Techology a killer robot?

Technology has not killed Cinema. Many people believe that there has to be guidelines for what is considered a “film” nowadays like film must shot on actual film strips. But with the digital revolution in full swing, not many people realize that film is actually bridging the gap between high culture and the common man.

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               The article “Film by Another Name” brings up the question: what exactly is film? In current times, everyone has a camera in their pocket. Can their home movies be considered “cinema”? Often many high culture Indy films are shot using digital films. These are the upcoming directors and moviemakers and their chosen medium. As recording becomes more accessible to the general populous, the definition of what exactly is a film is starting to change.king

Since the times of kings and queens, there has been class stratification. Some people were chosen to lead the masses and others were at the bottom rung of the social ladder, cleaning up the messes of the higher up. This is no different than the struggle for gender equality. Many follow this preconceived notion that because men have historically led the world, women are undeserving of any political power. Both of these notions are incorrect and should be rethought by both men and women of this and future generations.

In this way, many ruling classes have felt superior to the subservient peon group. They were considered more sophisticated, and the art the treasure was considered a higher class than the indignant plays and other forms of entertainment enjoyed by the lower class. Long story made short, this idea has been a huge influence in the movie industry. In the olden days, there was a need for giant studios to provide money for costly things like film. There was a sense of higher class built around the fact that only the rich could make films. As I said before, nowadays, many people walk around with a tiny digital camera in their pockets.

Movie making is becoming more accessible to everyone. I have made several “movies” for class and now with YouTube, anyone can share their ideas. As this happens, there is less exclusion to making film and this gives film makers more freedom. During the fifties and film gifforties, there was a studio era. The only way to make a film was to have a big budget supporting you. Films could easily be censored and all movies in theater had a sense of class to them.

After film was found to be made cheaper, people depended less upon studios to make films. This meant that the movies were less controlled by a few people and more people were able to get their ideas out into the public. Digital made this process explode. Now the movies shown in the contemporary film festivals are concerned high culture and are more individual expressive. People do not need to work with a slew of helpers. Anyone can pick up a camera and film. This has dramatically altered perceptions of film. Even independent projects are getting Oscar nods.

The movie world is rapidly changing. As film is becoming more accessible, it has blurred the line between average people and high culture. Now anyone with a smart phone and internet had the ability to express themselves through the medium.

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Female Film Power

Fire and Ice, female heroines are taking over cinema by storm. Katniss, the girl on fire, and Elsa, the girl with the frozen touch, were the leaders of the box office. And yet Hollywood still believes women can’t bring in the dough?

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The editorial “Heroines at the Box Office” gives a wonderful counter to this idea that women cannot lead movies. The piece was written around Christmas time last year, which was perfect timing. At that point, the largest movies at the box office were The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen.

elsakat2Both of these were fronting female leads, and that is not a choice the parent companies will ever regret. Over the Thanksgiving weekend of last year, the movies collective raked in about “$200 million dollars”. That’s just “four day’s profit”. I think with these kinds of statistics, film makers should realize that female leads are profitable.

Yet, even with the success of these films, women are vastly underrepresented. Out of the top 100 top grossing, there were “4,475 speaking roles”. Of those, “28.4% were women”. With over half the world’s population being women, these numbers are crazy. Women should be represented more in film.

I believe this editorial hit the nail on the head. Women are getting the short in of the stick in Hollywood. For many actors, the worst thing that could happen is to be pigeonholed into a role. Yet, women come into movies already pigeonholed. You can either by the lustfully beautiful sex symbol that sinfully allures men or the helpless damsel who needs a hero. Well who sets these standards anyway? Popular cultural has set the precedence that women are to be pretty and cute and basically useless. Deviation from this makes you the odd one out.

This is similar to politics. In politics, women are harshly criticized, but not for their politics, but for being “bossy” or “shrewd”. Male candidates don’t have to deal with being called a “bitch” or “ineffective” just because of their gender. Society makes up pre-conceived notions about women in power. If movies were to be more respectful of authoritative female roles, society view the role of boss and politician differently.hilarah

But instead, the entertainment industry is horrible in perpetuating these ideas. I remember watching this documentary on J.K. Rowling. In the program, the origin of her name was discussed. Do you know why this is the name is printed on all of her books? Not because it looks cooler. Not because she has a super long name (She doesn’t even have a middle name; she adopted the “k” from her mother’s name). It was because the book company feared that the book would be a bust because young boys don’t want to read written by females. Yet the movie franchise has gone on to be the most lucrative of any film series- with audience fully aware that the author of the based book is a woman.

Looking at the success of the series now, the number of male fans definitely rivals that of the females. In instances like this, the entertainment industry is teaching young boys not to respect females in official roles.

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If they can’t support women as leads in action films, why should men respect their female bosses or wives for that matter? This editorial illustrates that the world is ready for more equality on the silver screen. It is time to stop evaluating movies based on the gender of the star and focus on the actual content and acting ability. If we do that, we may just be on the brink of having so really awesome movies in the future.