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Pretty Baby (1978)

In the film, Pretty Baby, Brooke Shields plays a little girl who lives in a whorehouse with her mother, who is also considered to be a “whore.” The house is run by the rather older eighty year-old woman, who houses a bunch of girls for free in hopes of receiving money from them as a form of payback. The girls did not have jobs; therefore the only way they managed to make a dollar of two was to have sexual intercourse with willing men who were invited to the house by the old lady. Pretty Baby is rather an older film created in the 1970’s by director Louis Malle. In this movie a little girl was filmed having sex with older men who were about 4 times her age. This film was created to alert society that younger children out there are being exposed and forced to participate in sexual acts. Some are tricked, some are given an ultimatum in order to have a roof over their heads, and some are just being molested and raped.
The main character was named Violet, and she was twelve at the time. She to began sleeping around with men for money because she wanted badly to be just like her mother. She felt that every girl had men and were having incredible sex except for her and she wanted to have her turn. It completely disgusts me that this movie portrayed such a young girl doing all these advanced acts. I believe that in this case this girl was robed of her innocence. I believe the only thing that divides young children from adults is their innocence and taking that away would terribly harm their future because the effect is huge. In the film, Violet began to seem more and more sexual because: she began to wear high socks (considered a sex symbol), she began to wear lipstick, and she began coming on to men. She knew what they all wanted, but it didn’t bother her not one bit, she knew what she wanted and she was determined to get her freedom.

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Get Real (1998)

Get Real (1998)

In the movie “Get real”, Stephen has a hard time coming out to the public about his former homosexual lover. His partner pressures him to expose himself as a gay teenager but he refuses to do so and stresses about what others might perceive of him.
The public, including peers, friends, parents, are the main fear of people with attraction towards someone of the same sex. They fear being judged by society, and I personally, believe that they have every reason to feel that way. Society frowns on many things, homosexuality being one of them. They fear that it is morally wrong to have a sexuality-based relationship with someone of the same sex. They believe that marriage and love should be between a man and a woman and that is classified as a family.

Due to the amount of judgment and disapproval that society contains, “youths go through an initial stage of ignoring same-sex feelings, followed by a period of actively suppressing these feelings.” (Lee A. Beaty, Identity development of homosexual youth and parental and familial influences on the coming out process) When it comes to teenagers in school, I believe that they have it worse. They have to deal with the people most important to them, and that is their peers. In the movie, Stephen gets bullied by a bunch of guys and they call him names such as “queer” and “fag” without them even knowing that he was gay. Therefore him coming out of the “closet” would really give them a reason to physically harm him all the time. At that certain age, peers and friends have a great effect on what goes on in a teenager’s life. Thus the saying “they can either make you or break you” meaning that they can either transform you into the most popular person in school or the most picked on. Nowadays students have tough times in school because of the pressure being put on them by their peers, the pressure to be better than everyone else, or to look better than everyone else. The acceptance of gays in society is not just a grownups issue, but we also see oppression in the playground, with the kids. The children bicker just as much as the adults and that child being so young usually comes out with self-esteem issues, and insecurity.

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Blow Up (1966)

In Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Blow Up” (1966,) photography comes meets the big screen and attempts to send out a message. Personally this was not quite my most favorite movie; to be honest the film was rather odd and confusing to me. Again this was an old movie and a poorly made movie in some ways but it all had a purpose. This mediocre movie actually ended up becoming one of the most significant movies of its time.
One beginning and very important scene was when Thomas was leaving the park and there was a woman who noticed him and kept following him. The woman seemed offended and upset, claiming that Thomas has invaded their privacy. “You cant photograph people like that” she uttered, but he refuses and states “I’m only doing my job…. I’m a photographer.” As they were arguing and disagreeing she even goes on to state “This is a public place. Everyone has the right to be left in peace.” Thomas then goes on to reply “It’s not my fault if there’s no peace.” I was very confused by this comment. He almost made it seem as if he was obligated to cruise around and photograph everything even against his will. He doesn’t even make photographing seem like a career that he chose and loves, he makes it sound more like misery where he wake up and goes out to seek things to photograph everyday with no ambition and no happiness.
Another scene that struck my attention was when Thomas and his partner Ron were supposed to chose three or four photos that were to be included in a documentary photo book that they were producing together. Thomas wanted the very last photo to be dramatically different in tone. He then stated “I’ve got something fab for the end… It’s very peaceful, very still.” He then pulled out the picture of the dead woman taken at the park earlier on. This scene disturbed me in many ways. I just could not get myself to believe that he was referring to the picture of a dead body as something almost pleasant and of a positive energy. Sadly, Ron also responded positively “Yes that’s best, rings truer.” Also followed by Thomas’ famous comment “I wish I had tons of money, then I’d be free.” Again referring to his career as a photographer to be an obligated tortured job that must be done with no excuses. What did Antonioni want to point out with those comments? What did he mean by these statements?
This movie was probably not my favorite and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a good relaxing movie, but I would however like to figure out the true meaning of this film, for anyone interested in a mystery.

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Shattered Glass (2003)

In Shattered Glass (2003), director Billy Ray introduces a new style of directing, a new way of capturing the viewer’s attention the whole way through. I believe that this method is specifically important in movies because that’s how one can result in good reviews, movie awards, respect from the wise and bright, and how to gain a perfect movie quality. I believe that if a director is incapable of capturing and withholding the viewer’s attention, then the movie outcome will be a fail all because through word of mouth from those who have watched it, the movie will hit rock bottom.
Ray shows his “capturing-of-the-viewers” in many ways but one of my favorites is with his main character, Stephen Glass; played by Hayden Christensen. The plot of the movie consist of a regular, young, and successful newspaper writer, Christensen, who’s believed to have made up the suspiciously-amazing stories that he has been writing about for several editions. A different newspaper company decided to investigate and managed to come up with evidence that the stories were phony. Although all the facts were there and; Hayden was thought to have been caught red-handed, Ray makes the reader experience some type of sympathy for the “liar.” Ray managed to draw us in, and make us throw away all sense of ethical behavior and actually feel terribly for Stephen Glass when consequences were ready to be faced. I mention that this behavior is unethical because although we all know and see that Stephen consistently continues to lie and refuses to admit his wrong and be a better person; but yet we still support him.
Ray also managed to make us question whether the “clearly-obviously-phony stories” were true to began with, once again, despite the evidence. He actually made me feel as if “I” personally knew Stephen Glass and I even tried walking his shoes. I feel that Ray is very much aware of the power he has on his viewers, and by doing this act with Stephen, is but one of his ways of reflecting to us what he sees. I feel that he was basically trying to prove a point by showing that People, society, business, religion, entertainment, ECT. ; The media heavily affects them all whether it is in newspaper form, televised program, or a film. Point blank: The Media Speaks!
I very much enjoyed this movie because not only was it a actual good source of entertainment for me, but it was also a great way to get me thinking of the techniques a director could use to get a specific reaction out of his viewers. A true director is believed to have full control, not just of his actors and staff, but also of the message he wants to send out and of his viewers and what they think. I would definitely qualify this movie as a classic because it has a moral, a purpose for being created (goal), and an effect on its viewers. Nowadays not many movies contain all three aspects of directing. Great movie choice! ☺

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All the presidents Men (1976)

In “All the President’s Men,” Alan J. Paluka displays a great deal of meaningful scenes where his techniques play a bigger role in the film than the actual plot. Due to this method of directing, I was very glued to the actual movie.
One technique Paluka took advantage of was the act of the “mise-en-scene.” Mise-en-scene is a French term which has a long originality in theater and it literally means ‘put in the scene.” For film, mise-en-scene has a much superior meaning, it claims that everything that goes into the composition of the shot (such as framing, movement of the camera, characters, lighting, sounds, ect…) helps build the importance of the scene. In this film, Paluka shows a great deal of mise-en-scenes such as the very first scene where the camera was in focus. The camera was slowly, and silently filming different part of a parking lot and a room full of men. The men appeared to be trying to hide the fact that they just had committed a crime of theft. Although the light in the room was on, Paluka still gave the room a dark complexion. I believe that Paluka was using this skill to demonstrate that his film was about hidden identities and power because we couldn’t really see a clear picture of the men’s faces. The men were also dressed in black suits, representing a higher class from the business field.
Paluka also gave the characters in his film this look that consists of sharp and expensive suits, clean cuts, and a firm look. I believe that he does so because he wanted to portray them all in a very similar manner, reminding the audience that we are dealing with a series of greedy and money hungry businessmen.
Paluka really drew me into the film as opposed to just watching a movie. He captured my attention mostly with how realistic he made each scene seem. There was a scene where the reporter was on the phone and if you carefully pay attention you would notice that Paluka actually blurred half the top of what was going on in the background. He didn’t blur the entire background, leaving just enough for the audience to see what actually going on. This was the scene where the reporter wanted to make some phone calls to verify his facts for the very first time.
Another thing that caught my attention was the secretary from the huge business corporation and her smile. She had a look that indicated that everything was perfect and although the reporter had an appointment and was waiting for a significant amount of time, she still found it in her to smile and assure that everything was fine and that all he had to do was be patient. I feel that the secretary’s smile was another one of Paluka’s ways of explaining the intentions of this movie. Her smile, unrealistic and uncomfortable, represented how fake and sketchy the company was. It also indicated that there was fraud and dishonesty involved.
This movie was a very enjoyable one for me and I very much took advantage of the great directing skills of Paluka.

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His Girl Friday (1940)

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David Holzman’s Diary