HeatherStratton

HeatherStratton

Heather Stratton is an artist-educator working in electronic and lens-based media. Her work is confessional in nature, focusing on themes of ritual and the memory ghost.

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Latest Topics

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Films that exist in a single space: narratives so compelling, multiple sceneries are not necessary

Provide examples of films which employ strong narrative and plot to engage the audience, while using one environment to do so. Films such as "Devil," which take place inside of an elevator still use establishing shots and surrounding environments even though the bulk of the movie is shot inside of an elevator. Think about extreme dogmatic approaches such as "Exam," "12 Angry Men," or "Rear Window," and provide evidence of how these films illustrate an outside world, without ever leaving their singular environment.

  • Have you heard of the Hitchcock film called "Rope" (1948)? The whole film takes place within an apartment and relates to a murder. Hitchcock shot the film by shooting for periods lasting up to 10 minutes, there are only 6-8 visible cuts in the film. It is a really interesting idea that I think is in line with what your topic is examining. – SeanGadus 4 years ago
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  • Interesting topic! Even though the focus here is on films, it reminded me of how certain web series are filmed. For example, the YouTube series Carmilla used this tactic of single spaces while at the same time illustrating actions that happened outside for viewers. – aprosaicpintofpisces 4 years ago
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  • Yep, tv serials work incredibly well with this topic, especially the ones that are able to create drama with the same singular space. Take Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete, and you might want to look at Dogville. – Matchbox 4 years ago
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  • Another film that could be interesting to include is Locke. It takes place entirely in a car, and the plot is moved mostly by the phone calls the character makes while driving. – Marcie Waters 4 years ago
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  • Another approach to this topic might be the transition from stage play to the big screen. I can think of several plays that take place in a single location but once they were made into films, the story lost that part of itself as the producers, etc. decided to take the cast outside and around the town, so to speak. – NoDakJack 4 years ago
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  • Excellent topic! I feel like this topic can also lean towards dogmatic approaches in literature. I immediately thought of Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Haunted"; the scenery is unchanged while the chosen narrator captivates you with a gruesome story from a journal. Perhaps the topic can address the transition from literature to film and how it distorts or maintains the dogmatic atmosphere? – Pyper Brown 4 years ago
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  • This makes me think of this film called 'Manderlay'. Even though its not EXACTLY restricted to one small confined space, it does keep itself to a large field. Although the field has props (in the form of a bed, or some stairs), the film has NO sets apart from these props. Everything, from the house to the trees, must be imagined. – JayBird 4 years ago
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  • Dig this topic! I recently watched 'Man in the Wall', an Israeli film by Evgeny Ruman, which I thought really nailed the single setting approach. The whole movie takes place within a couple's apartment; the plot develops by the different people who enter and exit the apartment and the various kinds of exchanges they share. The dialogue and atmosphere are super intense - which I think is a necessary strategy when working with only one place. There's something kind of unsettling about single setting narratives because they have to rely SO heavily on mood. – nicolenaudi 4 years ago
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Latest Comments

HeatherStratton

Oh! I like it, and it alludes to the racism being historical, perhaps.

I have read a bit of Derrida, and you are right, it is a headache. However, I have not read “Counterfeit Money.” I will keep that on my radar. I agree that a companion article to this would be interesting. That is the element of this season of AHS that I am most fascinated with. At first, I could not understand why the directors would convolute the story line in such a way by using this counterfeit narrative, but as the show progresses, it makes much more sense.

A Hidden Racism in American Horror Story: Roanoke
HeatherStratton

I find it fascinating how, in our culture, we allow the media to set our ideals of society and gender roles. The 1950’s media propagandist mission to create the gender roles we know today was very successful as you evidence several ways it has permeated throughout pop culture 70 years later.

I enjoyed reading this until the end. It feels like you rushed the ending and did not focus as much on the roles in Roseanne as much as you did with “I love Lucy” and “According to Jim.” You offered good examples and evidence of their roles and implications, but not so much with “Roseanne,” as that show was glossed over. The last paragraph felt odd and out of nowhere, as well. All of a sudden a new topic was brought up with the notion of marriage being greater than being single, but nothing to back it up or give it context to the rest of the issues at hand. This should have been the conclusion, yet a new idea was introduced and then truncated.

I am also confused by, “The patriarchal gender division of labor has plagued society since the ancient times and no amount of transformation and challenges have been able to eliminate it from popular culture.” Because not only is this a false statement, but it also assumes that media has been actively trying to eliminate the gender division when it has not done so in any major ways. We have yet to see a radical and widespread movement of pop culture trying to eradicate those norms. One could say it is actively happening as we speak, but it has not happened enough to become popular…which is where we get the term for “Pop Culture.” Also, there are many ancient and current civilizations who rely and refer to the matriarch. Patriarchal gender divisions of labor have not been plaguing society since ancient times. Ancient Egypt is one of many examples.

Reinforcing the Traditional Patriarchal ideologies through Situation Comedies
HeatherStratton

I think another interesting point of this season of AHS, in context to your essay, is how the dogmatic approach of filming the episodes stylistically to convince the viewer that they are watching an actual historical recounting of the past is problematic in the burying of real histories. The show is fiction, presented to the audience as truth-telling through [fictional] first-hand accounts, then reenacted by actors portraying the other actors who are portraying characters. This is all very meta and indeed orchestrated to lend credence to the overall fiction of the show.

A Hidden Racism in American Horror Story: Roanoke
HeatherStratton

This article is very well written, easy to understand and also informative! However, I felt like the title was a touch misleading. If I understand your essay correctly, AHS: My Roanoke Nightmare is problematic because it is burying the true history of the lost colony due to issues of racism. However, the title leads me to believe that I am about to read something that exposes how this show is racist, in and of itself.

With that said, I think the title needs a bit of work.

Thank you for publishing this. I found it to be a very interesting read and I learned something along the way!

A Hidden Racism in American Horror Story: Roanoke
HeatherStratton

I am very happy to see Boyhood on this list as I believe it is a seriously underrated and unrecognized film. Gimmicky as some may think it was to film the same actors for a movie more than a decade in the making, this idea is fresh and dogmatic in a very real and poetic way. There is a beautiful realism that is felt not only with the progression of time on the characters’ faces and bodies, but also within their connection to one another as actors.

I really enjoyed reading this article, but was hoping to see more than four films mentioned. I adore finding lists of obscure or underrated films that deserve a second glance, and these four are really good examples of what Hollywood has glossed over a bit in the recent past. Lists like these are generally where you find some of the best cinema. I would personally include Interstellar and Brick for their innovation and demanding stories; however, to become a classic, I suppose there has to be a good deal of people who have actually seen those films.

The 21st Century Films Prepared For Classic Status