Emilie Medland-Marchen

Emilie Medland-Marchen

Emilie is a writer, photographer and academic researcher from Calgary, Alberta.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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Commodity Fetish in Atonement (2007)

In Atonement, much attention is paid to items and their influence on the characters and world around them. This is portrayed through long, wide-angle camera shots that linger on objects such as Robbie’s letter, the vase, Cecilia’s star hairpin, etc. Address these items from a Marxist perspective, in particular, using the theory of the "commodity fetish". What does the film’s focus on these items do for the plot development and narrative? Why is so much attention paid to them? My suggestion is that the items represent the culture of Britain pre and during World War II. As the film progresses, the items reflect the decay of wealth, power and culture in Britain.

  • I would suggest another interesting way to look at this topic: analyzing how the items represent a tactile way of establishing the work as a film SEPARATE from Ian McEwan. Must has been written about the novel's adaptation from page to screen, and it would be intriguing to comment on the relationship between these items and the medium of film. The film seems to be self-reflexive, using the wide-angle shots and lingered moments over the objects to really SHOW things in the way that a novel cannot. What does this say about the contents of the film? Does the ending of the film leave a different taste in the mouth than the novel? Does the film evoke more sympathy because the audience can SEE the events unfold in front of them? I think your topic is very interesting, though this could be another angle through which you could look at it. – asmoreno 4 years ago
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Polyamory in House of Cards

Discuss the polyamorous marriage depicted between the two lead characters, Frank and Claire Underwood, in Netflix’s House of Cards. Is the relationship depicted accurate or contrived? What does this depiction do for the characters on the show? How does the depiction of polyamory on television change society’s perception of these relationships?

  • In my opinion, the Underwoods' relationship is not polyamorous, because their extraneous lovers are not made fully aware of the situation. Instead, I would say that they have an "open" relationship, and that their extramarital affairs are just a means to an end. – Kristian Wilson 4 years ago
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Orange is the New Black as a Patriarchal Microcosm

The newest season of the popular show, Orange is the New Black, was released last week on Netflix. The show has been creating waves in the media due to its depictions of female relationships, portrayal of the U.S prison-industrial complex, and exploration of sensitive topics such as race, LGBTQ rights, and gender. What hasn’t been discussed is the use of the Litchfield Corrections Facility as a microcosm for the greater society. The prison full of female inmates represents the victimization of women in society, and the mostly male correctional officers their oppressors and enforcers. How do the struggles of the women in the prison serve as a representation for a patriarchal society? How is intersectional feminism addressed as a solution to this problem? And are there any solutions offered, or is OITNB simply an unbiased glimpse into the lives of women? These are all topics that could be explored in an in-depth analysis of the show and its overarching themes.

  • Someone write this topic immediately! What a fantastic premise! – Jeffrey MacCormack 5 years ago
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  • Interesting topic, I think something important about the show that should be addressed is the depiction of the male guards vs the female guards. The females are in my opinion portrayed as reasonable and there to help their fellow females (like the newly introduced councilor) while most of the male guards... don't function well in outside's society at all, and seem to have gotten jobs in the prison as the only way they can have control over women in their lives. "Pornstache" is obviously delusional and drastic, the male councilor has obvious women issues with his mail order Russian bride and how he doesn't actually GET the women prisoner's problems, the newly recruited guy who rapes Doget, and even the ex-military guard who knocks up Dia(?) and runs away. Why are the male guards so much more troubled than the female ones and what does that say about our society? – Slaidey 5 years ago
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  • Orange is the New Black I thought it was a Trojan horse show to talk about the stories of minority inmates, that white society wouldn't have watched if they had known the real premise from the start. – fchery 5 years ago
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  • An interesting point to note here would be the firing (or stepping down) of Fig, Susan and Berdie. Each of these women, in their own way, are strong female characters yet they are let go, mainly because they pose a threat to different men in the show. – Visenya 5 years ago
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Latest Comments

Emilie Medland-Marchen

I definitely agree with your complaints about movement and the meshing of 2D and 3D animated sequences. I remember the original Sailor Moon being incredibly vibrant and well animated, in a way that really complimented the characters. There were comical moments with a lot of minimal animated movements, but the control and fluidity that defined the animation of the transformation sequences was really impressive for its time. In Crystal, this fluidity seems stunted, the girls more like walking portraits rather than dynamic, moving characters. I think that’s a stylistic choice, given the extreme change in art style, but it seems like a poor choice given that the Scouts are supposed to be courageous, brave and always in charge. The animation in the original reflected their capability with its dynamacy. With the new style, it seems like their abilities are stunted along with their movement. They don’t seem as capable and courageous as they once did.

Sailor Moon Crystal (2014) VS The Original
Emilie Medland-Marchen

Tommy’s rage is made even more devastating as it directly contrasts the apathy of Kathy and her inability to change the world around her. Tommy’s constant drive to prove that he is truly in love, and thus gain his and Kathy’s sovereignty, drives the later part of the novel. Kathy seems to be a complicit narrator, relaying events that happen to her and other Hailsham students that they are either unable or unwilling to change. But although Tommy’s rage is enough to drive him to attempt to change his own life, it is not enough to drive him to overthrow the oppressive system he lives in. This hits at the heart of the devastating quality of the novel; the combination of Kathy’s apathy and Tommy’s unwillingness to direct his anger results in a desolate world that is loathe to change, and hope itself becomes hopeless.

Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go: The Transformation of 'Letting Go'
Emilie Medland-Marchen

The game industry’s representation of female voices is definitely a problem. But I think the Zelda series does a better job than most to provide complex female voices in its games. The fact that the article was able to provide so many examples of female characters in the Zelda series is evidence that female representation is apparent, though it may not exist beyond stereotypical views of womanhood. Most games definitely pass the Bechdel test (Twilight Princess in particular), and a woman is given a major continuing role within the series (Zelda). Zelda is presented as a well-rounded, interesting character, and I would argue that her representation as a archetypal “Damsel” has changed a lot throughout the series. In Zelda I and II, she was essentially an extension of Princess Peach from the Mario series. In Wind Waker and beyond, she is given a more leading and helpful role.
Zelda’s problem is that she is a supporting character, rather than the star of the series (Link). It would be nice to see a game where she breaks out of a support role and is able to lead a narrative on her own. That could be a very possible reality for the Zelda series, as the relationship between Midna and Zelda in Twilight Princess was particularly interesting, though not fully developed.
With such a variety of female characters, it would be excellent to see the Zelda series utilize the potential for feminist representation by having them interact more, independently of the male characters. Instead of all seeming to serve Link, having them explore their own destinies together and independently of major male characters would be a big step in a more feminist direction.

The Legend of Zelda: Female Representation