Movies have the ability to transport people to different times and places and distract them from ordinary everyday reality. They allow for a range of emotions to be experienced. At their core, movies examine the human condition. There are plenty of deeper truths woven into screenplays and plenty of lessons to be learned, even when an individual is solely seeking entertainment.
Fruitvale Station depicts the real-life case of Oscar Grant III, a young unarmed black man shot in the back by a white police officer on January 1, 2009 in Oakland. The movie begins with cell phone footage of Oscar Grant’s death recorded by bystanders. Grant’s life was tragically cut short due to a white man’s racism and stereotypical perception of a young black man. The BART police officer Johannes Mehserle abused his authority and shot Grant for no other reason but hatred and racism. At the time of the shooting, Grant was unarmed and pinned on the ground in handcuffs. The movie then walks you through the last twenty-four hours of Grant’s life. As you watch the movie and research the aftermath of Grant’s death you a forced to ask yourself a few questions; why does the media have the right to take away Oscar Grant’s humanity? Where do we draw the line between racism and holding others responsible and will the public’s perception of black men and women ever change? Lastly, we must focus on how this case and others impacts African American society and culture. We also must focus on the necessary changes African Americans must make in order to survive in a world that does not value black lives.
Fruitvale station, is a story about the real life Oscar Grant, a black man who was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer in Oakland. This film follows Grant and his last days before the shooting on New Year’s Day. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale station was his first feature film. Coogler expressed that he was interested in making this film because he wanted people to get to know Grant, get attached, so that when a situation like this occurs again, people will care more about that human life (Wikipedia). In addition, the cast includes Michael B. Jordan (Grant), Octavia Spencer (Wanda Johnson), and Melonie Diaz (Sophina Mesa), amongst a few others. However, there is an underlying concept in this film. This film relates back to Double Consciousness and the internal conflict and struggles within African American men.
In the recent years there has been an increase in the number of terrorist attacks and groups such as 9-11, Paris, and Isis . As these attacks get more and more frequent and so does the amount of media that covers them. When the media reports about these events they can spread untrue, misleading or misunderstood information. This kind of spread can get cause stereotypes among the American people.
One of the symbolic representations in La Mission is where it takes place, in the mission district of San Francisco. It represents the traditional stance of Che the main character and compares it to the shift to a more hipster neighborhood with new people like Lena moving in who haven’t been in the neighborhood until recently. He also restores old cars into low riders which is historically Mexican American style of car. The music featured in this movie is a mix of traditional chorales, native drums and guitars mixed with newer more modern version that also show the transition that this community and culture are facing coming to terms with change and homosexuality that is culturally unacceptable.
The topic of this essay was one that seemed the most relevant at this given moment in time. Post 9/11, Western media became very critical of Islam and the portrayal of Muslims and the negative associations made with them has dramatically increased.
New Year’s Day, 2009, a man is brutally shot by the BART Police of Oakland, California. Fruitvale Station, written and directed by Ryan Coogler, took audiences by surprise as it resonated with twenty-two year old Oscar Grant, a man who was shot down by the BART Police. This movie takes viewers on an emotional expedition as it takes a peek into the life and death of Oscar Grant and his family. The struggles of originating from an African-American background become apparent as Oscar Grant struggles with steering away from racial stereotypes and the misunderstandings of racial profiling.
Today one does not even have to wait for a movie to be released. Simply click the “ON” button on a remote and suddenly, thousands of news and television shows are available for one to enjoy. Muslims are also the target of prejudice in these news broadcasts and programs. One such television program released was a drama titled “24.” Issues and Controversies reports: “The show, which deals with a counterterrorism unit based in Los Angeles, featured a group of Muslim terrorist characters who were plotting to detonate nuclear weapons in the U.S. At the end of one episode, the terrorists successfully detonated a small bomb in a Los Angeles suburb, killing about 12,000 people” (“Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment”). This fictional show wrongly spreads the stereotypical image of Muslims and their clichéd image of the fundamentalists on 9/11. By adding the title and image of “Muslim” to the phrase “terrorist” the program wrongly advertised that potentially every Muslim could be a terrorist. This stereotypical image is similarly expressed in news broadcasts through the use of terrorism news. By increasingly using terrorism and Muslims in top
Five Easy Pieces was released in 1970, Robert “Bobby” Eroica Dupea plays as the main character in the film, he plays a role as an oil rigger that has turned his back in pursuing a career in music in which he is talented at and becomes a blue-collar worker for 20 years. During these years he builds up a selfish, mean, vulgar, and lack of ambition kind of personality. In the late 1960s and early 1970s many historical events were occurring in which the film has gone into some detail with. After doing some research on Film Reviews and what other websites thought about the film many did not go into detail about the film being about discrimination on women. During the era of the film women were still fighting for their rights. I personally believe that this film showed how women were just objects to men. Bobby had disrespected mainly all the women he came across. When they were at a diner he spilled all of the drinks on the waitress just because they did not have what he wanted on their menu. He had five different women in which he would have intercourse with and talked to them in a very demanding manner, each of those five women still had sex with him because they feared he would leave
Society tends to associate propaganda films with issues such as Nazi Germany and their film messages for their country; however, it is also possible for small independent companies, groups of like-minded people and individuals to use the media of film to incorporate messages for our society (The Independent, 2010). These messages are often in relation to changes that individuals should make in order to improve the standards by which they live their lives and changes to everyday habits that will benefit the individual, the individual’s family, a group of individuals or even a single person (Barnhisel and Turner, 2010).
“The biggest mistake we have made is to consider that films are primarily a form of entertainment. The film is the greatest medium since the invention of movable type for exchanging ideas and information, and it is no more at its best in light entertainment than literature is at its best in the light novel.” - Orson Welles
This book chapter also introduces surveys, examples and statistics that will help support my argument and further my research. This book chapter differs from the article, “Framing Arab-American and Muslims in the U.S. Media” because it explores the way that the U.S. media attempted to aid in the destruction of the Arab and Muslims terrorist stereotype, but ultimately failed. It provides an interesting contrast from the article, presenting a more positive way that the media tried to portray Arab and Muslims after 9/11. This book chapter, although different than the article, does reinforce the same idea that Arab and Muslims were ostracized following the events of 9/11 and felt they needed to prove themselves to the rest of American citizens as “good Americans”. The information in this book chapter is reliable because it has numerous cited examples and statistics that reinforce the validity of the main idea. This book chapter helps perpetuate my research as it gives me another perspective on the influence of the U.S. Media, and encourages me to continue down this path of research, and I will now be looking for how the U.S. media have tried to correct the terrorism stereotype they perpetuated against Arabs and
Film noirs describe pessimistic films associated with black and white visual styles, crime fiction, and dark themes. Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 film noir directed by Billy Wilder. Sunset Boulevard presents many themes that are common with the genre film noir, but also introduces some differences from the typical movie in that genre.
Films and movies hold much than we can guess, they reveal a lot of vices and rots that are happening in society. Others give a history of a particular society, its beliefs, culture and their standard of living in the society. Films are used to disclose the social responsibilities in a given season and customs, moral values, societal worries and other cultural practices.