March 3, 2009

jennifer_lopez_wideweb__430x294.jpg

I think this Luis Vuitton ad plays an empowing role reversal for women of color and women in general. Rather than the ad following what many other high fashion ads have done in the past (subordinating, sexually objectifying, and scilencing women) this ad is scilencin the man and putting the latina women in the controlling powerful position. Not saying that we should objectify men but at least the women (J Lo) is shown as the dominating powerful and pretty person in control. This ad (fairly new) really shows an innovative way of branding LV to women. LV is for the business women, woman in power, AND the sexy women. The sexy woman does not always need to be drapped over the man and the woman in power does not have to inherit masculine qualities to be in control.

May 17, 2008

Leaving Normal

I enjoyed this film overall. I liked the opposing personalities of the protagonists and how they could both help each other via their extreme differences. I disagree with the reading that said it had a focus of women needing to settle down, it did not come off that way to me by any means. My favorite film we watched was Boys on the Side because it had an interesting plot with many different aspects and storylines within it. But honestly, the reason it was my favorite is mainly because I love Mary Louise Parker. If anyone reads this extremely late blog post, she is fabulous in Angels in America, and i recommend watching it.

May 13, 2008

Creative What Not.

Photobucket

I only ever slept with your grandmother.

Continue reading "Creative What Not." »

Late...again.

I've seen Leaving Normal more times than I can count; it's one of my mom's favorite movies.
I've always liked it since I can empathize with constantly running away (Darly) and making ridiculous spur of the moment decisions. I've always enjoyed how the characters in the film are archetypical. Especially the sister. I think that the film is idealistic, but I also think that's ok sometimes.
My favorite road film that we watched in class was Priscilla.
This is my favorite because it is the sassiest, brightest and boldest.
I also love queers.
And dresses.
And ABBA.

Yeah, I like ABBA. I'm comfortable with that.

I also like the happily ever after ending.

Last Entry

Leaving Normal was a cheesy film to say the least but there was a quirkiness about it that I couldn't necessarily place, but kind of enjoyed. It definitely echoes a lot of Lifetime, made-for-tv movies and was pretty unrealistic but the themes are relevant. It provided a little different perspecive (female) of the rural than something like Straight Story that was interesting to think about.
My favorite road film of the semester was definitely Vagabond. Technically it was the most appealing film for me and kept me engaged the entire time. The way it changed the female "to-be-looked-at ness" with tracking shots was one of my favorite aspects. The various disruptions in cinematic technique and what they evoke in the viewer made it a really beautiful (and sad) film to watch.

May 12, 2008

Last Entry

As I watched Leaving Normal, I too thought it was a bit cheesy at certain points, but enjoyed it overall. The struggles that these female characters go through are very essential to many real women’s experiences: relationships, self-esteem, motherhood, Both characters seemed to push aside the typical responses to these issues and resolve them in an original way. Because they decided to live together and build a home of their own shows that they rejected normal understandings of family, structure and place. They finally learned to choose positive paths for themselves, which in turn, resulted in their success and happiness. Often times we see women in road films reach a demise because they are unable to function in a patriarchal and oppressive world. These women, however, were able to take part of that world and resist many of the oppressive things in their lives in order to reach full potential. I think it was a great way to end the semester.

Overall, I enjoyed almost all of the films. I would have to say that Sans Toit ni loi, Set it Off and Thelma and Louise were my favorites. Thelma and Louise for obvious reasons that most of my classmates have already pointed out. Sans Toit ni Loi showed a different side of film-making and narrated the story about a nameless girl in a way that was both heartbreaking and beautiful. Set It Off really struck me because I thought at first I wouldn’t be able to identify with women who had such different backgrounds as myself. Right away, I felt like I knew each of them and I cared about them. I wanted them to succeed, to be free, to escape. This wasn’t the case for most of the characters, and it made me mad. I felt frustrated for each of them, like I was stuck in their place as well. I think it is important to empathize with all kinds of individuals and have consciousness when watching films. This class showed me a better way to do that as a spectator.

leaving normal

My thoughts on "Leaving Normal" were in the middle... I enjoyed the film but I could have done without all of the cheesey parts of the film. Pretty unrealistic, but really are any hollywood films realistic? I am at without anymore thoughts of the film, I guess that sums up how I felt about it!

My favorite film would have to be "Thelma and Louise" because there is so much history for the film. It was the first film were women really played outside of gender boxes and still made money off of it. I loved the story line and the characters. I also enjoyed it because it was one of the few films that my mother knew of--so it was a place of conversation for my mother and me. I was able to have a feminist thought dialouge with her, which I really enjoyed and she did as well. I also found myself doing the same thing with friends of mine.

Leaving Normal

I thought this film was really interesting in the way it depicted real life and the friendship between two women. I thought the characters were seemingly very different, but eventually it seemed as though they had more similarities than I would have imagined. They both seem to struggle with finding themselves and living the lives they are "supposed" to have. There were however representations of strong women, and I liked how there was a good balance between the two women of optimism and skepticism. It was nice to see the characters bond throughout the film and be able to lean on each other, in spite of the negative things in their lives.

As for my favorite film of the semester, I think it would have to be Little Miss Sunshine. There is something to quirky and inspiring about that film, that I like it more and more every time I see it. Olive is such a genuine character who is full of optimism and hope, despite her surrounding family, who each possess a different struggle. I thought it was really interesting to watch it in the context of a "road film" and think about what the road meant to the family, and how there time on the road helped change them.

Leaving Normal

The film Leaving Normal was a nice and touching film to end the semester with and it really seemed to sum up the themes of the class. The title in of itself - Leaving Normal - embodied many of the characteristics of the characters we have watched over the semester who were marginalized and "looking for something". However, with this film I didn't find it all that realistic that two people who met on a bus bench would end up building a house together with two Alaskan boys. Unlike Boys on the Side there wasn't really anything realistic other than being a good person that would bring these two characters together and end up living together. But overall it was a sweet film.

My favorite film of the semester though would definitely have to be Little Miss Sunshine. I really think that movie was hilarious and even though I had seen it before I think it epitomizes the road film themes that we had discussed throughout class with the family dynamics. I really liked this film because of all the different quirky characters and how all the disasters in the film had some humor to them.

Favorite Movie and Leaving Normal

To start off, I thought the movie Leaving Normal was a nice movie to end the semester with. It was not my favorite movie of the semester, but Ienjoyed many of the elements. I thought Marianne was an extremely passive person in the film which bothered me at times. I really loved Darly's character. She was outspoken and exciting to watch. I wished at times that Marianne would grow stronger. I thought it was great that she left the husband that beat her and hit the road, but I thought it seemed like she was just following Darly the whole time. I love the end of the movie when she says no to the truck driver and stays in Alaska. It was definitely a surprise. I think that the reason I like this movie is because of the bond that Marianne and Darly form together. I didn't think Darly would return to their trailer/house at the end of the movie, but I'm so glad she did!
My favorite road film of the semester would have to be Boys on the Side. Once again, the reason why I enjoyed this film so much is because of the female bond that is formed. When the three ladies hit the road at first, I thought they couldn't be more different. I definitely didn't think they would end up being the best of friends and living together. They truly were there for each other through pregnancies, court, and battling AIDS. It is a story of inspiration. I think every woman longs for that partnership and friendship in their life.

Leaving Normal...

I really enjoyed the film Leaving Normal, because once again it gave us a view of how strong friendship really is. As was the case in Boys on the Side, the women in this movie meet randomly, but as the movie progresses they become eachothers family. It was very clear to see the bond that women share, and how friends can sometimes fill the void that not having a loving family will leave in you. My favorite film that we have watched throughout the semester would be a toss up between, Precilla Queen of the Desert because it was so humorous, or Little Miss Sunshine because of the family bond that they shared.

Leaving Normal

As one of the lighter films of the semester, I felt that Leaving Normal was a less progressive film than many others we have seen in class. The characters did not push the boundaries as Thelma and Louise did nor did it really question any of the binaries we have been studying in class. Although still a good and enjoyable film, it did not catch my attention as other films have in the past. For me, this was a tame and contained Thelma & Louise .

My favorite film this semester was by far Thelma and Louise; The film came out historically when women were finally discussing sexual harassment and rape and the courts were started to recognize them as illegal actions. I can only imagine the effect the film would have had on women at the time it came out. Even today, the film addresses issues that are still prominent today and speak to many women,even myself. I love the way Louise allows Thelma to go through a sort of self realization process and how it opens her up. My favorite scene by far is when they obliterate the truck driver's rig and drive away stealing his hat. The fearless way in which they stand in the convertible with the pistols in their pants makes me want to do it myself. To me, the film is inspiring and reminds women that they don't have to put up with all that crap. It also reminds me of how far we haven't come as women since the release of the movie and how the themes addressed in the film are still pertinent today.

May 11, 2008

The End is Near: Final Blog Entry

Overall, I disliked the film Leaving Normal. I thought that the plot was not risky enough; it had normal characters (no pun intended), like the chauvinistic male and the quirky female they encounter on the road to Alaska. Moreover, I did not like the film because of the dynamic between Marianne and Darly. Although they are very different characters their chemistry did not work like the unique chemistry shared between the women in Boys on the Side. I also thought the acting was pretty terrible because it came off as amateur work (i.e. the scene where Marianne refuses to go with the truck driver).
However, a film I did enjoy was Thelma and Louise. Not only was it ground breaking in its representations of females on screen, the acting was outstanding. Both leading characters played the part perfectly and their relationship on screen seemed real and genuine. This movie broke boundaries and was unapologetic in doing so. Also, I thought the ending was brilliant. I never expected that this movie would end with the women choosing their own destiny, instead of being subjected to authoritative punishment, as many road movies end (i.e. the way the police gun down the characters in Set it Off). Most importantly this film was my favorite of the semester because it was truly empowering and not because of the use of violence against men. It was empowering because it portrayed women taking their lives into their own hands, saying I have had enough of patriarchy and I am going to rebel against it. I will never forget the scene with the truck driver. It was hilarious because I am sure many women, like me, have been in a position where you are caught in the male gaze and it makes you feel extremely uncomfortable. Thelma and Louise, though, take that power away from the male and teach him a lesson. I will forever think of this as a rebel film that had powerful lead female characters, who took action when enough was enough.

Leaving Normal and Favorite Road Film

The film Leaving Normal was very different for me. When the movie first started I thought it was a joke, with the fake scenery and the cheesy acting done by Maryanne, it was hard to keep my attention. As the film went on I was still confused for the most part, but eventually opened up to the differences the film portrayed. I thought that Maryanne acted very childish throughout the film and was extremely annoying. I also thought the script was out of order in some parts. The film was hard to follow a lot of the times, but towards the end of the film I started liking it. I liked how everything finally came together at the end and everyone ended up happy.
My favorite film in this class was Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. I thought this movie was hilarious and heart-warming. The characters in this film were perfect for the parts they played and the film kept my attention the entire time. I never got bored or wondered when it was going to be over. I thought the film portrayed many different binaries from sex to gender. I thought the end of the film was also perfect because the little boy finally met his dad and ended up getting to travel with him. I also loved their drag shows and the music in the film. This movie was by far the most enjoyable film of the semester.

The end is here

In the end, I did enjoy the movie we watched this week. There were times that I found it annoying or completely unrealistic. However, I am glad that in the end the ladies ended up together. The ending surprised me. I was sure she was going to leave Alaska with the truck driver, I am glad she didn't.
They made it look too easy for all these women to become best friends, but once you could get past that, and the annoying red-headed lady, the movie sent out a great message; don't give up. These ladies were dealt bad card after bad card, some of which they dealt to themselves, but they made it. Even if the faltered a little, in the end they came together, built their house and made a new life for themselves. It was a little cheesy, but on the surface, I think, it was a good movie.

So over the whole semester - what is my favorite movie?
I would have to say Thelma and Louise. In class was my first time ever seeing the film and I thought it was awesome. I am sorry I never saw it before, but now I want to add it to my own collection. It is an empowering movie, where two bad ass chicks take to the road and don't take any shit. Maybe some scenes were a little extreme, but that is what film is for. I think after watching that movie, ever woman wanted to hold a gun. Maybe not even shoot it, but just feel the cold metal against her hand, just to feel the power it holds.
Thelma and Louise is a movie every woman should see.