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December 12, 2007

Final Project Reports

Thank you for a thoughtful and engaging semester. We are excited to read your final papers! So that our whole classroom community can share in our knowledge production, for your final post, in the category "Final Paper/Project Highlights," please:

- share your topic, thesis, and themes you discuss in your paper (not just, I did #1 - share details please!)

- note what films you analyze (w/title, director - so we can look up the films and watch!)

- share your citations (include title and author, or full citation, of theory you use to support your arguments)

- and anything else you deem relevant (like links, images, ppt of your presentation, etc...)

December 5, 2007

Assignment: Feminist Film? Filmmaker? Thoughts? Conclusions? (5 points)

In this course we've done a lot of feminist analysis of media (films, TV, images...). I'm wondering now, after all of the critique, what you believe makes media feminist? Do you have a definition that outlines what makes a film feminist? Who are some feminist film and mediamakers that you've encountered?

Does a filmmaker/mediamaker necessarily need to say "I am a feminist filmmaker..." to count? Can you declare a piece of media as feminist even if the maker doesn't articulate a feminism?

Please, list (and/or link us to) films, shows, blogs, vlogs, film and media makers that you believe are feminist.

December 3, 2007

Samples: Past Final Student Projects

Here are some examples of what student groups from previous terms have done for final projects:

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November 12, 2007

Assignment: Reading "Reality" TV



1 - Watch (at least) one 30 minute episode of "Reality" TV

Focus on one particular episode from a "reality" TV show. It's often fruitful to examine a show focused on or targeting women, young girls, or queer audiences. Makeover, weight loss, plastic surgery, model competition, home makeover, family stories, dating competitions, sweet 16s and others would be great choices. You can choose to watch something you watch often (but watch critically or you can choose something you would absolutely not watch unless you were forced to).

If you do not have a television or access to TV or cable, you can visit the FMC lab or other lab on campus, and you can purchase a show off of itunes Store for $1.99 (with a credit card or debit/credit card). To do this, launch itunes, click on "itunes Store", go to "TV shows". They have a "reality TV" category, or choose by Network like "MTV" or . They have plastic surgery shows (Dr. 90210), MTV shows (Sweet 16, Run's House, A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila), TLC shows (What Not To Wear, Little People, Big World, Clean House), and Bravo (Project Runway, Real Housewives).

There are also so many "reality" programs on regular television: Survivor, Amazing Race, KidNation...
Visit sites like reality tv world, to give you some suggestions.

I don't care if you want from a past or current season, as long as you note where/when/how you accessed the media.

PLEASE STRIVE TO WRITE ABOUT A SHOW NOT ALREADY DISCUSSED BY ANOTHER STUDENT! If the show you watched and wrote about is already posted, READ the post and ADD to the analysis (don't simply re-state). There are more than 50 reality shows and this shouldn't be too difficult. My goal is to have a healthy cross-section of shows (from various networks, targeted to various audiences, and that air at different times) to compare in class.

2- Analyze the episode using a feminist intersectional analysis and key concepts from feminist film/media theory

Consider the:
- CONTEXT - WHO is producing the show, what network is airing it, and who is the target audience (hint: are the commercials for minivans or beer)
- CONTENT - WHAT, the topic of the show (overall show and specific episode you've selected)
- FORM - filmic construction (shots, lighting, editing, style, rhythm, pacing, use of music...)

*AND*

Analyze the show using the feminist theory and film theory you’ve read thus far. Use concepts of gaze, intersectionality, identity, stereotypes, “scaling of bodies? / ranking of body type, skin color, hair texture, hair length+ , representational practices (construction of characters/caricatures, stereotypes), constructions of "reality", or any of the "issues" discussed in the course that you see reflected (or ignored) in the show you watched.

ASK YOURSELF: What PRODUCT(s), IDEA(s) and IDEAL(s) are being communicated in this representation of reality?

3 - Use theory to support your ideas/claims

Read the INTRO reading (in 11/28 WebVista folder) - this will give you some idea of what's discussed in the other articles (from a special issue of the journal Feminist Media Studies).

Browse the .pdf files from the special issue of Feminist Media Studies focused on feminist analysis of “reality? television on our WebCT course site. Find an article that can add to your “reading? of the show you watched. You are also welcomed to find an alternative scholarly article to help analyze your viewing experience.

Select a few relevant quotes from any applicable course readings and at least one passage from the additional article (from Feminist Media Studies or other relevant scholarly article) that you chose to read.

4 - Post your 350 to 500 word entry, that cites at least one scholarly essay, by noon on 11/28.

Suggestion: type in word then cut and paste into blog entry to get word count, spell check, and to back up your writing!

October 3, 2007

Category 4. Women "of Color" Filmmakers

"Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, disabled women, lesbians, old women-as well as white, economically privileged, heterosexual women." -Barbara Smith, ed., But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies, 1986.

Are you still wondering about feminism(s)?, read some quotes - here

Do you want to know more about "Women of Color Feminisms", read here and here

+ + + +

Assignment Details:

For this blog post, you are to research women "of color" filmmakers. First, consider what you've seen/who you may know - search names, film titles, key words and see if there's something you have seen. Second, browse through the many links on this blog (right sidebar, scrolling down). There are links to feminist distributors (WMM), many w.o.c. film festivals, and some sites like "Sisters in Cinema" (about Black women filmmakers). Magazines like - Filmmaker often do "best of" lists and articles like this one (which includes a number of new/emerging filmmakers of color).

Post Requirements:
1 - name, short bio, background info on filmmaker (and image if you can find it)
2 - names, short summary of any of their work
3 - any reflections on their work (if you are able to view), and post link to the work and/or homepage
4 - where you've found them (and/or where their work shows)
5 - how easy/difficult it was for you to find these women (the where are the women ?)

* Post by NOON on Tuesday 10/10!

+ + + +

Rachel's W.O.C. Filmmaker Post - EXAMPLE


1 - Filmmaker: Eunhee Cho (Korean, US based)

Korean-born Eunhee Cho, 29, began her first feature, Inner Circle Line, as an MFA project at the Art Institute of Chicago. Blending an experimental narrative — the synchronous story of a man (a depressed subway operator) and a woman (a techno DJ), both named Youngju — with a melancholy DV-shot depiction of downtown Seoul, Inner Circle Line is an international hybrid. From its Chicago origins it went on to attract production funding from the Korean Film Council and postproduction funding in the U.S. after Cho met producer Alan Chan at the IFP Rough Cuts Lab.

2 - Inner Circle Line seems to be her only work listed anywhere. This is a student film and has screened at many film festivals like SXSW and AAIFF.

3 - Watch the trailer here

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I found the trailer visually moving. I'm not clear on the narrative (story), beyond there are two characters - one male and one female - who share the same name. She's a DJ. What moves me most is the visuals (the cinematography), the movement, rhythm and pacing (the editing). I am a sucker for beautifully shot llandscapes and movement.

4 - I found Eunhee through Filmmaker magazine's "Top 25" to watch article. I read this magazine often and love to see who is coming out of film school. In this 25, I was excited to see one of my old students (Ham Tran) and lots of emerging women filmmakers. I chose Eunhee because her work sounded really intriguing so I went to her website to view. Unfortunately, most filmmakers in the festival circuit see little light of day. With alternative DVD rental houses (like Netflix), I'm hoping she gets picked up for some kind of distribution and I can see this film somewhere I can access.

5 - It was easy for me to find many "w.o.c. filmmakers". This is my professional field, my area of research and interest, and I am a w.o.c. filmmaker so I know where to find women making movies, like me!

September 19, 2007

Assignment: CATEGORY 3 Gendered Images

For this assignment, select an image to analyze. Good places to look would be DVD covers, film posters, album covers (that are photographed not illustrated), advertisement or other photograph you would like to analyze.

+ Your post must include analysis of the CONTEXT, CONTENT, FORM, and YOUR READING of the image.

+ You must post the image (use a "borrowed" copy from the Internet, scan your image in the FMC lab, or take a photo yourself, if it's billboard or large image). INSTRUCTIONS on HOW TO POST IMAGES are after the jump ( the "continue reading..." link at the end of this post)

1. For context consider:
- where you saw (or can see) the image (the magazine, whose the publisher/brand/creator of the image, or website)
- what product, if any, is being sold (advertising a film, selling a DVD, selling album, perfume, etc)

2. For content consider:
- ways that the image is gendered (and raced, classed, sexualized) is being produced (meaning: what story of gender/race/class/sexuality is being told)
- the narratives that the image relies on, for your understanding of the image (i.e. women must be skinny, rounded, hairless skin, heterosexual, to be beautiful and successful in society)

3. For form consider the stylistic and technical aspects of the image, such as:
- framing
- composition
- cinematography
- lighting
- use of color
- costumes/wardrobe
- model's body position
- props (guns and phallic symbols are always fun!)

4. Your "reading"/analysis of the image (what is the meaning/story being told)
examples could be:
- mothers are strong, beautiful and domestic
- rape is sexy
- men must be strong, manly men to be successful
- technology is sexy (and you need to buy this X to be sexy!)

Post by NOON on Wednesday, 9/26!

Continue reading "Assignment: CATEGORY 3 Gendered Images" »

September 12, 2007

Assignment: Blog post on Media Watching Habits

Post in Category 2. Media Watching blog post (5 points)
Post by NOON on Wednesday, 9/19

Details: In a 150 to 300 word post, consider some of the following questions:

How do you watch films (media)? Are you an avid theater goer? Do you have cable TV with all the film channels? Do you watch DVDs on a laptop while you ride the bus home? Do you download off itunes and watch on a video Ipod?

Do you only watch "Hollywood" feature films? Do you watch indie short films online? Do you attend screenings on campus, or film festivals in town?

What, in your opinion, might be the connection between who you are and what you watch. How might what, how, and where you watch media affect your reading/understanding of the material?

Feel free to link us to anything you are watching online!

Name That Director (Comment Post Assignment Option)

This week you must post at least two comments on this blog. You can post comments on any posting.

Remember this video clip screened in class on the first day?

A suggestion: you could make a list of all the women directors you can think of (pictured in the clip, or not) in the comment field of this post.

September 3, 2007

Post your "Top 10" - Introductions to the Class

- Post under Category: 1. Introduction / Top 10 List.
- Post an introduction to yourself – remember this is a public blog, so don’t reveal details of your “real? identity if you don’t feel comfortable.
- If you desire, create an alias (so that your real name and x500 is not displayed)

To Create a blogging alias:
1. Click on “Log into UThink? (on the top right).
2. Sign x500 and pw.
3. Click on the link to your x500 (on the light bluish grey bar, very top right of the screen)
4. Enter your chosen alias in the “Display Name? field
5. Save changes

Assignment Details:

Post your introduction to the class. This could be your “top 10? list of the films you love to watch repeatedly, or the films you detest the most. Feel free to post links to the film’s website, photos or anything that let’s us know about what you are watching, reading, listening to, and/or thinking about.

If you have a personal blog, link us! Here's my blog!