Assignment #4 Hester Street- By Bryant Rivillas

Hester Street (1975) a film by Joan Micklin Silver, tells a story of the life of newly inducted Immigrants from eastern Europe adapting to the New World. Jake blends in the crowd by looking like a native and acting like one. He believes by living in America he should act like an American, or what he considers a “Yankee”. He attending the local Dance Academy and introduced himself to woman and didn’t sustain the customs he had in his homeland. He almost felt embarrassed of being Jewish. Early in the film after attending the Dance Academy, he receives a guest from Russia, fresh of the boat, looking for his cousin. Jake then grabs his hat that is symbolic to his faith and mocks him.

The Lower East Side at the time was considered the most densely populated area in the world. Jake, a married man, and couldn’t keep his hands off Mamie, a woman dressed in the attire an American woman. Mamie is unaware Jake is a married man. Jake receives his wife with there child Yossel. When Gitl arrived, she didn’t recognize her husband. She was shocked by his appearance and attitude. Gitl new to the country, didn’t think it would drastically change the man she loves. Jake even forced Gitl to change their sons name to Jake, a more american sounding name. She was disappointed due to the fact that that name was significant to their faith. As the film went by Gitl had a taste to the water coming out of the kitchen faucet and was impressed by the taste of it, she was trilled. Gitl, a fraile young woman from Russia was trying to adapt to the new world by trying to speak the language of English. Jake later is upset because she still wears a wig, signifying that she is a married woman.

Jake a sweatshop worker, earning $12 dollars a week compares himself to a fellow coworker by the name of Bernstein earning half of Jakes wage just because he still keeps his customs in the new world. In the establishment they work in, they are constantly mocked by the head of the shop. Bernstein a educated man later moves into Jakes home and is introduced to Gitl and their son. Bernstein teaches Joey how to read and write, and Gitl is impressed because he can do so. Gitl tries to impress Jake one night by wearing a feathered hat and girdle, making her appear as if she was an American woman. He does not show up, he appears to visit a prostitute that same night. Jake, the married man with a child.

Adapating to the new world, Gitl removes her wig and keeps it all natural. Jake is furious, even though he said the wig has to go. He contradicts himself throughout the film. He isn’t a  faithful man. A scene in the film shows Jake mourning for his father who had passed away and it appears that Jake is wearing the traditional attire while giving his prayers. So he still has some sort of faith. The line said by Ms. Kavarsky “You can pee up my back and make me think its rain”, describes how convincing Jake is. He may seem like a family man, but behind closed doors he is just whoring around town.


Assignment #3- Bryant Rivillas

vlcsnap-80210In the 1915 picture by Raoul Walsh called “Regeneration”, tells a story about a boy who loses his folks at a young age. Then taken by the Conway family who is lead by a drunken father. Owen witnesses alcohol and violence at an early stage in his life that leads him to be a trouble maker as he grows up. Being in the environment he was in, he dealt with violence and introduced himself to the “gangster” lifestyle. As the years went by he earned the position of gang leader with his associate Skinny by his side. The quote from the movie “And then the years pass and Owen still lives in a world where might is right”, describes how he had to fight his way to survive, it was about the Survival of the Fittest.

Owen and Skinny where the duo of the century, they would always be together and have each others back, no matter what. Skinny knew when not to snitch whenever they’d get caught by the local police and Owen knew when to protect Skinny in any situation. As the years go by Owen finds himself in a time of his life where he has to snap out of these bad habits. When lounging at the local theater “Grogans” he finds himself in the position of a hero, saving the DA of New York City, Ames, from being robbed of his goods by the hooligans from the theater. As he escorts the group out of the venue, Owen is introduced to Marie Deering, a Noble Butterfly from the upper class. Being the Noble Butterfly that she is, she introduces the locals of the neighborhood to the Settlement House that she ran. Later Owen participates in what seems to be a charity event she conducts on a boat. A fire breaks out because, Skinny, tossed a cigarette into a pile of ropes. As every escaped the boat, Owen once again is seen as a hero saving two young girls lives. Marie sees the potential Owen has of becoming a better person.

Regeneration 2

Marie introduces Owen to many things and manages to rehabilitate his bad habits. So now Owen is free from the “gangster” lifestyle and is now committed to changing his life completely. Owen gets into her heart using his charm, purchasing a bouquet of flowers for the lovely Marie. Skinny is now declared leader of the gang Owen used to run. Skinny never sought help like Owen did, he didn’t care about doing well. As for Owen, he had a soft side. Owen was open to change. As the film goes by Skinny finds himself in a situation where he had to escape after knifing a police officer. He seeks help from Owen to hide him in the Settlement House. Later, Marie discovers Owen was keeping Skinny away from local authorities and she is now upset with Owen. Owen regrets the decision, but remembered that Skinny once had his back.


Owen now seeks help from the neighborhood Priest, and is reassured he’s been doing a great job. Owen is now seeking forgiveness from Marie who is now trying to find Owen to apologize as well. Skinny lures Marie to an upstairs bedroom where he claimed Owen would be and attempts to assault her. Owen then later discovers where she is and as he runs after Skinny, Skinny lets a gunshot out and hits Marie. Owen is devastated after her death and blames himself. As he seeks revenge, Owen later finds Skinny packing to escape the city and possibly to seek help from his actions. Owen rattles Skinny and manages to escape from and apartment window after he notices the police outside the building. Skinny tries to walk along clothes lines, connected between building and accidentally falls to his death. What appears to be a an accident or a gunshot released from the Settlement Houses assistant. It wasn’t clear if he had shot Skinny, or Skinny fell by accident.

Overall Owen Survived this whole ordeal of living the “gangster” lifestyle. By choosing the right rode and riding along it, but he still lost just like Skinny, losing his own life. Owen lost the love of his life, Marie Deering. With the closing note said by Owen “She lies here, the girl o’mine, but her soul, the noblest and purest thing i ever knew, lives on in me.” Owen continues to live his life the right way.

Assignment #2 By: Bryant Rivillas


The scene I am choosing from the Martin Scorsese picture, would have to be the scene where Amsterdam chases Jenny and pins her against wall when he caught her leaving a strangers mansion she had stolen fine goods from. All he wanted was his necklace which was given to him by his father. What caught my attention from this scene was how much of the natural lighting was involved. It illuminated the characters faces a way no other scene in the movie did. It only required two camera angles to catch the characters emotion.

It began when Jenny purposely throw herself against Amsterdam and pick pocketed his St. Michaels Emblem which was given to him by the Priest, his father. It meant everything to Amsterdam, and he wasn’t going to allow this woman to strip it from him, so he chased her uptown”  While he’s peeking through the window of the mansion, he witnesses her dressed as a maid stealing from a someones home. He spontaneously creeps up from behind her and confronts of her of stealing his necklace. In the frame pictured above she quickly draws a dagger and presses it against his neck, with no fear Amsterdam dares her to dig the dagger into his throat. As she is digging her dagger into his throat, Amsterdam opens her blouse in a neurotic way. The camera angles towards her chest as Amsterdam searches for his possession, and Claims it.

I found this scene passionate in a sense. It introduces Amsterdam to Jenny, as they stared each other down, there was a emotional connection. Jenny, being the strong charismatic character she is, she felt intimidated by Amsterdam when he showed no fear.

Assignment #1 – By Bryant Rivillas

The Birth of Cinema, it must be credited to dozens of international pioneers. Thomas Alva Edison of part of that dozen. With the assistance of William Kennedy Laurie Dickinson, they developed a way to display a series of continuous photos on a strip and synchronized sound to the visual display. The devices were the Kinetophone and Kinetograph, together it became the Kinetoscope. Dickinson was the genius behind the development of these two products synced together. Edison took advantage to make a profit and placed these Kinetoscopes at your local theater or parlors.

It took roughly 6 years for Edison to receive his patent for the Kinetoscope, during the years 1891-1897, Edison displayed maybe short films that attracted developers world wide. Unfortunately the Kinetoscope was only capable of being seen by one set of eyes at a time. Inventors world wide developed a method that can allow a group of people to experience the short films. It inspired the Lumiere Brothers to develop the Cinematographe, the device that allowed a audience to experience the short films and it was more profitable because  it filled many seats as appose to a single set of eyes at a time. Edison was furious, there was this constant battle between inventors at the time.

Consistently trying to sue these other film companies like the American Mutoscope Company, which was built by his Assistant Dickinson who left Edison after not receiving credit for his numerous inventions.  Dickinson and his crew of men developed much better inventions based off the Kinetoscope. Since there was no patent, Edison had no control of what other pioneers developed.