Assignment #10-Chop Shop- by Christine Brosnan

In the movie chop shop we get a glimpse of a 12 year old boy named Ale and his 16 year old sister named Isamar’s life. There are no parents or any parental figures in both of these siblings life. They only have each other and live in a small room above a auto body shop in queens New York. Ale is the true definition of a hustler despite his circumstances he wakes up every morning and takes the bull by the horns. He hustles making money on the train, in the shop, selling bootleg movies and is saving up at his age to buy a truck to sell his own food out of. He’s very mature and smart for his age. When he finds out his sister is prostituting herself for money you can see the anger in his actions. He robbed a lady, started treating his only friend disrespectful and even began drinking staying out late. This point in life is where the direction you were heading can make a quick turn without you even realizing. This movie is about life and it’s struggles. Rising above them and sometimes letting them bring you down. We aren’t sure what happens to Ale or his sister. But I hope with Ale’s hustler spirit and wonderful money saving skills he turns to something positive instead of the streets. The streets don’t love you they only take you away from the people that do.

Chop-Shop-Jaime-October-2012

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Empowering Women – Christine Brosnan

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.

charlies angles

The Visitor – Christine Brosnan

The visitor is a movie that brings up the importance of happiness and good friendship. A college professor named Walter who teaches upstate New York goes into New York City for a conference. He is surprised to find a couple living in his NYC apartment. Terek and Zainab two illegal immigrants were offered to live in the apartment by a swindler. Walter is a very simple man, the first vibe I got from the character Walter is that he was very sad. He was living life but he wasn’t actually living. He didn’t smile often he gave off the impression there was no light inside of him. Terek was very optimistic he played music and was very friendly and outgoing. I feel music brought Walter and Terek together in many ways. Terek brought out the light that was dim inside of Walter. When Terek got wrongly accused of jumping the turnstile in the train station, Walter showed passion and emotion. Something in the beginning of the movie he didn’t have. He fought for something that brought him “back to life.”The actors in this film were very talented there were many still moments in the film. Even though Walter had a job and was keeping busy day to day. He wasn’t entirely happy he wasn’t “living.” Sometimes with work and school and any other obligations people may have its important to ask yourself if you’re happy. Some people just make you feel alive and Terek did that for Walter.

the visitor

Do The Right Thing….Whatever That Is!!! -Christine Brosnan

Do the right thing, the message throughout the movie was summed up in a nutshell in the title. The setting takes place in Brooklyn, NY in the summertime. Which is very important because when you are a New Yorker everyone knows that NYC summers are the best. Everyone is outside from being cooped up in the house all winter. Mookie is the main character he had a pizza delivery job and a son that he never really spent anytime with or saw for that matter. Sal was the owner of the pizzeria and his two sons worked with Mookie. Sal and his sons were white and Mookie was a young black man. However in the movie Sal treated Mookie as one of his sons and even expressed that to Mookie. The movie showed a lot of different racial views, it also showed a lot of love and hate. Radio Raheem was a young black man who walked around all day blasting from his radio, fight the power by public enemy. Buggin out was exactly what his name was. He was always bugging out. He walked around with a chip on his shoulder the whole movie. He almost had a confrontation with everyone in the movie but Sal was the biggest confrontation he had. He wanted to boycott Sals pizzeria for not having any famous successful African American men on a wall in the pizzeria. Instead he had white men. Sal denied Buggin out’s request and that’s where it all went down hill. Radio Raheem was killed from police brutality because of a fight with Sal after Sal told him not to blast his music in his establishment. Radio Raheem did not comply and Sal broke his radio. Leading Radio Raheem to get violent and put his hands on Sal. This moment in the movie was very powerful. The movie was put out to be played in 1989. It’s 2015 and this issue is still going on. With the recent Baltimore riots the scene in the movie spoke volumes. Could have this all been avoided? Yes. How could this all have been avoided? That’s where people’s opinions come into play and things can get tricky. We can start at the root of it all and say Sal should have just respected Buggin out’s request in the first place, since most of his costumers are black. Or we can say its disrespectful to blast your own music in anyone’s establishment and it shouldn’t have been done. The bottom line is that nobody should have died, in any situation like this, however people should try their hardest to avoid these situations by “doing the right thing”!

radio raheem

Iris Apfel- Assignment #5

How are you feeling Iris? “I’m vertical.”

Iris Apfel is an American business woman, interior designer, fashion icon and most importantly a very inspiring unique individual. Iris has a very different way of looking at fashion and it definitely does not go unnoticed. Iris is Jewish she was born in Astoria, Queens and studied at New York University. In her younger years she was an assistant for a interior designer. In the film they show all of the people Iris has met and inspired in the fashion world and all of the things she has accomplished in her life. My favorite thing about the film had nothing to do with the fashion. It was the relationship between Iris and her beloved husband Carl Apfel. Carl and Iris met in 1948 and got married. In the film they are celebrating Carl’s 100th birthday. The two of them look so in love that its inspiring. They are each others best friends. He supports her and is her biggest fan. The film was great but also made me sad. When the reporter asked if Iris had any regrets not having children, she said she didn’t because she wanted to live a life dedicated to her career and traveling and how it would be impossible to do both. When looking and reminiscing all the places shes been in her life with Carl and all the things shes collected. I couldn’t help but get the impression she had some regrets. Life goes by in the blink of an eye.

carl and iris

Hester Street by Christine Brosnan

The film Hester street, released in 1975, is about assimilation in America. The story is shown through a young Jewish family. The father Yankel, the mother Gitl and the son Yossele. It shows the struggles in every sense of coming to America as an immigrant and trying to fit into society.

Yankel came to America and settled on Hester street in the Lower East Side of New York City where most Jewish immigrants settled. Yankel assimilated to American life, learning English, changing his name to Jake and shaving off his beard. He began to cheat on his wife, who was back home, with a dancer named Mamie. He was working as a seamster earning 12 dollars a week. The money that would help him bring his wife and son from back home to America. At first Yankel was very excited about his wife and son coming to America. His happiness is dampened at the sight of their arrival when he sees his wife Gitl and his son Yossele are not his American dream.

Gitl’s arrival to America was very different than her husbands. She didn’t assimilate herself into the American life as willingly and quick as her husband did. Gitl soon realized she had reunited with her husband but he was a different man. One of my favorites scenes is when Gitl is with Bernstein, who is a boarder in their apartment. Gitl was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bernstein is a yeshiva student. Bernstein explained to her how that validates for nothing in America making Gitl realize she is far from home. CaroleKane-HesterStreet hhh index

Marie the Savior by Christine Brosnan

A person is a product of their environment. This is very true unless you have great motivation to want to change your destiny, or if you meet someone along the way that shows you a different way of life. Owen Conway was the perfect example of someone that completely turned his life around due to the love from another person.

Owen Conway didn’t have it easy growing up. At the age of 10 his mother died and he was taken in by his neighbors who were victims of domestic violence and substance abuse. He ran away from home and made a life for himself on the streets. This was Owens way of survival. At age 25 he became the leader of an Irish gang. One of the members in Owens gang was a young man like himself named Skinny. Skinny was a troubled person as well and this lifestyle was all Skinny and Owen knew. The gang was a group of people all with similar unstable pasts that ganged together to form a “family.” Most people growing up in violence and on the streets turn to gangs.

Marie was from a different class than Owen and was a different person in general. Unlike Owen, Marie wasn’t violent, she worked at a Settlement home to help people when they were in need or troubled. She did good deeds and when Owen asked her if she would tutor him she gladly accepted. Marie taught Owen a different way of life. She brought out a side of Owen he didn’t even knew he had or was capable of having. The troubled Owen and the caring Marie fell in love with each other. Skinny wasn’t as fortunate as Owen. He didn’t meet a nice girl to make him change his ways and stuck to the only thing he knew which was his gang. Had he met the love of his life who had a positive influence on him, who knows if he would have changed. No matter what the circumstances are some people change and some never do.I believe its all up to the person if they want to change or not. Changing yourself is a hard and lengthy process. Some avoid changing because what they know is easy and they rather not put the energy into learning a new way of life.Regeneration 2