Final

12 Dec

Andy Carvin-

It all started on December of 2011 when Mohamed Bouazizi became the martyr to begin the Tunisian protests. After being harassed and having his vending cart taken away, Bouazizi decided to prove a point, that if they (the government) didn’t see him as a person, he would then light himself on fire. His last words being, “How do you expect me to make a living?”. After the self- immolation, it sparked protests and other accounts of defiance, therefore creating the snowball that would later become the arab spring.

Before I describe more about the arab spring, I want to bring up the fact that producer Tarak Ben Ammar is planning on making a movie about the life of Bouazizi, the catalyst for arab freedom. Take a look here.

The arab spring arose because of the people’s dissatisfaction over the way their governments operated. Corruptioin, dictatorship, no respect for human rights, poverty and unemployment, all lead to the people being fed up and wanting to make a change.  More and more protest that turned into revolutions began to  pop up all over the arab countries, and the connecting factor? Each revolution had its own twitter hash tag.

Humanity at its finest, protestors and revolutionaries used a tool that would reach the most people in as little a time as possible. Twitter was rediliy available and they used it to communicate with others. Enter Andy Carvin, so far away from the action, but because of twitter he was able to feel like he was next to the brave people striving to make a difference. Carvin became a bridge between the Arab countries and the western ones.  He gathered the information and presented it via twitter.

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Years later he published “Distant Witness”, Jeremey Stanley descrbies the book as  “Organized in sections on boiling points in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria, Carvin pulls together a coherent and compelling narrative, all using first-person accounts.”

“One of the lessons to be learned from the Arab Spring is that a new breed of revolutions, henceforth called leaderless revolutions” Yousri Marazoukiand Olivier Oullier

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The Final

12 Dec

Creative Culture-

What is culture? What does creativity look like in culture? What does creativity and culture look like on the internet? Well, I think it looks like bright colors and possibilities. I’ll show you why.

A social movement that provides art to the masses in order for larger collaborations to take place. That would be my definition to creative culture online. Because of  the internet we are now able to create art and make it accessable to anyone and everyone. People are free to collaborate with others across borders and social stigmas to create art that can manifest in many ways; videos, drawings, music, images, memes.

I think that throughout the blog you can find example of the creative culture online in websites like the exquisite forest and hitrecord.

Andy Carvin-

It all started on December of 2011 when Mohamed Bouazizi became the martyr to begin the Tunisian protests. After being harassed and having his vending cart taken away, Bouazizi decided to prove a point, that if they (the government) didn’t see him as a person, he would then light himself on fire. His last words being, “How do you expect me to make a living?”. After the self- immolation, it sparked protests and other accounts of defiance, therefore creating the snowball that would later become the arab spring.

The arab spring arose because of the people’s dissatisfaction over the way their governments operated. Corruptioin, dictatorship, no respect for human rights, poverty and unemployment, all lead to the people being fed up and wanting to make a change.  More and more protest that turned into revolutions began to  pop up all over the arab countries, and the connecting factor? Each revolution had its own twitter hash tag.

Humanity at its finest, protestors and revolutionaries used a tool that would reach the most people in as little a time as possible. Twitter was rediliy available and they used it to communicate with others. Enter Andy Carvin, so far away from the action, but because of twitter he was able to feel like he was next to the brave people striving to make a difference. Carvin became a bridge between the Arab countries and the western ones.  He gathered the information and presented it via twitter.

Years later he published “Distant Witness”, Jeremey Stanley descrbies the book as  “Organized in sections on boiling points in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria, Carvin pulls together a coherent and compelling narrative, all using first-person accounts.”

“One of the lessons to be learned from the Arab Spring is that a new breed of revolutions, henceforth called leaderless revolutions”,  Yousri Marzouki and Olivier Oullier, writers of the article Revolutionizing Revolutions: Virtual Collective Consciousness and the Arab Spring.

 

Creative commons-

Being able to share with people without the fear of copy right law, ahh paradise. But wait, it’s already in existence you say? Oh that’s right, it’s called creative commons!

Created by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred, their intension was to create copyright that wasn’t as restrictive as our traditional  all rights reserve one. They wanted people to be able to share their work with others however they wanted it shared.

Many big named websites are now quite heavily using creative commons, like Youtube, flickr, and the White House.  “It might not be of much use to you if you live outside the United States and have no interest in its politics. But to just let you know, all content on this governmental site is in the public domain”, Saikat Basu, writer of 10 Different Creative Commons Projects That You Should Definitely Pay Attention To.

 

A culture without property, or in which creators can’t get paid, is anarchy, not freedom.

-Lawrence Lessig 

 

Ai Wei Wei-

Ai Weiwei is an artist who embodies an understanding of these monumental shifts and the best ways we can use new tools to create social change

Cedar Pasori 

An artist, activist, friend and leader, Ai WeiWei has lead China into a new age with his ability to question everything and by giving power back to the people. Willing to speak out against his government, WeiWei is considered a leader for change and he wants the people to join him. Once, he tweeted his location as he sat down to eat dinner,  lo and behold people came from every direction to join him in a solidarity dinner as the police stood nearby harassing WeiWei as to when he would be leaving.

Ai has become quite accustomed to broadcasting his thoughts on democracy, human rights and artistic freedom on social media under the humble handle  Katherine Brooks

The people follow and respect him, especially after his investigation on the children who tragically died in the Sichuan province earthquake.  He made the investigation his goal and his goal into art in order to bring attention to the corruption of the Chinese government and the lack of attention that goes into building homes, apartments, and schools.

Here is a trailer for a the film “Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry

 

Aaron Swartz-

I remember when I first heard about Aaron Swartz, I was reading the news and his name kept popping up in so many articles. “Who is this person?” I thought, so I clicked on an article about him and figured it out.  ” He was facing 13 felony counts stemming from his illegal downloading from MIT of more than 4 million articles from JSTOR, a repository of research journals, and was scheduled to go to trial in April. If convicted on the federal computer-fraud charges, he faced up to 35 years in prison.” Chris Boyette

A couple of days later, his name was brought up in class and it all came together. Despite being only 26, Swartz had already done more in a quarter-century than others do in a lifetime. He helped develop RSS, helped launch (and then sold) Reddit, founded Demand Progress, was widely known as an Internet activist (one who helped stop SOPA)

He was a computer programming internet activist who sought to create a free internet, who wanted people to have access to journals for free, and who wanted to connect people with sites like Reddit.

“His particular gift was of asking questions,” said Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Poetic Postings

3 Dec

Tweets and the Streets

“At the same time, I also highlight the risk of seclusion that the use of social media can create, when their use is not accompanied by street-work and interaction with those on the other side of the digital divide, who, to use a recurrent activist expression, ‘do not have a Facebook account’” (pg. 13)

 Paolo Gerbaudo wrote a book on his experiences with social media and activism. In his book he talks about twitter, Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous, Facebook, and the Indignados.

For class we did a collaborative reading of Tweets on the Streets and we were to create an artistic response to our section. I chose to write a poem, so here goes…

(P.S. The Square is a kickstarter film about the Egyptian Revolution)

“The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”

Looking through the fence

Hash tags and re tweets

Who will come to their defense?

A child, a leader?

Take out the immortalizer

Which becomes the fuel feeder.

Will she be a help or harm?

I certainly do not dare

Behind the fence I am no alarm.

Pen goes on paper

Fingers press on keys

We strive to be the change

But will we succeed?

I triple dog dare you to watch this film

30 Nov

Hello my friends!

   

This week we’re looking at another film but this one is quite different from Diarchia, this film is a feature length movie made specifically for the internet! My, how things have changed. Directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, in an interview with Shangri-La Entertainment, Gutierrez says “We want to prove that Web distribution is a viable medium for theatrical quality movies which rely on story, characters and dialogue as opposed to special effects. For many reasons the theatrical indie landscape has changed drastically in the last few years, leaving many potential breakout hits without an audience. We are excited to break the rules of feature films by letting people watch our movies for free online”. Well said Gutierrez! So what is the mystery movie? Drum roll please…

Girl Walks Into A Bar

When I first watched the film I have to admit that I was really excited about everything in it. The female characters were given important roles, the dialogue was witty and engaging, the colors in the scenes were unique and the story line was energetic. Plus, not a single penny was paid to watch it. What more can a girl ask for?

I think one of the things that made me the most excited was that (in my opinion) it passes the Bechdel test. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s a rating system that only has three criteria to get by:

1)      The film has to have at least two women in it

2)     Two women who talk to each other

3)     Two women who talk to each other about something that isn’t a man

Check. Check. Check. I think we have a winner.

Ok, like last time I will attempt and hopefully succeed in breaking down a portion of the film or at least ask a ton of questions. Because it is a feature length film I will only focus on the first half an hour so that the post doesn’t become a 10 page paper.

*I will attempt to not spoil the movie. I’ll try really hard. But you can always go watch it and then finish reading the post, that way I won’t have to try as hard 😉

The beginning dialogue between Francine (Carla Gugino) and Nick (Zachary Quinto) is great, it sets up the rest of the movie not only with the style but it plops you down in the middle of the action and it isn’t hard to pick up what’s going on. I sometimes find myself missing what’s going on when trying to catch up with the background info but I didn’t need to with this film. I would like to ask who do you think held the control in this scene? Notice the way Francine presents herself and how she sits; upright with her attention directed at Nick, hands on the table with authority and she makes eye contact the whole time. Nick on the other hand is slouching and his hands are in his lap. Granted his situation would make him more on edge and it his character is physically portraying that, but it’s worth noting that the first scene is with the woman in control.

Throughout the movie I noticed that the women sit normally with a hint of masculinity. Especially in the first scene with Camilla (Amber Valletta) and Dodge (Robert Forster) (31:05), she is feminine but sits with confidence; it isn’t just Dodge who commands attention.

Another element I would like to make note of is that there are a variety of female characters, from assassin to stripper, yet they all hold their own. Teresa (Emmanuelle Chriqui) plays a sexualized female in a stereotypical submissive female role, yet at 13:05 she stops time and points out the men for who they are. She is in complete control of her situation and her character flips the stereotype of submissive to ring leader.

          

During the first half an hour (Ok, more like 35 minutes) the men always seemed to play secondary characters. In the scene with Aldo (Danny Devito) and Nick, Aldo brings up his wife and then says “I trust my wife implicitly on all matters”.  Nick’s situation is centered around his wife, and Dodge talks about his strong willed daughter. The men seem to only talk about women. And then we have the stereotypical male who keeps harassing the girls 27:36-29:27. In that same scene with Francine, Kim (Alexis Bledel), Loretta (Michelle Ryan), Kim says “I prefer to be a muse than to be amusing” yet her character holds a conversation with Francine that I believe helps push this film to winning the Bechdel test.

Due to the multiple story lines, I liked how the scenes would switch with a fade to black, I think it made the change easier to follow. I also really enjoyed the vintage feel the film had, as well as the way it was shot. The camera was usually always at eye level with the women and even though some had stereotypical female roles, I felt that the characters could worked both the feminine and power in a respectable way.

My challenge to you is to finish up this post and head on over to YouTube to watch Girl Walks Into A Bar, it really is a great film. Take a look at what was pointed out in the post and breakdown other sections on your own. I think that this film is only the beginning of a internet film era, and its exciting to be apart of it.

What are you watching tonight?

30 Nov

The Sundance Institute presents…

The Screening Room.

              

If you need something short to watch, I suggest combing through some of the films in the Screening Room. This week I watched Diarchia, a 20 minutes film with a well written screenplay and artistic story line. Please join me for a break down of the film:

*I will attempt to not spoil anything in my breakdown, my apologizes if I let something slip. I guess the only way to fix that would be watch the film 😉       

It starts out with two friends, Luc and Giano who seek shelter from a storm at Luc’s villa. From the beginning of their dialogue there is a sense of mystery surrounding their friendship and Luc’s character. The referenced Tim Buckly song, “Song to the Siren” is an indication as to their relationship as well as the brief shot with the fox. Their friendship becomes clearer once they reach the house but the screenplay lets the subtext subtly handle most of it.

               

I noticed that most of the shots were very open and clean. An example would be in the kitchen; the white shirts, the white kitchen walls, the appliances, mugs and the window. The shots also capture a lot of the environment and the textures of the house and the scenes are well balanced and hold true to the rule of thirds.

                

The only times when macro shots are used are when the characters use their hands. Let me give an example: while Luc is talking about the granite statue with the ball of light, the shot moves to his hand which is touching the statue as he says “to make such a delicate shape”. Then Giano proceeds to touch the statue and it goes from a more open shot to a tighter one.

Ok, now I want to break down a specific section of the film. If you want to pull up Youtube and go to 5:40 I want to go through this small scene. So, right before this section Luc asked Giano what he liked to write about and Giano says the little things in life. At 5:40 Luc grabs an apple and Giano tells Luc that he was struck by the statue’s movement and energy earlier (5:50) and that when he touched it he realized “it was just a cold bronze statue”(5:54). During this time Luc has an apple in his mouth holding two mugs with red accents, when Giano is done Luc stands at the foot of the stairs (6:00), one step above Giano and tells him “you have to write”.

-Who holds the power in this scene?

-What is the significance of Giano describing his passion and then having Luc tell him what he should do with it? I guess what I’m getting at               is that Luc comes off as abrasive, does he really care about what Giano is talking about?

-Luc obviously doesn’t see the statue the same way Giano does judging from the way he touched it earlier (possessive and objectifying, ha                get it? because it’s an object). Giano, judging from the way he delicately touched it earlier had an artistic moment.

          – Comparing this scene to the fall of man in Genesis, does Luc holding the apple foreshadowing the fall of Giano? Without trying to give                        away too much, Luc is the catalyst for what happens from 9:14-9:24, is he the tempter in the film?

While watching the film I wondered what makes us want to watch it until the end? It’s a quiet 20 minutes that modern audiences aren’t used to and the pace is slower compared to “popular” films. So is it that the screenplay allows for enough mystery that we are intrigued for 18-20 minutes? Or do people just hit the middle of the film and wait to see what happens?

Who is the sister and why is Giano so captivated by the idea of her? She isn’t seen until 12:40 or 12:48 (depending on what you consider “seen”) she is only talked about until then, so is she like the personification of the statue to him? He is captivated by her until she is in front of him and they speak to each other (15:15).

What do we learn about the sister from her phone conversation? What do we learn about Luc?

And to finish up, I have been wondering what the noise is from 12:19-12:24 and I guess to add on to that the moment from 18:05 to the end…spooky or the fall of Giano’s sanity?

Thanks for reading the crazy long post, hopefully I kept you engaged with the video and questions, it’s a bit hard to have a dialogue via blog post but we can make it work, right?

Hemlock Grove

28 Nov

Alright, it’s about time that we get to some substance.

One of the topics that I wanted to cover was a made for Netflix TV show, so here it is.

There’s this show called Hemlock Grove. It was released back in April 2013 with all 13 episodes at once.

Joining the ranks of 10 other TV series that aired on Netflix, Hemlock stands apart due to the fact that it isn’t a continuation or a rendition of another show, it is a strait from-book-to-screen-deal.

For the synopsis check out this page, it’ll do the show more justice…but if you’re lazy (like me) I guess I can help you out.

Wikipedia says:

“The series is set in the town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania. The town is a mixture of extreme wealth and poverty, as the closing of the town’s steel mill many years earlier caused many to lose their jobs. The town’s main sources of employment are now the Hemlock Acres Hospital and Godfrey Institute for Biomedical Technologies. Run by the powerful Godfrey family, the Institute is rumored to conduct sinister experiments on a daily basis. The town’s rumor mill turns even more twisted when two teenage girls are brutally killed, their bodies left for unsuspecting people to find the next day. Peter Rumancek, a 17-year-old Gypsy, is suspected of the crimes by some of the townsfolk and is also rumored to be a werewolf. While he is secretly a werewolf, he is not the killer, and, along with the heir to the Godfrey estate, Roman, he sets out to solve the mystery”

I personally liked the show, it had a bit of a slow start up and there are definitely better ones out there but it gets major creativity points. The title sequence is crazy good and I liked the fact that it isn’t a werewolf/vampire obsession kind of show. It’s very gritty and real and involves topics that are found on the darker side of life (aka drugs, murder, sex, secrets).

I think you should watch it and see for yourself though.

P.S. If you’re not a fan of scary things, this might border that line. I didn’t think it was too bad, but then again I’m a scary movie junkie.

Poll Post

27 Nov

Humor me 🙂