Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Another movie that was told from multiple perspectives was Sin City. I think that how both of the directors use time is similar and their excessive use of gore. The movie was a big hit. I heard they were going to make a sequel but I haven’t seen anything at comingsoon.net so I will not get my hopes up.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
1.Twilight 1. Harry Potter
2. Organic 2. High Yield
3. Going Green 3. Littering
4. Competency 4. Style
5. Pre-Med 5. Philosophy
6. The Daily Show 6. Cross Fire
7. Old SNL 7. Mad TV
8. Vintage 8. Impersonations
9. The Common Good 9. Individualism
10. Facebook 10. MySpace
11. Texting 11. Email
12.Riding a Bike 12. Driving
13. Cooking 13. Eating out
14. Target 14. Wal-Mart
15.Blue Ray 15. DVD
The going green movement has brought on large amount of change. The change is a change in ideology. We as Americans are much more focused on the individual but by placing personal needs above the collective. We have come to realize that if we are going to have a world for future generations we must think about the collective good. Such a shift has been placed on the individual level by stating that one person’s actions affect the other. So for us to make a difference we must work as individuals for the collective good. This is a very important shift one that has many different repercussions. One of the first areas we see this is the conservation of fossil fuels. People have switched from two-ton pickups to the Toyota Prius. Many in the city have begun ridding the bike to work instead of driving. When people go to the grocery store they buy organic and locally grown products to help support local farmers and not poison their children. I don’t think that we have seen the end of the social change from going green.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The Office imitates the documentary style of television series. They have fixed camera angles, refer to the camera crew and have interviews. The style of film is worked into the comedy. The writers base the show around the premise of documentary style and try to build characters off of that idea. For example Michael Scott is constantly aware of the camera and is constantly pursuing the audience to think of him in a certain way. He likes to make himself appear to be a good boss, caring friend and a responsible adult, but in all reality he is probably one of the most useless people on the face of the planet. I love the show for their documentary style. I think it adds character and wit to the premise of the show.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a hilarious mockumentary about a high school beauty pageant. The story is really funny because they are doing the filming like a documentary but they are also trying to poke fun at the northern white trash stereotype. I think the movie’s biggest laugh is when the mom gets her hand melted around a beer can. The highlight of this film I think is the importance people place on being beautiful. It tries to show that beautiful is really ugly and vice versa.
Another aspect of Paris is Burning that I really do like is that it is right up in your face. You have no room to try to sidestep the issues of the day. By placing a face and background to drag queens it forces people to face their stereotypes of others. Another documentary film-maker that tries to do this is Michael Moore. I don’t really like all of his movies but he is attempting to do what few will. He is questioning the status quo and challenging individuals to look past the media and dig for the truth. I am not saying he is an advocator of truth but he has inspired me more than once to check the facts. Another that is challenging this is Morgan Spurlock. The movie Super Size Me challenged my views on fast food and the harmful effects of it. In just a month he was at risk of organ failure from just eating McDonald’s food.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
They are some of the few individuals that know exactly what they want and are going after it with everything they have. How rare is that?
As college students we try every day to figure out what we want, who we want to be and how to make it happen. It takes some of us many years to decide and I personally change my mind quite frequently. They know what they want and have most of society telling them that they can’t have it and won’t be accepted. They have a lot more guts than most people do. As soon as many people are reprimanded by society they will just give up. What the drag queens are doing is brave. Though there is not as much opposition as there once was, many still disapprove of drag queens. Plus the rejection by their family and sometimes even the drag community must alienate them to an unimaginable extreme.
An aspect of the drag culture that is especially intriguing is the balls. Paris is Burning did a great job in highlighting exactly what a balls are. The individuals have to get up and parade their best in front of the only social acceptable place they may know. They can be met with a number of apprehensive people. This is like walking the plank for some. One the interviewers had not walked yet and was very nervous about it. The sheer process of it all takes massive amounts of time and effort. Another one of the people worked on sewing a tank top for an hour. It was said in the film that some people don’t have enough money to spend on food and cloths so they chose their garb. That is true devotion.
I believe that the drag, gay, and transvestite culture has had a profound effect on society. One of my favorite comedies growing up was Will & Grace. I grew with more acceptance of the gay culture than my family ever did. I hope that the next generation will treasure all that the gay culture has done in pop culture and someday they can study in history books and it not be looked down upon.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The news is a little over the top and people know it. As John Stewart said on CNN's "Crossfire" "This is not news, it is theater!" Robocop did make fun of the news and how it had just become another useless form of media. The Onion is a great source of satire. They are poking fun at social norms and really focus on the problems that mainstream society is overlooking. Hayley Sebourn has a good example in her blog. Other great sources of satire if you are a news junkie is "The Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report." They are comedic geniuses. I do think that John Stewart knows his stuff. He has been on a kick here lately telling other news stations to cut the theatrics and just give us the unbiased news. His greatest moment is on "Crossfire" when he was begging "Stop! You are hurting America!"
Another great satire is from Paul Verhoeven is Starship Troopers. This movie is great and reminds me a lot of the book 1984 in that it shows the dangers of blind nationalism. The movie is a little less clear for some than Robocop but I think if they examine it the satire is there. One of the most comedic scenes is a movie that is quite similar to our WW2 films where the narrator is saying "Everyone is doing their part!" and the kids are killing cockroaches. The movie's message is hidden under a B action film just like Robocop. Starship Troopers calls into question the logic of a constant warring nation.
"Family Guy "is one of my favorite shows in the entire planet. The show is filled with satire and many vast exaggerations. The TV show has characters portraying different walks of life so that it can cover multiple issues. I think a good example would be the episode when Peter's dad is forced to retire. The episode does battle with issues of ageism, religious fundamentalism and the generational gap. I would encourage it as a good intro into "Family Guy."
We can never take ourselves too seriously. I think the events that occurred after 9/11 have shown us that. The best example is the Patriot Act. Almost everyone was in favor of it, but during that time we went too far and now there are many comedy shows saying that. A good movie would be Team America. I think that satirical films remind us that we must look past the good intentions and see the consequences of our actions.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Robocop is a B class action film that cannot be fully appreciated without the knowledge of the deeply imbedded satire which inhabits the film. I really think there should be an intro like in citizen cane telling about the real point of the film. If not it becomes misinterpreted by many as just a regular action flick. I really think there is a danger of the film not being noticed if there is not some kind of warning or alert.
With the knowledge of what the film is mocking it will bring endless laughs. I think the board game won me over. I think this film does a great job of showing how the free market is just as corrupt as the government. I believe that anytime you a small number of people in power over a great many and they have the free range to manipulate the system to their benefit they will end up being corrupt. This again is one of the hazards of an individual based society. I wonder what we are going to try next since we cant trust the g0verment, organized religions or corporations to rule. The movie highlights the problems that were arising in the late 80's. Good examples are the news, TV sitcoms and gentrification. I think that I can truly appreciate more of the films that the director does knowing that his work is satirical.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
So the music I am going to defend is the girl/teen pop movement that started around 1994 and lasted until at least 2003. Artist I am going to be talking about in particular are The Spice Girls and Brittney Spears. The fame may be short lived but it does not make their achievements any less important. I don’t see a valid argument for them not being cool either.
The Spice Girls came across America like a mad rush and they were gone just about as fast. They were some of the first all-girl vocal groups to counter the main boy bands at the time like N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. They hit a wide audience of girls because they were advertised as a very diverse group. Each of the members was clearly defined in personality, so almost every small girl could relate. There song “Wannabe” hit number one in 31 countries. They were the most successful band out of Brittan since the Beatles. The group broke up in 2000 but they had a comeback tour in 2007 which ended prematurely in 2008. Their movie Spice World was a big hit all over the world. This band may come under a lot of criticism but no one can say that they had no musical value.
Britney Spears has been criticized and been called talentless multiple times. Many people doubt her musical talents and that she ever was cool. I am here to tell you that she must have been cool to sell 32 million albums in the US alone and is estimated to have sold 82 million worldwide. Spears is ranked as the eighth best selling female recording artist in the United States. Her first big start was as the opening act for N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. She topped the charts in 1998 with “Baby One More Time.” She is still very prevalent today with her new album Circus. Her songs are not as popular as they once were, but she is still a very popular figure in pop culture.
The girl/teen pop movement that happened around 2000 was as valid as Disco, Emo, or Punk. Each of them hold their own context and have an entire culture about them. I was not a fan of this movement, but I can appreciate all the things that came from their contributions to music. Brittney brought back Madonna and led the way for such artist as Lady Gaga and Pink. I have listened to Brittney’s new album and find it decent. I think that the girl/teen pop movement made great contributions to music.