Academic Awards for Road Movies (GWSS 3307, Fall 2011)
Name: Gao Sheng Lee
Due at the beginning of class December 6.
Best Actor (select 2 and rank order):
(1) Wesley Snipes
(2) Gary Farmer
Actress (select 2 and rank order):
(1) Queen Latifah
(2) Abigail Breslin
Best Supporting Actor/Actress (select2 and rank order ):
(1) Jack Nicholson
(2) Steven Carell
Best Road Film from GWSS 3007 Series: Little Miss Sunshine
Why? It was the most recent and bearable road film.
Best Trans-Character in Trans-Cinema Road Film: Wesley Snipes
Why? I'm a big fan of his "Blade" series, and to see him transformed only continues to prove Mr. Snipes is a great actor.
Most Complicated Character in a Road Film Narrative: Mike (River Phoenix)
Why? The way I'm thrown into the film, into his memories and subconscious doesn't exactly help me pinpoint his problems. On top of that, he's only opened up to Scott, who openly rejected him. We are only given a glimpse of him.
Favorite and Most Memorable Vehicle in a Road Film: (select 2 and rank order): "Girl on a motorcycle", "Thelma and Louise"
Best Example of the Male Gaze in a Road Film? "Girl on a Motorcycle"
Worst Road Film screened in GWSS 3307: "Girl on a Motorcycle"
Why? It was absolutely, unbearably boring, dull and alienating. Her constant narrative throughout the film is boring and pitiful, it doesn't reach out to anybody but herself. Most of the shots of the "girl" were voyeuristic and the trailer didn't help either. All in all, it made me uncomfortable and bored.
Your favorite cop in the road movie genre "To Wong Foo"
(Name the Movie)
Best Soundtrack in a Road Film: "To Wong Foo"
(Check out Youtube soundtracks for these films)
Best feminist film in the GWSS series: Vagabond
Why? I enjoyed how the film was shot and produced - it wasn't your typical road film. Although it was somewhat dry at parts, her overall journey was much more independent than others and was almost inspiring.
Best Example of "Counter Cinema" in a Road Film Narrative: Vagabond
Why? When watching this film, I was seeing different approaches to its shooting - for example, Mona was always traveling to the left side of the screen when we usually associate "forward" with the right side. On top of that, Mona's character was most unorthodox and was presented as so.
Your definition of "counter cinema" : Counter cinema challenges and opposes what we know as general cinema today.
Best Filmic Study of Gender on the Road: "Vagabond"
Why? Her journey is completely different than that of "Girl on a motorcycle" who drove into her death. Mona on the other hand, resorts to other ways of transportation, and handles in the Agnes Varda way, which I really like.
Best Filmic Study of Race on the Road: "To Wong Foo"
Why? The characters are all drag queens, each a different race, and are all probably gay men. What makes it the best is just that fact - unlike "Priscilla", who's main characters were all white men.
Best Filmic Study of Class on the Road: "Set if off"
Why? Since we didn't see the road until the very end, we got to see the struggles to get there. The women of this film are all from a lower working class, all striving for something better. This film really spoke out on violence associated with lower working class peoples, and the luxury of traveling because of your social status.
Best Filmic Study of Queer Bodies on the Road: "My Own Private Idaho"
Why? Mike was on the hunt to find his mother, yet it was all possible thanks to the contribution of Scott. Scott, the straight man, who can afford to be a gay hustler, creates a shadow over Mike. While other films are with happier gay men, this film really demonstrated the fact that not all gays are happy, as it closes with "Have a nice day".
Best Definition of a Road Film from the Readings (excerpt from the readings, give page number and author):
"The road movie is, in this regard, like the musical or the Western, a Hollywood genre that catches peculiarly American dreams, tensions, and anxieties..." (2 Cohan & Hark)