Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This 20-minute video called "The Story of Stuff" is F-ing amazing! I never realized that the American system of over-consumption was consciously PLANNED in the 1950s!! Here is the scariest quote I have EVER heard:
"Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption... We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."
-Victor Lebow, 1955
Saturday, November 24, 2007
ANYway, the videos that were made at the Austin NAMAC youth MAFIA (Make A Film In A (day)) event are posted on youtube, so check them out. Me, a kid from austin, a kid from baltimore, and another kool kat from i-dont-know-where made the short Sebastian & His Picture:
Each group was picked at random, and given a prop and movie genre also at random. Each group was required to utilize the prop as much as possible and stick to the movie genre. We all had 24 hours to do it all. It was fun. mostly. i fell asleep at the computer. but totally worth it.
over and out,
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This is a call for your HELP. I am writing big papers for both my Philosophy and CHID classes about Reel Grrls. This is because we are awesome, of course. For my Philosophy class I am writing about the continual struggle and movement of, and need for women's rights. For my CHID class I'll be bring in various ideas from the Englightenment and the desire for information etc.
I would like your input to use as quotes for my paper. Tell me anything, really ANYTHING! I would like to hear from anyone and everyone. The grrls, mentors and staff. Post here. Email me. Call me.
Tell me about:
1. Why RG is important to you? Why is media literacy important?
2. What have you learned? Why do you study media and film?
3. What is it like for you to be a female in today's society?
4. What have you learned about yourself at RG? Talents, Identity, Questions, Ideas etc.?
5. How has working with other women mentors and grrls your age affected you? How do you observe multi-generational collaboration at RG? How does RG work to reverse hierarchy within our program?
Thanks for your input.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
She was the first Algerian woman to be accepted at the École Normale Supérieure, an elite college in Paris.
In 1957, she published her first novel, La Soif (The Thirst). (Fearing her father's disapproval, she had it published under the pen name Assia Djebar.) Another, Les Impatients, followed the next year
In 1996 she won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Contribution to World Literature, and the next year, the Yourcenar Prize.
1. La Nouba des femmes du Mont Chenoua, 1977
This film combines narrative with documentary to tell the varying stories of different women in Algeria. “Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs.”
2. La Zerda ou les chants de l'oubli, 1979
Raúl Ruiz 1941 -
sentences about him:
From Chile and one of the most prolific filmmakers of the last 50 years.
trained as a painter. spent some years at the U of Santa Fe, Argentina's cinema school.
something of an outsider among the politically oriented filmmakers of his generation his work being far more ironic, surrealistic, and experimental.
Also writes stage plays.
film advisor to the Socialist Party in Allende's coalition (1971-1972) - forced into exile in 1973 following Pinochet's coup - settled in France.
- Palomita Blanca (1973)
- La Vocation suspendue [The Suspended Vocation] (1977)
- L'Hypothèse du tableau volé [The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting] (1979)
- The Golden Boat (1990)
- Généalogies d'un crime [Genealogies of a Crime] (1997)
- Le Temps retrouvé [Time Regained] (1999)
- Comédie de l'innocence [Comedy of Innocence] (2000)
- Klimt (2006)
(1990) After spending $1000 on sets, Ruiz attracted Manhattan performance artists from the Wooster Group, author and lesbian anti-hero Kathy Acker, porn fave Annie Sprinkle and fellow directors Jim Jarmusch & Barbet Schroeder for this paean to the Mexican soap opera, crossed with "The Untouchables." Vicious philosophers, selectively deaf TV stars, and a mysterious trail of boots lead into the unknown...
After several years producing and directing low-budget telefilms, he began working with larger budgets and "name" stars in 1996 with Three Lives and Only One Death, Marcello Mastroianni's penultimate film. The following year he directed Genealogies of a Crime, starring Catherine Deneuve.
Monday, November 19, 2007
One cool thing that I learned when researching Alejandro González Iñárritu is that his first feature-length film, Amores Perros, which is also the only one of his that I've seen so far, was originally conceived of as 11 short films. After 3 years and 36 drafts of the scripts, he and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga decided to narrow down the 11 shorts and expand them into three interlocking narratives for the feature-length film, which eventually earned him enough acclaim that he was able to launch his career internationally.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Trinh Minh-ha is a filmmaker, author, composer, and professor of Women's Studies and Rhetoric at UCBerkley.
She has made 7 films and written 10 books.
Her most famous film is Reassemblage, but she has won awards, such as the blue ribbon at the AF&V festival for her other work.
Night Passage (2004)
Fourth Dimension (2001)
A Tale of Love (1995)
Shoot for the Contents (1991)
Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989)
Naked Spaces - Living is Round (1985)
*Please note that there is not too much info on her on the internet so this is a little sparse. Many apologies.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Check out our coolness:
Sami Kubo's testimony is at about 4:23 in this clip
Lila's testimony is at about 5:37 in this one (I love how you can see the RG crew in the background giving me a standing ovation afterwards, thanks guys!)
Camille, testifying as Sami Muilenburg (or maybe not), can be found rockin the house at about 5:05 in the 8th audio file (3rd from the bottom) on this page.
Monica, dressed as a Media Consolidation zombie, was quoted in The Seattle Times AND King 5 News (hmmm... both the exact same quote... more evidence of media consolidation or not?)
You can also see some fabulous zombie footage (and lots more video footage from the FCC hearing) on the homepage of SCAN. The media cheer video is called "FCC 2007 Protest 1" and the zombie video is "FCC 2007 Protest 2." Note that I threw these clips together really quickly for folks to grab footage from, they're not fully edited pieces, but you can also download the full resolution video files if you'd like to use them yourself here.
And if all that's not enough FCC hearing coverage and you STILL want more, then as always check out the Reclaim the Media website.
Phew! That oughta keep you busy for awhile. Thanks again, RG, for caring so much about media justice, and for making your media activisty instructor so damn proud!
Monday, November 12, 2007
there were two 12 year olds there, they were surprisingly eloquent. there were zombies (one of which was monica) that danced to thriller, all very symbolic of media consolidation.
well, i went home after my testimony, and i put the TV on for the 10 pm local news on fox, and all they said about the FCC hearing was that one of the panelist supported consolidation, and made audience reactions sound like they were supporting this too, nothing like what really happened. they didnt even show ANY public comments at all. they only pointed out the "advantages" of media consolidation, and made it seem like everyone at the hearing was supporting it.
I'm going to go scream in a hole now.
Over and out.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
You asked me to provide you with more examples to help you shape your own public testimony at the FCC hearing this Friday (4pm-11pm at Town Hall, get there as early as you can!).
Click here to see a bunch of transcribed testimonies from the last FCC hearing at the Seattle Public Library November 30th. And here to listen to a one-hour audio special that KBCS put together after this same hearing collecting many (not all) of the testimonies.
My testimony is somewhere in the middle of this radio special, but since you asked I've also transcribed it below for you. I don't think it's perfect, and I haven't yet figured out exactly what I'll say this time, but if you do need a hand shaping your own testimony or want me to look over a draft that you've written I am totally available.
Lila's testimony at the FCC Hearing November 30th, 2006
"Hello, my name is Lila Kitaeff and I’m here today to speak as a media maker. I work with Reel Grrls, a filmmaking and media literacy program for teenage girls. Our youth are bombarded by corporate media every single day, giving them the same, often harmful, messages over and over. We teach them how to make their own media because we think it’s so important that everybody have a voice and a right to communicate and those independent platforms must stay open.
I also work with PepperSpray Productions, an all-volunteer activist video collective. Our work plays on Seattle Cable Access Network and ten other stations nationwide. We cover events where, more often than not, the corporate media outlets don’t even bother to show up.
I want to speak very briefly about an event that we covered this past summer; a Radio Barnraising in Woodburn, Oregon, a town with a majory latino population. The farmworkers’ union there, PCUN, had been buying airtime on a local commercial radio station. But when the station found out that they were organizing farmworkers on the air, they kicked them off before their contract was up. So with the help of the Prometheus Radio Project and hundreds of volunteers, PCUN built their own low-power FM radio station. Big media had closed the door in their faces. How incredible that this was the only way they could make their voices heard.
We demand more low power FM licenses and no elimination and de-funding of public access. Thank you."
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
On the positive side, it'll give me a lot to complain about here.
For one thing, total male gaze.
If you could actually see the whole scene here, somehow her stomach is like glowing? Interesting use of lighting?
The plot almost killed me too... the Transformers found the main guy by surfing ebay.
Here's my film lenses:
Formalist Film Theory: Pretty impressive special effects, but that's about it. Use of lighting to draw eyes to female subject.
Auteur Theory: He made the Bad Boys movies (which a critic called "Two hours of explosions and witless banter) and created a playboy centerfold.
Postcolonialism: I guess you could call the Transformers as colonists to a new planet.
Queer Theory: Not a trace.
Feminist Film Theory: Typical girl used only to help the role of the leading male, and pretty with a bad edge.
I was thinking back to the whole idea about the male figure playing the "baby looking in the mirror" type role for the viewer. A watching male could see themselves in the main character, but in a more perfect light.
Buff's character is really nerdy and timid, and I was thinking about why. I can see that by making the main character timid, but still getting the hot girl and beating the Transformers, guys can see hope for themselves and they like it.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thanks to Ruth's awesomeness and your votes it looks like we'll be going to see "The Darjeeling Limited" at Meridian 16 in downtown Seattle at 5:20 tomorrow.
I'll be arriving at the movie probably right before showtime, so I'm not yet sure how we'll do the meetup thing, but I will absolutely post a plan for it by this evening. And if you aren't able to get back to the blog later to check it, just call me if you're confused: 206-228-6076
It's a 7:30 show, and even if it's not the Monday movie, let me know if you're interested in seeing it with me sometime this week (it's playing until Thursday.)
Except not Wednesday, because I work.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So we are going to see a movie in a theater (we love you Ruth!) this Monday afternoon/evening. Cast your vote for which film we'll see by posting a blog entry by SATURDAY AT NOON with your top two choices listed. Here are the movie choices:
1. Blade Runner @ Cinerama 4:45pm
2. Elizabeth: the Golden Age @ Pacific Place 4:15pm
3. The Heartbreak Kid @ Pacific Place 5:15pm
4. The Martian Child @ Pacific Place 5:25pm
5. Michael Clayton @ Pacific Place 4:20 or 5:20pm (if this is your vote, let me know which you'd prefer)
6. In the Valley of Elah @ Uptown 4:15pm
7. American Gangster @ Oak Tree (up North!) 7:00pm
8. Dan in Real Life @ Oak Tree (up North!) 5:25pm
9. The Darjeeling Limited @ Meridian 4:10pm or 5:20pm (if this is your vote, let me know which you'd prefer)
10. The Kingdom @ Meridian 4:50pm
I'll post to the blog on Sunday with the movie we'll be seeing and information for meeting up.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
So going to Texas was pretty darn awsome. I did see my share of cowboy boots and hats, but Austin was shockingly artsy and full of unique stuff. Appareantly Austin is the most liberal city in Texas, they've got this bridge where bats live, and at dusk al 3 million or so come flying out like crazy, searching for BLOOD.... or just bugs and fruit.
The entire convention was amazing. There were youth like me from Kentucky, Baltimore, the Bay Area, Minesota, and then local texans. The texans were cool. We had a 24 hour film project (like superfly) where each group was given a prop and genre to make a short out of. This was at the Austin Studios where the Austin Film Society first got started by Richard Linklater. Who infact i got to meet personally and give my portfolio DVD to (props to kubo). If any doesnt know this, Linklater directed Fast Food Nation, A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life, and other cool stuff. He was very laid back, and down to earth.
There were a couple Flash Animation workshops that i went to (new animation possibilites?? i think yes.)
Blah BLah Blah, thats all for now folks. time for bed.
-- the kubmeister
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I have some personal views to share.
I feel like the "Gaze" is really only a tool used to point out a male dominated industry. If we, females, had the same amount of influence in the mainstream film category I think there would be just asmuch female gaze as there is male gaze now. It would be alright if there was an equal amount of gaze from both sides, male and female, at both sides, male and female. I bet we wouldn't even be bothered by it if this balance was achieved.
What does everyone else think?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Can we talk about the female gaze?
I'm not convinced this is a bad thing. Humans are attracted to one another. This is what has always bothered me about Mulvey's article. Women gaze at women too. Is there an okay gaze? I mean, is there a line between appropriate and not?
And in response to Maile's post - I don't think Cheryl is subverting the male gaze. I think that is perhaps giving her too much credit. That film is FILLED with gazing. Especially all the comments her co-worker throws out about women they walk by or that come into the store. If anything, she makes Yvette's character foolish and awkward just to make herself look cooler as the protagonist. I disagree that Yvette is the only one that is trying to look sexy. Perhaps in a 'conventional' sense - but there are all kinds of sexy. Maybe the other characters don't seem so sexy to us in their 90s way, but they are trying to be sexy in their own defined ways. And those ways are looked at and admired by other women.
More to say, not enough time. I want to explore this further. Any takers?
With what we were talking about with people liking movies and TV because it lets them explore uncomfortable or untalked (if that's a word) about ideas. Movies try to appeal to guys by subjecting the women in the way that they can enjoy her on a shallow level and don't have to feel bad about it. Which is sad. If we say these things aren't ok in real life, why are they ok in film? And why do they exist in real life to? Can we then attribute them existing in real life to media, then the media to appealing to real life in some kind of weird cycle.
So I'm confused, but pretty rightfully so.
I don't know, maybe it's just because Degrassi's on Canadian TV. And they're much cooler than us.
PS - I'm doing my homework last minute on the bus right now. But internet, on the bus. Which means my bus has wifi on it! How rad is that???
First of all, I really want to share with you this article Adrienne, one of our board members, forwarded me the other day. It seems very apropos:
Unfortunately, I don't have the article in a format that would allow me to post it here in a legible way, but I do have an electronic copy that I can email out and there is also a paper copy floating around the office.
Anyway, I think it ties in rather nicely with everything we discussed re: genre/gender last week.
And I am really looking forward to discussing Watermelon Woman with y'all today, because I think it also dovetails really nicely with everything we talked about last week. Kind of the antidote to the male gaze, eh? I'm sure I'll bring this up this afternoon when I see you, but what did you think about the scene of Yvette's karaoke performance? It definitely recalled similar moments featuring characters like Jessica Rabbit in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? clip we saw last week (I still have a burning desire to wash my eyes after seeing that) - don't you think? According to Mulvey, it's easy to indulge a really overtly male gaze in a film when a woman is performing - that way the camera just perches alongside the diegetic male spectators and shows us what they see, which is usually a sexualized spectacle of some sort. It's amazing how many films do this. Last week I watched Strange Days, another feature directed by Kathryn Bigelow (director of Point Break), and one of the female stars is, conveniently, a singer, who performs in barely-there bedazzled costumes for all the world to see. Or, more appropriately, for the male lead to watch voyeuristically, since he is not supposed to be in the club where she performs, and we the cinematic audience get to share his voyeuristic male gaze. But I digress...
Isn't it sort of surprising to see a film like The Watermelon Woman basically do the same thing? And at the same time - it's not quite the same thing, is it? Yvette's performance definitely does not make her desirable - not to Cheryl, not to others in the karaoke bar, and certainly not to the film's spectators, be they male or female, gay or straight, black or white. This stands in stark contrast to the performance of Jessica Alba in Sin City, or Jessica Rabbit in WFRR, or Juliette Lewis in Strange Days, to name a few. I think Cheryl Dunye was definitely trying to subvert that cliched cinematic moment that demonstrates the quintessential male gaze, but why did her subversion have to be at the expense of the Yvette character? In other words, it's great to subvert the male gaze, but do you have to make a woman look foolish to do it? And what does it mean that Cheryl Dunye chose to cast Yvette in such a light? She is the only character who really tries to look sexy in the movie (well, besides the Watermelon Woman herself, in those glamour shots), and she fails miserably. Is Dunye trying to tell us something?
Can't wait to talk to y'all about it soon!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What is so great about this scene is the invisible editing that drives your emotions just the way the words and motions do. The guitar and plucking part is edited with reverse angle conversation/reaction shots. The shots are longer and further away to begin with - they are setting the scene with length, establishing it just like an establishing shot. When their conversation gets more intimate, the shots become closer and shorter. When Boy stands up and leads her through the clothing, the shots are quick and close like heart beats. They kiss - the shots intensify and the music intensifies and the audience intensifies. When Boy discovers the angry inch, everything pulls away. You know, kinda like when the record screeches and stops when someone says something awkward at a party. The shots pull out and last longer.
I love that.
It's a mini story arch within a larger story arch. Beginning middle and end set with not just words and actions but with the playing of our emotions with shot length and distance. So tricky those movie makers!
Someone told me once that he learned how to make movies by watching scenes over and over and reverse engineering them. It's one of the best exercises ever. Watching each clip and writing down whether its a medium, long or whatever shot and timing each shot's length. Make a graph and see if it makes a story-telling pattern. For example, long in the beginning, short and quick at the climax, and long and far at the end.
But here is where some elements of Classic Hollywood Cinema (CHC) as outlined in our readers by Robert Ray come into play: the surfing Ex-Presidents indeed embody classic examples of an outlaw hero. While they may not be a “cowboy or gunslinger,” they are all outlaw heroes juxtaposed against the “official hero” Utah. Reeves also may not be a “politician or family man” but as a FBI agent he does represent the “objective legal process that superseded private notions of right and wrong” (16). After I understood that Bodhi was behind the bank robberies it became harder for me to like his character in the same ways as before. However, I still understood and was in awe of his sense of freedom from “the system”. I couldn’t help but melt just a little while yearning to become a fellow outlaw surfer when Bodhi becomes passionate with his group about how they show the American public that the human spirit is still alive. Even though I believe the group’s way about showing the human spirit to the public is violent and wrong, they do in their own ways speak to the “American imagination valuing self-determination and freedom from entanglements” (16).
What really gets me though is the ending! OF COURSE Reeves gets the girl. Doesn’t Classic Hollywood Cinema tell us that we can have it all? OF COURSE he finally catches up with Bodhi for the final confrontation and resolution between their two characters. OF COURSE Bodhi in the end fails as an outlaw (and as participant of society for that matter). Utah throws his badge into the ocean at the end of the film in a moment of self-realization symbolizing his final separation from the story and its past. Everything pretty much wraps up hunky-dory. Why? The answer is simple. Hollywood was just doing what it does best: fulfilling “its self-appointed role as public comforter” (14).
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The beginning of the clip is slightly less conventional, but the end moves right into the shot/reverse shot "invisible" style we talked about last week.
So, Reel Grrls: I was wondering. Have you tried to emulate the invisible style in your work in the past? If so, were you aware you were doing it? Have there been times that you have broken Dominant Hollywood style "rules" in your work? If so, do you think it worked in the end, or did it look amateurish? And finally, in future work would you like to try to master this style, or are you more interested in countering it - taking inspiration from Godard, perhaps?
This isn't a quiz, I'm just interested in what you're thinking.
Oh, and Kubo, safe travels to Texas! See you there! Try to post us an update if you have a moment.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Check out this clip from Japanese master cinematographer Yasujiro Ozu's 1951 film "Early Summer," in which he blatantly crosses the 180 degree line. Dominate Hollywood Cinema style says that this type of cut confuses the viewer. What do you think?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
We discussed Robert Ray's point that what we think of as "normal" filmmaking techniques are actually a highly constructed and particular set of formal and thematic rules making Hollywood Cinema the Dominant filmmaking style by which all others are measured. We watched the scene that Ray analyzed and talked about it as an example of Formalist Film Analysis, then tried our hand at Formalist Analysis ourselves.
Then we watched some examples of alternatives to continuity editing (what Robert Ray refers to as "The Insivible Style" because its purpose is to "hide" the editing from the audience). I was surprised that the grrls were rather unimpressed by some of the French New Wave film clips we looked at, but they were blown away by the Russian style of Montage editing exemplified by Eisenstein (this is the clip we watched together, from his 1927 film "October": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0QAjpeosgU). We also checked out "Ballet Mechanique" as an example of a film in which narrative is subordinate to style.
Reminder: If anyone is interested in some extra hands-on homework, check out a Reel Grrls camera and try your hand at creating a film that is not organized by narrative. How else could you organize and join your shots? By color, rhythm, pattern, shadows etc.?
Looking forward to reading all of your posts looking for evidence of "The Invisible Style" in a film or TV show of your choice and/or doing a short Formalist Analysis of the same this week!
Monday, October 08, 2007
So I used to just kind of nod my head whenever we were dealt the "not enough girls in the film industry" shpeal. Reel Grrls having been my only film experience, all I saw were girls in the field. But I'm taking Live Video Pro after school now and out of the 20 students and 3 instructors I'm the one and only girl. So Malory... I believe you.
That's all for now.
I'm going to go do my math homework and then do an English project while watching Casablanca. Yes I realize it's already 10.
- Sami M.
And one more thing, why are mini bagels so much better than normal sized bagels? They're so good, but I don't understand why.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
This weekend I turned 20. Um, whoa. Serious stuff people, serious stuff.
Currently though, I am sitting on a rug at my grandparent's hiding out from life and reading about The Enlightenment. I can say that I am thoroughly....well, enlightened. I wish though that I was watching Casablanca while eating chocoate--because that would be cool.
I have a really nasty cold. It's pretty gross. I plan on spending my time in one of two places the next few days: in bed or in class. So that is where you'll find me: in my bed or in class.....prolly wearing my pajamas and bunny slippers, sucking down orange juice as if it were the elixir of life.
P.S. Reel Grrls are rad. Really Rad.
We met some other directors from other films that were being screened too. and the opening film of the festival (Nina's Heavenly Delights) was pretty smashing, i must say.
Long story short: It was most definately the hardest of core.
-- sami kubo, over and out.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
We are incredibly excited to be launching our first-ever Reel Grrls THESIS Program today! In response to popular demand from our ever-more-savvy-and-experienced grrls, we have created our most advanced and longest-running program yet.
You can read about the program HERE, but basically we are going to spend the next three months intensively studying film history, theory, and criticism - all from a Reel Grrls perspective, paying special attention to films made by women from around the world.
Starting in early 2008, the Thesis team will embark upon a five-month production schedule, in which grrls will take the reins on their most ambitious projects yet, hopefully inspired by and in response to the works and theories we will have studied together.
Along the way, grrls and mentors are going to blog their Thesis-inspired thoughts, feelings, and ideas here, so get ready for a much more active Reel Grrls blog!
Check in here weekly, and learn along with us. And start getting psyched to see the most amazing Reel Grrls work yet, coming this spring.
Maile and Lila
Thursday, May 03, 2007
While we're waiting for this ever-present deadline to approach, we've been actively eating a lot of Cheez-Its-- while editing... not around the computers. That's bad. Uh.
We also got a hold of a reel of Super 8 (8mm) film for use in one of this year's films. After filming ended, we decided to put the remainder of the reel to good use and make our very own home movie...
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Spring Program 2007