salienne: (Fringe Olivia 2)
Y'all remember that film blog I did last semester? Well guess what I'm doing again!

So, for your reading pleasure, here be the first installment:

Black Swan and the Hazards of Female Autonomy

In many ways, Aronfsky’s award-winning Black Swan is a film about femininity and repressed womanhood. Following the struggles of Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, to master the lead role in Swan Lake, Black Swan focuses on the pressure on women not only to reach perfection but to be perfect. In this respect the film’s message is clear. This pressure is destructive, leading to Huge spoiler ).

When it comes to more nuanced notions of gender and repression, however, Black Swan becomes much more thematically murky. For purposes of this post, I will focus on the issues of female adulthood, independence, and sexuality in our protagonist, Nina. Through its depiction of her journey to self-destruction, Black Swan delivers the clear message that a free woman is a dangerous woman, perhaps less miserable than the trapped girl but certainly more devastating.


The primary female influence on Nina is her mother, Erica Sayers, played by Barbara Hershey... )

I clearly did not cover everything there was to cover re: gender in Black Swan or even everything to do with female sexuality here, partially due to time and word constraints and partially due to focus. This essay is about what it means to grow up a woman in the world of this film, and it's neither a pleasant nor positive experience.

I definitely think there is more to be said about female homosexuality/bisexuality and motherhood, though, and I find the way Nina's mom is both this twisted figure
and the moral voice of the film a bit... odd, if not downright disturbing, though I haven't quite untangled my own thoughts there yet. I also think I could delve more into the idea of male (sexual?) ownership and its arbitrariness (see: "my little princess") and I'm sad I didn't get to explore the significance of Beth's character and Nina's quest for perfection and unhealthy self-policing more. Of course this leads us into the mental illness angle, which I just don't feel competent enough to cover.

So... yeah. It's a good movie. Obviously has its issues (still wtf'ing over Aronfsky's quote, ngl) but I'd recommend it. Definite trigger warning for mental illness, self-injury, sexual harassment/assault, and body horror though.


Feb. 7th, 2011 08:24 pm
salienne: (Fringe Olivia what is this)
Dear Professor,

Next time we're about to watch a movie with a graphic attempted rape scene, how about a little fucking warning? 'Cos me, I'm just disgusted and offended. Someone else? Might be really triggered.

No love,

salienne: (Default)
Girls and boys, and the daddy who got away

(A special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved her father very much. One sad day, her father went away never to return, leaving behind a very sad little girl who grew up into a very brave, very smart young woman who never stopped her missing her daddy. One day she stumbles into a strange new world and, in a quest for independence, a quest chasing after her father, she discovers him only to lose him again, and only to discover herself. In the end, she returns home.

This is the story, and it is repeated over and over again. Interestingly, two recent uses of this storyline occur in the Syfy channel’s Alice miniseries and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (AiW) film, both adaptations of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Although sexuality and Alice’s father barely figure in the original novels (if at all), they become vital components of both modern works, resulting in a female adulthood that revolves around a choice between men.


Syfy's 'Alice' can be considered a sequel to and modern reimagining of the original story. )

A/N: Another recent film that followed this storyline was Repo! The Genetic Opera. In this film, mother becomes even more repressive, with Shilo's home a literal tomb for Marnie, as well as a prison for Shilo. Meanwhile, her father is the gatekeeper to the outside world, and she has to lose him to become her own person and fully enter it herself. (There's even a song about it. It's not exactly subtle.)

That said, it's actually unique and, well, feminist in that she does not end up tied to a man at the end. Rather, the men she was torn between (Rotti and Nathan, two father figures) are dead, and the closest thing we have to a love interest (GraveRobber) doesn't even play a part, except to tell the viewer the story. Shilo is now her own person, rather than her own person + 1.

Now, Repo! is in no way actually feminist (e.g. 1 deleted scene sexualizes a female addict sleeping with her dealer for drugs), so I guess this goes to show you that you can't rely on just one framework to analyze any particular work.
salienne: (Default)
So, I've just watched Hitchcock's The Birds, and... um...

I totally forgot how bad this movie was. Like, I remember being bored, but this was impressive.

It starts off as an okay meleodrama that eventually realizes it needs a plot, and then it becomes horror for the last half hour or so. Except really boring horror in which all the character development and, really, any characters at all sort of become set-pieces to wander through a world with attacking birds. And by set-pieces I mean the Big Strong Man and the scared girlies who get traumatized easier than Bambi would.

And it makes no sense, is not particularly interesting or frightening, and it has no point.

It is a wonderful look into just how popular cigarettes were, though. And I like the girl's hair. And the scene where Lydia finds the body was well done.

But honestly... that movie was so bad. Over an hour of my life. Wasted. x_x


Jan. 10th, 2009 02:26 am
salienne: (Farscape not broken)
So, I've just watched Repo! The Genetic Opera and, honestly...?

Not as good as I was hoping.

Also, one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack wasn't even in the movie. And it's one of those that really needs context.

Major Gripes(Spoilery) )

But, yeah. Maybe it'll grow on me now that I have far lower expectations (and keep wondering about how good it could have been)?
salienne: (DW wth?)

^It's the bench scene from L.A. Without a Map plus two others.

Totally non-spoilery, and most of it is the Johnny Depp + David Tennant bench scene.

Hilarous, but So. Freaking. Weird.
salienne: (Pirate)
All I can say about L.A. Without a Map is, what the hell was that?!

Although in a good way.

Bizarrely enough, in a good way.

Like... I still don't know what the point was or why it exists (although I suspect there is commentary on film-making and love in there), but I do know that I was laughing throughout, David Tennant as Richard is adorable (and completely and utterly bonkers), and David Tennant and Johnny Depp have great chemistry mixed with the strangest scenes imaginable. Like, I can't even ship it, because every single moment with them was like a weird drug trip where you're one step behind reality and can't quite catch up.

The movie was a bit like that overall, actually.

Still, I sort of love it, mainly for DT and the sheer hilarity factor (and Johnny Depp! There was David Tennant and Johnny Depp and they ate fried chicken in a graveyard!).

You guys should watch. You'd appreciate it. And maybe someone would get it and explain what the hell just happened to me.

(Yeah, the characters in my mood icon? Doctor all confused and stunned, Rose and Sarah Jane giggling madly? That's me right now.)

ETA: I think this might be one of those rare rare rare times when I'd go for RPF. Of Johnny Depp/David Tennant in which they spend half of it trying to figure out what on earth is happening in this film.
salienne: (Default)
So, yeah, I saw this movie today. And sort of loved it, despite the fact that it made little to no sense, mainly because the female character (Helen Benson) was badass and I really really missed Keanu Reeves. (Anyone want to do a Constantine rewatch with me via AIM soon? *Cough[ profile] enigma731Cough ;)*)

But, um, yes.

Spoilers Be Here. )

I liked.
salienne: (Default)
Not So Thought-y Thoughts )

Also, I played my first D&D game today. It was fun.
salienne: (Default)
Okay, well, I know I haven't posted in ages (sorry for that), but I've been meaning to post about this for a while. So...

Basically, during Spring Break, I spent a good deal vegging out in front of the television watching "chick flicks" (a bad enough term in and of itself). And you know what I noticed? Well, let's demonstrate, shall we?

Save the Last Dance: Great film, great actors, great choreography, etc. Oh, and also the girl has a crying fest in the guy's arms and in the end can't do the dance without her boy's support. Meanwhile, the boy never freaks out, even when choosing between his best friend and his girlfriend or when faced with the idea that his best friend is about to get into the middle of a shoot-out. He is big strong man, he no need to express emotions.

The Wedding Planner: Strong, intelligent, independent woman. Brave, kind, talented man. Their relationship starts with him saving her. Then he saves her again on a horse. Then she has a crying fit in his arms after spotting her ex. Then she almost marries the "wrong guy" because she just should. Her life finally has happiness and joy and true meaning when she and her protector are together. As for him, he never panicks. He gets annoyed and angry, sure, but he's always about what others want, perfect guy. Always saves the girl, helps his fiancee realize what she really wants, and is there as the strong good male to be there when needed. He, however, doesn't need to rely on anyone when choosing between his fiancee and a woman he just met.

Titatnic: Didn't get to rewatch the beginning so can't speak to that, but did watch everything after the ship starts sinking. Yes, she does save him with the ax, which is badass. And then he knows what to do at every moment--he tells her where to run and how to get through things and when to get onto the railing and what to do when the ship gets submerged and so on and so forth (how the hell doesn't he KNOW all of this anyway?). He gets her on the freaking door, for goodness sake! And what does Rose do? She obeys. She's scared. When on the life-boat, she leaps back to the ship because she just can't be without her man (I love that scene, but when you take a step back...). She doesn't even offer to share the fucking door! She just.... lies there. She lets him stay in the water. She gets taken care of and looked after. Then she "never lets go." Meanwhile, Jack was perfect and awesome and never broke down and died for her. He is just that selfless and cool.

So.... yeah. Sexism anyone? Just a bit of "woman might be strong and successful but is nothing without her man to soften her up/bolster her strength" and "man must be strong and protector and have no weakness," dontcha think? And these are recent movies!

Honestly, if it were just one movie or even three, I wouldn't think this was that big of a deal, but if you think about it... Almost every romance out there has the basic structure of strong woman who is somehow damaged. Here comes boy. She cries in boy's arms and/or reveals her tragedy/flaw/drama/etc. Then things progress.

You'd think movies would have outgrown the damsel in distress and male hero archetypes, but apparently not. And really, that's more than a little disappointing and depressing.
salienne: (DW wth?)
Okay, first think of movies in general. Now think of movies with at least two women. Now think of movies with at least two women who have a conversation, and this conversation cannot be about the male love interest.

There are just about... none (and by none I mean so few I can't think of a single example at the moment).

It works for tv shows too.

This disturbs me.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that this was pointed out in an online comic whose link I can't find at the moment. It's not an "original" thought of my own or anything. It's just something that creeps me out.
salienne: (DW wth?)
"I could break your neck I love you so much."

Why am I watching this movie again?

Oh, because it's 1:45 AM and there's nothing else on. Right.

EDIT: And this guy isn't even the villain (in truly predictable fashion).

So odd...


Jan. 28th, 2007 03:44 pm
salienne: (Farscape joy)
Yay! Exams are over (and BC calc actually wasn't as hard as I expected) and I got an A- on the Latin exam... which I barely studied for... and my grade is the highest grade in the class... Funny how these things work out. ^.^

This weekend has been SO badass, btw. My last exam was on Thursday, so that night I went with Lee and Emma to see Pan's Labyrinth (I had SUCH a long discussion about this movie afterward; basically, we decided that for the first in its "genre," it's really good, but there are a lot of things that could be changed/made better/followed up on. Awesome for a first try, in other words). Then, I slept over Lee's and the three of us talked forever. Then went back to school, watched some of Doctor Who's second season, slept over Melissa's (we watched 7 ep.s of DW season 1..... sad, I know), and am now back here with today and tomorrow of amazing no hw time. 'Course I need to do the FAFSA and my senior project proposal but, eh, I get to also watch more DW. XD (I'm not obsessed at all.)

And now.... I'm off!

Ta mates!

P.S. This entry was so just an excuse to use my new amazing icon made by the amazing [ profile] pnr
salienne: (Default)
is actually REALLY good. It's bloody fantastic. (And yes, I realize all my lj entries have been ranting about how this or that is amazing, but that's because they all are!) I love it to pieces, a lot more than Spirited Away, which I actually liked quite a bit.

I will not write or read fanfic. I will not write or read fanfic.... Reading fanfic would just make me sad and writing it would spoil the film.

I'm just gonna enjoy the fact that this movie rocks. And squee. *SQUEE*

EDIT: Yeah.... I read fanfic. I couldn't help myself. As usual, most of it is bad, but I managed to find this little gem of a sentence while reading: "The two lovers bounced for a moment before the bed settled again but the two didn’t even notice, only noticing each other and the feelings that they were feeling."

I am such a bad person but I was laughing so much after reading that.

There are some cute ficlets, though. But I swear, if I find more "Sophie leaves because Howl's mean" I'll beat something. I'm just happy the creepy rape fics aren't there. @_@

And on a completely diff. note, I just realized that I'm old enough to actually read NC-17 now. o.O I'm so used to ignoring the "You must be 17" bit that I didn't realize I actually am 17. Go figure. *Shrugs*

And now, I am NOT reading Howl's Moving Castle smut. That's just creepy....


Mar. 31st, 2006 10:51 pm
salienne: (Default)
Hee, I now remember why I loved the "Matrix" movies. I saw "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" again today and though I can't say I love the ending (SPOILER )) or some scenes (the movies are so much fun to parody at points.... and you can't help but laugh, especially when you're with a group of people :P), the movies are just cool. Besides, Keanu Reeves as Neo is kickass. XD

I also wore me bodice today. Got comments from almost everyone (especially in regards to me bust @_@) and I had horns on at first but took those off. They gave off the "weirdness" effect while I just thought it looked cool. XD Gray bloody UNTIED HALF OF IT because I untied his running shoe. -_-" He failed at retying it.... probably because that must have been rather awkward since it's right on my breast. *Mumbles about her friends being dumb..... amusing, but dumb*

Yeah.... off now.

Ta mates.
salienne: (Default)
I officially love this actress. I had no idea how many of my favorite movies she was in until I looked at her entry on IMDB. Beelejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Girl Interrupted, and a bunch of others movies that are not as strange. Plus, she's going to be in A Skanner Darkly, which I'm really looking forward to.

....I should go to bed at some point.
salienne: (Default)
Swiped from [ profile] neytaritook

List your 6 favourite tv shows and then answer the following questions:

1. Farscape
2. X-Files
3. Law and Order: SVU
4. Juding Amy
5. Buffy/Angel
6. Stargate SG-1

Read more... )


salienne: (Default)

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