Assignment #8 – Juan Carmona

1335796318_visitorThe movie “The Visitor” by Thomas McCarthy explores the essence of identity and immigration with a simple, but implorable plot. It focuses on a college professor named Walter Vale, and his journey with immigrants Tarek and Zainab, a couple, who were found living in his apartment due to a scam. Tarek and Walter strike up an unusual friendship when Tarek begins to teach Walter how to play the drums. This is interrupted by Tarek’s arrest and detention while it is decided whether he will be deported or not. Soon Walter is joined by Tarek’s mother Mouna. “The Visitor” is a unique take on the illegal immigrant issue, and that’s why this is a great movie because it goes over and shows some of the struggles of coming to America as a immigrant. This movie has great story and characters and I would highly recommend this to anyone of any age.

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Assignment #7 – Juan Carmona

The trip to “Made in New York media center” was interesting and informative. The guide representatives were awesome. I think building a center to gather all these freelancers and media companies in one spot is smart idea. The Bridge meeting was very good too. It was great to hear how  ESPN, Music Choice and MTV are trying to stay one step ahead of every single company in media industry. Now the smartphones and tablets are something that is taking media industry by storm. Everybody wants everything on the palm of their hand, so making apps for their business is next big thing. I think we have so many opportunities in media industry.

Assignment #6 – Juan Carmona

gal-dtrt-title-jpgSpike Lee really hit the spot with this movie. It was funny and dramatic. Spike Lee also starred in the movie and he played Mookie. Now Mookie is a black man in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and he delivers pizza so he can take care of his son and girlfriend. Mookie sounds like he has it together but he has not much motivation for his job because he would rather take long breaks and hang out with his friends instead of working.

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Now Mookie works for Sal, the Italian owner of the Pizzeria. Sal comes off as a racist in the movie because of the way he is so proud of his Italian heritage in a pushy way. So this brings in the tension between the Italians and African Americans. Later in the movie a black kid gets killed because of all this tension between the two groups. Now the whole neighborhood wants to literally kill Sal and his sons, so Mookie decides to do something about it. He decided to do the right thing by helping direct everyone’s hate towards the pizzeria by vandalizing it and this kept Sal and his sons from physically getting hurt. In this situation I believe Mookie did the right thing because it kept more people from getting hurt.

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The killing of radio Raheem demostrated the inequality between ethnic people and white people. It was as if they were allowed to do anything they wanted with no repercussions.

Assignment #5 Juan Carmona

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Iris Apfel is a 94 years of age lady who embraces her unique eye for fashion and style. All through her long life, Apfel spends time as an interior decorator, designer, model, muse, guest lecturer, and more, but she never appears a dilettante. It’s all part of her cohesive narrative, where she is constantly driven by creativity and individuality in her life. The documentary is an excellent argument for fashion as art, from the Met exhibit to the sheer amount of imagination required for Iris shopping or getting dressed in the morning. She takes the simplest things from shops and stores all over town and dresses them up in a variety of ways. She decorates her clothing by accenting them with very large and unique pieces of jewelry. Large pearl necklaces with big, bright colorful bracelets are only a few items that Iris uses.

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The message of this documentary,  is “success is a sacrifice.” Iris always wanted to have kids, travel and have a successful career but, she realized that she could not have it all and be successful. She didn’t want her kids to be raised by another person. So, she chose to purse her career and travel the world with her husband, Carl Apfel. Although Iris did not have kids as she once hoped, she still feels successful and that her life has made a positive impact in the fashion industry. Beyond her style, Iris’ relationship with her husband is always engaging. They’re the couple that still holds hands in the back of a cab after six decades of marriage.

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Iris is extremely witty, funny and motivational. Even in her 90s, she keeps educating young aspiring fashion designers. She believes it will be a lost art if people do not learn the history of fashion and its origin.

Overall, Iris is a great documentary, particularly if you have a passion for fashion.

Assignment #4 – Juan Carmona

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Hester street tells the story of of Jewish immigrants who come to the Lower East side of New York City in 1896 from Europe and who live on Hester Street in Manhattan.

Jake totally embraces the “new world” he speaks English instead of his native language, he wears the “American style” clothes, he not only changed his name to Jake but also his son’s name in order to “seem” more American or “yankee”.

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For Gilt everything was completely different, she feels like stranger in the “new world” she doesn’t speak English and her spouse is a totally different person in America. He doesn’t like the way she looks because for him is very “traditional”… Jake lost his love for his wife. In addition, For Gilt the tradition appears to be more important than the “new world” for Jake the “new world” is his world.

Instead Jake’s mistress Mamie is different from Gilt she is in the same way Jake is, she communicate in English, she wears fashion clothes and do everything as possible to live in “American way”

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For Bernstein America the “new world” is simply a modern world where he feels an stranger, trying to keep all his traditions. He wears traditional clothes and continues studying about his culture and religion . Maybe because of his resistance to the “new world” his friend Jake is more effective at his job.

By the end of the movie Gilt and Bernstein get together as a traditional couple, they preserve their traditional roots but also adjusting their lives into America way. Gilt communicates in English and changed her traditional clothes and her hairstyle to looks more “modern”.

Assignment #3 – Juan Carmona

In the film Regeneration (1915) by Raoul Walsh’s, a young orphan boy called Owen is taken in by an elderly and raggedy neighbor couple who immediately put him to work. Their drunkenness and fighting becomes the only home environment he knows. He soon leaves and grows up on the streets where he learns how to do anything to stay alive. By age 25, Owen is the leader of his own gang who spend most of their time gambling and drinking. He’s feared and respected and still, he has some social graces.

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Later, Marie comes into his life and everything changes for him as he falls for Marie. Sensing Owen’s fundamental decency, Marie tries to persuade him to leave his criminal life behind. 1

Skinny, Owen’s enemy requested Owen to hide him for he knifed one police officer and hated to die. Owen hid Skinny, became friends for a while. But Owen’s mind changed, he abandoned Skinny for his right life. Skinny harassed Owen’s small friend and Marie for his revenge. Owen saw the incident, fought with Skinny to save her. Skinny attempted to shoot Owen, but unfortunately shot Marie’s neck. She got to go to bed. Owen thirsted for revenge. He strangled with him to kill, but could not do that after his mama occurred to him. Skinny ran away. Unfortunately Marie died.

On the first hand, initially Owen did not have a good life, but love for a woman made him change for good. And on the other hand, Skinny which also had a bad life, not wanted to educate himself or change his criminal lifestyle, finally he ended up escaping from the police to continue his criminal life.

Assignment #2 – Juan Carmona

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The Film Gangs of New York begins in the darkness, a sharp blade that is scraping over the skin of Priest Vallon. Darkness is soon replaced by the gleaming eyes of Vallon, Irish priest, who scrapes his face with a razor blade, drawing blood, as he prepares for battle. He hands the blade to Amsterdam, his young son, hardly 11 years old, who starts to swipe it against his tattered coat, when his father stops him.

“No. Never,” the priest reprimands.

“The blood stays on the blade, son.” Indeed, blood remains, and pain ensues aplenty.

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Look at the color of Priest Vallon clothing. Red White and Blue. Look at the shine of the metal of the razor juxtaposed with the shine of metal on the cross. Linking the violence and religion that will be one of the film’s main themes.

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“No Son. Never. The Blood stays on the blade. One day you’ll understand.”

 Violence, duty, and heritage passed down from one generation to the next. But muddled even in the passing. “ One day you’ll understand.” But Amsterdam’s understanding will be partial because he stills a young boy.

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Our first look at Priest Vallon. Significantly we never see him in full until after he has dawned the costume of “Priest”. Like Amsterdam he exists in our minds as a larger then life figure, we have no memory of him as a man. Only as a Legend.

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Finally Priest Vallon then says a prayer to St. Michael and puts a medallion over Amsterdam’s head. This scene is very important because it really shows how the movie will develop a war story between the natives and the immigrants, which basically is the plot during the entire movie.