Academic Awards for Road Movies (GWSS 3307, Fall 2011)
Name Marquis Tapplin
Best Actor (select 2 and rank order):
(1) John Leguizamo
(2) Hugo Weaving
Actress (select 2 and rank order):
(1) Jada Pinkett Smith
(2) Geena Davis
Best Supporting Actor/Actress (select2 and rank order ):
(1) Terence Stamp
(2) Queen Latifah
Best Road Film from GWSS 3007 Series: To Wong Foo
Why? What I really liked about this movies is that it deal with gender issues in a way that is inviting to the audience, thus bringing people into the discussion that might otherwise be deterred by the complexity of high theory.
Best Trans-Character in Trans-Cinema Road Film:
Why? Bernadette Basinger portrayed by Terrance Stamp because this character, being an older character, show a study oft overlooked: that gender is ageless. We rarely examine the older transgendered individual. It is often view through the prism of more youthful, sexually charged, normative youth. I enjoyed the quite introspective nature of this character.
Most Complicated Character in a Road Film Narrative:
Why? Marianne Johnson from Leaving Normal, because here is a character who really brings the idea of the normate/normative lifestyle into question. When juxtaposed with the title of the movie, we really question what normal is, as the life she ends up with is actually more "normal" in a lot of ways that the life she is leaving behind.
Favorite and Most Memorable Vehicle in a Road Film:
The Volkswagen Van
The Beater Car from Pow Wow Highway
Best Example of the Male Gaze in a Road Film?
Girl on a Motorcycle. Pretty much every scene.
Worst Road Film screened in GWSS 3307: Girl on a Motorcycle
Why? This movie, even by the standards set by the general public, has no realy plot, or character development, and in the vein of something being viewed academically, it has no substance.
Your favorite cop in the road movie genre: The officer from To Wong Foo
Best Soundtrack in a Road Film:
Set it Off
Best feminist film in the GWSS series:
Why? Vagabond. More than any other movie, this is the movie that in every scene - from camera movement all the way to the introspective yet forcefully abrasive nature of the main character - suggests a different way to show women on the camera, and how to give them agency without any need of negotiation with the male gender.
Best Example of "Counter Cinema" in a Road Film Narrative:
Why? Vagabond. Unfortunately I already gave the reason for this in the previous answer.
Your definition of "counter cinema"
Cinema moving in the opposite direction of what the general theme of cinema is. Quite literally, the road might move in a different direction. Character negotiations may happen in a different way. Different groups have agency. The prevailing message is counter mainstream.
Best Filmic Study of Gender on the Road:
Why? My Own Private Idaho. Here we have two characters facing the road in sexualized bodies, more so than gendered bodies. I say this because their negotiation with gender is never a choice. It is always something forced onto them, and this film leave me wondering just how gender comes into question. In addition, the way the road becomes something spatial when homosexual men are introduced to it without the veils of transgender makes me wonder if not the road is made inherently feminine in road movies.
Best Filmic Study of Race on the Road:
Why? Set if Off. Because it raises the question "where is the road for minorities?" Just to reach the road, there is a road all on its own.
Best Filmic Study of Class on the Road:
Why? Set if Off. For much the same reason. The road is a privilege, afforded by some amount of money. Without money, being from the lowest of classes, just reaching the road requires a journey all its own.
Best Filmic Study of Queer Bodies on the Road:
Why? Priscilla. These three men are a great example of queering the road. OF all the male characters I think that these three are the most masculine of everyone, even though they masquerade as women. I feel they bring a brevity to their fixtures in thei worl that makes them more a man than man others.
Best Definition of a Road Film from the Readings (excerpt from the readings, give page number and author):
Road films are generally movies that valorize the road and treats travel as the ultimate symbol of materialism and decadence. (Laderman, Driving Visions pg. 255)