About Bethany Jacobson

Screenwriter, Director, Photographer, Professor.

Re: Final Exam, Wed June 10th

Hi Class,

Please make sure your paper is the best it can be, this includes spelling, grammar and correct sentence structure. I highly recommend taking advantage of the writing center and their help. The final exam is on Wed. June 10th regular time. We will screen any short film you have made on this date as well.

I have decided that the final exam is “open book”. This means you may bring notes in or books. But, you cannot use your cell phone or computer. Below is the review sheet with everything that will be on it, including the actual essay questions that will be on the test. If you cannot be here this Friday please email me so we can arrange a time for you to take the test in my office next week during office hours.

“Film and New York City” Final Exam Review Sheet – Spring 2015

Short answer questions on the following:

  • Names of early camera inventors in US and France
    Kinetograph Camera
    Kinetoscope Viewer
    Cinematograph Camera
    Nickelodean Parlors
    Name of Film studio at the beginning of film industry in Queens (where MOMI is now).
    Name of the producer who founded Paramount Pictures.
    Regeneration, the directors name, the producers name and the production company.
    The Immigrant and Charlie Chaplin’s character traits. The landmark in the NYC habor that represents the American Dream.
    The Visitor, who directed it and its style.
    Hester Street – Jewish characters and customs
    Gangs of New York – what time period and what main gangs are in conflict in the film
    “How the Other Half Lives” – name of the book’s author and the social issues it documents

 Five essay questions:

  1.  Discuss the difference in how Gitl and Jake each dealt with assimilation in the film Hester Street.
  2. Compare the living conditions as portrayed in the film Hester Street with what you know about the actual tenements of that time period.
  3. Pick one scene from Gangs of New York and analyze the central issue or conflict in it.
  4. Discuss a scene in Do the Right Thing where the racial conflict is evident and use the names of the characters to describe the scene?
  5. What about the Girls and Orange Is the New Black make these television series unique?

RE: Papers

HI Class,

I will give back the following papers in class tonight. Lauren, Jessica, Tenzin and Juan.
I apologize for the delay, but I had a family emergency that caused the slow down. The rest are in my mailbox. I will post the exam review tonight and go over in class.

Thanks,
Prof. Jacobson

 

RE: First Drafts will be in C745 mailbox by 3 pm today

Hi Class, If your name is below your paper will be in the mailbox by 3 pm today. If your name is not below and I didn’t give you back a paper in our last class, then please contact me immediately. I will be in M122 from 12:30 onwards most of the afternoon if you need to see me. Jasmine Rachel Lauren Omar Stacy Tenzin Auner Neil Jessica Mayra Mina Nicholas Jethro

Assignment #9 – Women’s Representation in Current Television

HI Class,

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”

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/11/169049203/lena-dunham-addresses-criticism-aimed-at-girls

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-franco/girls-hbo-lena-dunham_b_1556078.html

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2012/06/lena-dunham-girls-finale-james-franco-response

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/girls-and-shameless-despicableness-is-definitely-an-acquired-taste/2014/01/09/5f3f5ebc-7717-11e3-8963-b4b654bcc9b2_story.html

Some articles about “Orange Is The New Black”

http://nypost.com/2014/06/04/orange-is-the-new-black-ignites-a-tv-revolution-for-women/

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/06/why-it-is-a-bad-thing-that-orange-is-the-new-black-leaves-men-out/373682/

http://swsg.org/orange-is-the-new-black-new-voices-for-women/

http://www.popmatters.com/post/183426-the-many-faces-of-female-friendship-in-orange-is-the-new-black/

http://thefeministwire.com/2013/08/a-critical-analysis-of-orange-is-the-new-black-the-appropriation-of-women-of-color/

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.

http://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/GDIGM_Gender_Stereotypes.pdf

http://seejane.org/research-informs-empowers/gender-in-media-the-myths-facts/

http://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/geena-davis-institute-gender-in-media-impact-study-2013.pdf

Here are some other articles on this subject.

http://www.indiewire.com/article/sorry-ladies-study-on-women-in-film-and-television-confirms-the-worst-20150210

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/women-in-the-media-female_n_2121979.html

https://mediarepresentation.wordpress.com/women-in-tv-dramas/

http://therepresentationproject.org/about/

http://wmc.3cdn.net/a6b2dc282c824e903a_arm6b0hk8.pdf

 

Extra Credit – Penny Arcade & Steve Zehentner Tues. May 26, 1:30 – 3:30 in M122

Penny Arcade, performance artist with collaborator filmmaker, Steve Zehentner Tuesday, May 26th 1:30 – 3:30 pm in M122 .  If you attend and write a blog post, you will receive 5 extra credit points.

Entering the 30th year producing her own theater work, PENNY ARCADE debuted in 1967 at age 18 with John Vaccaro’s explosive Play-House of the Ridiculous, the seminal rock and roll, queer, glitter/glam political theater. She became a Warhol Superstar at age 19 and was featured in the 1972 Warhol/Morrissey comedy, “Women In Revolt”. Her signature show, Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, a freedom of speech anthem has been performed in 30 cities world-wide, most recently completing 48 performances in London in 2012. To date, she has created ten full-length theater pieces and hundred of performance art pieces. She has performed everywhere from The Sidney Opera House to Queen Elizabeth Hall and everywhere in between.

2. Penny Photo by Jasmine Hirst_copy

In 1999, Arcade created with her collaborator Steve Zehentner, The Lower East Side Biography Project. The project seeks to stem the tide of cultural amnesia by bridging the cultural gap between long time residents of New York’s Lower East Side and newcomers to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. To this end, the LES Biography Project works with young filmmakers who become shepherds of an individual oral history that they edit into a 28-minute biography.

Penny Arcade’s writing has been published in numerous journals and catalogs: Film Culture, Found Object, Verses That Hurt, Please Kill Me (The Oral History of Punk), Out of Character, Raves, Rants and Monologues from America’s Top Performance Artists, Monologues for Women, Monologues For Cold Reading, Writing Your Own Monologues.

In 2010, the first book about her work, Bad Reputation, was published by Semiotext(e)/MIT She was recently portrayed by the actress Cynthia Nixon in the film, Englishman in New York, the biopic about her friend Quentin Crisp.

A former architect, STEVE ZEHENTNER is a filmmaker, theater designer/director and archivist based in New York City. For over 20 years, he has designed and co-directed all of Penny Arcade’s shows creating original staging, sound and video elements.  He typically runs the lives performances mixing a live sound score that can follow the mood and energy of Arcade’s improvisations and even create new spontaneous direction. As a dramaturge and designer, he brings form to Arcade’s thinking and has been instrumental in helping to extend her creative impulses into a working structure that consistently delivers to the audience.

They began in 1992 with Arcade’s sex and censorship extravaganza, “Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, their internationally acclaimed sex and censorship show. Since then they have collaborated on dozens of shows including Sisi Sings The Blues – a commission for the Vienna Festival, Love, Sex and Sanity, Rebellion Cabaret, New York Values, Bad Reputation, True Stories, Longing Lasts Longer, The Penny Arcade Experience, a collaboration with Penny Norrman. They are currently developing Old Queen.

With Penny Arcade, he is co-founder of the Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history project and archive that works to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention that built this New York City neighborhood’s reputation as an incubator for authenticity, rebellion and iconoclasm.

His first independent film project, The Color Line: Racism in America, was broadcast on PBS and screened at the New York Film Festival. Recently, The Sunflower Project, a film that questions the limits of forgiveness through the lens of the WWII holocaust was broadcast on PBS. Steve’s video work has screened at many festivals and is in the collection of libraries and museums.

He is a co-recipient (with Peter Norrman) of an Aurora Independent Film and Video Award. He has received a NYSCA grant and a Bogliasco Fellowship to develop The Money Machine, a film animation and multi-media performance piece that debates the omnipresent culture of “free market” capitalism.

http://pennyarcade.tv
www.stevezehentner.com
www.facebook.com/LowerEastSideBiographyProject

Hosted by the Media Studies Program in the Humanities Department

URGENT: Missing Powerpoints and First Drafts

Hi Class,

YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR FIRST DRAFT BY TOMORROW FOR ME TO READ IT BY WED OR THURS. OTHERWISE I WON’T HAVE TIME TO READ IT AND GIVE IT BACK IN TIME FOR YOUR FINAL DRAFT WHICH IS DUE WED. JUNE 3 (NEXT WEEK). I WOULD ALSO BE GRATEFUL FOR A HARD COPY INTO MY MAILBOX IN THE HUMANITIES DEPT. C 745.

IF YOUR POWERPOINT IS NOT ON BLACKBOARD WITH THE NOTES I CANNOT GRADE IT. IF YOU MADE A PREZI PUT THE LINK UP ALONG WITH THE NOTES. YOUR NAME MUST BE ON YOUR PRESENTATION.

I WILL FINISH GRADING ALL THE PRESENTATIONS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ON BLACKBOARD BY WED. I UPDATED POINTS FOR BLOG POSTS. PLEASE CHECK YOUR BLACKBOARD TO ENSURE I GAVE YOU POINTS FOR POSTS & TRIPS.

I am missing presentations on blackboard from:

Michael Cruz
Amanda
Dexter
Mina
Auner
Stephanie
Nicholas
Lauren

Assignment #8 – “The Visitor”

When professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) travels to New York for a lecture, he’s stunned to find illegal immigrants Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Gurira) living in his apartment. It comes out that it was rented to them by a swindler, and Vale feels sufficiently sorry for them that he invites them to stay. They get on well until Tarek is accused of jumping a subway turnstile and lands in a detention center. He risks being deported, and Vale does everything he can to prevent it. 

Below are quotes from various critics. What was your response to the film?

Critical reception

The Visitor received very positive reviews from critics and has a rating of 89% on Rotten tomatoes based on 116 reviews with an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. The consensus states “The Visitor is a heartfelt, humanistic drama that deftly explores identity, immigration, and other major post-9/11 issues.”[10] The film also has a score of 79 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 29 reviews.[11]

A.O. Scott of the New York Times observed, “The curious thing about The Visitor is that even as it goes more or less where you think it will, it still manages to surprise you along the way … It is possible to imagine a version of this story … that would be obvious and sentimental, an exercise in cultural condescension and liberal masochism. Indeed, it’s nearly impossible to imagine it any other way. And yet, astonishingly enough, Mr. McCarthy has. Much as The Station Agent nimbly evaded the obstacles of cuteness and willful eccentricity it had strewn in its own path, so does The Visitor, with impressive grace and understatement, resist potential triteness and phony uplift.”[12]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated the film 3½ out of four stars and called it “a wonderful film, sad, angry, and without a comforting little happy ending”. He added, “All four actors are charismatic, in quite different ways … Jenkins creates a surprisingly touching, very quiet, character study. Not all actors have to call out to us. The better ones make us call out to them.”[13]

Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Devotees of The Station Agent will be relieved to know that writer-director Tom McCarthy gives no indication of a sophomore slump. His second film … is, if anything, more imaginative and touching than his first. McCarthy puts a mark on each film, identifying it as distinctly his own. A couple more like them, and he’ll be knighted an auteur … Jenkins’ multilevel performance is continually surprising … The part of Walter was written for [him], and he inhabits it like a second skin.”[14]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone rated the film 3½ out of four stars, calling it “a heartfelt human drama that sneaks up and floors you.” He described screenwriter/director McCarthy as “that rare talent who can work in miniature to reveal major truths [and] … is attuned to the nuances of behavior” and said “Jenkins delivers a master class in acting. Oscar, take note.”[15]

John Anderson of Variety said, “Some films click from the moment they’re cast, and that is certainly the case with The Visitor … a perfect vehicle for Richard Jenkins [who] … plays McCarthy’s transfigured hero to a tee … Visitor tilts toward the soulful rather than the political, and could be this year’s humanistic indie hit.”[16]

Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor graded the film C+, criticizing Richard Jenkins’ “underpowered” performance and the film’s “squishy humanism.”[17]

The film was named best of the year by the Washington Post, the Charlotte Observer, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.[18] It also was cited as one of the year’s ten best by numerous publications, including the Chicago Reader,[18] the Philadelphia Inquirer,[18] the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,[18] The Hollywood Reporter,[18] The Wall Street Journal,[18] and the New York Post.[18]

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-visitor-2008  Full review.