Cinema Box

"A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later." - Stanley Kubrick

The Role of Women in Film

A blog posted by USC in the Communication Leadership and Policy links to a study conducted by Annenberg, School of Communications.  Faculty fellow Stacy Smith researched the top 2008 grossing films to reveal a study of gender in the film industry.  Their findings showed that female stars overwhelmingly were showcased in situations where they were “seen and not heard” while dressed in provocative clothing.

Although these findings are not necessarily surprising, it does seem to contradict what appears to be claims of women beginning to up their status in the movie industry.  Unfortunately, an article by USA Today focusing on this study demonstrates that in the 100 top grossing movies of 2008, men had 67% of the speaking roles; women had about half that, 33%.  For every 5 male directors or writers, there was only 1 female director.  The film industry always always been an overwhelmingly male dominated one; despite claims that times are changing, it seems that the roles of women in film aren’t advancing as fast as society believes them to be.

The most troubling find, however, is that the majority of the girls placed into these situations are teenage girls.  They were 40% more likely to wear sexy clothing than other women (even women aged 21-39).  And they were as likely to appear partially naked. Stacy Smith commented that, “data speaks to an overemphasis on beauty, thinness and sexualization of women at younger and younger age”.

When children idolize these movie characters, often their behavior begins to imitate their role models. Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, a University of Missouri researcher, says the sexualization of these girls is “rampant in films, television, music videos, and the marketing of clothing” and is “sending a powerful message that it’s important for girls and young women to be sexual objects from a very early age”.

Another trailer along the same vein as Another Earth.  This movie, directed by Lars Von Trier, centers on the story of two sisters who find their relationship challenged in the wake of a potentially catastrophic event.  Another planet is set on the path to collide with Earth.  

One of the most intriguing, beautifully shot trailers I’ve seen in a while. This is the trailer for Another Earth, a Sundance indie favorite recently signed by Fox Searchlight for domestic release.

The premise of the movie distinguishes itself from all the other mainstream movies I’ve seen of late. I definitely feel like the movie industry has been lacking its share of good, quality science fiction films.  Basically, in a future year, another planet earth, a reflection of ours, appears in the sky.  

From wiki: “Rhoda Williams (Marling), an astrophysics student at MIT, is driving when she sees a planet and leans out for a closer look. She hits a minivan and kills a family. She is imprisoned for four years, and upon release seeks out the widower of the family, composer John Burroughs (Mapother). The planet she saw is a mirror planet of Earth, and an essay contest is held where the winner can ride a space shuttle to visit it. Williams considers the possibility of visiting it to find out what kind of life her mirror self would have led.[1]

 

I’m excited to see its release!

Toy Story 3 - Movie Review

I’ve been excited for this movie’s opening for a while, and it did not disappoint. The last of a scintillating trilogy about childhood, fleeting pleasures, and cherished, remembrances, Toy Story 3 (further amplified by a 3d release) was every bit as enjoyable as the first two. Ten years had passed since I first saw the original on grainy VCD as a nine-year old kid obsessed with toys and Disney movies. It was the first moment that I related to Andy, the six-year-old boy with the cosmic imagination, and empathized with his charismatic toys as if they were my own. So much — and yet so little — has changed since I first engaged myself in that world of make-believe, since I began christening my own playthings with their own names, personalities and life stories. People are sometimes never conscious of their coming-of-age except for the moments in which the past catapults itself into the present, and Toy Story 3 conveys this as clearly as any artistic venture.

With Andy days away from leaving his childhood for the mysteries of college life, Toy Story 3 both confirms the impermanence of that world and celebrates its cruciality. It was a journey that returned me to the past and reminded me of the mercurial present, of the innate capacities to love, lament and learn that defines us as people continue to grow regardless of experience and age. 

And there lies the genius of Pixar: in bridging the gap between what’s real and what’s not, from childhood to adulthood, among casual filmgoers and critics, the animators remain successful presenters of a style that makes believers out of us all.

This movie hadn’t looked promising from the start; however, I decided to give it a chance after receiving a ticket to a free screening at the Grove in Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, Beastly did not impress me in any way whatsoever, and even failed to live up to the very low expectations I had set in the beginning.  I can honestly say that it proved to be one of the worst movies I have seen up to date.  I can officially say it to be the worst movie of 2011.  Terrible, wooden acting, from stars Vanessa Hudgens (of High School Musical fame) and “breakout” actor Alex Pettyfer, contributed to the inane, senseless plot and movie direction.  I recommend that no one waste their money on a movie ticket to see this film.

Academy Awards 2011

The official list of Academy Awards winners has been released.  Check them out at the link provided.  Here’s a short list of notable winners:

1. Best Picture: “The King’s Speech.”

2. Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech.”

3. Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan.”

4. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter.”

5. Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter.”

6. Directing: Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech.”

7. Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World,” Denmark.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network.”

9. Original Screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “Toy Story 3.”

11. Art Direction: “Alice in Wonderland.”
 

…and many more.

Welcome!

A short introduction: I’m a 20 year old USC Student, residing in Los Angeles and majoring in Business Administration.  As you can see, I’m no film connoisseur, but cinema has been a passion of mine for many years.  I love watching movies, love discussing them, and this blog provides the perfect outlet for my voice on this subject. Cinema Box will be a place for movie reviews, trailers, and other interesting news or ideas that I come across this year.

I truly believe that at their best, movies are not simply just a form of entertainment; they are works of art and contain insightful, social commentary. I really want to work on bringing unknown but significant movies to my readers’ attention, and hopefully each day that I blog both I and my readers will learn something new. 

Thanks for reading!

-Vivian