“Chop Shop” is a Film Directed by Ramin Bahrani. About a 12 year old boy by the name of Ale, who struggles to live in a rough part of Queens, New York. I really enjoyed this film, it really shows how a city like New York Can help you grow and Mature at such a young age. Ale who is about 12 years old in the film, a young boy who we are left to believe that he is abandoned by his parents and works many odd jobs to put some food in his stomach. We mostly see Ale work in the “Chop Shop” area of Queens where he sells cheap car parts and cleans other peoples cars. Ale does not go to school, he just works his but off from early in the morning till closing time at a friends car shop, in which also where Ale sleeps and stays. Which is already a quality that is unsual for a normal 12 year old boy. We later meet his sister Izzy, who comes to live with Ale. This is also another Trait we see in Ale that He’s more of a Man than a 12 year old boy. Though Izzy is Much older than he is, Ale provides income and always checks up on her to make sure that Izzy is alway safe. Usually a brother and sister relationship at that age would as end up in them bickering (in which they do from time to time). But in this film we also see how naive Ale is do to his young age. Ale and Izzy save up enough money to buy a food truck so they can take out on to the road and make a living off of. After saving $4,500.00, we find out that the truck is unusable and that it would cost around $10,000.00 to fix. Ale could not give the truck back due to signing papers and not checking everything in the truck before actually buying. As a result of this Ale tries to find quicker ways to get money by stealing a woman’s person out on the street. Till’ he realizes that it isn’t the right thing to do. At the end of this film it seems like we are left to believe that Izzy and Ale are gonna have to start from square one all over again. This film is an accurate depiction of people who live in poverty in a big city like New York. You either work as hard as you can or end up falling in the wrong scenario with some bad consequences.
I Feel like women’s roles in television has changed drastically over in recent years. A great example of this is Lena Dunham’s “Girls”. In Girls it is almost as if the roles are reversed between the Male and Female gender. Meaning, the Females in this show are the more dominate gender than the males. Which is very refreshing. A majority of shows or sitcoms women are always used as a mistress or a house wife.The same can be said about “Orange Is The New Black”. Which is about a woman by the name of Piper who is this very preppy type of person, has to spend a year in an all woman prison. Her we see another Dominance in the female gender where they too can be just as tough and/or arrogant as males from any other TV show. An Example of this is the character “Nicky”, she knows the ins and outs of the prison and also has this somewhat of a threatening presences. Which just shows that she can defend herself very easily.
“The Visitor” a film directed by Thomas McCarthy. About a Man named Walter who is going through an on-going depression after the loss of his wife. It is unclear as to how his wife died. However, When asked to do a speech in New York City Walter goes back to his apartment that he owns in the area and finds a couple who had been living illegally Walter’s apartment. A couple by the name of Tarek and his wife Zainab. Troughout the film we see Walter’s depression take a real toll on him. Which is why I think he Lets the couple stay in his apartment. As a way to be with someone because it looks like some type of company with Walter makes him happy. We also find out that Walter takes a interest in playing an African drum. I feel like this is Pivotal to the film, it shows that music can be an escape for all the bad things that can happen in a persons life. An example of this is when Tarek show’s Walter how to play the drum properly, later on in the film Tarek gets arrested for “not paying the subway toll” (when he actually did). We find out that Tarek is an Illegal immigrant, and even though at the end of this film Walter was never able to get Tarek back he uses the drum as a way of an escape from not being able to succeeded to get him Tarek back.
What I found Interesting about interesting about the trip was how much they dive into different types of media projects. My favorite part was looking at some of the “Projection Art visuals” for a lack of a better word. I enjoyed watching them being that I have an interest in taking up projects like that. so it was refreshing that other people where doing it as well. What I thought about the “Stay Tuned – Keeping Viewers Connected 24/7” panel was somewhat lackluster. All three of the panelist where looking for ways to keep you in front of the television while at the same time updating you on your phone. I think that this approach is not going to go far. Television companies like CBS and HBO are already making services where you can watch any show under their channel at any time using your computer or smartphone with a monthly fee tied to it. Thus, needing no cable services at all anymore. I personally think companies like MTV and ESPN need to put more focus on the internet rather than television mostly because that is what everyone uses nowadays.
“Do The Right Thing” (1989) Directed by Spike Lee is a film that follows a young African American by the name of Mookie and the troubles of living in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. Do the right thing is widely considered a classic Film due to the context that it sets itself in. Which is the melting pot different cultures and racism that takes place in the film. Mookie is a Delivery guy for Sal’s Pizzeria owned by an all white Italian family by Sal (the owner) and his two sons Pino and Vito. From the beginning of the film Sal’s pizza is already like a ticking time bomb. This is where I think Lee was trying to get at with the film. On the hottest day of the year and this huge racial tension between African Americans, Spanish, White and Asian people. Anything can happen with in a matter of seconds. throughout the film Lee Cuts to scenes where at least one person from each different culture is saying whole bunch of these stereotypes and racial slurs as a way of showing how they really feel inside instead of face value. Two of my favorite characters throughout this film are Radio Raheem and Smiley. I like to think that Smiley represents a person who acknowledges the wrongs of racism towards African Americans and recognizes the fact that racism is still strong and prevalent to where he lives. I like the fact that Lee gave smiley a speech impediment and the fact that everyone looks at smiley as a weirdo as it represents that people tend to ignore or frown upon others who are telling the facts and the wrong doings of racist acts. Radio Raheem is another favorite due to the simple role that he has Which is being this somewhat threatening looking person but is soft spoken and plays and important message through music. As it is his way of expressing what he thinks about living in Bed-Stuy. It’s a love/hate relationship, love the people that he lives with and surrounds himself with but hates being oppressed by who he is and the color of his skin as well as his people. Which ultimately leads to his death.
“Iris” A documentary Directed by Albert Maysles, is about the life of the fashion Icon Iris Apfel. To my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed this film a lot. Iris Apfel is the definition of the quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. The fashion industry has many stereotypes such as everyone in the industry always full of themselves. As if they have some sense of entitlement that they create clothing that is soon or already is to become popular. I walked into “Iris” with this same exact stereotype, once the film ended I wanted more. Iris Apfel is very much a New Yorker. She carries herself as this person who really doesn’t care who or what people think about her and has a very witty sense of humor. A very laid back person but works like a madman. Which is very admirable, still traveling after decades of hard work and she is 93 years old! what I really loved about this film is the fact that they showed more of who Iris is rather than what she is known for. Overall, Iris is recognized for being who she is rather than wanting to emulate someone else which is very rare to find in artist or in people in general these days. “Iris” is a film I would recommend to anyone. It is hilarious and even if you’re not into fashion Iris’s personality is one that you don’t want to miss out on!
“Regeneration” (1915) Directed by Raoul Walsh really shows how much a person can change in an unconventional environment, even if the change takes a long time. Regeneration starts off with a Young boy named Owen who is already left to live a life of poverty after is dies right at the stat of the film. Owen is then taken in by his neighbors in his building where he lived. Living with his neighbors wasn’t the most pleasant experience. for as the male neighbor was an abusive alcoholic. Owen finally decides to runaway from the neighbors and beings to live a life of his own in the City of New York. At this point the film, this is where “Regeneration” shines the most. Walsh’s Shots of different people living in New York City at the time. Everyone was either poor or homeless. People were not able to posses enough money to even spend on their own health. It was pretty much a “Dog eat Dog World”. This image of New York City is reflected to Owen since later on in the film he becomes a gang leader. He was not a pushover and if you crossed Owen he would have people handle you or he would handle you himself. While Owen did grow up to live a life alone. He does find someone he lust for a Women by the name of Marie. A women with more of better moral value than what Owen had. However, she was equally attracted to Owen. Marie is the caring and loving person that Owen had been missing all his life and which changes him for the better. Which Ultimately does not end well for Marie. As Owen decides to take the path to live life correctly. Owen’s long time partner Skinny is not the happiest camper. After Owen decides to leave the gang life, He leaves his Partner skinny leaving skinny with bad blood ultimately killing Marie. As for revenge Owen goes to kill skinny and right when he has Skinny in his hands he realizes that it is the wrong the to do and lets skinny go. Owen then vows to continue to live life in the right Path. “Regeneration” shows that no matter how bad the conditions are a person can be saved when put with the right people and the right state of mind.