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Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks' film teaches us how to watch films critically because she guides us through the steps she takes when analyzing films. She breaks it down into manageable pieces. For starters, she mentions that film-makers make conscious decisions to portray and/or exploit individuals in certain ways, whether we realize it or not (most people, I think, are not aware of how much thought goes in to the film-making process and the meanings behind every little part of films).

Hooks discusses the framing of men versus women, as well as the roles men are given versus the roles women are given. Women are typically portrayed as sex objects. Their main purpose in films is not to be strong, main characters, but to be somewhat in the background; almost like a filler. Even if women are the "main characters," Hooks mentions that in Kids (I believe) people remembered the names of the two star male characters in the film, but could not remember the names of the two star female characters. In class, we talked about the male gaze/watched the YouTube clip on it; we saw that women are often zoomed in on and looked at from a distance, portraying this idea that women are to be looked at from afar and are "hard to get."

Hooks also looks at violence; sexual and physical. Male dominance is a huge issue for Hooks. Movies and music videos show male dominance in nearly every script, some more obvious than others. How often do we see female dominance? If we do see it, the men are perceived as being whipped or non-masculine. Maybe their should be more equality displayed between men and women; although that probably wouldn't make for good flicks.

The one concept Hooks uses regularly throughout the film is White Supremacy. One specific example stands out to me; she mentioned that filmmakers can portray black people/black culture without even including black actors on screen. What does that tell us? It's hard for me, as a white person, to notice things like this because of the white privilege that I have.

Hooks' film has definitely influenced the ways in which I will watch films from now on. I am able to analyze the roles that characters are given in a way that I have never thought of before. I think this was a good way to start thinking about feminism in films as well.

Comments

I think you really hit some main points from the interview with hooks. I agree totally that she has an amazing way of breaking everything down so I can understand it. When she explains it, it seems so obvious, but without her, I struggle to see movies through such a critical lens.

I think you really hit some main points from the interview with hooks. I agree totally that she has an amazing way of breaking everything down so I can understand it. When she explains it, it seems so obvious, but without her, I struggle to see movies through such a critical lens.