Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Film Hunger

Hunger was a great film, being that I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I found myself following this moving deeply, and that is because there was no music. So every time someone threw a punch, or spat, or said something it wasn’t drowned out with music. The plot itself was good enough to follow. From what I gathered these prisoners wanted to be treated as prisoners of war, and not like the typical prisoner. I didn’t find myself siding with either side because both of the sides were following orders. The scene where the guard was outside smoking a cigarette had a strong impact. I remembered thinking what must he be thinking. His wife had to fear for her safety and worry every time her husband left the house. He has to be in fear for his life twenty four seven, and was expected to continue to abuse these prisoners. He didn’t seem to get any enjoyment out of what he was doing. So it was hard for me to categories him as a villain. On the other side the leading character could have been seen as the villain as well. He was leading these men to death in starvation. He, however sacrificed himself for the cause, and that makes it difficult to place him as the villain as well.

The most gripping scene was the scene when the prisoners were all brought out of their cells and beaten, along with the scene where they prisoners were shaven and washed very brutally. Since there was no music every noise was more gripping, every noise was clearer and crisper. It was very effective in getting one to think about how we view violence, and the aesthetic of the film. Over all I completely enjoyed this film.

A Cabin in the Woods Film

Joss Whedon is one of my favorite directors, so when I watched cabin in the woods, my expectation were extremely high. This was the first major film that I have seen by the Buffy the Vampire Slayers creator and director and he nailed it. He did a great job meshing the stereotypical characters of a classic horror film with the twist and turns that I expected. I know that he owns his own monster makeup company so I expected that the ghost and monsters in this film would not disappoint. The film itself was great as well. I enjoyed every moment of it even though I knew what was about to happen at all times. He played on the typical horror film, where the black guy dies first, where there is a slutty girl who wants to have sex, and then there is the girl who really didn’t want to go in the first place. One of my favorite moments in the film was when they got to the gas station and the gas station attendant is a creepy old man. This reminded me very much of the cartoon Scooby doo. He pretty much warns them that they shouldn’t continue on their trip but of course they don’t listen. The twist came when the audience finds out that the whole trip is part of a monitored and controlled game in which these teen are sacrificed for a God. I loved that Joss Whedon keep that Latin essence that was throughout every season of Buffy. I also love that the teens were basically allowed to choose their own death, but no matter how they choose they still were to die. Of course as with Buffy there is a deeper meaning to this movie. It talks about the topic of control, who has and who should have it. It forces the characters to choose between chaos of order and control. Knowing Whedon, I knew they would choose chaos.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Film City of Life and Death

From what I was able to watch of the City of Life and Death I like. I was interested in the film because it was like a live battle of Call of Duty. The action was plentiful and realistic. I also liked the mixture of emotion on both the Japanese side of things as well as the emotion on the Chinese side. When the Japanese soldiers killed the children, they showed emotion. Something that I didn’t image would be portrayed in this type of film; I was expecting no feeling any mercy, which is short of a stereotypical image associated with Asians.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see the conclusion of the film so I will focus on the first fighting scene. As I said it really reminded me Call of Duty, a small group of people trying to ward off a whole army. They had kids that helped them reload and scavenge for weapons on the ground. And both the Japanese and the Chinese soldiers were fighting for their lives, and at that moment it had nothing to do the actual conflict between the two countries. For a foreign film it was shot well, besides the captions I wasn’t even able to tell it wasn’t an American made film, the action from the beginning was just that good. The film was interesting enough from the beginning, enough for me to want to watch the rest of it on my own time, and I completely dislike captioned films. I didn’t have too much knowledge of the conflict, and that would probably be my one wish for the film. There was a German man in the film so I would assume that it has something to do with world war two, but I’ve never been well with dates and history. Still it looked to be interesting. I will finish it sooner or later.

first paper work cited.

Alexander, Michelle. "The New Jim Crow." Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. Version Vol 9:1. (2011)  <http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume9
Elk, Milk, and Bob Sloan. "The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor" The Nation. (Aug. 1, 2011.):  http://www.thenation.com/article/162478/hidden-history-alec-and-prison-labor#.
Mauer, Marc, and Tracy Huling. "The Sentencing Project." Sentencing Project. (Oct 1995): <http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_youngblack_5yrslater.pdf

Gomorrah Film

When watching Gomorrah I found myself very aware that I was watching a movie. I found it hard to connect with the characters. This was a true gansta film, yet it didn’t seem as if it was. The whole time I kept thinking that this isn’t more of a documentary than a movie, and to be honest I really wasn’t interested in it. I find that ironic because all of the elements were there. There was violence, a motive, and even women. Still I found it very difficult to connect with any of the characters. While I sat and though about the movie I realized what was missing. I lacked the ability to humanize the movie because the concept of the movie was foreign. They were in a place I had never been before and no one’s background story was set up for the viewers, and the movie didn’t follow a specific character. It jumped from place to place, from story to story never allowing the viewer to get comfortable. In a way I felt that this was a deliberate approach the director decided to go. Whether or not he was successful or not is unclear to me because not only did I not enjoy the movie, I won’t go home and give this anymore though that I am now. It didn’t make a lasting impression on me. What I will think about is the fact that I truly didn’t care about that movie, and with the ideals that were discussed in the film, that concerns me. These were serious topics. Ruthless murders, children being force to fight one another, poverty. But for some reason that didn’t strike me at the time that I was watching the film. I don’t know if this says more about me or about the ineffectiveness of the film itself but it is something to think about.     

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Film Bamboozeld

Bamboozled was probably the most influential movie I’ve seen in a long time. It reminded me of what is continuously happening today. At first I didn’t want to respond to this film because of my anger. However it is important for me to respond. Everything about that film is true today. The overall theme to me was “dance for the white man”. What we consider progress, as a race, has been very short of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. What I felt spike lee was trying to do was make use aware that we are still being used by White people, the scene where they showed the athletes on the wall is explaining my point. Looked at my “niggers” excuse my language. Look at my pawns, and this is still very evident today, success is defined by the different races differently. To an African American who grew up in poverty a multimillion dollar contract could be viewed as successful, but to a white man a new talented black man on the team could be considered success. Although this is specific to sports, this can be applied to any aspect of life. The idea is still dance nigger dance. Play ball, sell units, make me money and I will love you. A personal example is me at my job. Im very aware that I fill a quota at my job. There are two black people and we both understand that we are here in a specific job and when were up were praised, and when were down were hounded on. We understand that the idea that we aren’t where we think we are today as a race is very real. With do the right thing spike lee was trying to address that we as a race weren’t were we are supposed to be, and with bamboozled he was fed up. I am fed up, and that is why it was very difficult for me to respond to this paper.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Assignment 8 History of the People

Howard Zinn's take on American history is spot on. His idea is to tell history from the mouth of those who are living it. He challenges ideas of government that oppresses people period, in all shapes forms, and fashions. He was courageous in speaking out, and using his voice. He set an example of what we should try to be in our everyday lives. Howard Zinn, in my opinion, had a characteristic that is lost on a lot of people today. He had, again to me, "a don't drink the Kool-Aid" type of mentality that is evident through his track record. Ironically this is something we do every single day in different forms. Just a few days ago I was told to drink the Kool-Aid, to buy into the system, and do not question it. It goes against my nature, and what people like Zinn do is allow you to say "hey he's an average person just like me, if he can speak out, I can", and that can be very dangerous to a lot of people. If indeed he was targeted by the FBI I certainly understand why. He disrupts the system, and forces people to wonder, if there is a serious power that wants this man gone maybe the system needs a little disrupting. It is extremely difficult to do so because we are all used to the "norm" and getting by, by being abnormal is more difficult that just shutting up, and drinking the Kool-Aid.

Howard Zinn is to be applauded in his attempt to wake people up, his attempt to show people that they are the voice of the government, and that the government should not make you feel afraid to voice your opinion. If I look at an example I saw today. After watching the third and final debate I, like many other college students who would be voting in this year election, took to face book only to see responses from people beckoning for people to stop talking about it. It made me wonder if people knew that this is what face book is for, voicing your opinion. How could people truly be so unaware of a platform for exactly that, when they in fact do the very thing the platform is designed for? The only difference is instead of using it to discuss the debate, or other actual issue, they would rather harp about some "bullshit" that is completely meaningless. Zinn is a great example of how we should use our voice, but unfortunately we tend to fall short of that characteristic that he possessed.