The discussion with guest speaker, Penny Arcade was very inspirational. She covered many topics from life advice, such as following and organizing your dreams, as well as film advice, such as allowing your creative juices to flow freely, knowing what your strong suit is, e.g. editing, screenplay, etc. One of the most important things I took away from Penny’s presentation is to never allow anyone to stifle my goals. Someone who isn’t in the field, or share the same creative aspirations, may bring on stress, or negative criticism. There are many artists who allow other’s criticism to stifle their dreams, or keep them from realizing who they can be. These criticisms may come from a place of misunderstanding, lack of knowledge in the field, or simply from not having a creative mind. These criticisms can limit someone from becoming the next great movie star, director, writer, painter or other creative role.
Roles for women have drastically changed for the better in recent years. No more are women relegated to the “house wife,” “secretary,” or “nurse.” Women are now in roles as “doctors,” “lawyers,” and in Orange Is The New Black’s case,“dangerous felons.”
While watching Girls, it was great to see a group of young women, who were coming of age, and simply trying to figure life out. Orange Is The Black is a huge step in women’s roles on television, albeit it being available on paid subscription service, Netflix. We rarely get to see women in such roles such as prisoners and felons.
The Visitors was a film that shows that lines between worlds are able to intertwine as long as there is common ground. The movie was a breathe of fresh air. We reside in a world that tends to focus more on our differences, and the hate rather than our similarities. These thoughts are often passed on to our fellow man, generations over. The film showed how simple these similarities can be. In The Visitors, it was their love of rhythm, sound and music. It was a heartwarming film at the core, and showed the many layers of humanity. An additional aspect of the film were the realistic struggles of those not born in America, but chose to come to America for a better life for themselves and their family. As an American citizen, one can often become ignorant to the plight of the foreigner that comes here for a better life. It’s movies like The Visitor that puts these stories into perspective. Overall, I would say that this is a great film for those trying to understand the lines between love, hate and finding that middle ground.
I’m not really a person who will go out and watch a documentary film, but I’m very glad my professor, Bethany Jacobson put me on to Iris. The documented star Iris Apfel will inspire just about anyone who is willing to take the risk; the risk of choosing their own style for self-happiness of course. Iris Apfel wears what makes her content. Therefore, your opinion won’t matter to her. Your opinion probably wouldn’t even matter to you if you’d see what this woman is about. Forget her age; Iris Apfel seems to live as if “YOLO” everyday. I think throughout her traveling career to different parts of the world, Iris Apfel got a little taste of everything, and not only did she mix it up but she matched it up as well. And it works. I think this woman was always rich, and I don’t mean by money but in spirit.
I enjoyed reading the reviews and the interview. In one one of them The New York Times review, Manohla Dargis says, “They never had children; they had each other”, referring to Iris and Carl Apfel’s marriage. After watching the documentary, I agree; Carl is Iris’s baby she gets to dress up. Carl, cool, calm and collective sits back and enjoys the ride, putting his pride to the side as Iris puts on the pants in this long-lasting relationship. All Carl wants to continue to do is make his wife happy.
The following lines from Michael Tedder’s interview with Iris Apfel stuck out to me the most:
It’s very interesting because you’re the new face of Kate Spade, Joni Mitchell’s the new face for Saint Laurent, Jessica Lange is going to be doing Marc Jacobs and Joan Didion’s doing Céline. It does seem like the fashion industry’s been looking toward women of a different generation than it normally does.
Well they’re very stupid not to. They dug their own grave. It’s the 65-year to 80-year-olds that have all the money [and who can buy the clothes]. They’ve got all the expendable income. And I think the fashion business was just ignoring them.
Young people don’t have the money for all these — I mean, they have money for inexpensive things, but they don’t have money for high-end brands. It’s pretty ridiculous to show dresses that cost thousands of dollars on 15-year-old models. It makes older women feel very inadequate and very unattractive and very out of it and it’s just been a disaster. I’ve been working very hard to try to pull it back.
When television shows started out there weren’t many of them that showed women to be the main character or an important figure. Both television shows Girls and Orange Is The New Black have women as the main character. In Girls however I don’t feel from watching the first episode that the show empowered women. In the first episode all the girls seemed to talk about were boys. The main character was in a sticky love triangle and felt guilty for pushing her ex boyfriend into a car. She felt it was her job to take care of him and be there for him at his back and call. Regardless of the fact that she didn’t want to be with him anymore and had expressed that to him. He didn’t seem very appreciative of the fact she was making time to take care of him. In fact, he was mean to her and felt it was her job to be there for him. In Orange Is The New Black the main character is naive and trusting but creative. She is a former lesbian and is heading to prison for something her ex girlfriend got her involved in. She is charming and has a creative mind, she makes her own lotions and has started a business out of it. Unlike the other television show, Orange Is The New Black is more empowering to women I would say. However in both shows these women can be looked down upon. In Girls you can say the characters are promiscuous, lost and are trying to find their way in life. In Orange Is The New Black the main character is in prison for being too trusting. Both shows are comical but I wonder if they are really empowering women. In the Sopranos the main character was named Tony he was in the mob. The whole show was about the mob and all of the guys in the mob. Although it’s not looked up to its also not looked down upon for some reason. There is a certain respect there or fear. It also wasn’t a comical show the characters were looked at as tough and respected. So I’m not sure if Girls and Orange Is The New Black is empowering or is viewed for comical purposes. There’s a difference between being laughed with or laughed at. One show I would say in my opinion that empowered women and one of my favorites was Charlie’s Angels (1976) although the scenes didn’t look realistic at times the message was clear. The women were hired as cops but since they looked pretty and because they were women, were given desk jobs. Charlie hired them as his detectives and got them out of their boring desk jobs. In every episode they never failed to catch the bad guy. Now that’s empowering to me.
Roles of women in television have changed over the years, and it’s reflecting how women have grown in society. If women are rising to equality then why not portray that in film? The show Girls demonstrates a real aspect to what girls go through in life. Of course there will always be scenes that might seem unrealistic but that is bound to happen in television. Those scenes are limited. You go through the 4 main characters lives and you feel the emotions that drive each life event. Whether its awkwardness, shame or delight, you are able to connect with the characters on some level. You might not be a dependent, immature lost soul like the main character Hannah, but you might have been through an event or emotion she has gone through. With each character’s flaws shining brighter than their strengths, the characters are more realistic. The four women are young so they don’t have everything put together, which can be looked at as a weakness but they each work hard to find their happiness. That aspect of the show to me shows strength. Yes, a big portion talks about men, but finding love is a big topic in most people’s life. Including men in terms of love doesn’t show weakness or submission, it shows humility and realism, and the relationship scenes with the men are where the girls show the most strength. You are able to see them make their own decisions (some of them not the best ones) and overall take control of their life, which shows woman in power and in control. Not every woman has to be strong, and well put together to show a powerful female role. I think the four women in Girls are powerful characters that represent real women in society.
Friday we explored how current television shows portray women in television. We watched an episode of Lena Dunham’s “Girls” (Season 2 ep. 1) and “Orange Is The New Black” (season 1 premiere). Have the kinds of women’s roles portrayed in these two programs changed the playing field in television? Describe your response to either of the episodes we watched or compare both.
Some articles about “Girls”
Some articles about “Orange Is The New Black”
More information about women in media below:
Geena Davis founded the See Jane Organization to research foundation to explore the gender disparity she felt needed to be addressed in the entertainment field. Below is a quote from the mission statement on their website: http://seejane.org/about-us/ Though her organization is particularly targeting
children’s programming, they have conducted research studies and conferences which address the wider issue of women’s representation in the media.
Why Did Geena Davis Create the Institute and See Jane?
While watching children’s entertainment with her young daughter, Geena Davis was astounded by the dearth of female characters. Fueled to take action, she commissioned the largest research project on gender in film and television ever undertaken, conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The research confirmed the disparity she observed: in family films, there is only one female character for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17% of the characters are female. The repetitive viewing patterns of children ensure that these negative stereotypes are ingrained and imprinted over and over.
Here are some other articles on this subject.