When asked to post about a controversial film it was a little hard to think about because for the most part I don’t really have time to watch a lot of movies, but I thought back to the last few movies I did watch and one of them was “Noah” which I can imagine caused controversy just because it is based on a story told in the bible. Not only do we all know when religion comes into play everyone always has its discrepancies. There are going to be those that don’t fully agree with what this portrays. Reading up on this movie in fact helped me discover that “Three Arab countries have banned the Hollywood film “Noah” on religious grounds even before its worldwide premiere and several others are expected to follow suit.”
Monthly Archives: February 2015
SELMA Homework #3
The absolutely phenomenal, but controversial, film “Selma” was directed by Ava DuVernay. The film debuted during a tumultuous time in the country when race and equality were coming to light . For instance, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, etc. It basically depicted something that happened 50 years ago and made people realize that it is still happening now. Then the film was snubbed by the Oscars and not one person of color was nominated from the movie. That alone sparked protest. It was mostly an all black cast which is rare in a movie of its scale. And on that note, the all black cast was not nominated for best picture when countless other award shows nominated them. Instead, the media chose to focus more on American Sniper than a black film that was more prominent. But hey, let’s all care more about a guy that killed countless people in the Middle East and said he’d kill more. Plus, the American sniper was a movie that didn’t even depict the real life of a soldier and he also refers to Iraqis and as ” savages” and this is what people chose to nominate instead of a film about Martin Luther King Jr. and the whole movement that’s still going on today.
The Passion of the Christ (Hearts) – Homework #3
I’ve never watched this film before and I’m not a religious person, but I remember all the controversy that was talked about for this movie at the time of its release. It was highly criticized for its extreme and detailed violence, for not being nearly historically accurate and allegations of antisemitism. The film was so violent that critics cautioned parents to not bring their kids to see the movie due to the extreme scenes of violence throughout the movie. Some scholars defended the film saying it wasn’t meant to be historically accurate. The director, Mel Gibson, has said, “I think that my first duty is to be as faithful as possible in telling the story so that it doesn’t contradict the Scriptures. Now, so long as it didn’t do that, I felt that I had a pretty wide berth for artistic interpretation, and to fill in some of the spaces with logic, with imagination, with various other readings.” There were criticisms of prominent antisemitism content in the film before releasing, that the New York Assemblyman at the time told companies to not distribute the film because its “unhealthy to Jews all over the world”, according to Dov Hikind. Gibson was asked by Bill O’Reilly if his movie would upset Jews, he said, “It’s not meant to. I think it’s meant to just tell the truth. I want to be as truthful as possible.” I hope some day I can see for myself how extreme the violence is in this movie but it seems like this movie is type 5 of the most controversial movies of all time.
“Cannibal Holocaust” (1980)- Homerwork #3
“Cannibal Holocaust” was one movie of many that caused controversy worldwide. In this movie, a group of Americans traveled to the Amazon rainforest in order to film a documentary about cannibal tribes. The group went missing, causing Professor Monroe, from New York, to lead a rescue a rescue team, to hopefully find the group alive. The rescue team came across a tribe, and a few of the women took Monroe to a shrine in their village, where he finds the remains of the group, and reels of their film. The reels were taken back to New York, where Monroe wanted to watch the raw footage. While watching, Monroe discovered gruesome events which happened during filming. Events including the group forcing a tribe into a hut, which they burned down, a young tribe girl being gang-raped, and in the end, each team member who were still alive, were captured and killed.
This movie was highly unpleasant due to the excessive graphic content, which includes genocide, sexual violence, and also cruelty to animals. During filming, a handful of animals were actually killed, which sparked controversy among animal activists. It was also labeled as a snuff film. A snuff film is a film where the death of actors aren’t killed, there are actually killed on screen. This violent movie was banned in many countries, but as the years progressed, many countries began to lift the bans.
Homework #3 Controversial Films
In the film A Clockwork Orange directed by Stanley Kubrick there are many reason to why it’s a controversial film. It’s important to take into consideration on the time in history that it was made. It was released in 1971, during this time in history, specifically Great Britain; there were many social reforms that were occurring. This time in history was an exciting time to be considering the fact that this was the time of growing wealth, widening horizons and personal liberation. People of this time had the chance to become liberal. There was a relaxed attitude towards sexuality brought in part by the widespread availability of birth control for young girls. There was also the banning of capital punishment and they had to put restrictions on drugs since it became a big issue. The film made such a big impact on audiences because it showed the main character, Alex and his friends, going about town raping, hurting others and doing drugs, basically acting out their every desire and its save to say they are psychopaths. It resonates with people because it’s a scary thought to think of having these kind of people our society.
Now in the film, there are many explicit sexual scenes throughout the film that conjugate sex and violence. To me it represented the sexual freedom of that time from young adults. The group of young boys that go around town and steal, rape and create havoc, have undertones of juvenile delinquency. The film is packed with savageness and grim acts that really works well as a shock value. It gets the audience to react intensely to what they have just seen. Also, by watching this sort of film their mind conjure up ideas and think about their society and their social issues. Social control is a topic that is relevant in any time, past, present and future. The film touches the topic of social control from the government and the idea that the government is trying to oppress people and have total and complete control over them. This is a continual worriment that we face and I feel this movie perfectly portrays that to audiences now in this day and age as well as back then. The film successfully makes the audiences question authority and an individual’s moral conduct. Along with painting American law enforcement as hopelessly corrupt and violent.
HW #2, à bout de souffle
I could not remember what suit my card was, but truly wanted to discuss this film anyway, though tardy in posting.
à bout de souffle (breathless) is a film written, and directed by jean-luc godard, who is one of my favorite french directors. the movie opens with main character michel, driving & talking (almost seemingly rambling), but this scene is vital. soon after a series of distinct choppy film cuts (godard is known for this style of film), and michel’s dialogue with himself, he is pursued by a police officer, who he ends up murdering.
throughout the course of the film, we know michel is a thief, but his love interest (patricia) initially does not. this scene aids in constructing the entire rest of the film, and plays an integral role in describing the behavior of the protagonist.
here’s a link to the entire film
(this isn’t subtitled but you can get the gist of it).
HOMEWORK #2 – OPENING SCENE:The Lord of the Rings-The Return of the King (Spades)
This scene is definitely one of my favorite scenes of all time simply for the back story and the set up also. Throughout the Lord of the Rings series a creature named Gollum has been in pursuit of The One Ring being carried by Frodo and is always shown being obsessive and protective of it. However, one thing that was not shown up until the third and last movie was how Gollum turned in to this nasty looking creature. While fishing with his friend they both come across the infamous One Ring and the ring causes the both of them to fight over it with Gollum winning said fight and actually killing his friend for it. One thing that gets me is how Gollum (known as Smeagol before turning in to the creature) is shown as a really friendly person up until he finds the ring. Once he finds it nothing else in the world matters to him and slowly but surely he transforms in to the creature he is now. I feel like this scene set up the last movie great as well because it shows just how evil and powerful the ring truly is and why it must be destroyed at all costs.
Homework #3: Controversial Films
We watched excerpts of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation in class, a movie that was first screened 100 years ago. As noted in class, the racist content of the film invoked protests across the nation, led primarily by the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The combination of Griffith’s remarkable artistry, distorted historical account, and overt racism produced sickening propaganda for the Ku Klux Klan. Listen to a short NPR report on the legacy of The Birth of a Nation. For an example of the impact of Griffith’s film on a recent movie, see Henry Louis Gates’ interview of Quentin Tarantino on Django Unchained (2012).
Share with your classmates other examples of controversial films that have evoked protests. Do you know of movies that have caused similar demonstrations or complaints about content?
To complete this homework assignment, note whether you Post or Comment. For Homework #3, Clubs and Hearts will submit a Post and Diamonds and Spades will Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).
Homework #3 is DUE by Thursday February 26th. Clubs and Hearts Post, Diamonds and Spades Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.
Homework #2 – Opening Scene: Apocalypse Now (Clubs)
The opening scene of Apocalypse Now can certainly be described as “intense”. The scene opens with an aerial view of a forest of Palm trees. Simultaneously, you can hear the chopping sound of a helicopter propeller cutting into the wind – and in the background, the start of the song “This is the End” by the Doors. As the introduction to the song progresses, elements in the film change and smoke enters the scene amongst the palm trees. It isn’t until the very start of the first set of lyrics to the song that the forest completely incinerates into flames. The lyrics begin with the sentence “this is the end…” Then, the scene begins to fade and, therein, introduces a cross-cut scene including a very young Martin Sheen.
The premise of the film is based on the Vietnam War (1955-1975). In my interpretation of the movie, the opening scene was the precursor for the way chaos and war was going to be depicted in the film; the viewers are immediately introduced to aspects of war, such as chaos and catastrophic events – circumstances very real in a war setting, at the start of the movie. Bits of information would reveal itself throughout the opening scene. On a night stand are formal documents fanned out and a vintage photograph of a female; additionally, the viewer is shown a bottle of cognac, a lit cigarette in the character’s hand, and a gun resting just below his pillow.
The camera primarily focuses the viewer’s attention onto the characters forehead and eyes, while simultaneously showing the previous scene of the trees caught on fire and helicopters. Perhaps, insinuating the character’s involvement in the catastrophic event. From the viewer’s perspective, it’s easy to infer that the film takes place during a time of chaos. Likewise, chaos becomes a continuous aspect presented throughout the entire film.
Fight Club Opening Scene
Other than the fact that it’s my favorite movie, I chose fight club for this assignment because the movie starts with one of the last scenes of the movie which I think is genius because the viewer is automatically questioning everything- especially in fight club because the whole movie just messes with your head. The scene begins with the narrator saying “everybody is always asking me if I know Tyler Durden” then skips to him with a gun in his mouth, being asked if he would like to say a few words to mark the occasion. He then goes on talking about how the surrounding blocks will all be turned to dust in a matter of minutes and says “I know this because Tyler knows this”. This is one of the most important lines in the movie and personally, the first time I watched it I didn’t think twice about it but after watching it more I’ve noticed that he is constantly making slight hints to the crazy plot twist of the film. I recommend everybody watch this movie if you haven’t already.