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Text Review – Get Out

Jordan Peele’s first film as a writer and director, Get Out (2017) is a comprehensive social commentary disguised as an American horror film. Chris’ white girlfriend Rose is ready for him to meet her parents upstate. As a black man, Chris has concerns about what Rose’s parents will think of their relationship, but Rose assures him that they’ll be loving and accepting. The situation becomes increasingly fishy as the visit goes on until Chris realizes he is in mortal danger because of his race. The movie makes a couple powerful points about racism in America and the power dynamic involved. Horror movie main characters are seldom black, and Get Out uses this to turn Othering on its head. As the viewer accepts Chris as filling the protagonist role, the movie doesn’t grant many humanizing traits to the Armitage family. They are creepy from the start, and they easily fill the role of being the movie’s monsters. While black people have been Othered in America since its very beginnings, the movie puts rich white people in this position. The intention seems to be to show white viewers who may feel uncomfortable that this is the reality black people have experienced throughout history.

The Armitage family still holds the power in the movie to the point where Chris has to kill or be killed. While violence is often glorified in many aspects of American culture, it is typically quickly stifled and criticized when used as a means of social resistance. Get Out does a great job making the viewer feel Chris’ desperation, and in doing so challenges real-life views on black resistance while drawing a parallel to the level of desperation black people often feel in terms of racial justice in America. In one particular scene, Chris experiences the “horror” of a large get-together of rich white people. Many of the guests make what appear to be micro-aggressive racial remarks toward Chris. While bothered, he does his best to smile and shake it off. As is later revealed, these micro-aggressions were actually related to a despicable, violent, and racist plot. Get Out is making the real-life point that even the most seemingly harmless racial remarks we still hear in modern society are inextricably rooted in a violent racial power dynamic that at one point in history had resulted in slavery itself. Get Out is a powerful satire with a plot that is chillingly entertaining in its own right. If you’re a fan of horror films and want to apply tools and concepts we learned in this class to more literature, I recommend you watch it!

Text Review- The Hate U Give

One of the movies that I have watched recently that really resonated with me was the movie The Hate U Give. This movie represents a lot of what has been going on in our society today. Starr Carter, the main character of this film, is constantly trying to fit into her two worlds. One being the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives with her family, and the mostly white, rich prep school that she attends. She is constantly working to be herself in both environments but the balance between these two worlds is ultimately shattered when she is the main witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. She faces a lot of pressure from her community so she is forced to find her voice and stand up for what’s right. Khalil’s, Starrs best friend, shooting really put injustice at the forefront of the film. Khalil was not armed and did not threaten the officer which makes his murder unjust. Race is also tied into this theme of injustice because immanent racism prevents African Americans from obtaining justice. At the end of the film Starr accepts that injustice is going to continue but she will work to bring justice to Khalil and his family no matter what. 

Throughout this course, we have talked a lot about race and injustice and I believe this film fits in perfectly with the other information we have learned. This film is a good example of the “other”. In this case, the police officers can’t do any wrong. People are conditioned to think that whenever a police officer does something it is for the right reasons. Starr and her community are seen as the “other” in this instance because they are not being heard and the treatment that Khalil faced was extremely wrong but no one sees the truth in the real story. I highly recommend this movie as another way to understand how racism and inequality can really affect the lives of many people. I think the film as a whole really opened my eyes to what goes on in our society and how people deserve to have their voices heard. The film, The Hate U Give, is also a book. I do believe however that the movie doesn’t do the book justice both. That being said, the film and the book are equally educational and heart wrenching. 

Text review- The Devil Wears Prada

Recently I watched a movie called The Devil Wears Prada. This movie actually embodies many things: the cruelty of the workplace, the choices of life and so on. And today about this movie, I want to discuss the role of Miranda. Miranda is the queen of the workplace and is very successful in her career. But she treats others harshly and pursues the ultimate in everything. In order to succeed in her career, she had to give up her family. In order to keep her position, she betrayed her colleagues who had followed her for many years. In the eyes of others, she is a cruel and very bad woman. But everything she does is for career success. In this society, it is difficult to be recognized as a woman. There was a conversation when the hostess and Christian were eating in Paris. Christian said “She is a notorious sadist, and not in a good way.” The hostess said: “Ok, she is tough, but if Miranda were a man, no one would notice anything about her, except how great she is at her job.”

Miranda has high accomplishments at work, and for these accomplishments she chose to give up her other things. She never regretted her choice at this time. But society is often harsh on women. When Miranda ‘s second husband filed for divorce, she said to the hostess: Another divorce…splashed across page six, I can just imagine what they are gonna write about me. The dragon Lady, career-obsessed, Snow Queen drives away another Mr. Priestly. It can be seen from this that the society does not approve of Miranda ‘s contribution to her career. They even mocked her obsession with career. If you are a man, focusing on your career is your advantage, but if you are a woman, most of the people in society will think you are an outlier.

Text Review – The Michelle Obama Podcast

I’d like to recommend The Michelle Obama Podcast to anyone who is wishing to learn more about injustices & inequalities in America told from the perspective of a respectable, accomplished African American woman.

 

The Michelle Obama podcast is a nine-episode series that covers a variety of general life topics and current situations. Obama keeps the conversations engaging and applicable to a variety of viewers while also providing insight from her experiences. Alongside Obama is her changing co-hosts; guests range from Barack Obama, her best friends, her brother, Conan O’Brien, and more.

 

I recommend the podcast series as a whole but today would like to discuss episode two: Protests and the Pandemic. Michelle is joined by award-winning Washington Post journalist Michele Norris. This episode was a candid conversation constructed around the current situation in America: a lockdown, violent protesting for BLM, and dealing with the unknowns and stresses from both.

 

There are several instances specifically during the conversation that explore injustices in the system. First, the sacrifices underprivileged workers must endure during the pandemic. Blue-collar workers don’t have the safety net to work from home that upper class, white-collar workers have. They are forced to risk their lives in order to make money. This was a topic heavily explored during the podcast and frankly, it opened my eyes to how this pandemic was truly affecting the rich and poor in drastically different ways.

 

Another injustice explored was the topic of what it is like to be African American during the BLM movement. It is one thing to be white in America and supporting BLM, but is an entirely different perspective, feeling, and position to be African American during the current situation. Both African American women, Obama and Norris respectfully and candidly share their personal experiences to viewers. Unsurprisingly, it’s an uncomfortable, stressful feeling. Wasn’t this race issue supposed to be dealt with already? They both expressed how tired their community was in dealing with “the race issue again”

 

I do recommend the podcast series as a way to learn more about the inherent inequalities in the American system as Michelle discusses many general topics that all connect back to what it means to be African American in our society. Another example I didn’t get to explore today was the episode with Michelle’s brother and their conversation reflecting on growing up in the Southside of Chicago during the white flight. This podcast series explores the topics of inequality and injustice told by someone who has experienced it. I found it inspirational to hear her perspective as she is so accomplished now and isn’t afraid to talk about the real, tough issues.  The Michelle Obama podcast is a must listen for all who are hoping to gain a new perspective from their own.

Text Review: 42

42 is an American biographical sports film, directed and written by Brian Helgeland, based on the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson. If you don’t recognize the name Jackie Robinson, then you’re missing out on a revolutionary chunk of history.

Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman in the 2013 film, was an American professional baseball player. In fact, he was the first African American to ever play in the major leagues. He started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Below is a picture of the scene where Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Movie Review: History is made by the man who wore “42” | Movie Nation

42 gives us a dramatized glimpse of Robinson’s journey rising to the MLB, being given a chance to play in the historically all-white league by Brooklyn Dodger owner Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford. The film gives us a tear-jerking view of how segregated America was in terms of race in 1947. You see Robinson in constant tension and frustration in regards to brutal racism with the fans he plays in front of, the opponents he plays against, and even some of his own teammates. You see at the end of the film he is able to assimilate in this new world more as his teammates begin to accept him as apart of the team.

The film is a good representation of Hegel’s concept on the One and the Other, but at the same times it’s a good depiction of Bhabha’s idea of hybridity and the Third Space. You can see with each opposition Robinson encounters, they are trying to dominate themselves and have Robinson acknowledge the power they have over him.

Though other characters are a great example of Bhabha’s preferred concept of hybridity, such as Harold Peter Henry “Pee Wee” Reese, played by Lucas Black, who stands up for Robinson as he comes to realize the struggle he faces everyday, and Branch Rickey, who gives Robinson the time of day after he chose against the opportunity to do the same for a black player while he was in college. These two characters are some of the only people different from Robinson who put aside their rigid traditions of being segregated from black people and allowed themselves to accept their cultural differences.

The picture below is from the scene in the film where Pee Wee stands up for Robinson on the field.

42 – review | Film | The Guardian

Text Review-Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a unique dystopian science fiction novel that harmoniously blends nightmarish medical advances into a mundane coming of age story. Scientists figured out that they could extend people’s lifespans if they cloned them in order to produce healthy organs which could be harvested once the person became ill. This wonderful life prolonging medical technology had a dark side to it, however. They weren’t just cloning organs, but rather complete humans who were destined to live on the fringes of society until their clones needed their organs. When their organs were needed, the clones would have them harvested one by one until they died. The book follows Kathy H., the narrator, one of these clones who has become a “carer”. She takes care of other clones as they slowly die due to having their organs removed. Eventually she will also undergo that process. She reflects on her childhood and adolescence growing up in a place called Hailsham, where the clones were raised in isolation from the rest of the world. Their existence is controversial, some believe they shouldn’t even be educated. They exist as subalterns, people who are not seen as people. People who do not have rights and cannot participate in holding any sort of power. The children grapple with this as they grow up and learn more about their identity. At one point Kathy and her friends go and visit a small city where they search for someone who looks like one of them, in other words someone who might have been where they got their DNA from. They saw their clones lives as their own potential lives, if they were allowed the right to live normal happy lives. As they grew older, they understood more about their roles as citizens of an unseen class. Ultimately, they could not escape that injustice, despite their efforts to prove themselves as human to people who also did not have the power to change the system. The reader must question at what cost are we willing to “advance” society? Can we live in an advanced society that depends upon the exploitation of others? Read Never Let Me Go for a captivating sci-fi journey through Ruth’s life and see what other questions about power, identity, and justice arise.

Text Review: Brave New World

A piece of literature that I will be speaking of today is the dystopian novel, Brave New World written by Aldous Huxley in 1931. The reason that I am writing about this novel is I feel that it applies a few concepts of what we have read about in class quite well. If you are looking for something that displays the concept of the “One and the “Other”, injustices amongst individuals in two parts of the world. The book itself takes place in a dystopian society where everyone is given a drug to numb their feelings, and those individuals who do not take this drug are on the outskirts of town and are see as outsiders, as they do not follow the beliefs present in the center of the city. So how do the applications apply in this book? Quite easily. Let’s begin by looking at the establishment of the “One and the Other”. In this book Huxley establishes a relationship like this with the people in the city and those outside of it, the people inside the city are unaware of so much and are being controlled by a government, yet they believe they are living their best life. While, those on the outside are considered monsters and beasts, but are in control of what they feel and see. Due to this, we see the city, the “One” establishing those on the outside as the “Others” due to being of different culture and overall, just a different being. When it comes to injustices, these are present in every facet of the book from within the city when it comes to an individual who is not being suppressed by the drug and is seen as different, to the reaction of the city people to the outsiders, seeing them as beasts and danger, even though nothing is inherently wrong with them. What I think Huxley wants us to take from this is not to fall into the trap of letting someone control us, resulting in injustice when it comes to power. As well as, do not view people different than you as entirely different human beings as they are likely similar to you. I feel this work inspires a lot of questions revolving identity of a person, power in governmental systems, and injustices amongst people of different views and backgrounds.

Text Review: Emily in Paris

Samantha Kilbane

December 1, 2020

COMPSTD 1100

A television show that I recently watched that had very similar aspects to the themes of this course is the new Netflix show “Emily in Paris”. The show depicts a twenty-something year old female who moves to Paris for a year to work with a marketing company based in the city. Emily explains many times throughout the show that her role in the company is to provide an “American perspective” to how the firm is advertising and selling the various products for the companies that they represent. This single season show consists of 10 episodes that are full of clashing cultures. Emily’s co-workers often do not agree with her opinions, lack of ability to speak French, and overall American lifestyle. Emily is consistently placed into the role of “other” as it takes her time and experience to adjust to the French way of life. This is simply evident when Emily is constantly having to ask what is being said in a conversation when everyone around her is speaking French and she only knows English. Emily’s boss at her new company in Paris very much reminds me of Kincaid and her opinion’s on the negativity surrounding tourism. For example, while working in Paris, Emily creates an Instagram account specifically to document the things she sees and does in Paris; the boss finds this account to be extremely distasteful and disrespectful to the people of Paris, as the photos she posts is putting Paris on display for the rest of the world. Although Emily is not technically a tourist as she is in Paris for work, her boss constantly reminds her that she is the “other” while she is in Paris. “Emily in Paris” brings up some very stereotypical aspects of both American and European lifestyles, however I feel the point of this was to highlight the power of identity based on location. Emily is steadfast to her American identity while in Paris; this clashing of identity based on culture is what makes Emily appear to be the “other” in the show. 

Text Review Assignment: I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro was released in 2016. The director is Raoul Peck and the duration of the Oscar-nominated documentary is 95 mins.

It is based on James Baldwin’s 30 pages of an unfinished book project titled “Remember This House.” It is his personal account of his fellow civil rights colleagues, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. He personally got to know each one of the men before their assassinations. The director, Peck, attempts to weave together Baldwin’s words – Baldwin’s interviews (various television appearances) or lectures, and Baldwin’s original texts read by Samuel L. Jackson.

Just as the title implies, it is of racism and as we know it, the other. The minorities of the United States mainly African Americans. What they must have to endure because of many of the majority of white folks – especially in the 1960s.

As Baldwin grew up, heroes were white not just because of Hollywood, but also those who own land. What about colored people? Uncle Tom was not his hero because he did not take vengeance into his own hands. He dislikes the white for thinking it was okay to take vengeance into his own hands. They take and they take! His countrymen were his enemy.

As a colored child that does not look into a mirror and you assume you are white because the majority is white. It becomes a shock as that child at the age of 5, 6, or 7 as you root on Gary Cooper for killing the Indians then you realize you are an Indian. He says in one of his lectures in the 1960s. This is the realization as the other or othering.

Baldwin has long been a powerful voice on race relations and the African-American experience and it is expressed in this documentary.

 

Malcolm X is mention first in this documentary. He first saw Malcolm in New York. Baldwin was giving a lecture at the time. He goes into detail about his involvement. Malcolm X assassinated in 1965

The mention of the Birmingham campaign, 1963. MLK, Malcolm X, and Baldwin are interviewed for the Birmingham campaign. Very interesting interview. African Americans calmly protesting segregation even though whites are physically abusing them. Martin Luther King Jr assassinated in 1968

 

Medgar Evers assassinated in 1963

 

 

I consider this documentary more of the chronicles of James Baldwin. To rate this: 1 is the worse I have ever seen to 10 the best. I would rate it 9. It is a very good documentary/chronicles of James Baldwin. I get a better understanding of the other. What it meant to stand by powerful men in the 1960s and what they were fighting for. Excellent!

On Kanopy.com free for OSU students

Text Review Assignment “The Help” Megan Branstetter

The work that I will be examining for injustice, power, and identity is the movie The Help directed by Tate Taylor based on Kathryn Stockett’s novel. If you’ve ever seen this movie you know from the start the vast amount of injustice occurring to African Americans. This movie takes place during the early civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi where slavery was supposed to be over with. That did not stop white people from treating their help so poorly.

A vast amount of the movie is based around racial segregation. One of the bigger concepts that shows injustice and racial segregation is when one of the main character Miss Hilly influences her many white friends that their African American maids/help need to have their own bathroom. Her reason for this racist action was because African American carry diseases that white people do not.

Another form of injustice is where it is unacceptable for the help to eat with the families they work for. The help knows they are meant to be treated poorly and work for little money. One of the maids, Minny happened to work for Miss Celia in which she was not racist at all. She did not treat her by the color of her skin as the other families she had worked for did. The injustice action towards African Americans is so common that Minny is unsettled that Miss Celia eats with her, lets her use her bathroom, doesn’t abuse her, and considers Minny a friend.

African Americans truly have their identity stripped away from them because they are made to be obedient to these rules set by white people. Skeeter a young main character who is not racist writes a novel exposing all of the maid’s stories of being mistreated from the families they work for. By listening to their stories and watching all the maids interact, their true identities are shown. This is because they feel comfortable being around maids that are in the same situation and trust Skeeter to keep their identities a secret in her book.


I believe that the creator wants us to take away from The Help is the history during this time. African American were truly stripped away from their identity. They had little to no power against white people. The injustice during the time was very unfortunate and unfair but we still see injustice in today’s society for African Americans. Even with slavery being done away with, white people stayed with their traditions of treating their help poorly. All they needed was that one person to help them get their stories out and that was Skeeter.