Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pretty, Pressure, Pills

This was my first production project, and I chose to create a portrait of my best friend, Bethany who is recently sober after struggling with addiction throughout her adolescence. She readily admits that her drive to escape has been rooted in the pressures for perfection from society, her family, and herself. As an aspiring actress, Bethany is subject to all kinds of images that are detrimental to self-love. I wanted to convey her buoyancy and hope in this short video piece


Saturday, May 14, 2011

A History of Oppression Through Superheroes' Eyes

Comic books are a mirror for American culture and life. People write what they know about and much of history can be found in the oldest comic books created. But world wars, propaganda, explosions and history are not the only things contained within the pages of the comic books. Oppression,inequalities and decades of sexist and chauvanistic ideals litter the pages of the comic books that we still read today. A lot can be said about these ideals, as so many of them have not been erased. The commodification of a womans body is the most obvious issue with these comic books. By making a female superhero scantily clad,or a buxom babe, she is made to be a view for the male gaze,just as any women in America is today. Gender inequalities are also extremely visible in these comic books,as women superherous, were few and far between and were rarely ever given the storylines that were well deserved. Many of the ladies were girlfriends of the superheroes, only placed within a comic book as the bat, the dumb girl that has to be saved by her man. The seeds of these inequalities are planted into young male readers,the primary market. How are women to become equal and stop being the victim of violence when the chavanstic mentality is taught at such a young age? Just like Wonder Woman the remake couldn’t catch a break and become a normal television shows equal over trivial things(after all, there are many shows with horrible scripts that stay on television) women cannot seem to because the chances are so few and far between.

How making your morning coffee at home can save a village.

Portrayal of women and the factors that influence it

For my final project I wanted to research any factors that led to the development of the current roles of women in the Polish media news broadcasting as well as the  portrayal of women in general. More specifically I looked in to the development of feminism during the communist regime in Poland. I wanted to see if the political environment influenced the development of the feminism in Poland or whether it hindered it. Most importantly I wanted to also see the influence of "historic" people on the current state of Polish media.

I have found three very influential women, who have been tv celebrities throughout the communist period, which provided me with some evidence that women had better chances at entering the TV industry in communist Poland than in a free/ democratic and capitalistic United States.

Krystyna Loska, Edyta Wojtczak and Bogumila Wender

In the end I have found that the the Catholic Church, traditionalism have also advanced feminist goals in Poland i.e. portrayal of women in the media.

Here's a link to my essay after the jump:

Taylor & Hollywood

Last semester when I took Asian American History class at Hunter, I met an interesteing girl named Taylor. We got the same interest and passion in films. But the difference between us is that where as I am just starting to make small films here and there, Taylor in the other hand was in big Hollywood movie and TV productions. Though she didn't have big parts in it, she was in the scene. She knew people (actors,producers, directors etc.) and she knew how the business goes. My big question to her was why go back to NY, if she was there, the place where aspiring filmmakers have dreamed about, what happened?

My short documentary takes on her journey in Hollywood. She talks about the celebrities she have met and the various events she attended that so many people wants to be part of. She further talks about the tough decisions she had made and the life style that people has to go through to be part of the scene in Hollywood. At the end, she tells her story on why she went back to NY and go back to the college life at Hunter College.

In addition, there are comments by the lecturer in my Med160 class, Martyna Starosta, with her views and opinion on how women in movies are viewed. During the semester, she invited Anita Sarkeeian from www.feminist.com to talk about the subject. I didn't have an interview with Anita because I didn't have my film equipment and she was flying back to LA days after, but she did give me permission to use her video on my documentary. And lastly, the indie filmmaker Thomas Seymour on his views on women characters in movies and how the times had changed. I also including a clip from my short film "For The Win" to set an example on how I used the male gaze.
In total I got over 1 hour and 20 minutes of footage. I shot each person individually in different days from Hunter College and in LaGuardia Community College. Taylor was nice enought to share her pictures with her celebrity friends and even shot some footage at the place she currently worked at. I edited it to a 10 munite short documentary and will show only 6 minutes for the class presentation. It's still a work in progress because I want to get more interviews from different people, including Doris.

To view the video, click here: http://youtu.be/461zHOFxwuk

The Oppositional Gaze - Bell Hooks
Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema - Laura Mulvey
Introduction Reel to Real - Bell Hooks
Tyson (Documentary, 2009)
Breaking The Code: Chris Jericho (Documentary, 2010)

the DOUBLE STANDARD: Female Promiscuity

When thinking about this project I was very much confused on the topic as well as medium I would use to present. We all know there are many issues Women face and many things in the world it would be great to see women take on and have a positive affect. I chose a topic dealing with sexual health because of my past work with the subject as a peer educator and conversations I've had with people in my life. It just seemed to fit at the time. The idea for a magazine, well web zine came because I wanted to challenge myself a bit creatively within reason. Meaning no camera work. Through this process i learned that being an "editor" is not easy in any form. To give me a small taste of being an editor of a magazine I enlisted outside help in the form of writers and subjects (interviewees).
My topic question is To be or not to be... a slut?! It looks at the idea of sexual promiscuity and the negative impact of the word slut. With this issue of my zine I hoped to take away the negativity and stigma associated with promiscuity and embrace sexual freedom in order to decrease sexual abuse of ourselves and each other. Towards the end I had to question whether or not my goal had been achieved and to be honest.. I'm still very much questioning this.
But here at the Double Standard I encourage you to form your own opinion. So Read on :) .

Healthy Print Ads

Healthy Images: An art piece to bring awareness to the harmful images portrayed within media.

The idea behind this project comes from a lifetime of viewing the disgraceful images created by our media; which objectify, oppress, shame, and over sexualize women. The specific images I am responding to are beer, lingerie, cosmetology, and shoe advertisements within there general categories. For example I focused on beers unhealthy images and the messages they send to society, instead of Budweiser, and there particular images. In most cases these specific categories work to sell the product through portraying male dominance, female passiveness, sexual violence towards the female, over sexualization of the female, and reducing the female to a mere object. Researching for offensive ads was as easy as picking up a magazine, researching healthy ads which do not do any of the above was extremely time consuming and prove to be difficult. I looked at “Anti-Advertising” for inspiration; I also looked at Cindy Sherman, as an artist for inspiration. She uses photography and photographs her self in specific situations/places in order to make a statement. Although her goal is not to create feminist photography, a lot of her work was inspirational to me in that aspect. The images are what I wanted to attack, and try to recreate. The images which I have included are images which could be included in ads. I made this decision because the images are what people from all cultures see, these images are the most persuasive device used in marketing, so I believed I needed to recreate the images themselves. These images are meant to be displayed as a print portfolio, because they are images that could possibly be used in print or web advertisements, however they could have been displayed in a gallery as a photography project. In the future I would love to have my in gallery, in the medium of photography; I believe the message of female empowerment can reach more people that way. In the future I would also like to transform the prints into a larger art project by combing them with other mediums, creating a collage perhaps. My goal for this project was to recreate healthy images which drew attention to the women in these photos in a light that was not demeaning violent or oppressive, and I believe I did that. I directed and modeled in the shoots, my colleague Kayla Duffy shot the photos. The models include me, and Allison Meade.