forgiveness? Is there a time when you seriously considered whether or not to stay with your spouse? Over the years, have you had to figure out a way to maintain true love and a solid relationship even during difficult times?

And during the rough patches, have you ever secretly asked yourself the question: “Why Did I Get married? ” Why Did I Get Married is one of Tyler Perry’s greatest films yet; leaving some members of the audience filled with emotions as they wonder to themselves, “Why did I get married? ”, while others question, “Should I stay married? ” REFERENCES Gleiberman, Owen (October 26, 2007), “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? ” Retrieved from Entertainment Weekly (961):51

Snider, E. (2007). Why Did I Get Married?. Retrieved April 8, 2012, from http://www. ericdsnider. com/movies/why-did-i-get-married/ Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from http://boxofficemojo. com/movies/? id=whydidigetmarried. htm Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? : Plot Summary and Details. Moviefone. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from http://www. moviefone. com/movie/tyler-perrys-why-did-i-get-married/29300/synopsis

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Blade Runner

Blade Runner Is a CyberPunk Science Fiction Movie Filmed and Directed by Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott in 1982. The film depicts a dystopia society of the future in which man has reached the level of technological supremacy where his exact copy can be engineered. These “Replicants” have superior Strength, Speed, Agility and at least equal intelligence to their creators. A fail safe device in the form of an incept date; the replicants only have four years in which they can live. The narrative follows Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is a Blade Runner, and a Blade Runners job is to Retire (kill) Replicants.

A group of Replicants have escaped from an off-world and travelled back to earth. This group is represented cleverly, allowing the Human viewer to feel strong empathy towards the group of desperate robots who display basic human instincts, and only want to live longer. When we see robots that are exactly alike to Humans, the Human viewer can understand that desperation for life. It is with this creation of Empathy that the serious question is asked, “What makes us Human? ” The Backdrop of a dystopia society (L. A. , 2019) the actual humans appear to be Lonely, Dirty, sad and unsympathetic.

The Replicates of these people display the Human traits that we regard ourselves with; they show Empathy, Compassion, love and desperation to live. Looking at the various film Conventions, we can see and understand the portrayal of these Replicants by Scott. In Visual Texts, the written Conventions are extremely important in anchoring the directors preferred meaning, and guiding the narrative. Especially with the misunderstood film Blade Runner, the opening sentences are extremely important in introducing the story and setting the viewer up for the revaluations they will make.

The words creeping onto the screen explain how Tyrell Corporation advanced Robots into Beings “Virtually identical to a human” known as Replicants. These superior Robots are straight away used as slaves in hazardous Off-World Colonies. From this the viewer can gather that the vision of the future they’re witnessing shares some similarities to the past, so that history is repeating itself. It may be implying that human instincts will always stay the same. That is, that a human will send people different than themselves, people they’re somewhat afraid of, to do things they wouldn’t do.

The replicants are representing slavery, they are determined as an underclass the moment they’re made, an underclass in a society made up of historically stereotypical under classes. There aren’t many white people in the future America, plenty of Asians, middle easterners and Latinos. From this we can gather that racism has evolved with technology, from this we can gather that people show specism instead. Through their hardships though, the Replicants form bonds and friendships with each other, humanity that serves as a shining light in the dark world.

Continuing on the theme of Humanity, Symbolic elements are very important in representing the Replicants as Humans. Throughout the film, Eyes are a recurring theme, as it is widely recognised that the eyes a window to the soul. The soul can then be thought of as the symbolic object of being human. The opening shot of the LA landscape reflects the dystopia of Scott’s vision. An eye is then shown, reflecting the industrial landscape and the Tyrell Pyramids, the residing picture evokes a similarity to the “Eye of Providence,” one of many religious themes that occur in the film.

The Voight-Kampff test that determines if your human, it studies the eyes, questions are asked to provoke empathy, which is suggested as an important human quality. But this notion is questioned, for the replicants express far more empathy and compassion than the disillusioned Humans. J. F. Sebastian and Pris share short life spans, so the Replicant befriends the lonely human abandoned by his fellow species. Leon becomes angry that Zhora was shot in the back by Deckard, is it acceptable to shoot a woman in the back even if they’re created by humans?

Lastly Roy saves Deckard’s life during the closing scenes, he purely terrorised the questionable hero so Deckard could feel what it’s like to live in fear. The robot teaches the human how to feel. These basic human instincts aren’t shown in the depicted humans, from these representations we can see what Ridley Scott was aiming to address. These themes were furthermore helped by the technical aspect of filmmaking. Visual effects and film techniques work in hand with the audio aspect in creating mood and provoking emotions by messing with our senses.

The opening shot of an Urban L. A. in Blade Runner was revolutionary in cinematography and filmmaking, along with the rest of the film, inspired by early crime dramas. These quick two minutes sum up the feeling and mood Scott was aiming for. We are shown what the world has the potential to become, and with this we feel the basic human emotion of fear. With this dark backdrop the Replicants elegantly shine. The aim of Blade Runner is to trigger emotions within the viewer, in part so empathy can be felt towards Replicants and their emotions they feel.

Film Noir is cinematically used to emphasise the cynical and desperate mood of dystopias. Blade Runner pays homage to classic crime dramas that became popular during the 50’s and 60’s. The Smokey police office in which Deckard talk’s to Bryant is very similar to classic Noir movies. With this old but effective film technique, the carefully composed but simply presented soundtrack evokes this sought after emotion and empathy. Vangelis’s creation of classical music and futuristic synthesises work in harmony with the film Noir to portray the Replicants.

It is with this emotion that we evaluate what it means to be human, thanks in part to the representations of Replicants and the Visual texts used to convey these representations. Blade Runner was ahead of its time. Undoubtly it was groundbreaking in its field of Science Fiction and contained the best cinematography films could show in its time. It asked questions of emotions Humans take for granted. Looking at the representations and groups in society of history, the film somewhat predicts how human’s may react in certain situations/societies.

When we see a burned out world with depleted resources and dirty unliveable conditions, there is no surprise that off-world colonies are available. Typically in human history, when problems become too big, we just forget it and move to something else. Another prediction made by the film is the representations of Replicants. They convey human actions very cleverly, that is that we become scared of feel threatened by people/things that are different to us. The initial reaction is to mistreat or kill these dissimilar beings, as is the reaction towards the Replicants.

It is through these faster, Stronger more intelligent replicates that we gather a glimpse of what it means to be human. From the get-go the Replicants are mistreated, used as tools, they are implanted with fake memories which only make the situation worse. But regardless of the adversity, the Replicants still manage to show compassion. They live in fear, fear cause by humans, but when handed the opportunity to extract revenge and even kill this source. The Replicant decides that purely knowing the Person causing them pain can experience empathy for them, robots, they become human, it’s with that Roy batty dies, but Human emotion lives on.

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Zombieland

“Rule number one, zombies lead a very active life, so should you. ” -Columbus. Zombieland is directed by Ruben Fleischer and is about a few people trying to get by after the zombie apocalypse. The main characters are named after the places they’re ether from or going to. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a sheltered, introverted geek with a fear of clowns. Each character has made it this far for certain reasons, he is paranoid of everyone, had no previous attachments and lives by a set of rules. Talahassee is a twinkey loving, nothing-to-lose, redneck who’s finally discovered what he’s good at in life, Zombie killing.

He’s made it this far by simply put, kicking ass. Wichita and Little Rock (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), are characters that Columbus and Talahassee meet later. They’ve have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem. However part of their survival has included not trusting anyone, so things are sketchy between both pairs for quite a while. The movie was well written and turned out very well because of the fact it focused on the living instead of the undead. What the plot line was centralized upon was human interactions in a crazy and unique world.

It also pokes fun at the standard zombie movie with well timed humor. In general what set it apart was the fact that it didn’t take itself to seriously. The movie starts out with Columbus narating a scene that introduces his developing list of rules for surviving in a world overrun by zombies. Among them include rule number one, cardio. It goes back to the old joke about not having to outrun the bear, just your buddy. He notes that “fatties” were among the first to go after the zombies took over because they were easy to catch.

Other rules include “beware of bathrooms” (you don’t want to get caught by a zombie while on the toilet) and “Always double-tap” (two gunshots, whacks with a blunt object or blade to be sure the zombie is dead for sure). There are a few additional rules sprinkled throughout (he has over 30) and they’re used to good effect. After meeting up with Talahasse, Columbus hitches a ride deciding it may be better to travel together. They meet Wichita and Little Rock when the two girls rob them of their vehicle and weapons. Later on they meet up and decide to travel together.

Eventually they end up in Beverly Hills, where Talahasse wants to sleep in a a specific celebrity’s house. Soon after the girls head to an amusement park in the LA area so that Little Rock can have at least a little childhood fun, but things take a sour turn, requiring a rescue from the boys. What was interesting in the movie was the interaction and relationships between the characters. The plot was centered around their interactions. Something that also added to the plot line was the narating of Columbus as the movie progressed.

The movie poked fun at the traditional zombie horror flick by sprinkling in well timed humor in the face of pure zombie gore. The opening scene shows a poltician chasing a man. He ends up eating him, picking his teeth and belching. As the opening credits are running it goes through a few funny situations like a man running from a zombie stripper, a hobo with an end is near sign getting eaten, a fire fighter running from a zombie on fire and many more. They find comedy in making fun of the situation. Other times the movie makes comedy out of Columbus’s fears.

For instance when Columbus has 406, his neighbor and a girl he is attracted to, over he talks about his fears and even as distressed as she is, she can’t help but to chuckle and say “really? ” Throughout the movie when he goes into more detail about himself, it really makes a person chuckle. What makes this movie different from most zombie movies though, other then the comedy, is the fact its centered around people instead of the zombies themselves. When Columbus meets Talahasse, Talahasse doesn’t think the relationship going to last, calling Columbus, “a bit of a bitch. But as the show goes on Talahasse and Columbus become close.

Near the end when Columbus and Talahasse are going to part ways Talahasse realizes that Columbus still needs him and he decides to give him a ride in pursuing the girls and eventually saving them. When the guys first meet Wichita and Little Rock, the girls rob them. The sisters don’t trust anyone but each other. They end up driving off twice with the vehicles that Talahasse some how enquires. The first time they leave immediately. The second time is after an extensive period of travel with the guys. They leave when they don’t think they can or should trust the boys.

When they begin traveling together things are particularly sketchy because nether of the two groups trust each other. The movie also highlights different ways of running from your problems. Columbus is scared and will physically stay away from things that scare him. Then there is Talahasse. He lost his son to the zombies and now is running from his problems by basically burying his head in the sand, showing a ruff exterior, killing zombies and chasing twinkies. Finally there is Wichita and Little Rock. They are scared of trusting others and getting to attached to the wrong people.

This fear eventually pushes them away from the boys the second time. In the end what ties the movie together is the lesson that Columbus learns. That while they are all lone, wondering spirits they are the closest thing that he has had to a family. They look after and watch out for each other. Even as a kindred spirit, a person can still have a family and can still belong somewhere. It was a buddy, fitting in movie with a half eaten flesh covered exterior. The movie was great because of skillfully timed humor and great character interaction development.