My PRACTICE Annotation

Dirse, Zoe. “Gender in Cinematography: Female Gaze (Eye) behind the Camera.” Journal of Research in Gender Studies. Vol. 3. (2013) ProQuest Central. 15-29. Web. 10 Jul 2013

As a professor at the Theatre School of Ryerson University and a professional cinematographer,  Zoe Dirse dives into the world of the film industry and the lack of representation of women within it in her article, “Gender in Cinematography: Female Gaze (Eye) behind the Camera.” She hopes to introduce film theory students to the meanings of the female vision; as well as, inform them of the affect of the masculine driven industry on women. Dirse analyzes the techniques of well known female filmmakers like Alice Guy Blache and even supports her claim with her own works and the techniques used. As for informing the audience, she shares how the “male gaze” is a product of the increase of employed “white middleclass male…with access to education or contacts within the industry” (Dirse, 3). In addition, when women do direct films they are usually feminist in theme like the passion of a lesbian couple or the projected raw perspective of an abused women – revealing the years of women being “relegated to absence, silence and marginality” (Dirse, 2). Dirse’s investigation is valuable because it provides the perspective of several known female cinematographers on the lack of women in the industry as well as her own.

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Sonnets, on sonnets, on sonnets, on Hamlet

Shakespeare displays his Sonnet 116 with Prince Hamlet in Hamlet. The theme is that unconditional love cannot be corrupted or changed. After Queen Gertrude married Claudius, Hamlet was distraught and furious with his mother for dishonoring his father. But he still loved her because she was his mother and even took the time to be use “daggers” against her in her bedroom. He hoped that his words would change her and make her see what horrible things she has done in regards to incest.

To be or not to be…..a misogynist

Is Shakespeare a misogynist? I do not think Shakespeare is a misogynist because I think he wanted to show the effects of women as a result of men’s corruption for power. Gertrude and Ophelia show the extent of their loyalties to their men by providing information or giving up their life. As much as this could be described as dependence, it is expected because of women’s role during the time period. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is stubborn, loyal, and a victim of not only her love, but also the families ongoing feuding.

INTRODUCING… the legendary William Blake

On November 28, 1757 the Blake family welcomed a future poet, painter, and printmaker. Raised in Soho, London of Great Britain, William Blake enjoyed his schooling at home while attending classes in drawing. He married a woman named Catherine and taught her how to read and write; however, they never managed to have a child. Praised for his Romantic works with paint and ink, Blake was greatly influenced by the Bible and the teachings of his dissenting parents. Throughout his childhood, he recalled having visions that focused on God, and once, a tree of angels. As an adult, Blake continued to express his ideas and support for movements via his poems and artwork. He rejected orthodox Christianity due to its suppression of humanly desires and misinterpretation of the body and soul’s relationship. Blake supported racial and sexual equality and a movement that advocated all sexuality and practices, or “free love.” Initially ignored, Blake’s works gained acknowledgement in the early-mid 1900’s and influenced many Modernist period artist, classical composers, and poets from the counterculture of the 1960’s.

A Better Understanding of The Two Act Play

“Normally I didn’t see a great deal. I didn’t hear a great deal either. I din’t pay attention. Strictly speaking I wasn’t there. Strictly speaking I believe I’ve never been anywhere.” – Samuel Beckett 

Before writing this post, I planned on including a quote that compared plays to their books. As read and scrolled down the list, I stumbled upon a quote from Samuel Beckett and continued reading more of his quotes. I thought the quote above was perfect for explaining why Beckett wrote this play. 

I always prefer the play over the novel because it is a visual of what the playwright is trying to convey to the audience. Also, I hate reading the stage directions because it ruins the flow. Even though the play did not help in any way in learning the meaning of Beckett’s work, it did give me a better understanding of the beauty of the play as a whole.

I learned to appreciate the actors in memorizing and acting out the lines only minds like Beckett could understand. In my opinion, the play was more comical than the book and it is due to the odd movements. In one moment, Vladimir and Estragon are sulking and brooding around. The next time you look, the two hobos are leaping in unison closer to, and clearly invading the space of, Lucky. Ryan and I laughed at how lame the tree was. I mean, the only eye-catching object in the whole setting is the thinnest strip of material they could possibly find. My interpretation of the lame tree and extremely minimal scenery is Beckett’s way of diverting the attention of the audience from the setting to the words and actions of the four men on stage. 

Now, I believe I have a good idea about why Beckett wrote this play as a result from the quote I mentioned above. Personally, I think he is revealing some regret for being passive and inattentive during his life. So it makes sense that he would want to make his own “public service announcement” within the novel and encourage people to not “go with the flow” and waste time becoming pessimistic towards life like he has. In the book, Vladimir proclaims: 

“Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!…What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come –” – Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (pages 90-91) 

This could be just one of many ideas Beckett is trying to convey to the audience or the one and only idea, but I believe the only one who knows is Beckett himself.

Is it a beautiful mind?

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Three weeks ago, my volleyball team and I watched a movie called “A Beautiful Mind” staring Russell Crowe. In the first hour to hour and a half, I watched the main character, John Nash, struggle socially and academically at Princeton during the 1940s. He became a well known and highly gifted mathematician and eventually attracted the CIA’s attention as a prominent code breaker against the Soviet Union. His gets married and his life is looking up. Then the bomb drops! Nash is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and the majority of the first half of the movie was made up in his mind. The movie became more confusing as Nash and the audience tried to battle and identify reality from illusion; especially when it seemed like there was some sort of conspiracy against him and he was telling the truth the whole time. Initially, I gave up on the movie and left the room because I was extremely frustrated, confused, and brain dead. Looking back, I am actually disappointed that I gave up. However, I continued to think about the outcome of his illness and I finally watched the end of the movie last weekend. The director revealed that in fact, Nash was living with un diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia for years. I looked up a synopsis and learned that the movie was based on a true story and thought how incredible it is to be dead positive in something you know and turn out to be totally wrong. Overall, I thought it was a very interesting movie that made me experience several emotions. I highly recommend this film, but advise you have an open mind.

Waiting for…ANYTHING!!!!!! Thank you Mr. Beckett

ImageBy now, I should be use to these abstract type of novels, but I still find myself trying to tear the book in little pieces to find the meaning. In other words, I am doing what every person does when they read a post-modernist novel. Samuel Beckett was an author caught between the end of the modernist era and the beginning of the post-modern era. Born in Ireland and residing for the majority of his life in France, Beckett was a renown novelist, playwright, and poet who embellished his works with pessimistic views of life and dark humor. His existentialist ideas could be the result of his involvement in the French Resistance during World War II, but either way he was a very private man. Waiting for Godot was one of his best works and received mix emotions for its minimalist style and lack of any real action. Beckett won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and passed the same year as his wife in 1989. 

 

*I have no idea if this picture is real, but I thought it was funny! For all my X-men lovers.

The UN-official “Winter’s Bone” Movie Review

In her dynamic journey to save her family and the house, seventeen year old Ree Dolly must find her drug dealing father and bring him home; dead or alive. Director, Debra Granik does the best that she could to translate the novel to the big screen, but overall, it was a disappointment. Without the outstanding performance of Jennifer Lawrence, the movie would have been a complete flop. There were several characters introduced to be influential in the movie, but were dropped out of no where. The biggest problem the film had was lack of plot. What really made this film stand out from the pack of lone girls fighting against their disgruntled families for some sort of closer? I rate this film a C and recommend anyone to watch the film if they want to be drawn into a promising story that leads to a disappointing end.