Monday, September 3, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - September 3, 2018

We live in the best of times in which we are able to learn about the world and its incredible diversity of cultures/beings/places/perspectives in a way never historically possible. We live in the worst of times when we are able to isolate ourselves completely from anything different from our own narrow view/conception of the world/reality. The choice is yours!

In a globalized world it is imperative that we begin to develop a broader awareness of the interconnected cultures and societies that influence and shape world events. Anyone remotely aware of the American social landscape must recognize that many of our citizens are unaware of the broader relations and connections of the world in which they live in. Many Americans tend to have a narrow understanding of world history, filtered as it is through ethnocentric American textbooks and mediatized narratives filtered through the lenses of the dominant center, which effectively ignores the realities of the margins (culturally, economically and socially). Many concerned citizens struggle to carve out meaning in the contemporary data stream and suffer the neglect of a mainstream media that limits itself to predigested dualistic positions. In this simplified media environment, vast regions of the world are presumed to be unable to speak for themselves and rarely, in the mainstream corporate media that serves as the news for a majority of American citizens, do we receive sustained and in-depth critical analysis of issues through the voices and experiences of multiple interested parties. -- Michael Benton

"People who think philosophy is useless also tend to think that society does not need to change. If you want to maintain the status quo, teaching people to question everything is a pretty stupid thing to do." (Existential Comics, March 21, 2018)

As a teacher, I'm not interested in just reproducing class after class of graduates who will get out, become successful, and take their obedient places in the slots that society has prepared for them. What we must do--whether we teach or write or make films--is educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world. (15) ---Zinn, Howard. "Stories Hollywood Never Tells." The Sun #343 (July 2004): 12-15.

Believing in a ‘female gaze’ means believing in a ‘male gaze,’ and I sincerely hope we’re moving more towards a world not bound by gender binaries. I believe in Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze deeply, but I find it difficult to address now because as we fight towards gender equality it also means redefining old terms. But I also understand that as a female-identifying cinematographer it is important to establish what qualities I attribute to my work, and I’d more call it an emotional gaze. I try to approach every subject with a level of respect and love; I’d say the ‘male’ gaze wishes to devour, conquer, and control. The future is a loss of ego—an abandonment of the concept of the director as the sole auteur, a participation in a new set structure and deteriorating, old power dynamics. I want to visually traverse new territories with a sensitivity and a commitment to putting work out in the world that doesn’t feed into a purely capitalistic machine. -- Ashley Connor (Cinematographer of The Miseducation of Cameron Post) quoted in the The Female Gaze (2018)

Goodman, Amy. "Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony." Democracy Now (August 31, 2018) ["In this exclusive broadcast, Democracy Now! breaks the media blockade and goes to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. The international media has largely ignored the occupation—in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late 2016 Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years."]

“We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘work.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are not civil rights.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Levinson, Ariana and Devon Oser. "Kentucky’s Right-To-Work Law: Unions Punch Back." LEO Weekly (August 29, 2018)

Pray, Jennifer. "Embodied Feminism." Feminist Killjoys #61 (2017) ["“Even though a space is female-dominated doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a space where it’s about female empowerment." -J. Pray  In this episode, Melody talks with Jennifer Pray, a Twin Cities-based dance artist and yoga teacher. Jennifer discusses how her dance and yoga work intersect with each other and with feminism. More specifically, Jennifer digs into what an embodied feminism can look like. A lot of good gems to listen for."]

Riley, Boots. "Boots Riley on His Anti-Capitalist Film Sorry to Bother You, the Power of Strikes & Class Struggle." Democracy Now (September 3, 2018) ["In a Labor Day special, we air an extended conversation with Boots Riley, writer and director of “Sorry to Bother You,” his new film about an evil telemarketing company, a corporation making millions off of slave labor, and one Oakland man at the center of it all who discovers a secret that threatens all of humankind. His dystopian social satire is being hailed as one of the best movies of the summer. Riley is a poet, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter, humorist, political organizer, community activist, lecturer and public speaker—best known as the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club."]

Smith, Jeff. "The Restless Cinematography of Breaking the Waves." Observations on Film Art (August 13, 2018)

"Pulling double duty as director and cinematographer, Morano finds the melancholic beauty in the end of the world with this gorgeous and strange drama starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning as the last people on Earth. When the film opens in a desolate upstate New York, the misanthropic Del (Dinklage) is performing rote, custodial tasks to clean up the chaos left around his hometown—and relishing his newfound solitude—until another, sprightly survivor (Fanning) arrives. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, I Think We’re Alone Now is a visually audacious entry in the postapocalyptic genre and an idiosyncratic take on loneliness and grief." - The Female Gaze (2018)

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