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May 12, 2008

Leaving Normal Reaction

This movie was pretty damn corny. It wasn't different from any movie we have been watching at all. It didn't give me any message to take away with. It was just another movie about 2 women who have nothinggoing for them and just leaving to escape their problems.

In general, the number of films I liked in this class were few and far between. They all had the same message and in many cases made women look very stupid and emotionally weak.

My favorite movie was either Priscilla. It though it was hilarious and silly and they really pushed their boundaries which is something I love. It is a concept that I like to watchin adn deal with everyday.

May 5, 2008

Boys on the Side

A lot of the qualities of interracial friendship and homophobia are apparent in Robin. She is a very stereotypical white woman trying to escape her bleak reality. Seemingly perfect in the idea that a black woman will escort her on her journey, it later comes out that the differences between them are very apparent. She does not know that she is a lesbian and then proceded to assume that she would have a crush on her straight away. This is something that could be very stereotypical of any woman and a lesbian friend. Another issue is when Robin's mother comes into town. She is absolutely taken aback by the fact that her daughter was living with a black lesbian. To her, this is the most unusual concept and cannot seem to wrap her head around it. "Boys on the Side" takes issues like this and exploits them until the characters become comfortable with the situation. It is a movie that addresses the reality of these types people and doesn't lay it to rest until the characters in the movie are at peace with one another.

Boys on the Side

When thinking about this particular road film in the context of racism and homophobia Whoppi Goldberg’s character’s position in the film is to consistently challenge these two elements simultaneously. Throughout the film the decisions that she continuously makes for herself reflect her focus on dealing with the two societal ills. In settling down in a community in Tucson where there are clearly no other African Americans in sight and presenting herself as a lesbian she is immediately repressed by other members in the community.
Racism is also created in that the film is presented in a stereotypically oppressive environment. Historically the African American female is commonly presented as the care taker in which Whoopi Goldberg’s character properly fits the role. She has moved to a place where she is singled out in terms of race and as a result is put into a position where she serves as caretaker which is historically represented through the Mammy character is many early films that represent African American women where she is there to tend to the needs of Jane, the middle class white women with AIDS.
Her character is not allowed to act in to the context of being a member of her own individualized culture and as a result the movie is shown to express a dominantly racist agenda in its her character portrayal. Through her interaction with Jane lesbian identity is questioned in which we as audience members are presented with an a story line that is uncommonly represented in film with the relationship that builds between two women one of African American dissent and one who is white. Often times when these two elements are present, race and homosexuality one is dominantly acknowledged while one is often misrepresented. In this particular case racism is overemphasized and the presence of lesbianism is presented with less of a priority. Why is it that these two elements cannot work hand in hand and have to be acknowledged in a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of significance.

April 28, 2008

Straight Story

Seeing as Alvin never leaves the rural area, this gives him a wider space to grow. It seems that within the limitations of the city, one can only change their mindset and paths so much, whereas on the open road, the body and soul can expand virtually indefinitely. To me, the rural setting would pave the way for a much deeper growth and reflection than city streets. We see this in Alvin, who learns more about himself in meeting other people, than he ever expected. He learns that he has struggled and striven but can prevail each and every time. This is more acceptable in a rural setting and easier than on city streets.

Straight Story

Seeing as Alvin never leaves the rural area, this gives him a wider space to grow. It seems that within the limitations of the city, one can only change their mindset and paths so much, whereas on the open road, the body and soul can expand virtually indefinitely. To me, the rural setting would pave the way for a much deeper growth and reflection than city streets. We see this in Alvin, who learns more about himself in meeting other people, than he ever expected. He learns that he has struggled and striven but can prevail each and every time. This is more acceptable in a rural setting and easier than on city streets.

Straight Story

Seeing as Alvin never leaves the rural area, this gives him a wider space to grow. It seems that within the limitations of the city, one can only change their mindset and paths so much, whereas on the open road, the body and soul can expand virtually indefinitely. To me, the rural setting would pave the way for a much deeper growth and reflection than city streets. We see this in Alvin, who learns more about himself in meeting other people, than he ever expected. He learns that he has struggled and striven but can prevail each and every time. This is more acceptable in a rural setting and easier than on city streets.

Straight Story

Seeing as Alvin never leaves the rural area, this gives him a wider space to grow. It seems that within the limitations of the city, one can only change their mindset and paths so much, whereas on the open road, the body and soul can expand virtually indefinitely. To me, the rural setting would pave the way for a much deeper growth and reflection than city streets. We see this in Alvin, who learns more about himself in meeting other people, than he ever expected. He learns that he has struggled and striven but can prevail each and every time. This is more acceptable in a rural setting and easier than on city streets.

Straight Story

Alvin Straight is not trying to leave behind his family, friends, or town. He decided to embark on a journey to rediscover his relationship with his brother. By taking a journey through Midwestern states, he encounters many people that contribute to his realization of mistakes and hardships that he has suffered throughout his life. When Alvin meets the young woman who is running away from home, his advice to her is actually a memory that serves to help both the young woman and Alvin to realize the importance of family and causes both characters to reflect on their family situations. Alvin, through his interactions with others, begins a self-reflection that becomes the mobilizing force behind his journey. As he realizes the lessons from his life by sharing his experiences with others, Alvin becomes connected to his past and prepared to become the man that could have resulted from his experiences. The rural road is an essential part of Alvin's journey, because he is not leaving his element, or habitat. Alvin is reflecting on his life in a rural area, not attempting to change his life and travel to an urban area. Only through the land that he grew up and learned lessons in could he continue to reflect on those lessons and become the person that his life had prepared him to be.

April 13, 2008

Little Miss Sunshine

Dwayne grows the most throughout this film and is shaped by the road in the most evident way. Despite his efforts to avoid the family trip, he is tagged along and we see the underlying attachment between Dwayne, Frank and Olive. It seems the Dwayne can only respect and understand people who are simple and lay everything out on the surface, something that Frank does through his honesty and Olive does through her innocence. His vow of silence is obviously the most pressing issue in his life, until he becomes a fighter pilot. The memorable scene of Dwayne in the car playing an eye game with Olive is when he life turns hard when Frank informs him that he is colorblind and therefore cannot fly planes. Emotions mounting- confusion, anger, sadness and maybe relief, the car is pulled over and Dwayne flies out and screams an heart wrenching "FUCK!". Even though this is in deep despair, it seems like somewhat of a let out of complete emotions he has been bottling up through this vow of silence. We later see him talk with frank and Olive and stand up for what he believes in and becomes an intricate part of the family again. He eventually loses all inhibition and dances up stage, hand in hand with his entire family, showing that he has grown and shaped a new person of who he is going to become.

April 3, 2008

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert


Aitken and Lukinbeal in Disassociated Masculinities and Geographies of the Road argue that the potentially libratory aspects of the road for masculinities in Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert are suppressed by a return to the logic of hegemonic masculinity. Do you agree or disagree? Give examples from the film to support your point of view. Do not repeat what students have already entered in prior blog responses.

March 29, 2008

Set It Off Instructions

Select any two of the following questions to compare Set It Off and Thelma and Louise. In addressing these two questions, share your ideas on how you see race, sexuality, class, and gender inscribed in the differences between these two films. Try to select different questions or a different angle on the questions that have already been discussed by other students on your blog.

How are sisterhood and loyalty established?
How is outlaw status justified?
How is the road as a symbol of freedom accessed?
How is “leaving normal? or the quest narrativized?
How is auto-mobility achieved?
How is violence coded by gender and color?
How are the landscapes different?
How does the role of the white cop function in the narrative?
How are freedom and the road confounded in each film?
How are the endings similar and different?
How does identification for the spectator work in each of these films?
Why is “Set it Off? a road movie?

March 8, 2008

Thelma and Louise Instructions

Does “Thelma and Louise? betray feminism? Build an argument in the affirmative using one scene from the film. Include your definition of “feminism? in your response.

March 1, 2008

What or Who is "Grace Lee"?

The search for Asian American womanhood is a project animating The Grace Lee Project. How does Grace Lee use her road trip (both digital and hard surface) to deconstruct stereotypes about Asian American women? What is she saying about “Grace Lees?? What does she bring home from her road trip? Be specific.

February 20, 2008

Upending the Crime Story

Angela’s confrontation with her incestuous father and brother is the place where the road story ends in this film. As such the film is framed as a criminal investigation framed within the conventions of an early kind of feminist recovery model from the 1970s. What are these conventions? How does this one woman story work against common cultural representations on TV of women raped, murdered, beaten and victimized as a subplot for criminal investigation stories? If you were Angela would you have made this film differently?

February 13, 2008

Gendering the Outcast Instructions

Both “Easy Rider? and “Vagabond? are road stories about living outside of home (“roof?) and civil society (“law?). How are these road narratives the same and different? What’s gender got to do with it? Explain. (Start your blog entry with a quote from the readings.)

February 6, 2008

Woman on a Motorcycle and the Male Gaze

A married woman mounts her motorcycle and takes off on a road trip to see her lover. She is marked as a rebel by her adultery, implied use of sex and drugs, and her love of mobility, speed, and solo roadway travel. How are phallocentrism and the male gaze maintained in this early road trip film? Is this film liberating for women? Explain, using some of the vocabulary from lecture and the readings.

January 30, 2008

Week Two- "Easy Rider": The ALL American Road Movie

Question Section B: Looking for America

Due: Monday, February 4, noon

"A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.? (Ad copy for “Easy Rider?) Describe scenes in “Easy Rider? that address this quest. What were they looking for? What was not there? In what ways is this quest framed by white masculinities? Start your reflections with a sentence from the assigned readings and support your ideas with what you saw (in particular scenes, plot elements, soundtrack, cinematic techniques) in the film. Be specific about the film and use the assigned readings.

Please be creative in your own thinking after you have read the assigned readings, especially “The Road to Dystopia? (Klinger) and Driving Visions, pp. 69-81.

Do not copy or repeat what another student has written. You can elaborate on another student’s ideas but add more to the conversation.

Feel free to comment on what other students have written using the Comment prompt.