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2016 – Free Discussion

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Here you can post your comments freely on any topic that was discussed in this course, but might have no other place to fit in!

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104 responses to “2016 – Free Discussion

  1. Eddie ⋅

    I don’t know if it’s off topic but, I would like to see more artistic movies with some crazy angles and music 🙂 I keep hearing about art films I don’t think I’ve seen any, perhaps something like The wall would count I suppose but that movie may fit into a lot of genres. Not sure if Art is one of them Just a thought. I have never been too big into film but this course definitely has opened my eyes to the possibilities that film offers as not just an art form but a mode of communication and transmission of ideals values and artistic expression.
    I’m looking forward to where my taste n movies will be when the class concludes as well, it feels good to have a little bit of familiarity with why spagetti westerns are called spagetti westerns and so forth so increasing my knowledge on a subject at the very least enables me to stand in a conversation with those who may enjoy films more than I.

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    • pizzaboy ⋅

      Though not art films per say, if you want to see some films of heavy themes…I’d recommend some Korean revenge films. They’ll leave you feeling you just got kicked directly in the soul.

      On the same note, a Korean revenge film that hits on an emotional level but also manages to actually switch genres in the middle is called Arang. I saw it a few years and it blew my mind. It actually switches genres from Horror to Suspense half way through. It’s also in the same vein as Oldboy. Nonetheless, I recommend it to everybody, especially since I was also always attracted to the idea of a movie just saying “fuck it” half way through and switching in a completely different direction.

      Although it does it in a serious manner…I would love to see a movie do it in a comical manner switching from a straight serious movie and just going insane at the end for no reason.

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      • RM ⋅

        I see you mentioned OldBoy, that film is one of my absolute favorites.This is a bit of a tangent of the topic of art movies, but OldBoy was the first foreign film I ever watched that really came across as very different from what I was used to in mainstream cinema. That film was a real shock to the system. I still recall the infamous scene where he eats a live octopus whole and cringe. If ever a film deserved to be called visceral it is this Film. It gets to you on a primal level.

        The Korean film scene as a whole is really awesome.

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    • Nyphos ⋅

      When I think of artistic movies, I always think of Pan’s Labyrinth or The Fountain. I’m not sure if these fall into a strictly “art film” genre, but they are definitely artsy in my mind. I’m also reminded of older fantasy movies, such as Legend (1985), or Bowie’s Labyrinth. I’m not sure why these always pop into my head, but I would recommend them!

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        Nyphos: I am so happy I am within 100 miles of one of the few people who saw The Fountain, let alone someone else who enjoyed it, though I am told there are dozens of us. DOZENS!

        Eddie: I am not sure exactly what you mean by art movies, but some really good movies that might fall into what you are looking for are, As Nyphos said, The Fountain, and Pan’s Labyrinth. I would also suggest 2001, American Psycho, most of the Satoshi Kon movies, The Shining, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

        I would also suggest checking out the youtube channel Every Frame A Painting. They give some fantastic breakdowns of not just the how, but why a lot of great movies and scenes are constructed the way they are.

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    • Armitage ⋅

      Tokyo International Film Festival is coming up. The tickets are cheaper than real theater’s and they have English subtitles. There are also more than Japanese films, but Films from all over the world. One that is “american” (its from hollywood but director is scandinavian) is Neon Demon that may be what you are looking for.

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  2. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    Picking up from the discussion in the last class (10/12) on the persistence of whitewashing in today blockbusters: I agree that is a financial matter on the surface but deeply rooted in history and racism. The one thing I wanted to add though and I couldn’t, is the question of whether we’re going to see a huge shift in the audience given the increased contact with internet/social media from an early age. I believe the future audience will be way more aware and critical of this and many other social issues in Hollywood. Consequently, films that insist on whitewashing other cultures will increasingly take more hits and adapt. On top of this, we have to also take into account that studios are more present in social media than ever and are listening – I admit this is all a very optimistic view. Speaking for myself, a good portion of my opinions and conceptions about the world were shaped by what I read on the internet. There is a lot of rubbish there but you learn how to filter it, therefore the need for schools to teach digital literacy seriously.

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    • uruwa ⋅

      I think you’re right. I think things will change since our generation is demanding more representation. The Millenials are tired of the same old bs and I think if we’re loud enough, the studios will have to listen.

      Something else that was mentioned in class was that studios didn’t want to cast “new faces” because big stars draw more revenue, therefore they aren’t looking for minorities to play parts because then their films wouldn’t make as much money. But if that were true, then why did they cast so many “new faces” in moves like Hunger Games? Jennifer Lawrence was pretty much a nobody until that series. So this argument is completely invalid.

      Hopefully with Mulan, Disney will listen and change the script. If they make it all about a white trader, it will be unforgivable. It would be like redoing Pocahontas as a live-action and making it all about John Smith somehow saving Pocahontas and her people.

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        I think you are grossly misquoting, and putting words in someones mouth. I am also not really sure if giving one example of an outlier is invalidating the claim that a system works a certain way most of the time. Hunger Games is also not a very good example for what was actually being talked about in class.

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    • clintrump ⋅

      Response to is thePartyOver, Its all about the money when it comes to Hollywood generating profits, and they will cater to the majority of demographics of the American population. White people make up about 77% of the total population followed by Hispanic/Latinos making about 17%, Black African American population making about 13%, Asian Americans making about 5%, and pacific islanders making about 1% of the total U.S. population according to the latest U.S. census poll. If I’m a business I want to target the largest demographic or audience which still happens to be white people. Honestly I don’t think that social media will change what Hollywood decides to produce unless they lose profit from generating films.

      In class I remembered that we discussed a movie where a white woman played an Asian female role, which flopped terribly. I think that failures like this will give minorities more opportunities for future roles because it is not authentic in accurately representing a culture. However, I doubt that Hollywood is run by a bunch of terrible racist white people that are actively seeking to “white wash” roles played in films.

      As proof that I don’t consider Hollywood to be run by racist white people is that Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” is half Canadian half pacific islander (part of the 1% demographic) , and is the highest paid male actor in Hollywood. So I think this “white washing” argument is not really founded on solid ground but rather just a theory. I think that acting talent and efforts put into any profession including acting determines success in the end and Dwayne Johnson is living proof of that success.

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      • Nox ⋅

        Response to clintrump.
        Your logic is inherently flawed so let’s dissect this. Your first claim is that because the U.S is mainly white all movies have to have an all or majority white cast. This is false, plenty of films have done well without a white male lead. Straight Outta Compton completely demolished the box office earning over $200 million on a 45-50 million budget. All that revenue didn’t come from white people, it came from all ethnic groups but I would argue that a large portion of it came from the black population. We’ve recently talked in class about blaxploitation, Hollywood has directly exploited black stories because of how lucrative it was, so your argument makes no sense. Straight Outta Compton was not an example of blaxploitation, but it’s a great example of how you do not need to target white people to make 3 times your budget.

        Moving on to your second comment about Scarlett Johanson in Ghost In The Shell, just because directors in Hollywood aren’t necessarily sitting in a circle saying “how can we whitewash characters?” doesn’t mean they don’t continuously do it. The Last Samurai, Avatar The Last Airbender, Cloud Atlas, Prince of Persia, Exodus, Aloha and the list goes on and on and on and on. Getting a D is better than getting an F but it’s still a failure. Hollywood fails constantly and they’re content with failure because they are racist by nature. Throughout this class we have viewed the early days of Hollywood cinema, including The Birth Of A Nation. A film featuring white men doing blackface, raping white women and being inferior in every way shape and form to that of white people. That film was applauded by nearly every white person during it’s time, including the president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. Racism is embedded in Hollywood simply by association of Racism being embedded within America. We also watched white actors dress up as Native Americans who were portrayed as “savages” which was so obviously racist I’m disappointed I have to even bring it up to nullify your point.

        Moving on to your final comment about The Rock, that’s a straw man argument and is hardly anything close to proof. The Rock is the highest paid actor of 2016, but not of all time and people that look like him are not in abundance in Hollywood. Name 5 other pacific islander actors as famous and or successful as Dwayne. You can’t. Not only is Dwayne an exception to the rule because of his racial ambiguity, he is not visibly ethnic the way most people of color are which grants him access to roles other people of his background would not get. If Dwayne was dark skinned and hard kinky hair he would not be in the position he is in today

        . Yes talent plays a crucial part in how far you can ascend, but your proximity to whiteness and how you are viewed plays an equally if not more crucial part. Being the exception to the rule does not break the rule for everyone, it breaks it for you and you alone. Dwayne is an anomaly and even when he is portrayed as the savior in films his family NEVER shares his ethnic background, nor does Hollywood try. His family in San Andreas was all white, and not possibly mixed, just straight up white. You can do that with a Dwayne because he is tan and racially ambiguous, you can’t do it with Will Smith or Jackie Chan or any other actor of color.

        By your logic I could say “Racism in the music industry isn’t a big issue because Beyonce and Jay Z are black and they’re worth $1 billion.” It does not make sense. I find it incredibly troubling you’re referring to white washing with quotation marks as if it’s not real. That means you’ve sat through this class watching white people dress up as native Americans and portray them as savages and did not see anything wrong with it. If you fail to understand the concept of white washing you are not actively benefitting from the class because your mind is closed, and that’s disappointing.

        In conclusion,

        White people do not have to be the majority to make a profit.

        Hollywood is racist. Yes it’s “less” racist than it was 40-50 years ago but it’s still racist nonetheless.

        White washing is real and The Rock is not proof of it ceasing to exist, he’s actually an exception to the rule and helps my argument because he doesn’t look like his racial background, which grants him access to more roles and more revenue, allowing him to hold the title the highest paid actor in 2016.

        Cheers.

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        Clintrump: The movie we talked about with the white actress playing an Asian woman would be the upcoming Ghost in The Shell. The movie has not come out yet, and there is still no word that I can find on what the budget will be.

        This is a massive issue I have noticed in class. People throw out statements like “Lucy was a flop! So it makes no sense to cast scarlett Johannson!” when the reality is that Lucy made quite a lot of money. This is a testament to what we are learning in class. Most people want to see a star in a movie. The exact same thing happened with After Earth, and it was also used as an example of a “flop.” The movie is awful, but it made a lot of money, and the star power was a massive factor in that. The bottom line here is that people need to do their research before making these claims.

        I do however agree with you on your main point. At the end of the day, Hollywood is a business. If they think having a movie with a cast with 0 white people, a cast of people that no one has ever seen before, and the most “progressive” story you can think of will net them a profit, they will make that movie. And just to cover our bases here, the key word in that statement is “think.” No one knows how well a movie is going to do, which is why Hollywood usually sticks to the ideas that we have been learning about in class. Star Power, Story and Director.

        On a side note: In my research on diversity in Hollywood I have come across some very interesting things. One piece I came across I think illustrates what I think is a far more pressing issue than that with the diversity in cast, which I do believe there is a problem with, especially when you look at the percentage of Latin-American movie goes, how many movies they see, and the lack of Latin-Americans that are given speaking roles. The main problem this piece was focused on was the lack of diversity in directors. While the article only gives numbers on African-American directors, the number they give is rather troubling. Only 6% of directors working now are black. This is an area I would really like to see focused on more. I think if you fix the issue here, you will see a trickle down effect that will gave way to some very positive change.

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    • clintrump ⋅

      Reply to Nox, I made some valid points through honest observation. You seem rather angry and I’m not really sure why? Hollywood doesn’t care about being authentic or genuine to cultural matters they just want to make generate profits. It’s capitalism. So unfortunately you will have some ethnic roles being played by white people. Hollywood is just an entertainment machine fed by money that’s all it is.

      I don’t think you nullified my argument at all when it comes to demographics considering that America’s largest population is white people so it makes sense to target that large audience group to generate large profits. Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” is half Pacific Islander and he’s killing it getting lead roles and getting paid! He has a hard-core work ethic and deserves all of the success that he earns. I’m not sure why you cannot agree with this argument of demographics and agree that The Rock is awesome?

      I and many other people I know who are white grew up listening to good classic hip-hop music in the late 80’s to early to mid 90’s buying CD’s. This music industry lead up to the creation of Straight Out of Compton which was a good film, and again liked by many regardless of skin color. Good art usually rises to the top of the financial food chain.

      And yes socially films in Hollywood are getting much better compared to what it was back in the 60’s. Progress is being made despite the rather extreme PC cultural outrage.

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      • Nox ⋅

        Reply to Clintrump:

        I’m angry because you’re directly insulting everyone who isn’t white by trying to justify whitewashing via Capitalism. You’re missing the bigger picture. The work Hollywood produces still has long-term effects on people of color because the films Hollywood puts out is indicative of “America” from a foreigners point of view. The Rock being half pacific Islander doesn’t mean anything in regards to Hollywood’s racist nature. You also failed to answer my question in naming 5 other Pacific Islander actors who are equally as famous and or popular in American film.

        When Aloha came out in 2014 they had Emma Stone play an asian character, this is exactly why you can’t name 5 other pacific islanders. Roles they could play are not provided to them, and the argument of “white people need to see white people on screen” is racist and inaccurate. Hawaii is not entirely made up of white people, so it truly made no sense casting Emma Stone when most of the population is Asian and Pacific Islander.

        It is not simply about worth ethic as I explained in the last comment, it is about your proximity to whiteness and the opportunities provided to you because of said proximity to whiteness. “Beyonce has a great work ethic and earns a lot of money! Why hasn’t racism in America ended?” < – This is what you sound like. One individual's success does not negate the issues all members their racial group faces. Where are all the other pacific islander actors? Their roles are going to white people, not because white people bring in more money, but because white people believe their narcissistic ideology that if anything is going to be good, they have to dominate the screen.

        It doesn't matter you listened to Hip-Hop in the 80's and early 90's. You missed the message because it was never meant for you. A lot of the rap music being produced during that era rose out of a strong resentment towards white society and law enforcement for their systemic abuse towards people of color. N.W.A didn't make a song called "Fuck Tha Police" as a joke. They meant it. You don't get a cookie for buying rap CD's in the 80's, you and your white friends have no right to claim success for Straight Outta Compton or any other rap biopic. Yes a lot of people did like it, but the story wasn't about you. You keep centering yourself and white people in general as the main event, you are not it.

        This is obviously difficult for you to understand as you've grown up only seeing yourself represented in a positive image because white people have some ridiculous ideology that films must be white to generate revenue, but it's wrong. Disney did not create it's first black princess until 2009, and she was a frog for the majority of the movie. Let that sink in. Generations of young black girls and boys looked for positive images of themselves in the media and found themselves only painted as jezebels, drug dealers or villains.

        This "extreme PC cultural outrage" is a direct consequence of white society's extreme racism not only within the film industry, but within America as a whole. Only recently has white society had to come to terms with the rightfully outraged communities of color who will no longer accept being stereotyped and vilified on the big screen. This rage will not subside anytime soon either. We are going forward, not backwards, and to go forward white people must come to terms with the fact they are not the only demographic in America, nor are they superior.

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  3. Nyphos ⋅

    Sorry to add again, but I also remembered The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) . If you’d like to see some really early artistic sets, I would recommend this.

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  4. Nyphos ⋅

    I’m surprised that there isn’t much talk in here on what we spoke of in last class yet. There was a lot of talk on ethnic choices in movies, and I wholeheartedly agree that it is disappointing how Hollywood is insisting on whitewashing its movies even in this day and age. I did see in the news an update on the Mulan cast, and it stated that the entire cast will be Chinese. Whether this was the plan from the beginning or a shift in plans due to public backlash is unknown, but I think it would be naively optimistic to believe that it was the plan from the beginning.

    There was also a comment regarding the new Rogue One movie and how it has a famous Chinese actor, Donnie Yen. Star Wars doesn’t have the following in China that it has in other countries as China has a history of imposing bans on American Films, sometimes for months at a time. This leads to the question of motive for why Donnie Yen was chosen for the new Star Wars movie. Was it because of his acting ability or was it because those at the top are hoping that the inclusion of a popular Chinese actor will boost sales when the movie is released to China? I don’t think of myself as a cynic by any stretch of the word, but I feel that there is no way that sales in China weren’t thought of even for a moment when considering Donnie Yen’s casting.

    I can only hope that the current trend of globalization in the world can eventually worm its way into the American film industry as well, and the sooner the better.

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    • uruwa ⋅

      Even if they’re giving Donnie Yen a role purely for the revenue, at least it’s a step in the right direction. It may be for the wrong reasons as far as the studio goes, but if we show that movies won’t take a hit just because they have more representation, then maybe more studios and filmmakers will follow suit for the /right/ reasons.

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      Regarding Donnie Yen in Rogue One, it could be that they are trying to add more major characters played by Asians or modelled to look like Asians into the franchise. One character that comes to mind is Commander Jun Sato of one rebel cell in Star Wars: Rebels, first appearing in the first episode of the second season, which aired in June 2015. In the live-action Star Wars films, there are also a number of minor characters played by Asian actors, including quite a few Jedi in the prequels and rebel pilots in Return of the Jedi.

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  5. Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

    The discussion last class was very interesting because I could hear several opinions about the Hollywood industry, and how the studios choose the actors to participate on their films. And I could see that most of people in class are unhappy with Hollywood in that kind of subject. But I have to say it was not a surprise.

    Surely, it is a very hard, and sometimes unfair, process of selection for the movies nowadays. Actually, the first choices for casting actors are usually white american actors and actresses with good participation on the media. So, it can be concluded that Hollywood wants to use these people to represent them, mostly as the ‘face of America’. That is why in the ‘Great American Man’ discussion, most of the actors were exactly like the description, examples like Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, etc.

    Even though, characters from different ethnic groups or nationalities in movies are often represented by the same actors as usual. For example, Hermione from the book series Harry Potter was originally a black character, but in the famous movie franchise Emma Watson was chosen for the role. I’m not saying that Emma is a terrible actress, but Hollywood may have restricted the participation a good black actress that would be more ideal for Hermione. Then, Hollywood is a little bit incoherent in these aspects, even considering racist attitudes. As well, when ‘non standard’ actors are portrayed in the movies, they don not receive the ‘best place on the scene’. Either they are portrayed as not very important, or they are shown as villains and criminals.

    Therefore, Hollywood needs to give more chances to other actors that are not often in spotlight, or even in the standard white American. The actresses Viola Davis from the series How to Get Away With Murder is a great example of dedication and hard work in a unfair industry.

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      In the Harry Potter novels, there was nothing to indicate that Hermione is completely black. At best, there are only implications that she might be white or at least light-skinned; e.g. descriptions of her having a tan after a summer vacation and becoming pink from cold or blushing). As such, she is more likely to be either white (anything from Anglo-Saxon to Mediterranean), Asian, or of mixed heritage with at least one parent being light-skinned, whether that be half-black/half-white, half-white/half-Asian, or any other combination.

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      • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

        Ok I thought I was right about it, but you seem to be a great Harry Potter fan and you gave me a good argument. I saw that information in a specific YouTube channel about cinema. Probably I am wrong, sorry for this mistake…

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      • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

        But even in the new Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new Hermione interpreter is Norma Dumezweni, a black actress. How does that fit on your last response? I’m kind of confused now.

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      • Sierra94 ⋅

        There is no Hermione Granger in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It is set in 1926, several decades before she was even born.
        Noma Dumezweni will be portraying Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a stageplay rather than a film. I don’t mind her portraying Hermione as she must be excellent at acting, considering that she was chosen over all the other people who auditioned for the role, but it doesn’t change the fact that Hermione was originally light-skinned in the novels.

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      • theSiren_Song ⋅

        Sierra94, you’re my new favorite person.

        Rowling has been annoying me for awhile with her sudden Pottermore and Twitter announcement about race and orientation of certain characters. If you always intended for characters to be a certain race of orientation, then put it in the books. Don’t omit it then add later “oh btw Dumbledore is gay”. This is an issue I have with pop culture. They release something, its a hit, then after it becomes a hit, they got out of their way to make it minority friendly.

        This whole issue over Hermione being black is just sad on Rowling’s part. I have no issue having a black actress portray her on stage. If she can do the part, then do it. But the way Rowling suddenly turns around and says “oh yea! btw, this is EXACTLY how i pictured hermione!” is just not okay. If that’s how you always pictured her, then write it into the books. pr influence the movie directors to pick a black child to portray Hermione in the movies. Don’t come out years later and say “oh yea btw she’s black” after we’ve spent YEARS believing she was white because of the way she was described in the books and portrayed in movies that are apart of our childhood.

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    • Nox ⋅

      How To Get Away With Murder is actually a really good example of representation done right. Viola Davis has been in a lot of films but I’d argue none have been as big or as diverse as the How To Get Away With Murder series. What’s incredibly telling however, is that Viola Davis is now 51 years old. She is only just now really having her “breakout moment” so to speak where she’s obtained the lead role, and is driving the show. Her film breakthrough came in 2008, but if you ask someone what Viola Davis is known for besides How To Get Away With Murder I think it’s fair to say they’d be stumped.

      Shondaland, the production company owned by Shonda Rhimes who is the producer of How To Get Away With Murder, said her shows features lots of minorities because she wants her productions to reflect real life. So Hollywood is moving in the right direction, slowly but surely, and shows like How To Get Away With Murder are a good example of shows doing well without the need of an all white cast and maybe one or two supporting characters who aren’t white.

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      • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

        Viola Davis is surely living the best moment of her career. I watched How to get Away With Murder and she was amazing in the series. She represented a strong character and respected professional as a lawyer, proving that minorities can fight against their obstacles and be successful personalities. She even won the Emmy Awards for a major female role in a Drama series with her performances, making a great speech and saying: “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis, 2015.

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  6. Nox ⋅

    This might be a bit too esoteric, but is anyone familiar with the series Maximum Ride? It was an immensely popular James Patterson series, that even got a manga adaptation. It started in 2005 and rumors about a movie have been swirling about since 2007 when it was announced a movie was in production. I recently found out that nearly 10 years later, the movie was made and it is unfortunately a complete dumpster fire. It went straight to iTunes sometime in August and was in select theaters beginning September 30th. Not only were some of the characters whitewashed, the VFX rivals that of a 90s sci-fi flick. The storyline loosely followed the plot of the first back and the inconsistencies were everywhere. You memory of this series might be a little hazy since it is a bit older, but I thought this was really interesting and worth discussing.

    Personally in 2016 I think if they don’t have the budget to make it great, the movie should have never been produced. James Patterson was one of the executive producers and I’m amazed he signed off on this, after trying for so long to get the film into the hands of people this is incredibly disappointing. Obviously I don’t know all the production details on this film, but I think this could have been a home run had it been released when Maximum Ride was at the top of it’s game back around 2008-2010, or even in 2016 but as a Netflix Series. The cast didn’t have to be A list stars but with the proper amount of TLC I believe this could have thrived the way the Hunger Games did or even Twilight. The Maximum Ride series is very large and it could have easily spawned multiple films or multiple seasons as a Netflix Original, which could be even better because they could pay much more attention to detail and start from the beginning instead of trying to jam pack everything into an hour and a half.

    Maximum Ride is arguably a coming of age tale by it’s own niche, so this could have been an amazing opportunity to showcase some fresh talent and kickstart their career. But I digress, a wonderful series deserved so much better than this and I hope if the series is revived in the future it’s done the right way.

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  7. postnroast ⋅

    I know we’ve moved into the collapse of the golden age and historical American films. But I feel like there are somethings I have left unsaid about the Black and white film era was introduced to sound.
    I’m a videogame type of guy. Detective cases from the 40’s made great B films and not-so great films, going on “hunches” similar to intuition cases where decided by non-DNA evidence and witness accounts. A game I played on the PS3 that was much like the film we watched in class, Sunset Blvd, is L.A. Noire.

    “L.A. Noire is set in Los Angeles in 1947 and challenges the player, controlling a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, to solve a range of cases across five divisions.Players must investigate crime scenes for clues, follow up leads, and interrogate suspects, and the player’s success at these activities will impact how much of each case’s story is revealed.
    The game draws heavily from both the plot and aesthetic elements of film noir—stylistic films made popular in the 1940s and 1950s that share similar visual styles and themes, including crime and moral ambiguity—along with drawing inspiration from real-life crimes for its in-game cases, based upon what was reported by the Los Angeles media in 1947. The game uses a distinctive colour palette, but in homage to film noir it includes the option to play the game in black and white.” -Gameinformer quote

    The game makes me wish I was a detective from the 40’s cracking down on crime with only my wits, pen and pocket notebook as my weapon of justice.
    How this relates to American film?
    Film created around this time where black and white, using the limited technology at hand, the story value was a major element in film at the time. And what makes a better story than a murder mystery exaggerated by the press.

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    • RM ⋅

      I would like to second this, the whole time I was watching sunset boulevard I was thinking of that game. I remember playing it back in the day when it first came out. It was one of the first to use motion capture technology on an actors face. It was supposed to better simulate facial emotions so that you as the detective could tell when a suspect was lying. I found out either I’m a very bad detective, or the facial structure were a little too uncanny valley for it to really make a difference. That said the whole game rips off all those old Noir Movies intentionally and what you get is a game that is strung together tropes of every Film in that genre. It was a good game though and its interesting to see a video game adaption of film Noir. I would love to see both a revival of film Noir in contemporary cinema and more games like it in the future.

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      • postnroast ⋅

        The spectrum of game and film is very similar in a evolutionary way. So, maybe the authenticity of the older ways, may see itself into such games in the future. But for now I think games tend to focus on what is less tangible. On that note the genre of film noire is very enticing as its unimaginable itself, in accordance with todays films, which makes films watched today less appealing in comparison.

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  8. Sorabari ⋅

    We discussed about the tendency of the preference between the original films and the remake ones. If a person watches the original one first and likes it, he or she probably doesn’t like the remake one as much as the original one, while if a person watches the remake one first and likes it, he or she doesn’t like the original one. I assume that the reason why is that they expect the film that they watch secondly more than the first film they watch. Otherwise, both films have same or similar plots, so they don’t get impressed as much as the first film.

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    • youngbillionaire ⋅

      I think this not true, yes there may be bias on which you like depending on whether you watch the original first or the remake first but that doesn’t mean what ever you watch first is going to be better. Yes both films have same or similar plots, but the actors are different. Meaning they bring in something totally new for the better or for the worse. And of course the visuals, the colors the sound are different as different camera or music or technology is used to create remake. There is soo many other factors to consider when looking at an original and a remake, beside the story line. So in conclusion regardless of watching a films original version first or remake version first it should not effect the your perception of which one is better because there are many factors to consider besides the story of the film. Also a important point is when comparing original vs. remake you shouldn’t just focus on pure American remakes but also on remakes of films from different countries, which again is a big factor and depending on who you ask the answer will very regardless of which one they watch first.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Eddie ⋅

    I don’t think that it’s remakes alone. For example, I wold say that every movie in the star wars franchise after the original 3 were horrible special effects driven films aimed only at profit with gross neglect to the story and serious character development. I’d prefer to see films that were thought out well and followed the story line a little better, the last one was so terrible that I’ve given up on the franchise forever. One Irony after the other left me feeling that they just did all they could to squeeze as much of the original cast in the movie to the point that it became redundant and almost as if they used a new Hope as a backdrop to create a secondary flash of excitement by retelling the same story with slight modification. That’s just me though rambling. Either way remakes or re-continuations often seem to let the viewers down and and it’s really sad when it’s an epic film that you recall from your childhood years.

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    • wakarinai ⋅

      I agree with to you to a point. I think the latest Star Wars movie was trying to appease two generations of franchise lovers. Yet the people who grew up on the great films such as A New Hope were sorely disappointed. Yet with our generation verse the Episode 1 generation being combined to enjoy one flik was highly difficult. I think they did the best they could do with what they had at the time. Also, because of the Episodes 1-3 being the disappointments that they were they had to rebuild a bit without losing theyre younger following. My main irritation with this new Film is simply that it did not follow any plot of the books leaving those who like to read and watch completely clueless and confused throughout the movie. So seeing that its almost like they are telling two different stories, one on paper and one on the screen. This could be irritating to some due to the lack of sense that it makes, yet as a film its self; i found it to be very entertaining and composed a fun story that many people can enjoy.

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      • Eddie ⋅

        I’m with you on the same page with them trying to find a way to fit in with both generations. Either way the movie was a repetition of new hope, let’s just hope that the new film will recorrect messups 1-3 lol I suppose only time will tell.

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      There is a lot more to the Star Wars franchise than just the films. You might reconsider giving up on the franchise by looking into the Expanded Universe, whether it’s the two animated TV series, the various video games, or the countless novels and comics in both the old “Legends” continuity from before the Disney acquisition or the new official EU after the Disney acquisition.
      In my opinion, while The Force Awakens was fine in its own right, it really did feel too much like A New Hope, something that I remember George Lucas complaining about in an interview he did either before or after TFA’s release. I am hoping that Episode 8 will be more original and not too similar to The Empire Strikes Back.

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    • Vera Lynn ⋅

      I get what you are saying, and somewhat agree with you. The thing that is important to understand with the original three star wars movies is that Lucas had a ton of help on a New Hope, and he didn’t direct Empire or Jedi, though I am one of those jackasses that says everything started to go down hill with Jedi. Anyway, I think the reason the original 3 are as good as they are is because Lucas had so much talent helping him.

      I 100% agree that episodes 1 2 and 3 are a hot mess. Lucas directed all 3, and they are just bad. Bad story, bad characters, bad effects, and absolutely awful dialog. I think I have said it in another thread, but I highly recommend checking out the Red Letter Media break downs of why people hate episodes 1, 2 and 3. They do a break down of the opening sequences of A New Hope and The Phantom Menace that is super funny, and has some great insight into how to convey themes with visuals.

      I don’t hate the new movie, but I really do see where you are coming from. It very much feels like a soft reboot for cash grab. That being said, It is at least watchable. I am willing t hold my judgement for the moment. I want to believe that they are more or less remaking A New Hope to set the ground work for the following movies to branch out and be their own thing. I feel like there are a lot of interesting directions they could go in, and some of the fan theories out there would be really cool to see. That being said, I do still have a lingering fear that the next 2 movies could just be more of the same just designed to push toys.

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  10. GreenBanana ⋅

    We have talked about star system in the class and learned how famous celebrities or famous story would be interesting to most people and it is a great strategies to make a big hit in Hollywood films.  The example would be a Japanese film called ”kanjani eight power rangers” I actually watched it, and it felt that this film was not really a good film, but the actors were the famous boys bands in Japan therefore, no matter what the content is, there will be many people want to watch their film.
    Someone talked about the the “Spiderman”, and the main actor is changed every time. Tobey Maguire is very familiar with the Spiderman film but it changed when Hollywood released “The amazing Spiderman”. It might be a directors strategies to not using Tobey in the “Amazing Spiderman” but i was disappointed for not using him. Also in the recent avengers film, Spiderman was acted by another different guy and i felt really disappointed. It looked like totally different from what i expected. On the other hand, I liked how starwars films are keep using the same actors still. The recent film Starwars 7, old Lucas skywalker appealed at the very end of the film and he was the same guy that we’ve watch from the Episode 4,5 and 6 and i really love how they did it. This also show that star system is really working on audience to motivate to watch films that involves with great actors or celebrity.

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  11. GreenBanana ⋅

    We’ve discussed about B-movies in the class. It is a film made with a low budget films. Ive searched if there are any films that are B-movie and famous right now and i found out that the Terminator 1 was actually a B-movie. Arnold schwarzenegger a unknown actor at that moment and after releasing the Terminator 1, the film got popular and raised the budget for their 2nd Terminator films and so on. Im not quite sure but is Starwars eisode was also started with the B-movie?
    I personally think B-movies have a advantage of trying new things because even thought it fails, it doesn’t not hurt much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • karltuj

      Terminator 1 is a B-Movie, yes. Star Wars not, but it started actually as independent but ended up on the lower end (in terms of budget) of a mainstream film, and they invested most of the budget into the effects than a star cast. It has some elements in common with B-Movies, and as you felt, there is arguably more freedom of content and expression, we will discuss that further in class.

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  12. TRONtravolta ⋅

    I think that everybody was a little too excited the other day, when the subject of a white actress playing the role of a Japanese character. The comment was made that there were people outraged that Mulan did not fit the princess stereotype. I am sorry to say it, but who cares? If something as simple as that can ruin a movie for you, than don’t watch it. Hollywood makes decisions based on profits. How many times have you read a book that was great, but later watched the movie and hated it? These things happen. Replacing the Japanese character with a big name actress is what elevates the films reputation from a B movie to a Hollywood blockbuster. As discussed in class, there needs to be a big name actress or director to give the film a chance of making better profits. Also consider that when there is controversy, such as having this actress not fit the original character, will make the fans pay to watch and also the people that are outraged will also pay to see it.

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    • clintrump ⋅

      Response to TRONtravolta, agreed I think there is a little to much “PC” anger when it comes to some of these issues like a white women playing a Japanese role even though it is fake and not truly authentic. Hollywood is run by…… a specific group of people running a business trying to make profit! Its the bottom line in business. This group of people knows how to make money.

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    • Nox ⋅

      Response to TRONtravolta:

      Your argument is flawed, if a movie based off a series with an already devoted fanbase needs a major actor to be successful, why did The Hunger Games choose Jennifer Lawrence? Nobody knew her before that and it was still wildly successful, so your point doesn’t really make sense. They took a risk on a smaller known actress and it still worked out.

      As far as Mulan and Ghost In The Shell goes, people being outraged that Mulan wasn’t a “princess” and was more of a warrior is one hundred percent different than people being outraged Disney would try to make Mulan white. Out of the 11 Disney princesses, 7 of them are white. So to now take one of the four princesses who isn’t white and make her white is obviously wrong for obvious reasons and can not be justified by “big named white actor brings in more money!” If you make Mulan white people in this day and age will NOT go see the movie out of spite, they will boycott it.

      The controversy = profits does not always work out, especially when the controversy is completely alienating one of the main selling points, a Disney princess little girls who aren’t white can relate to. If you’re a fan of Mulan and are Asian-American, you’d probably be pretty disgusted if your only representation was being represented by Scarlett Johanson wearing makeup to make her look Chinese. Had people not gotten “too excited” about whitewashing, Disney would not have launched a global search for a Chinese actress to play Mulan. Society sent a message that whitewashing is unacceptable and they will lose money if they choose to go down that road. Mulan is set to launch in Winter of 2018 and it will have a Chinese female lead, because non white people, Asian-Americans especially, spoke up and said they will not support a company and or movie who overwrites their identity in favor of whiteness.

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      • clintrump ⋅

        Last response to Nox,

        I never justified “whitewashing” because of capitalism it just happens. I also never said that it was right to “whitewash” and you completely misunderstood what exactly I was trying to explain….”demographics” without your claim of “superiority” as you stated in the end. There are numerous Hollywood megastars that aren’t white other than just the rock even though for the argument you want to claim only his white side and not his half Pacific Islander side for the sake of continuing the never-ending argument. I don’t have to name 5 other Pacific Islander actors like your some “PC” police authority with power seeking to limit free speech in a blog.

        And the comment about how early 90’s hip hop music isn’t meant for me is blatantly racist implying that I can only enjoy cultural entertainment from my own race. I can listen to whatever music I enjoy if I like it, and that’s what art is all about. Honestly that music opened my eyes up to a world that I did not know until I listened to the music. I’m also not claiming white success for Straight Outta Compton but I’m sure there was a lot of revenue generated from white people paying to see the film. I don’t really trust the police or agree with a lot of the brutality that has been displayed on T.V. as of recently so naturally some of NWA’s lyrics make sense to me. Even if I am white I can relate to the message of police brutality, and I don’t want your cookie or social brownie points as a sign of virtue signaling. You didn’t win the argument and you just sound angry with the unfounded “PC” outrage. I think you need a hug seriously. Your message could be more effective without the anger but that’s just my opinion.

        Like

      • BIGANTEATER ⋅

        @Nox Im gonna have to agree with my man TRONtravolta. The Mulan argument was a little heated. Its good to have these thought provoking conversations but at the end of the day everything isnt about race, whitewashing, skin color, etc. Money makes the world go round. No matter how much you argue against it that is simply the case. And with Ghost in the shell you can not tell me that there is a prominent Japanese or Asian actor in America who will bring in the bucks. None have risen to the occasion yet. Until some does then there is gonna be people of other races playing these parts. PEOPLE WHO WILL BRING IN MONEY. Think about it, the most successful minority actors/actresses are African Americans. They have traversed through the oppression and spoken out against the marginalization against African Americans in Hollywood. Have any Asian Americans done the same? And if they have has it been on the same level as African Americans? Until a revolution starts in the Asian American community, a revolution demanding more opportunities, then there will not be any A1 asian actors in the A1 films. Moreover Asian Americans only make up 5.6 of the American population meaning that statistically there are less chances of there even being an Asian actor. Everything is not always about race guys. Spread Love. Not Hate. Also Why did no one mention the fact that the red dragon in mulan was played by a black actor (Eddie Murphy). Shouldn’t he have been black dragon instead? #blackdragonlivesmatter

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well I can see you are very passionate about Disney “cartoon” princesses. Please do not count Pocahontas is the category of princess. She was a strong Native American gal of the land. And where what is this mumbo jumbo about Mulan being white? She was from China. I think everyone accepted the fact that she was Chinese. You also tried quoting me by saying, “Big named White actors bring more money.” Sorry honey, I never said that so please don’t quote things that are not there. And my point was not that controversy makes money. It does however create buzz and media exposure. Many people were against the new Star Wars, and watched it anyways. Even though they had a bad attitude like yourself to this whole princess/ Ghost in a Shell thing, they still saw it because they were fans or wanted to think of their own opinions…Instead of completely dismissing the movie because it does not relate to the cartoon. How many times have cartoons or amines that have been produced into live actions don’t have the same characters? Blanka wasn’t green in Street Fighter. Someone call the fire department!

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      • Sorry for the writing errors. I was very excited.

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      • BIGANTEATER ⋅

        @my boy/girl Nox

        Forgot to mention that the character that Scarlett Johansson plays in Ghost in the Shell was never intended to be Japanese in the first place. This is a direct quote from Sam Yoshiba, director of the international business division at Kodansha’s headquarters who originally published Ghost In the Shell. ““Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well-cast, She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place. This is a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world,”. The backlash over Scarlett Johansson seems to be from the western otaku population. Most Japanese seem to not give 2 shits about who plays the role. I just think we shouldn’t be so quick to anger at situations like this. Analyze every detail before flying to conclusions. Sadly internet rhetoric and culture allows for quickly flying off the handle and accusing before analyzing.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Nox ⋅

    Response to Clintrump:

    That’s exactly what you did, please don’t backtrack now. Whitewashing doesn’t “just happen” it’s a direct byproduct of Hollywood’s racism. You make a conscious decision to only hire white actors when the script and or the characters literally do not say they have to be all white. When you overwrite an asian character and put a white one in, it’s racist. There’s no getting around it. The only reason you’re not upset is because you’re white and you’ve grown up seeing yourself portrayed positively since birth. There has never been a lack of white actors for young white children to look up to.

    Regarding the fact there’s numerous non-white actors, so what? They are an incredibly small minority, if you look at actual data from Hollywood and the Oscars, white people STILL dominate the ENTIRE industry with pacific islanders and asians barley making a blip. African-Americans are present but certainly not in the numbers whites are. Once again, you’re not answering the question because you literally can not answer it. There are no other pacific islanders in the position Dwayne is in. That is a fact. It’s not about limiting your freedom of speech, you’re free to hold whatever racist ideologies you like, but this is a public blog and you should be prepared to deal with the blowback that comes with harboring said ideologies.

    Reverse racism isn’t real, you can’t relate to a single thing N.W.A or any rapper from the 90s rapped about. You’re not black, latino, or asian, nor did you grow up in a marginalized community with people with more power than you (white people) actively looking to prosecute you for the color of your skin. I didn’t say you couldn’t enjoy it, I said it wasn’t meant for you. Key word, meant. Rappers do not rap for white people, they rap to reflect their reality, and their reality is exclusive to them and people that look like them. You’re an outsider looking in, you will never experience systemic racism and someone telling you you never will is not racist, it’s the cold truth. Oh and before you bring up 8 Mile, just because Eminem grew up in the hood doesn’t mean he faced racism, he didn’t.

    You can’t relate to police brutality, nobody is persecuting you for your skin when you walk down the streets of LA. You do not face systemic racism at all. You can listen to rap as much as you want, you’ll never relate to their stories. You can show empathy, but you can’t relate. That’s like me saying “I played Gears of War so I know what Iraq was like.” “I watched a woman give birth so I know how firsthand how painful child birth is.” Neither of these statements, including yours, is true. They do not make sense. Black people are being killed and imprisoned at disproportionate rates across the U.S so don’t ever say you can “understand” police brutality, you truly and honestly can’t, and you never will no matter how much rap music and or movies you listen to in your free time.

    The argument was over from the first time I responded to be honest, you’re centering yourself and actually have the audacity to be offended at non white people pointing out the problems with Hollywood’s racism. The same people that whine and moan about “PC culture” tend to be straight white men upset at the fact they can’t dominate social spaces with impunity like they could in the 60s, 50s, 40s and so on. If non white people speaking up is troublesome, I hate to tell you that minorities are set to become the majority in the United States. “PC outrage” is a byproduct of white supremacy, and you reap what you sow. Hollywood directors are being made to answer for their racism the same way you’re being challenged in this class.

    I don’t need a hug, the anger of non white people is justified because we live in a white supremacist society. I’m also not sure how you believe you won the argument you’re now backing out of….but you’ve somehow convinced yourself you can relate to the experiences of black youth in the 90s so that says more than enough.

    If you didn’t want to deal with the anger of non-white people there’s not much I can do to help you, centuries of colonization leaves a lot of carnage in its wake and its effects are still present today, but that’s another argument you can’t win so we won’t get into it. Make no mistake, you’re free to say what you want on this blog, but if you’d like to discuss these issues without angry brown people challenging your racism there are organizations like the Ku Klux Klan that are always accepting applicants and are more likely to accept your ideas, no longer will you have to be politically correct or refrain from speaking how you truly feel! Just something to think about.

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  14. karltuj

    Hi All,
    this is getting into an interesting and heated discussion. We might come back to the topic in class one more time, if manageable. As much as I agree from ethic point of view that white- (race) and straight-washing (esp. transfacing) are morally despicable, the argument against star actors cannot easily denied. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence was brought up as she was relatively unknown for some, but they were looking for a young actress (she was only 19 when she got the role in Hunger Games), and she had done X-Men and some critically acclaimed dramas before. How many superstars do we have at 20? Yeah, there are a few child actors, but often their stardom fades when they become teenagers… (McCauley Culkin, for example). Hunger Games had Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson for the adult parts which are star character actors, to balance it a bit out. It’s a story for young people though, and young people were represented by young actors.
    The “culture” of white- and straight-washing goes much deeper than the actually final cast decision, and are actually only the tip of the iceberg. It means that roles are not decided independently from talent in general (no matter what race or gender), and the options to get credits for minorities are poor because they are excluded from auditions (and grooming in general) from early on, and even many scripts stereotype race and gender (including female roles, actually they are the world’s largest “minority” despite being numerically the majority). There is hope, however, because the society (and ticket sales) have an influence on mainstream film, so if people get angry on those films, it helps. And then there is Paracinema, we will talk in class about it. Often changes come from there (you got already a preview on how the European Western = type of Paracinema has influenced US filmmakers).
    Please continue your discussions like this, it’s really awesome and informative, so that I can improve the quality of the course! Thank you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • RM ⋅

      This is in response to the discussion of the Ghost in the shell film. I know this is a bit of a late edition to the conversation, but has anyone watched the new trailers that are out and the behind the scenes footage ? what are your opinions on the movie now, in terms of how it looks ? Does it look cheap to you or like it will be a flop ? I’m curious, they are doing a big push to market it now and just a few weeks ago a friend of mine attended an event to promote the new movie in Harajuku at laforet. They had exclusive t-shirts and other stuff. Seems they are finally going public with trailers and things. I have to say I was impressed with the trailer , atleast in terms of its visuals. It certainly had a distinctive almost blade runner esq look to it. They also seem to have gone out of their way to recreate several scenes almost exactly from both the animated series and animated movies. It has a genuinely unique look to it. I found the plasticy look of the android geishas a bit too on the nose however, in the anime they look like regular humans until their faces split open. Futhering the wierdness and giving more of a shock, as well as emphasizing the extent to which they are indistinguishable from humans.In the trailer however they look plastic and cheap at that, so there is an element of the anime that is ruined by thier obviousness as artificail. The action scenes do look cool, what there is of them anyway. I’m going to stay away for the most part from the discussion about the white washing in the movie, its not what I wish to focus on. However I would be interested in knowing if anyone opinion has changed somewhat knowing that quite a few japanese actors have been included in the cast. Not that this excuses the white washing of the lead role. I have a feeling from what I’ve seen that the story will not be much to talk about, and i do have some concern that the props or sets seem somewhat cheap. It does have the look of a sort of budget scifi movie. Which in someways is understandable given how niche of a property the movie is. Johansen was clearly hired for her star status to draw an audience. My only concern is that is she hadnt been cast the movie would have had a bigger budget to work with effects wise which I think would have been smarter given the movies subject matter. The movie score is another thing I’m worried about. The music in the trailer very well may be placeholder music , but given that other ghost in the shell properties have always had excellent soundtracks I would be really disappointed if this movie got a budget soundtrack put together by a nobody full of generic action music. Yes I am very cynical.

      Like

  15. karltuj

    That being said, Jennifer Lawrence was chosen, although a role like that could have been cast with an African-American, Latino or Pacific Islander girl, or even a trans girl. Yet, she is white and the movie became a tremendous success. We get angry if we see white people cast as Asians, and straight guys cast as trans women, because it’s so obviously distasteful, but we should also wonder why are so few minorities cast in general in the first place, even if the role doesn’t require the character being of a specific race or gender! (Hey, and how many studio executives of mainstream production companies are actually African-American, or Pacific Islanders, or Latinos etc.? Here we go…) So one thing is sure, that actually most of he stars are white and straight/cis is no coincidence. And this leads into a vicious circle, that cuts out chances for minorities on both ends (grooming and role equality in mainstream US cinema, plus their representation to the audience on screen). So far, with a few exceptions, minorities have been either eluded or underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream US cinema. That some movie producers are still assuming that this is best to sell their film (domestic and internationally) is a fact, but it now triggers more and more backlash and anger from those minorities, and therefore will lead producers to change sooner or later. Movies have a certain educational effect, so it is very important for any minority to be represented correctly and fairly on screen. Movies also will still make money when doing so, but since incredible budgets are necessary to produce mainstream US films, their producers are the shiest of any risk (it does not matter for them how clear and present that risk actually is, they would just avoid any chance anyway). Backlash on their films, plus success of off-mainstream films are the best tools to alter such patterns.

    Like

  16. Nox ⋅

    Response to @BIGANTEATER

    You’re being sarcastic. You don’t want a discussion on race, you’re making fun of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was started after the deaths of unarmed black men by law enforcement. Do a better job at hiding your racism if you would like to have a legitimate conversation about racism in the film industry. The only people that say “not everything is about race” are white people because they never have to think about race until they’re confronted by non white people. The idea of race does not enter your mind until non-white people raise concerns. It is not just about money, it is about furthering an agenda. When you actively decide to make films all white you are sending a message of white supremacy, all white is not the default for non-white people.

    Next, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume you are not African-American, so why are you speaking as if you know anything about their experience? How are you qualified to speak on the black diaspora? African-Americans have not completely “traversed oppression” and speaking out against racism in Hollywood obviously has not helped as much as it should since you seem to be completely ignorant to the actual issue at hand. African-Americans are speaking out but you’re making racist jokes in response, so is your goal to listen or just to antagonize?

    As far as the Asian-American community goes, they actually have spoken up. African-Americans have the most exposure when it comes to minorities in films but you can’t say Asian-Americans aren’t actively doing their part. Do you actively look for commentary from Asian-American actors? Seeing how you’re in favor of whitewashing if it brings in more money I doubt you’re screening Asian-American actors social media pages for commentary. Do a few google searches, NBC recently tried to run a show called “Mail Order Family”, it would’ve been about a white man ordering a Filipino bride. After severe backlash NBC announced they dropped the project, just because you don’t hear their voices as often as you do African-Americans doesn’t mean they’re not speaking. Relax with the “Spread Love Not Hate!” rhetoric. White people colonized the world for centuries in the name of hatred and Jesus. Non white people have every right to criticize, demonize and hate white supremacy that effects them today in the 21st century. Heed your own advice and maybe learn about Underrated Asians and Black Lives Matter, they’re a google search away.

    In regards to Scarlett Johanson, sorry to say but the native Japanese population’s opinion on the movie does not matter. Japan is 98% Japanese, the experiences of a Japanese-American is completely different to that of a Japanese person. Japanese people grow up seeing themselves represented every day in all forms of media, they are always seeing themselves reflected throughout their life, Japanese-Americans see themselves very infrequently, even in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift the supposed Japanese gangsters were actually Korean. Being 5.6% of the population isn’t whats holding Asian actors back. It’s literally white people demanding the status quo be upheld and films be majorly white. When people asked Steven Yeun if he was excited for life after The Walking Dead he replied “I’m still Asian.” There are very real obstacles minorities face when it comes to Hollywood, and even when they land a major role in Hollywood they are not guaranteed a solid career thereafter. What’s stopping asian actors is opportunity. Opportunities go to white people first, minorities second, if at all.

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  17. Nox ⋅

    Response to TRONtravolta:

    You’re deliberately downplaying the effect major figures can have in regards to childhood. Look at Barbie, Disney, Cabbage Patch Kids, etc. All arguably top tier players when it comes to childhood. Non-white kids do notice the fact they don’t look like the majority of dolls and they DO ask where dolls that look like them are. Pre-2009 black families had to explain to their daughters why there was not a black Disney princess when all their friends had princesses that looked like them. I could go deep into the psychological effects this has on Children when they see themselves as undesirable but to stay on topic, it is a very big deal when you have to look a child in the eye and explain why there’s no princess that looks like them. To be technical, Pocahontas is actually categorized as a Disney princess. Obviously she has been on the back burner for a while but officially Disney still lists her as a princess. You bring up star wars as a counterargument, you realize the people that were against Star Wars were mainly upset by the fact the main protagonist was black right? Seriously, go do a google search and read what people were actually mad about. Here’s one to get you started.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/19/racists-urge-boycott-of-star-wars-episode-vii-over-black-lead-and-most-of-them-love-trump.html

    Minorities being angered their only sources of representation are being whitewashed is not in any way the same as racists boycotting a movie because the protagonist wasn’t white.
    You heavily implied white actors are necessary because they bring in more money, you can split hairs but your message remains the same. You declared whitewashing as “simple” and if that could ruin a movie for you, you shouldn’t watch it because Hollywood cares about profits. Again, profits don’t absolve a white supremacist narrative. Blanka is not a valid argument, Ryu and Ken could work because they’re humans and have respective backgrounds that resemble that of reality. Blanka isn’t representative of anyone in the real world in terms of his ethnic background, whatever that may be. Ryu and Ken are, so nice try but let’s be realistic and not throw out obviously false arguments.

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    • TRONtravolta ⋅

      I will agree with you that some people boycotted the new Star Wars because of a lead roll being given to an African American, but get real. You are over exaggerating that the majority of people against the film, were against it for that reason. People were against adding more bad films after the original first three. Every time a new star wars comes out they are against it for plot and story line. The more juicier story to talk about was the race controversy. Sure there are some that didn’t like the actor choice, but get real…Not the majority of the true fans. Its was for plot.

      Blanka was a human too. He had an unfortunate accident. If you had the skill to beat the game you’d see the ending.

      And please re read my first post. You are obviously more thrilled to get on your soap box and make everything about race. I never implied “White actors are necessary because they bring money.” I said the “name” is what brings the money. Read the original post. You seem delusional. And nothing to say about BIGanteaters comments??? He showed what the director said about Ghost in the Shell and the casting choice. There was no plan to deliberately make her Japanese. It was about the look she brought. But I am sure you know better than the creator…explains it pretty well. And they have had dark skin Barbies since 1968, and the first African American dolls were manufactured in 1947. So there is an option between what doll to buy. Try to look passed the skin color man and enjoy the creation of film.

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      • Nox ⋅

        Response to TronTravolta:

        I’m not over-exaggerating in the slightest. People were incredibly pissed at the fact it starred an African-American, and white people did the same thing with the Annie remake. There’s literally tons of articles on it.

        http://www.salon.com/2015/10/20/starring_donald_trump_as_darth_vader_anti_star_wars_white_supremacists_and_tea_party_voters_speak_the_same_language/

        You can pretend it’s about the “integrity” of the films but that came second to the racism. No other Star Wars movie was petitioned to be boycotted with such fury it garnered national attention.

        You’re assuming I play Street Fighter. I’m familiar with a few characters because it’s a popular franchise, I never beat the game because I never bought it lmao. That doesn’t change the fact Blanka not being green would not alienate anyone in the real world because green people don’t exist.

        Who’s soapbox are you referring to? I see a lot of angry white men upset they can’t strong arm the class into their way of thinking through racism. It’s only not about race when you see yourself as the default, which most white people do because white people have made themselves the default for centuries. If you look above you’ll see I replied to his comments and those in regards to the director, the Japanese audience does not matter, Japanese =/= Japanese-American. Two different experiences. The “Look” she brought since the series started in 1995 has been Japanese. Only when it came into contact with white people did Motoko suddenly HAVE to be white.

        In regards to black dolls, that still doesn’t absolve the fact there’s a major lack of representation for people of color and they know it from childhood. Disney is huge, and I shouldn’t have to explain why it matters, but even if I did you wouldn’t get it. Please act caucasian somewhere else, all white people want to do is whitewash things and then say “look past skin color!” as if you didn’t deliberately bleach the color out of everyone to make it resemble yours. Minorities are judged every day by their skin color, there is no “looking past” your identity. Realize that non-white people exist and they deserve to be in film just as much as white people do, and they should be allowed to portray themselves.

        White people have never looked past skin color. You have killed, raped, dehumanized, tortured, and ostracized everyone who did not have the same skin color as you. Now all of a sudden you want to forget and jump onto some Lion King Circle Of Life train like everything is peachy? L O L! You only enjoy films because you see yourself in them. That’s why any time a major film (like Star Wars) comes out you and every other racist comes out in droves to explain how attacked you feel at the thought of someone who isn’t sunburnt achieving critical success. You want to look past skin color? Then you shouldn’t have looked at every person who’s skin wasn’t white and dehumanized them in the name of white supremacy. Notice I say you, and not ancestors, because you, like most white people today, continue this asinine rhetoric of “spread love” when your hatred of those that didn’t look like you led up the exact events that are allowing this discussion to happen.

        Reap what you sow.

        Like

      • TRONtravolta ⋅

        It’s unfortunate how you view your class mates. You are categorizing a group of people based on their skin, assuming they all think that way.Relax and enjoy life.

        Like

  18. Nox ⋅

    I’m categorizing you based on your responses to the topic at hand. I don’t have to “assume” what you believe, you and the other two people who have replied to me have already explained your beliefs perfectly. It’s a hive mind mentality blanketed in ignorance. You support a white supremacist fantasy in Hollywood and Capitalism is your defense. You deflect any logic with “love and chill vibes” as if white people’s hatred of non whites didn’t start this entire mess. You can’t play the victim when your group of people (white in case you forgot) dominate Hollywood on all fronts, ostracizing all but a select few to bask in the glory.

    What’s unfortunate is how many of you have the audacity to say “It’s not about color” when everything in America has been about color since 1776. You live in a fantasy land where everyone is white and people of color do not belong unless they’re there to fulfill a minority quota. You were never equipped to have this discussion and until you deconstruct whiteness and white supremacy as a whole you never will be. Your world is a privileged world the likes of which non-white skin will never know. I’ll relax when white supremacy and its supporters cease to exist. you’d find it very difficult to relax when your identity is so hated an entire group of people (again, white people) created systems to nullify you.

    I could link you to hundreds of articles describing the backlash black actors/actresses have had to endure at the hands of racist white people (Leslie Jones was hacked multiple times, had nude photos leaked, had her face photoshopped onto pictures of lynchings, and much more. Her white co-stars remained silent throughout the entire ordeal mind you.) but you wouldn’t care because with whiteness comes a lack of empathy, you can only disenfranchise those you don’t see as human, and to this very day white people refuse to see people of color, black people especially, as human beings.

    You think you’re in a position to claim moral high ground on account of how I view you? You have given me every reason to view you with the danger you so obviously represent, and you’re among likeminded fellows. If the three of you didn’t support each other’s ideas in classic racist fashion I wouldn’t have the grounds to categorize you the way I am. But you do, so I am.

    To reiterate, you are not the victim here, and you never will be. Whiteness is the driving force within America and it is always catered to, protected and thought of before anyone else, this includes film production. Deconstruct white supremacy before trying to engage in civil discussions on racism in Hollywood, otherwise you’ll just end up looking foolish for justifying racism.

    Like

    • clintrump ⋅

      @ Nox not everyone has to agree with your point of view on the topic of white washing, and I never backtracked in what I thought about this subject on this blog as claimed. Social progress is being made in Hollywood despite the injustices of the past which I agree we should learn from and move forward.

      Hollywood is not run by far-left leaning ideology supporting Karl Marx’s ideology, or black lives matter. Hollywood is also not run by the far-right supporting the KKK, Hitler or Donald Trump pushing a white supremacist agenda as you may believe? Lol but seriously these kind of extreme viewpoints are adding to the polarization of the political, and social issues.

      The square root of the problem is life chances and economic opportunity. For the middle class and the poor there is less opportunity due to globalism which is varied depending on what country, or community within that country you are born into. It’s a flaw of modern-day capitalism that effects everyone around the world not just in America. At the end of the day if a Minority wants a lead role its not just the artistic expression but its also about making money as an actor which goes back to economic factors. At the end of the day in “modern” Hollywood talented actors will rise to the top regardless of race, or sexuality.

      Don’t believe me still? Check out this interview with one of the best African Americans in Hollywood Morgan Freeman “in my opinion” discussing this issue on “liberal biased” CNN:

      CNN.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOiQgleiRtU

      You are correct that demographics are just numbers and don’t tell the whole story from a humanistic point of view. I even leveled with you agreeing that I didn’t like the violence of police against african americans was terrible and you still showed anger claiming I wanted brownie points. Like I said before I think your message would be more effective without hate of one group or another. When you take one extreme on the spectrum you become them in the end.

      Like

      • TRONtravolta ⋅

        “You live in a fantasy land where everyone is white and people of color do not belong unless they’re there to fulfill a minority quota.” (Nox).
        where do you come up with this? When did I express that? Me and my big shot Hollywood producer friends calling the shots huh?
        I never supported white washing or discrimination. I said Hollywood is more concerned about puting a “big name” to films for the profits it generates. They will choose money over the authenticity of an original story. And yes I still feel that the princess talk at the time was a far out there and off topic.

        Like

      • Nox ⋅

        @Clintrump

        Morgan Freeman doesn’t speak for all black people, regardless of what your opinion of him is. White people adore black people that sacrifice their morality for economic success, Morgan Freeman is one of them. We’re talking about America and America only, so disregard other countries in this conversation. It’s not just economic opportunity, it is how far you can ascend in a white supremacist society and your acting ability plays just as much of a role in your success as your look does. There is a middle class for every minority, this hasn’t done changed the fact Hollywood remains white supremacist and white dominated.

        The only thing adding to the polarization of social issue is white people believing they’re inclined to make the best decision for not just themselves, but every minority in America as well. One does not have to be as radical as Hitler or Donald Trump to promote white supremacy, they can think of themselves as a good American with wholesome family values who loves cinema, they just hold the idea that diversity is not necessary which is white supremacist by default. Does that mean they’re out burning crosses every night? No it does not, what it does mean is that they see themselves as the default and leave no room for minorities to receive praise. Before anyone says “but Tyler Perry!” Black people have worked endlessly to make productions by them for them because white people to this day go above and beyond to exclude minorities from their work. For every Tyler Perry movie there’s 1000 white movies.

        Also I find it hilarious you actually linked an INTERVIEW with DON LEMON. Of ALL people. He is the biggest coon in America right next to Stacey Dash. You literally grabbed the poster child for racist white people when they say “I have a black friend!” Morgan Freeman literally believes because his black ass the exception to the rule and he’s done well race has “no impact” on economic opportunity. Any black American that’s not so rich they can use $100 bills to as toilet paper will tell you that is 100% inaccurate. I’ve repeated this multiple times now. The EXCEPTION to a rule, does not NULLIFY the rule for everyone. 2 Black men on CNN doesn’t eradicate an entire system dedicated to disenfranchising black people. That “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” ideology is bullshit for anyone who isn’t white.

        Black people still have to battle racism and prejudice within every facet of their life, especially when they are trying to enter white dominated spaces like Hollywood. And protip: it’s MUCH easier to survive in a white supremacist society when you mimic their behavior and shuck and jive so white people will like you more, Morgana Freeman’s technique is obviously working because you and every other white person ignorant on race love to bring him up like he’s some mythical trump card. He’s not. The sooner whites stop trying to justify their racism, thus widening the chasm, the sooner Hollywood will diverse. And by Diverse I mean reflect reality, because America is not 98% white, so when you talk about “Diversity” what you’re really talking about is reality, it’s not the reality white people live in when they only associate with other white people, but it is, nonetheless, the reality of America.

        Like

      • Nox ⋅

        Response to clintrump:

        Almost forgot. You saying “I think the violence against African American communities is bad” does jack to help. Am I supposed to be moved by that? It’s not sincere so why would I care? You support whitewashing which pigeonholes many black actors into having to accept demeaning roles like thugs or gangsters which contributes inevitably to White America’s view of black people which leads to more violence against us. If saying you dislike the murder of unarmed African-Americans is an effort to “level” with me you clearly don’t have good intentions. So no, I’m not buying that.

        And like I said before white people hate and continue to hate black people for the color of their skin and have done so for centuries. Where was your message of love during slavery? Segregation? Jim Crow? Apartheid in South Africa? Whites don’t understand the concept of “love.” That’s a foreign idea you have never showed the African-American community. And before you bring up MLK, white people killed him and the US Government admitted to playing a hand in it court, so don’t even think about quoting him out of context.

        Don’t patronize black people with “love” as if you’re capable of replicating such an emotion. Where was the love for all those rappers you listened to in the 90s? Did you send them a care package? Or is that just something you bring up in arguments about race to make yourself seem less ignorant than you truly are? I’m betting on the latter. “When you take one extreme on the spectrum you become them in the end.” So if this is true why haven’t black people become white people? Why haven’t blacks enslaved whites for 300 years, segregated them for give or take 84 years, and killed them without fear of indictment in the 21st century? The oppressed have every right to hate the oppressor.

        Name to me 5 groups of people that obtained their freedom through loving and eloquently explaining to their oppressors that they would like to be respected and treated equally. It has never happened. It has always been bloody, it has always been long, and it hatred has always been the catalyst for change. Hatred of blacks started this, but white people conveniently seem to forget this. You don’t deserve to have things explained to you in a calm and loving manner if you can’t even take the time to educate yourself on black history, instead you’d rather complain things are too “politically correct” and you have to abide by ethics.

        My message is effective in the way it is, because white people who tone police blacks are the same ones who would be upset if Black people protested in any way shape or form. Whether it’s a riot or taking a knee like Kaepernick, whites get upset at any sign of black resistance because hatred is all they know. If white people didn’t want to receive hatred they shouldn’t have given the black community so many reasons to hate them, it doesn’t matter whether African-Americans are nice about it or angry, white people will never be satisfied with black resistance because black resistance threatens white supremacy which makes your life so comfortable and your hypocrisy so insuperable.

        Like

  19. Nox ⋅

    @TronTravolta

    You expressed your viewpoints in your prior comments. To say “I don’t support whitewashing but Hollywood is gonna do what it’s gonna do so no reason to get excited over it!” Is redundant. You can’t say you don’t support something but then see it happening and justify it through racist logic, that’s hypocritical. We’ve already discussed how Big Name =/= More Money because if that was the case Disney would not be searching specifically for a Chinese actress to play Mulan, they would just grab Scarlet or Jennifer Lawrence ask her to do it.

    It doesn’t matter if you make the decision “for profits” it’s still a racist decision rooted in white supremacy. If you’re not actively working to dismantle the system you’re helping it. There is no middle ground or compromise to whitewashing. If you stand by the idea that “it makes more money!” you’re only helping white people. White people call the shots throughout Hollywood and I don’t need to drop a link in this post for you to realize that.

    As far as the princesses go, any discussion that involves race is a “far out there” topic because whites lack critical thinking skills when it comes to race. I see no reason to explain it in even more depth when you can’t relate, nor do you care. I can’t convince whites to care about black issues, but I can definitely explain why they’re unfit to speak on them, which I’ve already done.

    Like

    • karltuj

      I do not see or believe that people here in this discussion “stand by the idea” of whitewashing because “it makes more money”, but they rather had pointed out that producers so far have stood by this idea (and yes, Nox, you ARE right, those producers are white males, and often have made their careers by the advantage of being white males, to say the least), because they have believed or still do believe it’ll make them more money (although that is not true anymore). Yes, some of these white male producers are white supremacist (could be a topic for a thesis paper). Also, you are right that people who do not share the same experience, cannot understand how it is being the member of a minority and therefore target of discrimination. That, however, does not mean that some of them are not trying their best to learn – which might not be enough to fully grasp the issue, but is still better than being one of those who oppress or harm the minority. They can become some kind of allies, if being included, even that might be emotionally challenging. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t assume it’s challenging for you in particular or anything, but I do know what it means to be minority, by experience, and therefore know that it can be emotionally challenging. And no, it’s not comparable what different minorities have or do experience, but how can one compare violence with violence (physical and non-physical)? The result is someone gets seriously hurt! Undeserving!
      Everybody can blog freely here, it’s up to you students how you will proceed. As said before, we also will discuss about it in class one more time, a bit later.

      Like

      • karltuj

        Also, there exist criminals, fellow travellers, bystanders, passive allies and active allies. You must attack criminals, maybe penalize fellow travellers and bystanders, and maybe educate passive allies, but it is not fair to label passive aliies as criminals for something that has happened before they were born, if they can learn from that. Although the sins of our ancestors and predecessors can never be erased, a new generation can be a new start, and there must be forgiveness, as hard that might be to do, to break those inherited circles. If not, we all will go just down….

        Like

      • Nox ⋅

        @karltuj

        I agree with you professor, but I think what categorizes someone as an ally has not been displayed throughout this discussion. An ally is someone who is open and receptive to learning, but throughout this discussion the black diaspora has been mocked and white men have centered themselves. You can’t be an ally and draw focus away from the struggle of the oppressed because your feelings are hurt. We might have different definitions on what is considered trying to learn, but so far I have not seen evidence that would believe me anyone who has replied to me is interested in bettering themselves.

        No progress can be achieved if the dominant power chooses to disregard the voices of the oppressed. I don’t believe there is a “neutral” stance in these situations, because neutral often means silence, and if you are silence in times of oppression you side with the oppressors. Or worse, you fight against logic and actively try to shut down the voices of those who bear the burden of being oppressed. I’m more than happy to extrapolate on issues when it comes to minorities, but those who don’t want to listen won’t, and how I deliver my message isn’t a reasonable excuse for someone not to listen.

        Like

    • postnroast ⋅

      I agree, that American Cinema has successfully oppressed minorities when it comes to not only reality, but also film. It’s almost like there’s a rule book that says “cast only the white race” which in term, conditions the audience to the imagery of a white character playing the role better than any other race. Profits are far from the only issue. Profits only serve as an excuse, as the public doesn’t understand because it was taught a certain way. My point is that film in the USA has been so white for soo long that the adaption of minorities into film is almost foreign and many films without the “notorious white actors” fail in comparison, due to the social stigma, and sometimes even end up under independent films or indie films.

      Like

  20. clintrump ⋅

    @Nox your like arguing with the borg from Star Trek any valid points made are not considered and blaming all of the social ills of Hollywood on white people is blatantly racist. You told me that I was close minded but I think you sir take the cake for that award. Seriously you need to chill out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nox ⋅

      @clintrump
      How many times must I repeat myself before you realize how ignorant you sound? White people do not, I repeat, do NOT experience racism. I have explained in depth how we live in a white supremacist society and how white people have created the oppressive system that minorities live under. White people held ALL the power in Hollywood when it came to fruition and they still do in 2016.

      You should have heeded your own advice when you said you were done responding because like I said, this is not an argument you will win. You are 50 shades of ignorant and every ridiculous “defense” you’ve thrown out has been smashed. Do not start a conversation on a topic you’re ill equipped for, and certainly don’t start one you can’t finish.

      Who is oppressing white people in Hollywood? How are white people being disadvantaged? “PC” Culture? If you truly believe that you’re insinuating that whites are under attack because they can’t use racial epithets or be sexist without consequence, which is disgusting.

      I wrote 2 pages in response to your white foolishness and all you could muster up for a reply was “You’re being racist against white people!” Pathetic. It truly shows just how little you actually know about the topic at hand, if you had a better defense SURELY you would’ve used it. Stop victimizing yourself and realize you will never experience racism, the only time you think about race is when you say something ignorant and someone who isn’t white calls you out on it. Nobody is oppressing you here, so you’re more than welcome to bow out of the conversation in an attempt to save face, or what little of it you have left anyway.

      Because that’s what white people do when they feel the slightest inconvenience, they bow out. Black people, Asian people, Hispanic people, minorities do not get to bow out when they get tired of racism. They wake up and have to deal with racism and ignorance from the likes of proud racists and obtuse simpletons like yourself.

      After this class ends you’ll never have to think about Race again, you’ll get to go back to your white life with your all white circle and bask in the ignorance of likeminded fellows, so suck it up and deal with it. Sympathy isn’t a luxury you deserve when you’re at the top of the food chain.

      As a sidenote: if you’re really believe economic opportunities are the same for whites and blacks, google Redlining. Google Gentrification. Google White Flight.

      Here’s a link to get you started, it explains in detail why white households are 16 times wealthier than black ones, and it didn’t happen overnight.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/03/26/the-racial-wealth-gap-why-a-typical-white-household-has-16-times-the-wealth-of-a-black-one/#2c1734476c5b

      If you truly want to have a discussion about racism, use the tools I’ve provided you (I didn’t have to by the way, you just refuse to do it independently.) and educate yourself for once in your life on the black diaspora, otherwise you’re just a waste of time.

      Liked by 2 people

    • RM ⋅

      in response to Clintrump ,
      speaking of the borg who here has watched any of the star trek movies ? and no not the new ones , I hate those with a passion. I mean the old ones, I used to be a religious viewer of start trek the next generation and and deep space nine. I watched them everyday after school on tnt which for whatever reason was the channel that aired them I think. I credit those shows with my sense of morality which may sound weird but hey, start trek used to be about morality and in solving problems with diplomacy if the could, aside from monster of the week stuff. This is one of the reasons I hate the new star trek, its nothing but action. But getting back to my point, the old original star trek was , quite simply put, amazing to watch . There is nothing quite like the theme for those shows and the original series. I get goosebumps just hearing it.

      Like

  21. Nyphos ⋅

    I wasn’t sure that this fit in with B movies or movies in general, so I’m going to put it here.

    I wanted to touch on something that was briefly mentioned in the last class. In Them!, the mention of nuclear power isn’t only mentioned at the end of the film. It’s actually mentioned a good number of times, but many of those were in exposition that was edited out of Karl’s cut to save time. I just didn’t want anyone to think that the film only threw it in your face at the end. That would be awkward.

    The way that the film industry follows what’s happening in society is one of my favorite things about American films in general. In the 50’s, society was afraid of nuclear power and also communism, with the rise of the second red scare. This led is why movies like Them! and Invasion of the Body Snatchers were so successful at that time. The film industry saw this and used it to their advantage in future decades.

    In the 80’s, society was dealing with the AIDS epidemic and this led to a slew of Body horror movies like The Fly and Street Trash. Society was terrified by the idea that they were not in control of their bodies. After 9/11 came movies in which the main characters were kidnapped and tortured like Hostel, Touristas, and Saw. This was also combined with the fear of technology, leading to movies like Stay Alvie, Pulse, and One Missed Call.

    If you were to research this sort of thing, you would find that there is a lot more than this. These are only the few that I can think of off the top of my head and I only wanted to mention it because it’s one of my favorite things to look at before I watch a film. What was going on in society at the time this film was made? Did it have any effect on this film?

    I would love to encourage anyone who is interested about this to do more research on it. Looking at successful films from a certain decade can say a lot about what society was feeling at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pizzaboy ⋅

      That is interesting to note about films following society because I remember films coming about about the scare over 2012…2012 being an obvious one…but this even went back to the previous decade with the film The Day After Tomorrow. This was the same for the Y2K scare with movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact both premiering in 1998. As with all art…movies are a way of coping with the human condition,

      Like

  22. pizzaboy ⋅

    In a round-about way…my classmates have shown me through contrast how accepting I am of film…and art in general.

    I never worry about the societal implications of different actors or even really the overall quality of a film. A lot of people have actually had to feed distaste to me when it comes to a lot of art because I can see value in everything.

    When movies like The Last Samurai and Waterworld are brought up…I can think of nothing but positives. This could make me a bit less sophisticated…but it it could just be my open-minded personality.

    The funny part though is I also understand the need for greater discretion with avenues like YouTube opening up…because art has become a laymans pastime…so greater standards are going to need to be tethered in contingency.

    Like

  23. Frank Bullitt ⋅

    I’m going to start this post by saying that I have not read the previous posts in this section. So if this is repetitive I apologize in advance. In addition to this disclaimer, I know that race is a touchy subject so I am going to look at this purely academically as to not step on people’s feelings. Having said all that I just started to watch the TV show Luke Cage and found myself wondering how much of it is Blaxploitation. I do not know the comic background so I do not know the setting in which the comic takes place but the series takes place in Harlem revolving around a prisoner that has escaped after his life was saved by an experiment gone bad.
    After watching a couple episodes I started wondering is this a modern take on Blaxploitation. First the reasons why I think it is. The first point is that the characters play into the stereotypes of Blaxploitation. Luke Cage is a dark skinned man that has been to prison. The main villain is also a dark skinned man that runs a nightclub and is the leader of a gang. Contrast this with the main two police characters. One of which is the corrupt white cop and the other is the attractive light skinned female detective. To also cement the difference in skin tones and races, Luke’s ex wife is also a light skinned African American woman. These women in particular highlight that the attractive women that are being shown in the series are light skinned women of color signaling to the audience that this is what we should be attracted to.
    Another interesting point about this show is that the bands that are playing in the nightclub highlight some of the culture that takes place in Harlem. The bands that are shown and given considerable amount of screen times considering their roles in the show are there to highlight some of the achievements in culture as something to aspire to. These aspirations are also brought up by some of the poetry and writings that are referenced in the series.
    The second main reason that I think this is a modern take on Blaxploitation is that for the most part, the marvel series has excluded minorities on screen especially in lead roles therefore I think they have made the Luke Cage series to bring people of color into the Marvel world. Meaning that I believe that Marvel felt they were lacking the people of color as an audience so they created a show to bring more people into watching Marvel productions.
    Anybody should feel free to disagree with me on an academic level but I feel these points are kind of hard to argue with. But like I said before, I do not know anything about the comics and don’t know how strictly they stick to them when making the show. So this could very well have been Blaxploitation from when they were written and now just given a new life.

    Like

  24. postnroast ⋅

    I’ve noticed that Netflix series all have sex scenes in them. Which I find myself looking away from because they aren’t just assumed sex; sometimes its 2 minutes of grinding and humping and ect. till they are “done”. It almost feels a little extra to put sex in these series as they have a storyline that has a depth to follow. It may be that these series feel the need to appeal to a broader audience who likes the input of softcore porn, but it truly feels unnecessary at times. The evolution of modernism to postmodernism is heavily noted in these series as they flux on the realities of how people are today. But I argue, are people really having this much sex or has media “sexploded” on everything. Making sex oversold and desired in a way that isn’t fathomable. I understand that through the innovation of technology now you can go on tindr and meet someone who could fulfill these outlandish desires, pushed by media an film alike, but not for everyone. It almost feels like they are glorifying more attractive people, who may be able to these things as much as film says. But I guess that’s what the other percent of the population wants; they want to live through an attractive person when watching film, because they already live through themselves. The film has materialized a world where you can be unhappy with what you have as far as appearance and relationship goes. The agenda of people today, sometimes, feels lived through a standard that thrives on comparison or envy.

    Like

    • Sierra94 ⋅

      Personally, I feel that a lot of sex scenes are added in just as a cheap way to gain more viewers or to fill in screentime when the writers could not think of something to write. I get a bit annoyed by the excessive sex scenes, to be honest, unless it is done for comedic purposes as was the case in Team America: World Police and at least one time in Bojack Horseman.
      Escapism is definitely one of the driving forces for the popularity of many fictional works, including films. This behaviour in society was not materialised by the film industry, however, as the concept was around even during the time of Sigmund Freud, who explained his views of escapism in a book published in 1917. That said, films and video games certainly help people fulfil their desire of living through fictional characters with lives that they consider to be more “interesting” and “exciting” than their own.

      Like

      • postnroast ⋅

        Bojack horseman is a perfect example of living your life through another’s. The satire is, life is a race and if you don’t keep running life will pass you by. Hence, he is a horse and the reason for other anthropomorphic characters to portray a deeper message. Of course as stated, Freudian theology revolves around human desire; which is relative in film as it holds high value to markets of consumption. The comedic value is much more accepted because of Americas moral taboo for sex ran by religion; Christianity in specific, here I find myself feeling that morality, (even though I feel this moral compass- made from instilled beliefs powered by religion), I find very little artistic plot or message in prolonged sex scenes; other than a character build up or passion that goes too far.

        Liked by 1 person

      • RM ⋅

        speaking of Bojack horseman, what is your opinion on the new seasons. I watched the first one and found it pretty enjoyable, but it did seem a bit like a rehash, of the character who can’t stop ruining his life. I feel like it has similarities to the Californication t.v series in some ways. However where that show tends to glorify it anti-hero character, and later on in the show revels in his self destruction. Bojack seems to really not be concerned with whether you like the main character or not, at some points he is completely unlikeable , which is a bold move to do to you main character. I wonder if this is something they can get away with because of the cartoon nature of the show, where as if it was regular t.v shows with I think it would crash and burn. The cartoon nature of the show allows for very serious topics to sort of be discussed with a certain levity. As for sex scene in tv shows, it really is just a draw for the audience most of the time. However I think in specific situations, that the sex scenes in shows can be a logical culmination of a relationship that has been ongoing in the series and can provide to the audience a bit of closure. There is of course the argument that this can be shown in other ways, that the director or screenwriter can show this through more let’s say subtle means. I wouldn’t say they are unnecessary but it would not be a stretch to say that most of the sex scenes on T.V are not there for artistic merit.

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      • Vera Lynn ⋅

        I have thought about Bojack so many times during class. I think the show gives a lot of good insight into how Hollywood works. Hell, just how life works. As for how the seasons work, I think if you look at it as a whole, you see season 1 as a man trying to achieve a goal, and eventually getting there. Season 2 is him getting what he wanted, only to find out that what he wanted isn’t what he thought it would be, and runs to the own known of “what could have been.” Season 3 I have only had one go through of it…mostly because of the soul crushing nature of it, but it seems to be Bojack coming to terms with who he is, and destroying the people who are the most important to him.

        You raise a good point about the show being animated and the comedy in the show. I honestly don’t think you could have this same show as a live action. Its too dark. The show moves in and out of being super funny and utterly so quickly. It actually reminds me a bit of Gold Diggers when they had the big musical numbers at the end. The whole time we had this silly message, and then we are slapped in the face in the end with this really sober number. The ending to season 3 does this. It goes from being really funny, to what is probably the darkest moment in Bojack’s life, having one of the closest people to him die in his arms, and it being completely his fault.

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      • RM ⋅

        Wow , I had no idea that season 3 got that heavy. I should really go back and binge watch the series. I wonder has anyone here watched californication in full ? The T.V show I mean. It was on netflix and I kinda got wrapped into it. That show is a wild ride. It is not to everyones taste for sure, but it does have its moments. Plus I mean who doesn’t want to watch david duchavny AKA Fox mulder, sleep his way around LA and continue fucking up his life. In a lot of ways the show is everything I hate, but David plays such an male fantasy character that i can’t help but be drawn to it. Like a moth to a flame really. It is one of my guilty pleasures.

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  25. White Rabbit ⋅

    Much talk has been centered about how cultures are often misrepresented in movies. However, one topic not often mentioned, is how religion is often misrepresented in film. In American films, this tends to be Christianity. Like in our recent flick, Vanishing Point, Christianity is portrayed in a very negative ton, using actors who I’m sure are not passionate about the teachings of Jesus. In this way, Christianity is often misrepresented. Of course many churches in America are corrupt and more interested in the benefits of it’s organization as an institution, rather than focusing on the core nature of the Christian faith: to love others, and share with them the hope that can be found through Christ. Many American films have often depicted Christianity in a negative light, and I would argue that most directors don’t have a core understanding of what it means to follow Christ.

    To also add, many other religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology (not very often), and the Mormon faith are often misrepresented, with the intention of stereotyping those who practice their beliefs.

    That being said, I would challenge many who argue the case that cultures are often misrepresented in film, to also consider how various religions are also misrepresented, and how this often reflects the strong bias of a film producer/director on the topic.

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      In some cases, such as the small gathering of Christians singing in the desert in Vanishing Point, I think it can be argued that this is an accurate portrayal of some small sects of various religions. Not every religious person knows every teaching of the religion they are practising.
      That said, I agree that just like cultures, religions are often misrepresented in films and all other forms of media.

      Like

  26. postnroast ⋅

    Question:

    How does your involvement with the army make you respond to the world of film ?

    (I’m wondering because, besides the discussions and arguments splashed between post, I believe that army regiment and conditioning from parents may directly affect your interpretation of film in the world.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • postnroast ⋅

      *bump*

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      • Nyphos ⋅

        Are you asking everyone in general how those of us with military experience feel that experience effects how we view movies? Is this in regard to anything in specific, like war scenes or movies portraying the military? I’m not quite sure how to answer this question as it’s very broad. Any experience in one’s life will affect one’s outlook and will also thereby affect how one perceives the world, movies included.

        If you have a specific question, let me know and I will try to answer.

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    • Sierra94 ⋅

      While I was never in any military myself, one type of comment I frequently see regarding war films are how the military is often misrepresented; including procedures, rules of engagement, the uniforms (e.g. patches), equipment/weapons (e.g. accessories and models), lingo, ranks and chain of command, etc.

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      • wakarinai ⋅

        Military movies are very difficult to watch. Mostly because it is very painful to see hollywood make that many mistakes to the uniform, or procedures as stated above.
        But the thing that these movies misrepresent is how soldiers, especially the lower ranking or younger soldiers act. The personality of the military is extreme camaraderie and brotherhood. But, not in a way that the movies will show you. Its mostly very vulgar jokes, and constantly roasting (making fun of someone using ridiculing jokes) someone which all end up receiving the wrong end of the jokes one time or another. So, from my perspective, hollywood has never done a good job accurately portraying service members even in the famous films like Heart Break Ridge, full Metal Jacket, or in Band Of Brothers the TV series. Not sure why this is, but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that military films in general are bad when it comes to this area.
        However, as far as the uniform is concerned it is actually required by law that they distort the uniform so that it does not match actually U.S. Military uniforms. This is do to it being illegal to impersonate all uniformed personnel such as police officers, and well military.

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  27. jonsnow ⋅

    I knew before even clicking on this discussion thread that it would mostly be concerning race. Every time we’ve discussed it in class has ended up in a heated and lively discussion. The conversation always seems to mostly surround casting white actors in otherwise originally non-white roles. There’s an episode of Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None called “Indians on TV” that hit pretty close to home for me regarding representation in show business. It really resonated with me because it was one of the first times where I felt like I could actually, really relate to a character. Ansari’s character, Dev, is an Indian American actor and constantly deals with issues regarding race, diversity, and representation in his line of work. The opening of the episode is a whole montage of Indian stereotypes over the years from film and television. Dev’s frustration with the limited range of roles for Indians is exhibited when he refuses to do an Indian accent in an audition, and is denied the role because of this. He later auditions for a big sitcom about 3 friends. He auditions along with another Indian actor friend of his, and through a series of emails accidentally sent by the show executives, Dev finds out that the show is deciding between the two of them because “there can’t be two”, referring to that there can’t be two Indians starring on a show otherwise it would be considered an “Indian show”. It’s one of those things that is an unfortunate and vicious cycle, and something I think we all unfortunately gloss over unconsciously. It’s sadly true that this would be the case for any show featuring minority actors. If there’s 2 Asians out of 3 main characters, then it’s considered an Asian show. If there’s 3 black actors playing in a group of 5 friends, then it’s seen as an African American show. This concept is reiterated to Dev by the show executive, and he replies something along the lines of “But you’d never say that about a show with all white actors! Nobody watches True Detective and says ‘oh that’s that white detective show!’” That right there to me was a clear and tasteful way of putting one of the many problematic perspectives of representation in Hollywood on blast. I loved the entire dialogue of this episode, because it’s working not just to identify the problems within representation in Hollywood, but actively opposes it. The show does what many other shows doesn’t, as many other shows can self-reflect on Hollywood’s blatant diversity issues in its dialogue, but this episode legitimizes it. The two Indian actors on a successful Netflix show talking about the fact that “there can’t be two” was something that was awesome to see because the show where these Indian characters actively exist, is breaking all the unspoken/racist rules of Hollywood.

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  28. Vera Lynn ⋅

    I am not real sure here to put this, so ill just post it here. I have been thinking about the subject of the future of film in regards to interactivity clashing with storytelling. I am still of the opinion that if you give the viewer too much freedom, and just let them be in the movie and control the world they are in, you aren’t making a movie anymore, you are making a game.

    However, I did have an idea about this. what if the normal viewing experience was the same as it is now, but you could hit a sort of pause button, and then be given free reign to roam around the scene. You could look at different things in the room, see things from different angles, and whatever else you could think of. Then I could to thinking what would be really interesting for film geek like me that love BTS stuff, this could open a whole new world for the making of type of things. For film students, you could turn a set into a classroom and walk around set seeing how a movie was made. How crazy would it be to be able to essentially be on the set for something like the Christian Bale rant? Or be on set for some of the crazy stories you hear from train wreck productions like Ghost Busters or Fantastic Four.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RM ⋅

      I want to hop in on this, I have quite a bit to say about virtual reality, as well as video game and video games that aspire to be movie like. There is a serious attempt by a growing number of video game studios to create video games with “serious” narratives and “cinematic” gameplay. The whole point of these yearnings is the need by a growing number of people for the video game industry to be taken as seriously as the movie industry. In some way’s video games have already reached Movie levels in terms of funding and revenue. Hit triple AAA games, as they are referred to in the industry are the analog to block busters of high concept movies. They have tons of money behind them and are huge money makers. They also tend to be safe, action oriented and such. Just like an action blockbuster. Some example would be Halo, or the call of duty franchise. Halo 3 is a perfect example, although few would say it has the same artistic merits of a movie, it was definitely budgeted that way and produced as such. Microsoft, the publisher for bungie studios spent 40 million dollars marketing the game, and about 30 million making the game. It grossed 300 million dollars in its first week. These are profits and rate of returns that even movie executives would drool over. In movie speak, it would be a hit , or blockbuster. This was back 2007 seven and now more than ever game budgets have increased.
      Grand theft auto V , cost over 270 dollars to make, an amount that rivals the average movie budget. It earned a staggering 800 million its first day and within three had earned 1 billion dollars. That is enough money to make Avatar director james cameron jealous. So what I’m trying to say with all this is that in a lot of ways video games are now a bigger industry than movies. So why would game developers strive to get video games recognised as movies ?
      The answer is legitamacy and a view by the public at large that video games are not art. An argument that I personally find silly but that industry insiders take very seriously. To me vidoe games are obviously art. To create a video game, hundreds or artists are employed. 3D modelers, concept artists, animators, almost every aspect of creating video games involves artists. Video games in many ways are the culmination of several different art disciplinces into a cohesive whole. The idea that the result would not be art because all of that art is in service of a game is, to my perspective, silly. That hasn’t stopped movie people like the Late and well missed Roger Ebert from denigrating games as an art form. So what do developers do to fight this impression ?

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      • RM ⋅

        To continue. I promise, I will get back to the topic of virtual reality eventually just got to lay out some more info. Developers have several ways they try to emulate movies. I will list a few here to demonstrate. One of the game studios that consistently puts out cinematic games would be Naughty Dog, who are most well known for their Uncharted franchise. This series is indiana jones like. Its main protagonist is a treasure hunter/ thief who goes around exploring ruins and doing a lot of climbing and puzzle solving, not to mention a ton of shooting as well. The body count does get quite ridiculous. This of course distracts from the narrative and its attempt to be more movie like. However it succeeds in being cinematic with big set pieces. The other route is to go with a sort of interactive movie aproach, people like David cage , although the games he produces have a ton of problems with them. They remain ambitious, essentially showing creating a movie in which you can control characters to a limited extent and make choices that affect the narrative. It is this type of game that I think will be most common with the bridging of movies and videogames that is going to come from the rise of virtual reality. There are endless possibilities. There are still of course barriers to the mainstream adoption of virtual reality, to the extent that it will take several years to become usual to the level that casual consumers adopt it. The technology is their though, and sony now is bringing the technology to the masses. I think in the near future movie companies will be forced into making 3D interative “movies” the sort of thing that in science fiction were refered to a sim stims, even undane applications could have appeal. Think for a moment what it would be like to be sitting in the stadium of a concert , on the other side of the world. Or a visit the the opera , or a seat on david letterman as its recorded live. You would of course with 360 cameras and some other onsite technology be able to experience the event as if you were their. It is just a short jump from that to interactive movies. Being in the crowd as the hero walks by in avengers, stuff like that. It very within the realm of possibility and as the current generation who is used to interacting with the media they consume grows and matures, they will begin to demand this interactivity in all media they consume.

        Like

    • That sounds like a great idea. From reading your post I think with the VR technology that is getting popular now, we can do what you are saying. Even better we can have game/movies mixture and have a new type of movies. Another alternative idea would be you put on VR glasses and watch the movie from a character’s point of view, you are not in control of the catcher but you can see from there vision. It’s basically a first person point of view movie, but because of the VR it would feel more real. I think that would make a great movie people would start going to the theater more if this would happen. I think it’s a matter of time for what you said and I said to come true. Lets hope one day we get to have VR moves in the theater, right now there is VR only for home and personal use. I think the movie industry need to make use of the VR technology as soon as possible. It may be a big investment for the theater and film industry at first but I think theaters need to start changing up as less people go to the theater anymore.

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  29. dinerbears ⋅

    in the free discussion. I want to talk about what we discuss in the last class which is documentary count in American film. when I first heard documentary I am confused with documentary and Disney animation can be categorized in American film (like the movie we watched in the class) or not. After discuss in the class I found out documentary is interesting topic and I do agree with professor’s idea Documentary is categories in America film but I would not categories the documentary in American film this sounds wired but I would like put documentary in one area not put it with film industry together. The reason is documentary is more journalism way. When we talk about documentary after class I found out that compare with documentary and film I will like film more and choose to study make movie weather than documentary. The reason is documentary is record the truth or want to announce something to the world but people can change the way they saying by editing. Also I think documentary is more like exploit people because usually when director and their crew went to Africa or some other third world to film unfortunate people they did not pay for them or help them directly those people doing the interview is free not like in the movie all the actress can get their paid. it makes me confused they want to make documentary for them but they did not help those people directly. It reminds me when people doing the interview with people the director and editor can editing and choose the part they want to show. just like when we doing the Journalism class we make short interview with people talk about Foreigner dating in japan. we want to make the video more interesting so we only choose the part we want to put and ask them overstatement to make video looks funny. I was confused with autobiography film is categorized in documentary or American film. For example, after Michael Jackson pass away there are few movies come up which is record his life and his concert. In the American animation part, I think Disney and dream works produce many good animations film. Such as, Disney produce The Lion King, Frozen, zootopia…etc. and Dream Works produce Madagascar, Sherk Shark tale…etc… I think animation might be part of American film because there are many film is talk about the America society and class.

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  30. mkt18 ⋅

    This class was the most interesting class in this semester. I took this course because I like to watch films and I used to watch so many films, so I thought that this class is easy to me. However, films we watched in class were different from what I watched in the past. And I did not know about films. I realized I tend to watch popular film which were produced recently. Therefore, I have never watched every films in class and they gave me a great impression and different aspects towards American film comparing to before (I just thought that American film was a big scale and high budget ) Every films were first to me because I thought old films like black-white film and B-movie were boring, but they were wonderful rather than recent film actually. Recent mainstream movies have a lot of similarities. The first thing I thought interesting is that some lecture, I learned about the positive potential of paracinema. It is like a cycle. Firstly, Paracinema breaks taboo, it becomes popular, the film industry considers that is going to be profit, and new stereotype is created. Then, main stream cinema producer takes and imitates B-movies idea. And new genre is born. Not only B-movies, but also I could see other old films were like pioneer of new kind of genre film. After watching some films in class, I could find some similarities between recent films and old films. Because of pioneer of genre film, there are so many films today.
    Second thing I learned this course is that film is impacted on society. Depend on the ear, popularity of film changes. I did not about American history, but through films, actually I could learn the histories in America. I realized that clothes and hair style are important to know the situation when a movie was filmed. Even though film of Sunrise and Gold Digger are only five years difference, their hair style and clothes changed. Also, female’s status changed. In Gold digger, I can see strong female character, but on Sunrise, female was illustrated very weak. Even though there is only five years gap, there is a lot of differences. It is interesting to compare different era of films because I could see how society has been moving.
    Different from the beginning of semester, I could know about great films and also I get knowledge of American history.

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  31. wakarinai ⋅

    Saw a good movie the other day. Its relatively new, called Captain Fantastic. It stars Viggo Mortensen, and he plays a father who was raising and home schooling his children in the middle of the forest far away from civilization. His wife passes away and then he is forced to bring his highly intelligent and societally ignorant kids in to the world. It shows the harsh culture shock that these kids undergo, and Mortensen’s attempt to hold them all together. Possibly my favorite drama of the year that I’ve seen, so I highly recommend it as it shows a completely alternate way of raising kids which is interesting and entertaining.

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  32. Derp ⋅

    First part, I wanna talk about how I feel about how I choose a film to watch and see who does the same thing or feel the same way.

    When I was a child, blockbusters were very enjoyable, of course. I loved watching high concept movies like Jurassic Park. It is obvious that high concept movies would be prefered by children over low concept movies, which are most likely to be a bit harder to explain with a few sentences. As a child, I only cherished big explosion, big monster battles, etc. But as I grew up and started to immerse myself in a variety of films with different style, stories, messages and so on, I started to build my own sense of artistic value. Now, as a person with a little more brain in my head, I cherish films that look entertaining on the outside but have outstanding content inside that has very deep meaning, goes against mainstream or betrays the expectation in a good way. My personal favorites are like Watchmen, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla, District 9, Monsters (by Gareth Edwards) and many other films that look like high concept movies but actually have pretty solid contents inside. Godzilla is a monster movie on the outside but it’s an anti-nuclear movie inside. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a grand Sci-fi anime on the outside but it’s a very sophisticated animation that incorporate psychology, science, philosophy, and more. District 9 can be explained using a word that everybody knows: “Alien”. However, I felt that it touched on very important subject about dehumanization and maltreatment of the racial minority. These have betrayed my light expectation in a very positive way. I do watch low concept films sometimes, but I am often concerned about the failure–spending two hours watching a very diffucult movie to understand, only to understand no single thing, though I admit that it is a bit cowardy. I am not saying I only choose high concept movies. I like films that are between these two. Having been an adult, blockbusters with brainless contents simply annoy me. But at the same time, I do want the movies to be somewhat entertaining–whether the emotion that comes with it is negative (scared, nervous, angry) or positive (happy, laughable, exciting)–so that I can be glad that I spent my time meaningfully.

    Putting aside my rant here, what I felt after throwing out my thought is that perhaps the feeling/tendency like mine that we do not want to waste time and energy for something unenjoyable may be why unique films are hard to be made. As a business, films have to make a profit. In order to make a profit, they need to make something that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. And for a large audience, a film that has a content easy to understand would be preferable than a film that is too difficult to understand. 2001: Space Odessey and other films that were very sophisticated were perhaps possible to be made, since people were still experimenting in the unexplored realm of film as slightly more artistic activity. But now in this postmodern era, film is a business.
    Although this made me feel guilty for not being a completely good part of the audience who can appreciate rather dry artistic film, I do want to say to the film industry (…if I even could) that some people are tired of brainless blockbusters and the number of them could increase if the industry keeps making those kinds of films. I hope that the film business has the guts to stop depending on brainless blockbusters and make something that can be loved as a film, not a merchandise.
    I hope I made some points in this blog post…

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  33. Derp ⋅

    As the popular topic in this blog seems to be the race in film, I want to talk about my personal negative feeling about major film industries of today, both in America and Japan. I hope it doesn’t become my lengthy complaining, but I also hope that someone feels the same way.

    I hope this doesn’t offend anyone (if any one is offended, please know that I’m just throwing up my personal feeling), but I feel like SOME film industries in this post-modern era are real greedy bastards. When something like a certain comic, book or anime or someone like a director or an actor does not get recognition, they don’t give a crap. But as soon as it starts to get some popularity, they say they want to make it into a film on the surface but they just try to make some doughs with name value and star value. I’m not sure how it is in America, but in Japan, how they make live-action adaptation of Japanese manga could become TERRIBLE sometimes. For example, when they tried to make a live-action movie of “Gantz”, a manga about normal people getting involved in a death game with aliens and infamous for extreme gore and sex, they starred some handsome pop stars just to get some girl fans into the theater–in America, it would be like starring Justin Bieber for “Deadpool”–and completely ignored the true quality that makes “GANTZ” itself. While girl fans went to see precious and handsome boys, true fans of the comic were left super upset.
    Same happened to the case when they tried to make a live-action movie of an anime called “Assasination Classroom”. They starred another one of those handsome pop stars just as a bait for girl fans and neglected the actual homage to the original content.
    And this is just my premonition and may not be true, but after how Hollywood made “Godzilla” (2014) and an upcoming movie “Kong: Skull Island”, I feel that Hollywood may be taking advantage of anything with some fanbase (Godzilla, King Kong, etc) and making them into commercial products called films. Don’t get me wrong, I did like a new version of “Godzilla” (2014). But I felt like the original anti-nuclear message was obscured to fit to the pleasure of American mass audience. And after watching the trailer of “Kong: Skull Island”, I felt like it is made as a blockbuster that has a name of “King Kong” and not a film that pays homage to “King Kong”. It has King Kong as an “awesome and huge monster!!” but not as that creature that has a heart that fell in love with a female human despite the massive body. And I know that the movie “Godzilla vs King Kong” is coming up. Now I fear that Hollywood may just use lovable characters like Godzilla and King Kong as the tools to make blockbusters. I mean, I don’t expect very deep message from a big awesome fight between Godzilla and King Kong and I do wanna see it on a big screen. But I hope that they don’t neglect the quality of those characters in pursuit of financial success.

    It seems to me that film industries both in America and Japan sometimes takes anything that has been or is gaining popularity without hesitation and makes it into a film, not as a truthful homage to the original content but as a bait to get the audience and extract some money.

    Meanwhile, some films pay truthful homage to the original content. Recently, I watched full CGI Japanese movie “GANTZ:O” that actually portrays a part of the story in the manga “GANTZ” as it is. It was one of the most amazing non-live-action film I have ever seen. I was able to feel that the creators of this film really respected the manga. I also loved the live-action film of “Silent Hill”, a famous horror game. The opinions are divided, but I just loved how they respected the original game and made everything–story, atmosphere, and creatures–very truthful to it. Interestingly, it wasn’t made in America. It was made by Canada and France.

    While I started to lose hope in Hollywood, I still have some hope shining for other outside-the-mainstream creators who make films by paying great respect to original contents, whether they are comic, book, anime, etc.
    The topic about the new “Ghost in the Shell” movie has been pretty (or really) hot in this class, but I hope that they actually pay respect to the original…except for the starring of a white actress, which I do NOT give a F***. As long as a movie pays respect to the original so does the actor/actress, I am happy. To me, that’s what all matters. I saw a trailer of this film and it had an interview of the original creator: Mamoru Oshii. He seemed to be satisfied, so I have some hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theSiren_Song ⋅

      As some one involved with the music industry and rather familiar with how it works:

      Many of these pop stars in Japan are actually trained to be triple threats – to sing, dance, and act. Its incredibly important to a pop-idol’s career here to be able to not only produce music but to also be able to act and be on either screen or stage (preferably both) since the fans do like being able to see them in different settings. And since Japan is all about perfectionism, they’re not going to allow some idol with no acting training go into a film that’s expecting to be a huge hit due to the popularity of the anime.

      In America, this is not so true. The entertainment industry has harsh lines that only a few cross over. If you sing, you sing. If you act, you act. Until you make it big in one of those areas (unless you’re a Disney kid), you’re generally not allowed to cross over by your management company. They want you to perfect your chosen craft before focusing on other outlets. If you can sing, dance, and act – then you’re called a Triple Threat. This means you have triple the opportunity to get noticed and get jobs.

      So saying that using a J-pop star in an anime live action film is like hiring Justin Beiber to play deadpool is wrong comparison. Beiber is a singer. That’s what he’s trained for. He’s never really been trained hard in acting, so no movie production company would dare to hire him for a blockbuster film like Deadpool, whereas in Japan, J-pop stars are trained to act, so many companies here would see it as a bonus to add them in their films since they CAN act and come with a fanbase.

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  34. jonsnow ⋅

    Looking back on this course, I find it really interesting how “catharsis” seems to be a common running theme in the class. A lot of the films or subject matter we studied originated from filmmakers recognizing the desire to relieve people from repressed emotions or to exploit those emotions. We learned about escapist cinema like historical epics that let the audience run away to an unrealizable world for a little while, and we also learned about B-movies/monster movies that played on fears of atomic disasters by portraying side effects of radiation. I think it’s cool that either way, when you are watching a film, you are being transported away and distracted from your own reality for a little bit, which I think is a reason why movies can hold so much meaning for people, or why they run away to or seek solace in their favorite films.
    On the theme of “catharsis”, I think I realize now that the blogs hold a linear meaning to the films. Because blogging is another way for us to relieve some repressed emotions or thoughts in discussion, this can be another cathartic experience. Karl even says in the syllabus that the blogs can “provide you some catharsis to relieve stress and concerns, and give you some ideas how other individuals think”. In this way I think it’s very interesting how these two are related and how Karl incorporates this into the course. It provides almost a double learning experience because we are studying how these cathartic films are made are why they are made and at the same time providing us catharsis to purge our thoughts and opinions.

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  35. liarina ⋅

    It is so good to see someone talk about Viola Davis in this discussion. She is the first colored actress that pop up in my mind when we talk about the result of blaxploitation. As we all know that Blaxploitation films are heavily emphasize that African American is for the role of negative images such as criminal, gangster, drug dealer and sometimes slavery. However, Blaxploitation success because it help to shape the American society to present the fact that not all the African American are bad. And it somehow also build a path for the African American actors nowadays that many of them are actually playing important characters in mainstream movies. When I first to know Viola Davis, I was attracted by her immediately when I was watching The Help. Davis played a slave for a wealthy white family. Although it is absolutely fall into the stereotype of black people back to the date, in How To Get Away With Murder (great show by the way, go watch it people!), Davis is actually is the first black actress who cast as the leading role in TV drama. In addition, instead of playing a role who is in poverty or struggling for life in lower class. Davis plays a role of university professor and a well-known lawyer with a reputation. I don’t want to spoiler any detail for the series but in the show, her character is strong, emotional because she is successful at work and you can see it use her professional skills to defeat those one who wants to hurt her. And just like other comments say in the blog, even though she is already in the middle age, now is still the time for Viola Davis to shine. That is interesting to see that black people can actually get to play different type of role and it is exciting to see if there are still chances can be seek for other actors. In order to do so, it is also important to change the perspectives of general public and film industry toward on African American, and Blaxploitation take a huge credit for this.

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  36. dinerbears ⋅

    During the class time I think we did not discuss to much about trans fencing movie because it is minorities. It reminds me when I watched ed woods he talked about he likes wearing his girlfriend clothing and girl’s stuff because it makes him feel safety and help him calm down. This part reminds me the popular movie in 2015 the British American biographical romantic drama film “The Danish Girl” this movie is also talk about the trans facing and trans gender topic that after Einar Wegener wearing his wife Gerda Wegener’s silk stockings and do the girl posing for her wife he starts identification himself as a woman. Just like people know he starting dress and act like a woman in the end he even do the trans gender surgery. Honesty when I first watch The Danish Girl I did not feel that comfortable because I did not get use to this kind of topic. I think ED Wood did not make me felt that uncomfortable because they did not talk too much about trans facing and trans gender stuff. However, I am curious how many trans facing and trans gender movies like The Danish Girl made by the past and when start to film this kind of content.

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  37. Peach ⋅

    It’s about to get a little dark in here. Donnie Darko can be considered one of the greatest cult classics to many, as well as one of the most confusing movies of all time to some. This film is, on its most basic level, homage to 80’s culture. But besides that, it also makes its own statements about the socio-political and cultural developments of the 80’s. It’s also an anti-super-hero narrative, a film that presents the eternal debate of predestination and free will, and one of the better films that present alternate dimensions and worlds. Delving even deeper, it even contains elements of analytical psychology and the occult. Take that all away and what do we have? Well, let’s analyze and find out shall we.
    The opening scene shows Donnie riding his bike along an empty road towards home. The song playing in the background has one line towards the end of the opening scene, “fate, up against your will, he will wait until you give yourself to him.” This one line describes a level of the protagonist. He is the hero of this story in some way, and he must face up to his destiny, he must face up to his face and survive it with impassive resolve. This lyric is our first clue. The dinner scene we are presented with next makes it clear what the Darko family is like. The father is barely a father and will remain quite passive throughout the entire film. The mother on the other hand basically runs the family, and Donnie and his sister (fun fact: Jake Gyllenhaal’s real life sister played his character’s sister in the movie) are profane and rebellious. This familiar representation of a hidden dysfunctional family could be a punch in the chest to 80’s culture, with its backward, hypocritical, suburban morality.
    At one point in the movie, (specifically at 5 min. 53 sec.) we see the Escher drawing of the eye pretty plainly displayed, making it clear it has some sort of significance to the film. This drawing has a reflection of death in its pupil as many know, and this is another hint to one of the themes in the film. Death will play a prominent role in the film, but not the Death you and I know, a more Jungian and gnostic (Gnosticism) perspective of death. There are many little signs at the start of the film showing how Lucifer/God/Death will play huge roles. As always, details are crucial in film, and Donnie Darko displays a good amount of them throughout. The directors and producers place things in certain places for a specific reason, most nothing in this film is “just there”.
    The main antagonist, Frank the bunny, is the dead spirit that possesses Donnie throughout the entire film. Following him, communicating with him in the creepiest possible ways, are just some of the things Frank does to haunt Donnie. It’s still not clear to me whether Frank is really there to lead Donnie to his fate/death or if he was just a sort of twisted angel guiding Donnie to his destiny. Either way, Frank communicates with Donnie only at midnight. It’s common knowledge that midnight is associated in many traditions with ritual-like actions and this time plays a huge role in the occult as well. Slightly irrelevant but a good point to note, in Stoker’s “Dracula” he quotes, “Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?” This of course implies that Frank is indefinitely evil, whereas I, along with many others, don’t believe that’s the case. There was a small explanation as to who is who and what is what in the film by the director in the DVD release, and he explains that Frank is part of the “manipulated dead”, people who died in the tangent universe and are connected to the living receiver (Donnie) in some way. They are then used to push the living receiver to fulfill their task/destiny, so every single character in this film, even the supposed “evil” ones, were all manipulated by their respective universes. Which is why I don’t believe there is a “good” or “evil” in this film at all. They were all just to a “higher power”.
    It becomes apparent throughout the movie that Donnie understands what his continued life would mean for the rest of the world. He accepts his death, but it’s not clear if he chooses to die in the end. It could have been “fate” guiding him towards his death, but we would never be able to tell what Donnie actually wanted for himself. At one point in the film, Donnie asks his physics teacher about free will versus following the “path of god.” On a larger scale, Donnie has been marked for death as his path, and it is debatable as to how much choice he really ever had. I think to say he accepts it after losing Gretchen and killing Frank is the most accurate perspective.
    All in all, there are countless theories as to what this film is actually trying to tell the audience, and they could all be right, or wrong. Jake Gyllenhaal and Seth Rogen said themselves, “We still don’t know what the movie was about.”
    Grandma Death says that every living creature dies alone. In a way, Gretchen, Frank, and Donnie all do die alone. Donnie thinks about his end in questioning the existence of god. It would be interesting if we could see that the destruction of ourselves is just another form of creation, something Donnie himself points out in analyzing Graham Greene’s story in school.
    Why is this film a cult classic? Well, it’s a sort of alternate reality that many pre-teens, teens, and adults love to delve into as it allows them to analyze and relate to. We, as human beings are naturally drawn to the dark, mysterious, and unknown. It’s only natural that the peculiar characters, countless hanging questions, and an ending that leaves each viewer to their own thoughts would be such a classic.

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  38. Peach ⋅

    The Wizard of Oz has been proven to be one of the most watched movies in film history, mainly because of the numerous television screenings and DVD/Blu-Ray adaptations, but also because it’s genuinely just a great film of course!
    The many comparisons people have made over time with this film and America’s Great Depression have also brought this film into many classrooms, to be shared, analyzed, and loved by all generations past and future. When my high school history teacher from junior year showed us this film, and forced us to analyze with relation to the Great Depression, I was honestly very disappointed. I hate it when people take the light-heartedness and joy out from a film, especially one of my favorite ones! I was able to block out that class and still fully enjoy this film to this day!
    This film marked, possibly, the highest point in the film’s star, Judy Garland’s life. Most people in my generation don’t even know who she is but as soon as you mention “Dorothy from Wizard of Oz” everyone, and I do mean everyone, will immediately recognize her.
    I personally think this film would not have been nearly as iconic and successful if the songs didn’t exist. The musical numbers truly make this film the all-around perfect family film, as well as adding much needed emotion to certain areas, namely the most famous song of all film history at the time, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. It’s surprising to learn that the directors actually tossed around the idea of not making “The Wizard of Oz” a “half” musical! Imagine the film without any music and singing what-so-ever, it’s not even imaginable!
    Putting aside the songs and musical scores of the movie, that did indeed contribute to its success, we move on to the most memorable transitional scene in movie history. This occurs when Dorothy opens the front door of the farmhouse still stuck in her sepia-toned world, and then suddenly enters into the world of Technicolor’s processing of hues and shades so vivid and bright it’s is almost overpowering. I remember when I was a child first experiencing this scene I was overjoyed. It was absolutely beautiful! So seamlessly integrated at all levels is this moment when the doors to Dorothy’s perception of what may be possible in the big world out there. Under the filmmaking conditions present at the time, the unedited shot of Dorothy in her costume gingham costume devoid of color opening the door so that camera can create its “wow factor” and then moving back into the frame to walk through the door and into that world fully decked out in in her familiar blue checkerboard squares would have been about as possible as actually creating a real twister on the set. A double for Garland wearing the same outfit crafted from sepia-toned material was required to pull off the trick shot. The fact that the makers went through so much trouble for that one shot lasting only a few seconds indicates anything better than the essential quality that splitting the film into sections shot in color and sections not shot in color really was. Oz, by definition, must be a wonderful, magical place endowed with an immediate determination by the audience that it is the opposite of Dorothy’s own little slice of Kansas farmland as possible. Take the color away from Oz or add color to Kansas and you’ve got a Wizard of Oz of a different color altogether.
    The parallels are not drawn merely for the sake of contrast, but also to heighten and intensify a comparison between life back in Kansas and the journey through Oz. While not given nearly as much screen time as their Oz counterparts, enough fundamental character information is supplied to allow the audience make the connection between the three farmhands back home and the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion in Oz. Throughout her time in Oz, it becomes clearer with each scene that the farmhands are reflected through the prism of Dorothy’s unconscious imagination, but is punctuated perhaps most concretely as an example of parallel construction in a mirror image that relating to the fear of Zeke/Cowardly Lion. Back in black and white Kansas, Zeke’s exhibition of a lack of courage regarding the pig results in Dorothy and his two friends providing comfort. The exact same moment of emotional support takes place in Oz with the Cowardly lion with the composition of the character blocking within the frame reversed so that where Zeke is on the left in Kansas, the Cowardly Lion is on the right. The image in Kansas thus becomes a kind of negative image of the color print from Oz, further reinforcing Dorothy’s negative attitude about her home early in the film.
    I believe it to be truly amazing how much effort was put into this film, to have adults, figures of importance, teenagers, elderly, and children think up new theories and ideas and discovering new little tidbits ever now and then! All the adaptations that this film has inspired, well technically the book inspired, but this film was a much bigger influence I’m sure, including “continuation” stories, prequels, sequels, musicals, more books and so on! It’s amazing how a film from the 1930’s can still have such a huge impact on my current generation’s films and other forms of entertainment! It’s also important to note that all the costumes, special effects and everything that made this film so great, did not come easy of course. Jack Haley, when asked about creating the film and how enjoyable it must have been says, “People question me, like you’re questioning me now, say ‘Must’ve been fun making The Wizard of Oz.’ It was not fun. Like hell it was fun. It was a lot of hard work. It was not fun at all.” Reading this reminded me that although films, beloved by generations and all are enjoyable to watch, it really should be a rule to appreciate the work behind the making of it. I wish watching the behind-the-scenes or the-making-of for films was almost a mandatory part to watch when viewing a film! People always seem to forget, films are work for a lot of people! We should be more thankful…

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