jmclaren

Graduate Student pursuing a degree in Communication and Social Justice. Interested in Film, Television, Video Games, LGBT and Gender Representation.

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    Latest Topics

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    The use of silence in

    Analyse how the use of silence in "A Quiet Place" makes the sparse *spoken dialogue more meaningful. In addition, how the use of silence heightens the tension during "monster" scenes in a new way than other similar movies in the thriller genre. Another question to ask would be the following: does the use of silence make the visuals in the movie even more powerful because *spoken dialogue is not a distraction? Or would more dialogue be helpful in the movie?
    *One part I overlooked and which was pointed out to me is that ASL importantly figures into the plot as dialogue. This is another aspect of analysis.

    • there are a lot of issues and themes to tackle in this film, and I think this is a great place to start. it should be noted, however, that despite the sparse dialogue the film still relies heavily on music to create a feeling of suspense and to intensify scare scenes with the monsters- this is by no means a silent film. such, I think specifically when investigating their use of so-called "silence," it is important to consider their inclusion/use of Deaf people and culture; the presence of a cochlear implant, for example, has a lot of political implications. while their lack of dialogue is interesting, even more so with its being replaced with sign language, i think it is important to note that their continued reliance on music disrupts their otherwise "Deaf-inclusive" endeavor. – ees 2 years ago
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    • additionally, something else that could be investigated is the question of why ASL/sign language is not considered "dialogue" itself. what sort of normalizations are occurring when one draws a distinction between spoken language as "dialogue" and signed languages of not meeting the standards to be considered "dialogue"? – ees 2 years ago
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    • As 'ees' has already noted, regarding the topic of ASL, it might be valuable to address the visual nature of sign language in relation to the emotional impact and uniqueness of the film. When signing, facial expressions and movements convey tone, context, and variance of the sign/word so much of the communication is still based on visual cues, which may be a way to address the use of ASL within the plot. – Jennifer 2 years ago
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    • I think the music is working hard in the places where dialogue and ASL are not used, and it would be interesting to analyse how silence is used in other horror films - with silence coming just before something happens (e.g. monster jumps out). – Emily Cecchetto 2 years ago
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    The difference between female and male RomComs regarding aging

    I think it would be really interesting to compare the following: how female protagonists who are going through some sort of dating/relationship crisis when they are older are treated in comparison to movies about males going through the same thing. For instance, how This is 40 or The Other Woman compares to films like That Awkward Moment. The representation of how the female is ‘supposed’ to handle it according to the plot line vs. how a male in the same position is ‘supposed’ to handle it would be a key emphasis here.

    • interesting topic! you can see this situation addressed directly in 30 Rock, where the main characters Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy discuss the different dating cultures of men and women as they age in the episode "Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter." – ees 2 years ago
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    • Very interesting topic, love the idea! You could also discuss Reese Witherspoon's film from last year, Home Again. – Zoe Azile 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    The Fosters also does an interesting job in Season 4 with battling the trans/romance dilemma (Abbott, 2013) present in most transgender representations where transgender people are not seen as lovable, or relationship worthy, etc etc. One of the main characters actually falls for one of the transmen in the story (!!!).This, I would argue, is more complex and quality representation.
    Laverne Cox as Sophia in Orange is the New Black is important in terms of quality because she is a representation of a black transgender women in prison-which I am sure as a demographic does not hold a high representation rate in quality OR quantity.
    I really like how you organized your article and your main points of inclusion. You take a lot of broad, related points and do a good job of doing them all justice.

    Transgender Characters on Television: Quality vs. Quantity

    I am currently in the midst of trying to complete Dragon Age: Inquisition and this is a topic that has been on my mind since I started this game. I feel like DAI deals with morality in a very interesting and complex way compared to other games I have played. As the main character, you interact with multiple different NPCs around you. Each main NPC has their own beliefs based off of their unique histories. This affects how they will react to decisions you make as well as things you say during discussions with them. This puts a twist on morality as, to my knowledge, it is near impossible to make everyone believe you are completely good or evil. Different characters will agree with the decisions you make/things you say while other characters will not. Really puts a reality spin into the game play itself! Heck, even to romance a character while you are ‘committed’ to a third NPC makes you break off the romance with the NPC you started the first romance with. Really interesting game play mechanics!
    Also love that you included Bioshock and Fable! Interesting points there.

    Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

    I love dystopian novels-especially the new wave of YA dystopian (Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner among my favourite). I agree with the various points in the article concerning the purpose of DF. First-the warnings of certain types of governance; the moral lessons, etc. What fascinates me the most is how authors imagine their characters overcoming or dealing with the dystopia. For instance, Tris of Divergent and Katniss of Hunger Games are both successful in leading a rebellion (albeit reluctantly). It is interesting that they do a much better job of doing what needs to be done than other male protagonist in other DF novels or stories (looking at you, Thomas). Just some of my opinions. Great article!

    What is the Purpose of Dystopian Literature?

    I think this issue is linked with a few others-namely our concepts of gender and sexual roles. So while femininity in a sexual sense is still linked to submission, it is hard to have a strong female character who is sexual, since it is a popular opinion that to be female and sexual is to take an automatically submissive role. I believe this is one reason why strong female characters are usually linked to abstinence. Does this make them better for it? One could argue either way, I suppose.
    In the case of representations such as Brienne in GOT-there is a small part in the book series that sort of explains why she is celibate-not necessarily by choice. In her youth she was rejected for being so tomboyish. So her celibacy is not really by choice, but because she has been rejected so horribly that she chooses to not pursue anymore relations in that sense (as was stated above).
    I am much more preferential to female characters who actively make their own choice regarding their sex lives. While off the top of my head I cannot think of a strong female character not mentioned who chooses celibacy, I am a fan of representations such as Celine from Underworld who remains abstinent and strong willed until she meets Michael. When she is pursued by Kraven-she simply rebukes him and carries on with her day.
    Anyway, great article! Good read.

    Representation of female celibacy in Television and Film