Racism in the Movie, Crash

All through time, the world has been racist and intolerant of people different from themselves. Countless millions have suffered due to the bigotry of people that couldn’t understand change or differences among one another. There was a time when any soul that wasn’t blue eyed and blonde haired in Germany, anyone with darker skin where immediately classed as inferior and not human. Even now, when you are not aware, racism is still a considerable problem. But sometimes it isn’t one person being racist against another, but rather one person being racist against them self. The movie crash shows good examples of how racism against oneself, caused by fear and misunderstanding, is just as malevolent and evil as racism against another person. Fear is what makes people act racist. Farhad is one of many examples in the movie of a person who recognizes his own race and paralyzes himself through his own fear. Farhad believes that since he is Persian he is immediately being persecuted against and cheated. He flips out at the gun shop when the owner was insulting him which just furthers his fear of Americans. After the events on 9/11, which are referenced a lot in the movie, Farhad thinks that anyone who is Middle Eastern isn’t welcome in America. Even after the gun shop owner was rude; his shop was destroyed by racist people who hated him. It is this same fear of being cheated because of his race that makes him very untrusting to people he doesn’t know. He calls a lock smith to come fix his door because it won’t lock. He immediately thinks that Daniel is trying to cheat him and steal money from him just because of his past endeavors. Farhad even says, “You cheat me right? You have friend that fix door?” when Daniel tells him he needs a door after replacing the lock. Since Farhad believed that he was being cheated he did not fix the door which ultimately led to his shop being destroyed and uninsured due to negligence. Farhad is one of many characters that acts to “protect himself” due to fear of misunderstanding and prejudice.
Anthony shows many characteristics similar to Farhad only he is more hypocritical. Anthony constantly complains of the people who follow stereotypes but follows them the most himself. He knows he is black and believes with his whole heart that literally almost everything in the world is a plot from white people to bring “the black man” down. He too tries to protect himself from the world that he believes is against him. But believing that white people are after black people is a stereotype in itself thus he is a hypocrite. There are many examples of his fear of white people. He won’t get on the bus because, “white people put big ass windows on them to embarrass the people of color forced to ride it!” He won’t tip waitresses because they “think black people don’t tip!” He doesn’t even listen to pop or rap music, made popular by the black populace, because “it’s an instrument of the white man to keep black people down.” What is confusing about Anthony’s character is that even though he hates the stereotype of black people being thugs and gangsters, he steals cars from white people and thinks he is doing a service to his black community. This is also odd because he has morals against robbing from a black man but not white. Stealing from a black man is wrong because they have so much to deal with already because white people are always after them is his mind set. Even this doesn’t actually stop him when he breaks his own morals and attempts to steal Cameron’s car and fails. But when he does Cameron says something to Anthony that ultimately changed him for the better.
When Anthony tried to take Cameron’s car he fought him back and even took his gun. While Anthony had the gun he was in control of the situation and had the “power” so to speak. Cameron took it from him and wasn’t going to let Anthony steal his car. Cameron finally snapped from all the racism he was starting to see himself endure and wouldn’t even back down from cops. He didn’t want to be looked at as a gangster so he beats up Anthony when he calls him a nigga shouting, “Say it again call me a nigga again!” After the cop episode he tells Anthony, “you embarrass me, you embarrass yourself” Cameron tries telling him from one black man to another that he hates black people like Anthony giving black people like Cameron a bad name. He then gave Anthony his gun back as if to give him back the power to make the right decision. Cameron works hard and tries to bridge the gap between black and white by being successful and promoting good behavior abiding the law and doing what’s right. Cameron understands the stereotype for black people just as Anthony does only Cameron tries to avoid it in a different matter.
Cameron and Christine are another two good examples of racism against oneself. The movie immediately shows that they come from wealth and are wealthy by the car they drive, the way they act, and how they talk. Later it shows that both of them are trying to avoid actually seeming “black”. In this point of the movie black isn’t used as an adjective of color but a stereotypical way of acting, talking, and life. Christine says to Cameron, “you were afraid of getting your name in the paper and your friends thinking, Oh he really is black!” Both of them having come from money attempt to tell each other they don’t know what’s it like to actually be black and the closest they came to being black was the Cosby show. She also states that she did not know how to “shuck and jive” like Cameron. This is like a “yesum, yesir” way of talking that was very humble and referenced back to slavery. They show very evidently that neither of them like the stereotype giving to black people, Cameron takes it so far that he almost gets killed when arguing with the cops. Cameron is a good person at heart in the movie and always abided the rules, he wouldn’t speak out against the white cops harassing his wife because he was afraid of getting arrested and appearing “black.”
These characters each felt different hardships and pain due to their own fear and self prejudice. People can be just as dangerous when they are racist and naïve against themselves as others are to them. People act this way out of fear of being persecuted, they fear it so much that they overlook what is actually happening sometimes and immediately jump to accusing conclusions. It’s the reason that all these characters lives crashed into each other and ultimately affected one another. If they were all more understanding of themselves and each other they could have avoided a lot of conflict.

Description of the Movie “X2

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Norman Jewison’s Movie The Hurricane

Norman Jewison’s Movie “The Hurricane”

The problem of racial discrimination has been portrayed in many films in the last 15 years. However, The Hurricane does a masterful job at addressing this issue, and will leave audience members clenching their fists in anger at the injustice that happened to a man named Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The movie demonstrates the racial inequity that can be found in our judicial system through the impressive acting by Denzel Washington and the direction of Norman Jewison. The Hurricane makes you wonder who else has been wrongfully accused in the past 30 years.

The Hurricane creates moments of amazing heartfelt punches dealt by Denzel Washington (Rubin “Hurricane” Carter), Vicellous Reon Shannon (Lezra Martin), and the three Canadian friends, Live Schreiber (Sam), Deborah Unger (Lisa), and John Hanna (Terry). All of the actors and actresses produce feelings of love, camaraderie, and determination that causes the audience to jump up and cheer.

The movie starts with the story of Rubin Carter and his fight for the middleweight championship. He lo…

History of the Drive-In Movie Theater

History of the Drive-In Movie Theater

The story of the drive-in movie theater begins with one man. That man was Richard Milton Hollingshead, Jr., born on February 25, 1900, the “father” of the drive-in.

The drive-in got its humble beginnings in the driveway of Hollingshead’s Riverton, New Jersey home, at 212 Thomas Avenue. This is where his first experimentations took place. Setting a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of the family car, he projected the film onto a screen he had nailed to a tree. He tested the potential hazards of foul weather by turning on his lawn sprinkler to simulate a rainstorm. His home radio sitting behind the screen to provide sound, Hollingshead sat in his car watching and listening. The car windows up or down, sprinkler on or off, he liked what he saw and heard. And with that, the drive-in’s inception was well under way.

Of course there were a great many problems to work out. But once he felt he finally had his major problems solved, Hollingshead landed the financial backing needed for his venture. His major partner was Willie Warren Smith, also o…

Culture and Ideology in the Movie, Seven

Culture and Ideology in the Movie, Seven Samurai

Many directors use their films as a means of glorifying, criticizing, or simply depicting, a particular ideological system. These ideologies are especially visible in foreign films, as the viewer is forced to assess the film from outside his or her culture and ideology, and consider the film in its proper context. Director Akira Kurosawa’s Japanese film Seven Samurai allows the viewer to understand several important aspects of Japanese culture and ideology. First, the film depicts the Japanese social class structure and its acceptance by the masses. Seven Samurai also reveals the pride of the Japanese, as well as the utilitarian, collectivist nature of their society.

As one of the farmers explains early in the film, farmers are born to suffer, it is their lot in life. This illustrates the Japanese class system, and the lack of upward mobility in it. The characters in the film all accept their place in the class structure, however low, and do nothing to change it. Although the farmers enlist the help of samurai to defend their v…

 

Ideology and Reality in the Movie, The Matrix

Ideology and Reality in the Movie, The Matrix

The matrix, as presented in the eponymous film, operates as an Althusserian Ideological State Apparatus (ISA). The Matrix1 presents a world in which “the state [as] a ‘machine’ of repression” is made literal where robots rule the land (Althusser 68). It is true that they rule by force (sentinels and agents) and these constitute the Repressive State Apparatus, but their primary force of subjugation is the matrix, their ISA. The film traces the path of one man, Neo, in his painful progress from the ideology of the matrix to the “real world,” or the ideology of the “real.”2

The matrix, unlike the ideology of the “real,” is explicitly defined along Althusserian lines as an ISA. Althusser identifies ISAs as “a certain number of realities which present themselves to the immediate observer” (Althusser 73). Just as the “machine” of the state is taken literally, ideology as “reality” is taken literally. Any discussion of the ISA must include both a brief discussion of the State and Althusser’s use of the term “ideology.” For him,…

Movie The Matrix

Movie The Matrix

In 2002, Brent Staples communicated with Jean Baudrillard about the use of his philosophy in The Matrix (1999), a film written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski. Staples wrote, “He [Baudrillard] noted that the film’s “borrowings” from his work “stemmed mostly from misunderstandings” and suggested that no movie could ever do justice to the themes of this book”. In this paper, I will argue that the Wachowski Brothers did not want to “do justice to the themes of this book”; they wanted to adapt Baudrillard’s theories about the blurring of the real and unreal, and the eventual extermination of the real, into a story that provides hope for humans wanting to escape the suffocation of the “hyperreal”. The “hyperreal” was first coined by Baudrillard in his book, Simulacra and Simulations (1983); it is the product of the distortions of the real through endless simulations of it in radio, newspaper, television, and film.

In The Matrix, Morpheus offers Neo one more opportunity to accept the “hyperreal” in the form of a blue pill which alludes to a world of fanta…

The Movie Othello

The Movie Othello

The movie Othello is full of very believeable and well developed

characters.  As it is a tradgedy, thought, we have to have a victim or victims,

in this case Othello, and the cause of their misery, which is Iago.  Iago

manipulates Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello, useing a variety of methods.

Iago’s plots are skillfully crafted with multiple levels of intrigue.  Iago also

pays attention to the smallest detail, proveing his skill as a villian.  Thus,

Iago is a masterful villian who manipulates all those around him.

Iago manipultes Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello in several ways.

Cassio is manipulated by Iago first getting him fired.  Then, under the guise of

friendship, Iago suggests that Cassio ask Desdemona for help in getting

reinstated.  This is an ingenius move on as his part, as Cassio must pursue

Desdemona’s help behind Othello’s back.  Roderigo is manipulated by Iago’s

telling him to pursue Desdemona, even though Desdemona is already married.

Although this is a blatent lie on Iago’s part, as the viewer sees not a single

hint that Desdemona even acknowledges Roderigo’s existance, it is so cleverly

delivered to Roderigo that he takes as a fact, even when the facts show

otherwise.  Iago controls Emilia through her love that she has for him.  He uses

her love of him to get her to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief.  Othello is

manipulated by suggestion and hints that are carefully worded and said at just

the right moment.  Each one weakens his faith in Desdemona a little more.  Then

Iago produces “evidence” to add weight to his innuendos.  The evidence is so

believeably delivered and Othello already so incenced by Iago’s words that

Othello does not even question the truth of what he sees.  This skillful

manipulation of those around qualifies Iago as a supreme villian.

Iago’s plots are skillfully crafted and contain multiple levels of

intrigue.  Iago gets Cassio drunk and disorderly until he starts a fight.  Iago

then goes to Othello and tells him that he should not allow such behavior and to

fire Cassio.  Then  Iago convincea Cassio to pursue Desdemona’s help on the sly.

Finally, Iago uses Cassio’s pursuit of Desdemona on the sly as proof of their

affair.  Only a villian of great skill could craft such a plan, as there are so

many variables and chances for someone to stop and question everything or reveal

how Iago was involved in what they did.  Iago also plans out his entire sceme

from the very begginning of the play.  He does no planning, Iago simply moves

along continuing with his plan through the whole film.   It seems as though he

knew exactly how everyone would act to his manipulation and react to the actions

of each other.  Iago also leaps upon every opportunity that presents itself

during the course of the movie.  For example,  Iago plans just for Desdemona’s

handkerchief to be in Cassio’s possesion, but when Bianca storms in and accueses

Cassio of being unfaithful, Iago jumps on this opportunity and even more

thouroughly convinces Othello of Desdemona’s guilt.

Iago pays attention to the smallest details, makeing his manipulation

even more complete.  For example, Iago drops hints about Desdemona possibly

being unfaithful, but he does not say anything outright, because that would be

suspicious.  Iago only tells Othello of what he “knows” when confronted about it

and asked directly, and even then after repeated beggings for information on the

part of Othello.  If Iago had been more forward with his suspicions, Othello

would not have believed him as much.  Also, when Iago accuires Desdemona’s

handkerchief, he does it very carefully.  He has Emilia accuire it, then makes

her tell no one that she did and won’t tell her why.  If he had gotten it

himself, someone might have seen him, and that would have raised suspiscion.

These small details would have been overlooked by someone who was careless and

less thourough.   Iago also removes Roderigo, by convincing him to try to kill

Cassio and then killing Roderigo out of what he claims as self defence.  A

lesser villian would simply have let Roderigo go, but he might have talked, so

eliminating him was the only way to gaurantee he wouldn’t.  Iago also convinces

Critique of the Movie Matchstick Men

Critique of the Movie Matchstick Men

I recently read a review of Matchstick Men by Nicolas Bardot who said of the movie: “very touching but lacking a certain panache.” The Matchstick Men starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman, is the story of Roy (Cage) who with his “numerous disorders” and his partner Frank (Rockwell) tries to pull off a con job. Unfortunately, Roy’s daughter Angela (Lohman) suddenly shows up and things don’t go exactly as planned. Although Roy’s “disorders” are not mentioned specifically, I can’t imagine they would make his job easy in the first place, but throw a long lost teenage daughter into the mix and I can not wait to see what happens next. Matchstick Men is an adaptation from an Eric Garcia novel and runs one hour and fifty six minutes.

Bardot seems to vary on his opinion of this movie. He makes special note of John Mathieson’s photography declaring it as “superb,” as well as expressing delight in the soundtrack which was compiled by Hans Zimmer. Bardot seems to praise the movie for it’s depiction of anti-heroes, yet at the same time says that at times it becomes “slightly dull and uninteresting.” Despite his lack of glowing praise for the picture, Bardot expands upon the “expansive and spectacular” past pictures by Ridley Scott, the director. Having directed such films as Gladiator and Black Hawk Down among others, Bardot seems to think Scott has found a hidden talent in his new genre, comedy, declaring that his work on this picture is “marvelous.”

Although Bardot mentions the performances of Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman, I wish he had gone into more detail as to what was good about them, or in Cage’s case “unnerving.” He also refrains from mentioning other details such as setting, costumes, and camera angles which I would find interesting. Most of all, however, I would be interested in hearing more about the plot, such as what kind of con job Roy and Frank are hatching, or what Angela does to disturb their plans. Overall, despite Bardot’s description of the movie as “good,… [but] slightly off-balance,” I am looking forward to viewing it and making my own decision.

Frame in the Movie Yellow Earth

Frame in the Movie Yellow Earth

The movie, Yellow Earth, focuses on images that use mise en scene aesthetics. Bazin advocates the use of mise en scene rather than using montage. In mise en scene, the director takes account for everything that appears in the frame. The director also takes the effects in the onstage space of the frame. Some examples of effects in the frame are lighting, setting, costume, and character behavior. Even though mise en scene literally means, “placing of the scene”, contextually it means all the effects, actions, and settings in a frame prior to editing. Due to the lack of editing, mise en scene (in contrast to montage) usually presents a long shot to capture more of a realistic emotion. In mise en scene, the shot shows a close up of a character to show emotion. In mise en scene, unlike in montage, cause and effect take an important place in the same, lengthy shot.
A reoccurring scene in the movie, the scene of Ciuqiao collecting water from the river, uses mise en scene effectively. The director of Yellow Earth, Chen Kaige, accurately portrays the perils of Ciuqiao’s life. Everyday Ciauqiao goes to the river to gather water for her family. A significant scene in the movie points out where Ciuqiao expresses her grievances by singing. As the sun gradually sets, the sky sullenly darkens. The sunset sky signifies the young girl’s feelings. The dark sky suggests that Ciuqiao feels sad and downtrodden; however, the pockets of sunlight may show that there is still hope for this young girl. Her singing everyday at the same time demonstrates even more significance in the movie. The river in the scene, gigantic and vigorous, seems to separate this young girl from the world in which she knows. With the visit from the soldier, Ciuqiao realizes that life is worth living beyond the Yellow Earth. Using mise en scene, the director of the movie seems to capture Ciuqiao’s facial expression and emotion during the song. The audience sees Ciuqiao so closely that they question if she is, in fact, singing or not. One could go on forever and ever about the beauty of this scene because of the long shot is taken. Kaige, in agreement with Bazin, uses mise en scene to portray the life of Ciuqiao on the Yellow Earth.