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Gender Lenses: A Joint Post on Movies

Hello Everyone,

I apologize for the delay in posting. I was busy with completing my undergraduate degree and applying to graduate school (amongst other things). I am going to post a link and the text of an article I wrote for our school paper. It is reminiscent of a couple old posts on this blog; but, I believe you may still find it enjoyable and informative.

For Jordan’s section of the Column, visit the link at http://www.thedustertoday.com/entertainment/story/article/gender-lenses-movie-buffs-or-not.html:

 

Adam’s View:

Having a watch list on IMDB is really hard for me. Currently, I have over 50 movies or television shows that I need to watch. One night after a trip to the movie theater, I came to the conclusion that I will never fully understand how much I love watching the previews for movies before the “feature presentation” starts. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the trailers that I can’t appreciate the beginning of the film. Most of the time, they are so brilliantly packaged together that they all end up on my watch list. If I see a trailer that I love, unquestionably, it goes on my watch list. Most of the time, I end up losing interest in them before I even give them a chance.

When watching the trailer for the upcoming interpretation of “The Great Gatsby,” I couldn’t help but get chills when the extremely powerful “No Church in the Wild” started to play while beautiful people in beautiful cars party on screen. The music is perfectly fitting for the fast-paced high life of the opulent and decadent. Anyone watching this trailer can’t help but be mesmerized by this enthralling picture of their desires. I mean, who doesn’t want to be wealthy and powerful?

Generations after Fitzgerald have been seduced by the opulence of the 1920s to this day. One of my favorite movies, “Midnight in Paris,” pays special attention to the romanticism of this luxurious life in the context of another city filled with iconic American expatriates of the time. Fitzgerald himself is a prominent character of the movie. However, many realized the moral dilemmas of their lifestyle, driving to their beautifully tragic downfalls. We accept that this lifestyle is enchanting, we desire for it, and we can choose to act on it. Movies give us the opportunity to not only be entertained, but also vicariously live through the larger than life characters on the screen.

I think the thing that enthralls me the most about the movies is this concept of the opulent and the decadent. Everything about them is absolutely grand. The money to produce them, box-office results, on-screen talent, music, popcorn, fashion … all play into a human desire and envy. The thing that can really make me love a movie is how they play off human desires.

If I were to be asked my favorite genre or type of movie, it would be incredibly hard to respond. In the past, I used to say drama right off the bat. I still don’t know why, but I have never been a big fan of comedy. It was not until recently that my opinion on comedy changed and I realized there was more to the genre than Jack Black and Zack Galifianakis. I mean, my favorite movie (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) is technically a comedy, even though my next favorite (“The Departed”) and the next dozen are action and/or dramas. But, if you think about it, all of them play into the human desire – whether it be love (drama or romantic comedy), money or war (action), love or honor (westerns), or whatever.

Finally, I’m not a fan of horror; you can ask some of our recent alumni. I don’t see anything opulent or decadent about it, apart from the amount of money going into gore and CGI. There was this one time that some friends and I went to see “The Strangers” in a nice dinner theater. I knew that there was about to be something that would make me jump, so I was preparing for it, when Matthew Hale decided it would be hilarious to turn at me and yell. I’m pretty sure I pulled an “Exorcist” with a complete 360-degree head turn-around, viciously screaming at the entire audience. After that, the mood was as dead as the characters. I will not forgive him to this day for ruining the movie for everyone else.

Important: Newly Added Social Media

Because of the lack of time I have available to me, I have decided that an easy way to see reviews and other commentary I have regarding movies and literature are through my newly added widgets.

Hopefully by continued visits to this blog you can still learn about interesting things through the Twitter and Goodreads widgets placed conveniently on the right of the page.

The moral of the story is: I hope that I can find the time to write more substantial posts. But, I know that these widgets will provide a great deal of information in an easy access way to people interested in what I have to say.

Quick Note On Trailers

While at the theaters tonight, I came to the conclusion that I will never fully understand how much I love watching the previews for movies before the “feature presentation” starts. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the trailers that I can’t appreciate the beginning of the film. Anyway, these are the trailers before To Rome with Love.  They were so perfect, especially packaged together as they were. I cannot wait until all of these films.

  1. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
  2. Celeste and Jesse Forever
  3. Ruby Sparks
  4. The Silver Linings Playbook

If I was completely truthful, the biggest reason I loved the theater tonight is because half of my celebrity crushes were either in the movie or the trailers. If only I was famous….

Remember: Famous people are happier than everyone else

 

To Love or Not to Love “To Rome with Love”?

I went to see To Rome with Love tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it, but only after I realized that it was no Midnight in Paris. I’ve been itching to see this movie because of the outstanding cast… and the fact that it’s Woody Allen, and it didn’t disappoint.

In a way, it was also a very intellectually stimulating movie. However, at times the movie becomes a little “preachyso here are some lessons I learned:

1. Famous people are happier than everyone else
2. People look to famous people who are famous… for being famous, to mimic their lifestyle (but I guess I already knew that from the Kardshians)
3. ADULTERY IS A-OKAY
4. You can con your way into seeming cultured by memorizing one line from every poet.
5. Everything goes back to the way it was over time. People don’t change.

One thing that I’m still contemplating from this movie is how Alec Baldwin was a real character and Jesse Eisenberg’s conscience.
It really was a great evening, and a very enjoyable movie.

The moral of the story is: Woody Allen took his character so seriously that he made entire movie a representation of Jerry: a composer who is desperately trying to be ahead of his time and keep from retirement by finding amazing talent and featuring it in a wonderful opera performance. *Spoiler* The reviews praise the character’s voice, while eloquently calling him (the writer and director) an imbecile. *Spoiler*

The Great Gatsby

“I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited–they went there.”

Inspired by the trailer, I decided to revisit my favorite book. I hadn’t read the novella in a while, and after reading the first chapter, I realized that it had been too long.

The Great Gatsby is the most accurate and famous account of 1920s America, which became known as the Jazz Age. A term coined by Fitzgerald. The Jazz Age was a period with a booming economy, and a new romanticism of an American dream.  Because of prohibition and their newfound wealth, people had extravagant parties. They were also a generation living in the aftershock of WWI. Many a man was looking to live their lavish dreams in big and beautiful cities, like New York, where the book is set. Gatsby is an icon of this phenomenon.

Generations after Fitzgerald have been seduced by the opulence of the 1920s to this day. One of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, pays special attention to the romanticism of this luxurious life in the context of another city filled with iconic American expatriates of the time. Fitzgerald himself is a prominent character of the movie.

However, many realized the moral dilemmas of their lifestyle, driving to their beautifully tragic downfalls. Gatsby is prey to the very life he built chasing his dream of the perfect woman. The Great Gatsby has a very universal quality within Gatsby’s conflict.

When watching the trailer for this extremely anticipated film, I couldn’t help but to get chills when the extremely powerful “No Church in the Wild” started to play while beautiful people in beautiful cars party on screen. The music is perfectly fitting for the fast paced high life of the opulent and decadent. Anyone watching this trailer can’t help but be mesmerized by this enthralling picture of their desires. I mean, who doesn’t want to be wealthy and powerful?

We accept that this lifestyle is enchanting, we desire for it, and we act on it. Some become predators, and some become prey. In the end, does it really matter?

“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”

The moral of the story is: Go read this fantastic novel, and watch the film this winter. You will feel for this beautiful story, without fail.

Another Earth and the Saw Lady

Having a Watchlist on IMDB is really hard for me. Currently, I have over 50 movies or television shows that I NEED to watch. If I see I trailer that I love, unquestionably, it goes on my watchlist. Most of the time, I end up losing interest in them before I even give them a chance.

One movie in particular has been needling at me for the past year.

When my friend and I went to Hastings to rent a movie, I had no intention of renting Another Earth. We browsed the store for over 30 minutes trying to find a movie. Some of the other movies on my watchlist were already rented, and when I became exasperated that there were no movies to rent, this beautiful movie caught my eye.

Within 5 minutes, I was hooked. The opening scene and the title credits set the mood for a very visual, thought provoking movie. But the thing that made me speechless by the time the movie was over was not the amazing performances, visuals, or dialogue– but the music.

As a music major, I am designed to hear music everywhere and in the world around me. I am so trained into analyzing and critiquing that sometimes the music gets away from me.

There was nothing that I can trash about this soundtrack.

One scene in particular really moved me. Its a scene where the lead male (a composer) takes the lead female to the university stage and pulls out a saw. What was he going to do? I knew that people played the musical saw, but it is still a rare phenomenon.

That piece of the soundtrack with the musical saw was so beautiful that if I had not already enjoyed the movie, I would have been in love at that point.

Eventually the movie ended, and my excitement faded, and I went online to post what I had thought on Twitter. The next morning, I signed on to find a DM from a profile titled “The Saw Lady“.

Most of the time, DMs are stupid and have no appeal to me. Everyone is trying to push something on to me, have me give feedback, follow on Facebook, and it gets annoying. I had something stir in me, and decided to check her profile out.

SHE PLAYED THE SAW FOR THE SOUNDTRACK. 

I spent over an hour watching, rewatching, and researching her. All I can tell you is that I am in love with the saw.

The moral of this story is: I was dumbfounded. Maybe all those people were actually good, and I had never given them a chance. Maybe not. But I will read every direct message if it leads me to these hidden jewels.

Visit Her Site and Support Her Music Here:
https://twitter.com/SawLady
http://www.youtube.com/user/StreetPerformersTV
http://www.sawlady.com/

First Things First

Welcome to my blog.

I decided to create this blog after being inspired by my activity on Twitter. I know that might sound lame. I have been using Twitter to post about what I’ve been reading or watching in the world, but I realized that I have more to say. After reading a fantastic blog (http://www.thetakehold.com) I decided it was about time to start my own.

Anyway, this won’t just be about music. You’ll get the chance to read about movies that I liked (or didn’t), books, and various entertainment.

All I hope is that you find this blog entertaining.

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