Watching a Star Wars pre-quel in a Post-Trump Amerikka.

Rogue One was a call to action. This film makes a reference to  the  military-sanctioned torture seen in Abu Ghraib prison back in ’03( trigger warning: torture) 

In this particular scene, the multi-talented Brit Riz Ahmed160711-news-nightof-hp-lg is hooded and captured, while shouting that he knows of a secret  plans.

There is something to be said about the blind swordsman, other wise known as Zatoichi.

Found in the Mortal Kombat franchise: KENSHI.chibi_kenshi_by_misterwanka-d8sevd3

He cannot see, but ‘The Force is within Him.’ Thus, when he dies, those around him take on this presence.

I won’t go off on a Star Wars fan-rant about the definition of ‘the force,’ however, I will say this: If you have ever felt the force to do something about this disastrous global nonsense that we are in, then Now is the time to do, no longer think. Feel your senses at the heightened level that they are now and now that this will only continue, if shocking details about plans for this land’s future are revealed.

I have had the great opportunity of seeing the sites of various sites of Southern Civil Rights Resistance, i.e. Selma, Alabama; Bomb-ingham Mississippi; insidefeature2STONE MOUNTAIN, Georgia;

Memphis, Tennessee; Harlem and Seneca Village, NYC, to say the least. I have seen this  various pieces of White Supremacy and I have felt the spirits of those that they have destroyed.

Most of us were silenced by the DNC.

The Two-party system is one of this land’s greatest illusions.

Amerikkka may have been claimed by the hooded knights, but now is our time, for reclamation. We must do this through artistic and creative means, in order to make our message clear. We will not not stand for feelings of guilt from the election. We will go forth and stake our claim to the land that has way too much blood on its hands already. Enough is Enough, y’all.

Oh yeah…don’t forget: an overwhelming majority of White Women voted for Trump.

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Alternative Theory Assignment

An excerpt from my prospectus:

The spectator of Skin does not sit there in patience, they use their body to respond while their mind is processing the suspenseful and mind-boggling filmic material. With this epistemological approach to audience reception, I would also like to use Baudry’s “Ideological Effects.”  I believe this piece delves into art as being something more than entertainment: art with psychological purpose. Within the context of my thesis: experiencing a film within an enclosed space makes us feel not only entranced but entrapped. Utilizing the theory of  Plato’s cave, Baudry says that moving images give us feelings of experience and immersion. For Baudry, the spectator is held captive. This harsh language is used to describe the theater’s  psychological effects to the torture porn, gore fest that is the original Saw movie. Another movie that causes bodily tension in the audience: nail-biting and eye averting, stomach churning. I would like to explore these response to torture horror and their entrancing nature.

 Furthermore, the film theater becomes a place of entrapment when horrific actions take place on-screen. Audiences reacting to horror films can be seen throughout marketing campaigns. The audience reaction trailer is used to showcase how the film makes people,  by taking night-vision of people jumping and screaming.

Theory Challenge

 

 

Amani Jordan

4 April 2016

Theory Challenge

Word Count: 399

 

Fighting Pigs Within Elsaesser’s ‘Frame’ and Arnheim’s ‘Illusion’

 

Film must either reflect our reality or create its own. In “Cinema as Window and Frame” film theories are found between two poles: the window and the frame.  The former, utilizes film as a window onto our reality. Here, the  cinematic medium as a realistic art expression. The latter, the frame  privileges a  formalist position: we use cinema in a self-reflexive manner, calling  attention to what one is viewing and experiencing To elaborate: “On the one hand, the window as a medium effaces itself completely and becomes invisible, and on the other, the frame exhibits the medium in its material specificity”(Elsaesser 16). In this week’s film, 10 Nights of Dream (Y. Yamaguchi, 2006), the frame shows itself more than the window.

The pig boxing match scene, is a framed fantasy,  an imagining of Shotaro’s memories. The boxing ring is complete with flashes from unseen photographers. The villainous woman becomes a grotesque hairy, fleshy pig, punishing Shotaro with freeze framed  bloody punches. The pig is created on-screen with spectacular special effects, costuming and makeup. These elements position the viewer(s) within the filmic reality of the male protagonist.

The suspension of disbelief lies within the audience members; there must a willingness to believe that Shotaro is in danger from being hurt by this anthropomorphic animal. The filmic medium does this by acting in this surrealist, fantastical, formalist way. Arnheim in “Film and Reality” elaborates on the concept of film as dream, or ‘illusion.’  He states: “Up to a certain degree, it [film] gives the impression of real life…It is always at one and the same time a flat picture post card and the scene of a living action”(Arnheim 26). Furthermore, this scene constitutes the cinematic art form as one both ‘real life’ and one of imagined fantasy.

Works Cited:

Arnheim, Rudolf.  “Film and Reality.”  1957.

Elsaesser, Thomas. “Cinema as Window and Frame.” 2015.

Yamaguchi, Yudai. 10 Nights of Dream. 2006.

 

 

 

Theory Response Paper EXCERPT

Change Clothes”: Rethinking Kuleshov’s And Astruc’s Male Cinematic Constructor

camera-stylo  looks to the author as genius, a figure that is gifted with knowledge and feels a duty to share it with the rest of the world. Astruc believes that the filmmaker is the new author and  holds power in producing meaning. So, what is the audience’s responsibility? Does an author really express if there is no audience to receive? Although, Astruc believes film has a future in the popular sphere; for him, the technologies of  16mm and TV allow the viewer to explore filmmaking/film viewing in different ways. The filmmaker, for Astruc, is one of modern middle class means: a man that can “possess a projector” does so with a certain level of time and money. The lower-classes of people, the working classes, will they fit into this future of Astruc? Yes, this exclusion is noticeable. Once again, it is pointing to the fact that for early film theorists, the cinematic medium is for the male genius. 

(My excerpt comes from my fourth page, last paragraph)

Here, I  apply Astruc’s ‘classical’ film theory to our cinematic landscape today: a diverse, multi-gendered one. If camera-stylo positions the author with intellectual power, where do folks that don’t go to the cinema regularly(lower socioeconomic classes), fit into this equation? Additionally, Astruc’s exclusive use of male pronouns, positions the filmic philospher as one that is masculine. What about the female audience members as well as film directors/producers/screenwriters?

 

 

 

A Way to Go

Employing a 3-d portable camera, this interactive game(?) allows the user to manipulate a square headed animated anthropomorphic  figure. It is described as a “walk in the woods.” In order to actually engage with this, my mouse cursor must be hidden.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 5.57.35 PM Instead, the mouse becomes a tool for looking. Through the keyboard’s ‘W’ key I can make the figure  stroll or walk at a leisure pace; the percussion soundtrack’s tempo complements this action.

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While walking I can look around the woods. The ‘E’ key makes him run. the character to sprint.The soundtrack is becomes fast  and I start to feel anxious.  If one commands him to do this for a while, he can get tired.

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While paused, the figure sits down.

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I can position the mouse towards the sky while stationary and I appear to be flying.

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Otherwise, he   looks around.

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Using my mouse, I can click and  the figure interacts with the nature as a beam of light appears and then video plays. It is as almost as if I am seeing through the character’s point of view: beams of light, trees, ants, dirt. Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 6.06.21 PM.png

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Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 6.09.25 PMWhile the video plays,  light piano sounds are played as I click my mouse, and  the screen flashes . The figure is blinking. It is  quite fun to play around with sound and it feels as if I am the conductor of the music , in addition to being the visual director.

These interactions are suggested in Gaudenzi’s “Strategies of Participation.” For her, interactive documentaries(can one call this documentary?) are asking the participant to engage in some type of action. “What can the participant do? How can they contribute?” Additionally, these inputs are related to the ways in which power and agency are illustrated in a digital context; with this participation in this media, a claim for a   “position in the world.” Indeed, it is important to note that there is some level of control that is given to me, but also taken away( hide your pointer). Thus, these parameters are not employed by my own input but instead are “set by the author.” My actions are limited by what the keyboard and mouse can do for the character’s actions. (Gaudenzi 143)

I continue to run and surprisingly he jumps into the river that is alongside the path.  Colors appear in the previously monochromatic world. They see their reflection; they stare at me. A hint at self-reflection (literally and figuratively). Is the character formulating an opinion of themselves.  Instead, there is  breaking out of this woods into another one The camera uses some type of negative filter when I engage with close-ups. This world seems more ominous.

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Unfortunately, due to graphic issues the application did crash. Although, the experience was enjoyable. Something not dealing with a particular social issue but instead offering   playful interactions with cinematic images in a three-dimensional, animated sphere.

 

 

The Online Self-Represenation

Typical selfie:

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Here, reality star Kim Kardashian West utilizes bright indoor lighting, duck lips and the front camera. This selfie is one of many found in a Kim’s book Selfish;  probably not the first commodified book of self-photography that we will see in the 21st century.

 

 

Self-Authorship

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The power couple that is Beyonce and Jay-Z choose to stand pose in front of the world-famous Mona Lisa, Paris’  Louvre Museum. The sharing of this photos illustrates the couple in casual clothing. The photo situates them as works of live-art; all three subjects stare towards the lens of the camera.  This photo was shared on Beyonce’s ‘I Am’ Tumblr blog.

“Don’t disrespect the game like that.”

In light of the fiftieth super bowl this past week month, I have decided to share a remix of 2-time champ, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.

the video was compiled by DJ Steve Porter. Due to the juxtaposition of the  sports interview and on-field personas, these types of remixes transform the sports celebrity into something musical, and comedic.   The clip takes part in the fragmented/ non-sourced/quotification Internet pop culture landscape that Kerr illustrates.

PS. I would also recommend Randy Moss and OchoCino/TO remixes