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Women, Sport, and Film 2004 - Williams Sisters Forum

Women, Sport, and Film 2004 - Williams Sisters Forum


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Response to Laura...
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-16 06:09:46 :
Link to this Comment: 11601

I see your point, Laura, but I think that Rocky wouldn't have been given the chance to turn his life around if he weren't a good guy at heart.


He didn't beat Apollo Creed because he wasn't a good enough boxer: but that wasn't the point. He "had heart", he tried. And I think that one of the intentions of the film is that we are supposed to side with him throughout. If he weren't basically a good guy, we might have a harder time doing that, the way we can't always side with Paulie. Pualie is also a loser, much the way Rocky is: a South Philly boy who did nothing with his life. But Paulie's life is just sad, and a lot of that character's screen time is taken up with him not being good: drinking, yelling at Adrianne, etc. If Paulie were a good guy, maybe his life could be turned around by twists of fate, too. But it isn't: and I don't think that's just because this movie is called Rocky, and not Paulie. I think that part of the message of this film is the idea that even losers--if they are good enough, and strong enough--can make it.

You brought up the morality plays in your first post, and I think you were right to begin with. Rocky is in its own way a movie about morality, about goodness struggling to overcome. I think his lecture to the girl is pretty creepy, too, but I don't think the writers intended it to be: I think it was intended to show us that Rocky is looking out for everyone else, and as such, is a good guy we are supposed to root for.



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-10-27 16:35:20 :
Link to this Comment: 11234

Hi. My name is Tegan, I'm a senior philosophhy major with a feminist and gender studies concentration. I live in Radnor, and I'm orginally from Texas. I'm not much of an athlete: I though you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at me, I took dance lessons for years. I believe I can thank those years of dance lessons for my ability to walk in a straight line if I'm thinking about it. And that's about it.

I think that Pat and Mike was an interesting choice for starting off this course. While there are elements that support its breaking with the traditional male-driven Hollywood narrative--as was said in class, a female athlete as a lead character breaks with tradition by definition, as athletes are active and not passive--I think this film was still very much in line with a lot of what is traditional and androcentric in Hollywood.

Pat was "just good" at sports, she didn't actively pursue them. Pat needed other people to make decisions for her, and lacked a real sense of self volition. When she did move herself forward, it seemed rash, playing right back into those ideas about women being irrational and incapable of performing themselves as legitimate agents in thier own lives. And in the end, Pat--a charachter out of line with the traditional roles women were supposed to play in US society in the 1950s--was paired off with the non-traditional male, the older man, the paternal figure.

So, to end the film, we don't know how Pat played in the tournament: we didn't see her win any matches then or at any point in the film. We do, however, see her neatly squared away with an appropriate romantic situation. Not exactly a major shift from traditional narrative.


I <3 this movie :D
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-11-19 14:04:19 :
Link to this Comment: 11676

What did the movie say?

That you need to fight if you want your life to be better. You can't just expect it to come to you, you need to work hard and challenge the things that are holding you back. You need to earn people's respect, and give it to them when they deserve it.

What images supported the message?

When she was training - when she finally could hit the punching bag thing. When she outdid all the girls in her gym class. When she beat the crap out of her dad.

Did it challenge the traditional narrative?

Yes, because I think she managed to be a truly independent female by the end. She has a boyfriend, but it was on her terms - he was the one who came back to her at the end. She would have gone on cleaning out her little closet just fine without him.


WEEK 2 QUESTION
Name:
Date: //2004-11-03 16:04:47 :
Link to this Comment: 11342

Forum Week 2 A League Of Their Own

The movie’s characters, women’s baseball players, by virtue of the sport (baseball) and participation in professional athletics, immediately challenges the ‘typical narrative style’ of a mainstream Hollywood movie. But, the story and the role each character plays falls within a range of supporting the narrative and challenging it:

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
2. Does the role of the ‘baseball agent’, in his colorful language mock the narrative, providing an easy comparison to the role the players assume?
3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?
4. Do you think Dottie purposefully dropped the ball in the last scene so her sister Kit could be the hero, the role she had longed for? How does that last scene play into your thoughts on the narrative?


ALOTO
Name: Laura S.
Date: //2004-11-03 20:17:53 :
Link to this Comment: 11346

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?

She is the "typical" character - and the audience is meant to look down on her for it. By placing her in the midst of these strong women who truly appreciate the opportunity they are given, it shows the flaws inherent in believing that there is nothing more than being a good wife and mother. There were other characters with husbands and children - but they did not deny the importance of baseball to their lives. It was obvious to the audience that Dottie truly loved the game, but she could not admit it to herself. So the "traditional woman" in the film was meant to be looked down upon for playing that role. I think that, in the end, Dottie regrets not becoming more invested in the team. She is welcomed back into the fold, but she's aware of how much she missed. Especially since, in the beginning, we see her as an old woman who hasn't left her room in months, we see how much she loses through her traditional mentality.

2. Does the role of the ‘baseball agent’, in his colorful language mock the narrative, providing an easy comparison to the role the players assume?

I'm not quite sure what this question is asking ... I feel that our friend the agent (and Jimmy) were meant to provide a stereotype for the people who characterized the male baseball leagues. In contrast to them, the women were much more dedicated. They weren't any less raunchy, though - look at Mae. It wasn't the agent's language that made him skeevy, it was the fact that he would turn down Marla when he saw that she "wasn't pretty."

3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?

She casted a film in which almost every major role was played by a woman. Jimmy is really the only male presence in the film, and he's there as kind of the supplemental "look through our kick-ass women-ness we reformed this drunk. We are such a good influence" character. The agency was all with the women. They were free to make their choices - whether it was to stay with the team or to leave it.

4. Do you think Dottie purposefully dropped the ball in the last scene so her sister Kit could be the hero, the role she had longed for? How does that last scene play into your thoughts on the narrative?

NO. (My mom and I get in arguments about this). Mostly, just because of the way they frame the shot, I do see it as a battle between the two girls - and Kit wins out of grit and determination. Dottie WANTS to win - she would have kept driving back to the farm if it really didn't mean anything to her. Her husband was watching her. Even though she recognizes Kit's feelings (and really does feel bad about it), Dottie can't keep her competitive side in check - remember the scene when they're walking back from the game in the beginning? I don't think she has it in her to let Kit win.


Rocky questions
Name: Mo--week 3
Date: //2004-11-15 23:09:25 :
Link to this Comment: 11591

Rocky: What were you left with at the end of the movie, what was the message and what images were woven together through-out the movie to create the final message?

Though I understand why the director and the writers chose to go with a more realistic ending where Rocky does not win, I still felt disappointed by the ending somehow. Throughout the whole movie, I was anticipating a totally unrealistic ending with Rocky winning. If that had happened I would have been the first person to critique the movie because of the fact that it would have been too much of a “feel-good” unrealistic Hollywood movie ending. But with the realistic ending I still felt a little deflated at the end even though I don’t think that the audience was meant to because I think that I have been conditioned to expect the total and complete “nice” ending. In the end, I felt as though the movie was saying that the underdog can come a far way, and actually be much better off than where he started but that he can never quite make it to the top. However, I think that the audience was supposed to be uplifted that Rocky had gotten as far as he did through hard work and determination. Ultimately though the movie’s ending was probably an easy way to open up the possibility of a sequel.

Why was it important to use names like Rocky, the Italian Stallion, Appolo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian's brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot?

I don’t really know the importance of Adriannce and Paulie, but Rocky the Italian Stallion makes Rocky into this muscular beast who is seemingly meant for physical labor, which makes him perfect for boxing. It also compounds the image that his character is course, a bit rough around the edges and basically places him in the position of the underdog. Apollo Creed however already sounds like a champion.


week 2 League of Their Own Comments
Name: Mo-Week 2
Date: //2004-11-15 23:16:25 :
Link to this Comment: 11592

I think that the movie was very focused on Dottie to begin with, but it really became more about the team effort and the struggles that Dottie and Kit faced were more closely examined in order to give a perspective in the film and a little more depth. Ultimately however, in the end when they are all visiting the Hall of Fame, it becomes about the team and about a time in history.

I think that Dottie did let the ball drop on purpose. They specifically shot a scene before where in a similar situation Dottie held onto the ball. She played perfectly before that last game and I don't think that she would have let go of the ball.


week 2 comment
Name: Mo
Date: //2004-11-15 22:48:41 :
Link to this Comment: 11589

I think that a person’s social origins can affect the value or the importance that they may place on sports. If they are raised in an environment or in a culture that places a strong emphasis on other aspects of life and in turn if they do not see the value of sports other than purely recreational, than they may not be inclined towards participating in sports. I think that there certainly are stereotypes and generalizations about race/ethnicity and class in relationship to sports that do seem to be ingrained into society’s perception and which may even be backed by loose statistics, but overall I think that the family unit and the emphasis that the parents place on sports or rather if there is a distinct emphasis on something else over sports affects a person’s orientation towards sports.


rocky
Name: Katie E.
Date: //2004-11-14 19:32:16 :
Link to this Comment: 11561

What were you left with at the end of the movie, what was the message and what images were woven together through-out the movie to create the final message? Why was it important to use names like Rocky, the Italian Stallion, Appolo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian’s brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot? Hey guys, sorry about not being with the program here...I'll try to keep up. In response to the first question, I was left with a sense of victory. Rocky didn't win in the technical sense, but it was more realistic that he didn't actually win. If he had won then this movie would have seemed impossible. I think that the scriptwriters and directors tried to make this movie as realistic as possible, including characters that would exist in that situation and situations that seemed plausible for the time. I think that yeah, the offering of the job to Rocky in the first place was a little implausible but they needed some sort of plot so there ya go. Rocky started out as the "loser". He's a good guy, but didn't have any goals or ambitions to work for. Once he had the goal of the match he started to work harder to achieve his dream he started to succeed, and find love. The final message is that anyone can succeed at what they want if they find their motivation. I agree with everyone else in regards to the naming of the characters: Rocky to symbolize a "braun but no brain" type of person; Apollo to make his character seem larger than life; Paulie sounds to me like a name that people don't take seriously, and so maybe that name was given because he is supposed to be looked down on and seen as a kind of bad guy; and I'm not sure about Adrienne - It is a pretty name, and the 'enne' ending is easy to draw out if one is shouting. The naming advances the movie plot because one has an instinctive sort of knowledge about the characters without really knowing them, just from the judgement of their name.


Hi, my name is Laura, and I'm an ... oops, sorry,
Name: Laura Sock
Date: //2004-10-31 16:30:56 :
Link to this Comment: 11282

Hi, I'm Laura. I'm a sophomore English/Psychology dual major. I'm not super-athletic, but I do get my butt into the gym on a regular basis. I'm from Levittown, PA which is not all that far away.

I thought it was interesting to see Katherine Hepburn play Pat. I'm not a big connoisseur of her films, but I've read her autobiography, so I found it a little disturbing to see her sit there gnawing on her knuckles when the boyz were fussy. It was a very passive role for an actress who, in my mind, I've always viewed as much more aggressive and brash.

I would also like to give props to my favorite character in the movie: the caddy who kept mimicking the old woman's golf advice. He was wonderful.


intro.
Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-10-31 18:58:57 :
Link to this Comment: 11287

Hi!

My name is Mo Rhim. I am a senior English major with a poli sci minor.

I thought that Pat and Mike was a good choice to begin this course with. I think that it really got some good discussion going and made many of us think about women in sports and the image projected by film. I thought that the discussion was thought provoking but I thought that there were certain elements or angles that were left out while others were almost too closely analyzed and dissected. Yes, Pat was submissive at times and the movie did have a romantic element in it, but I think that some issues were blown out of proportion. Sometimes I think that movies cannot be looked at in order to dissect and pull out the hidden meanings and subtle suggestions. Sometimes, movies have certain elements or plot lines purely for entertainment value. Also, I think that we should keep in mind that though the movie industry has some power over what they produce, the consuming public audience has the greatest power. If we didn't want to see something and thus did not invest our resources or money into it, then ultimately the producers would most likely take the rational route of stopping production of certain types of films. Ultimately, we like to see some submissiveness and "girlish-ness" in films. In the end, we do want the woman to find some romance that makes her submissive to her intense feelings and emotions for another person.


Hello all!
Name: Katie Eich
Date: //2004-10-31 23:24:36 :
Link to this Comment: 11295

Hi, my name is Katie Eichhorn and I am a sophomore (potential) Chemistry major/Biology minor. I am from Tacoma, WA. I'm not much of a sports person, but I was on the Swim team in high school and take Yoga here. What else is there about me? I am the photo editor for yearbook, which means I like to take pictures, and I am active on facebook :). Regarding the film Pat and Mike, I thought that, superficially at least, it did break with the traditional values of the time. However, I did find it interesting that Mike compared Pat with a beloved horse, and I also found it interesting that he although he believed in her and supported her in her athletic achievements, he still couldn't accept her as someone stronger than himself -- when she beat up those mob guys at the restaurant he was angry with her for making him appear weak. So even then she had to give up a part of herself to be with him. I did like the caddy...quite amusing :)


Re: Katie
Name: Laura Sock
Date: //2004-11-01 19:08:45 :
Link to this Comment: 11310

"I did find it interesting that Mike compared Pat with a beloved horse"

... Ditto. I found it pretty disturbing, actually. She was like a commodity to him - something that you train, and parade, and breed - seeing her face on the horse's body just made me think "broodmare."

Maybe he did love her at the end, but maybe she was just another Little Nell to him after all, and he thought marrying her would be the best way to keep his performer happy.


Hi - I'm Rebecca
Name: Rebecca
Date: //2004-11-02 02:40:27 :
Link to this Comment: 11319

Hi, I'm Rebecca (or Becca or Becki). I'm a sophmore anthropology major living in Erdman basement. I'm originally from Port Washington, Long Island, New York. I'm not much of an athlete, but I do dance, ballet mostly but I've done everything, tap, jazz, modern, etc. I used to figure skate, and my claim to fame is I used to train with gold medalist Sarah Hughes.

I felt this was an interesting choice for the first movie of the course because it wasn't really abut the sports but about the relationships between Pat and either Mike or her fiance. She could play golf and tennis fairly well, but she wasn't astonishing at either one. She needed to have a man help her make decisions and all that jazz. She wouldn't perform well if her fiance was there, it was like he had some sort of hold on her, if she was amazing at either sport she would've been able to play at her top with or without her fiance there. She ended up changing the man she wanted to be with and losing the man who wanted her. I felt this movie was more a romantic comedy with sports on the side, as was the common theme of Hollywood films at the time, than a sports film with a little romance.


Re: Laura
Name: Rebecca
Date: //2004-11-02 02:46:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11320

"It was a very passive role for an actress who, in my mind, I've always viewed as much more aggressive and brash."

I have to agree with Laura on this one. In er other movies that I've seen she has portrayed a much more aggressive and active role, but in Pat and Mike, she was passive, listening to the boys, having them help her make decisions, and not performing to the best of her abilities with her fiance around.

...And I did like the caddy, he was awesome.



Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-11-02 15:14:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11322

I did think that she was passive through a lot of the movie in the way that she let Mike tell her what to do and at times would run away and cover her ears from any type of argument. But I did think that at the end of the film, she seems very self confident and assured when she uses the same controlling device that Mike used with the boxer.


who is this we?
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-02 15:15:13 :
Link to this Comment: 11323

As for the comment above:

If we didn't want to see something and thus did not invest our resources or money into it, then ultimately the producers would most likely take the rational route of stopping production of certain types of films. Ultimately, we like to see some submissiveness and "girlish-ness" in films.

I am going to have to disagree, or at least, drag it out with a few questions.

Who exactly is this "we" who won't be going to see movies with questionable or objectionable elements or who won't be investing thier resources into it? It certainly isn't your average audience member. Movie audiences, I think, have a much lower influence on the dynamics of hollywood casting and screenwriting than a person might think. Bad movies often do quite well as far as box office revenue goes. And it is far more likely that producers will continue to create objectionable, inaccurate, or ill-conceived films so long as the social and legal climate finds them acceptable than it is that viewers will just suddenly stop attending lousy movies, forcing producers to make something better.

Blackface didn't die entirely until just before the end of World War II, and blacks in films played servants and criminals and deviants almost exclusively in Hollywood cinema until the civil rights movement went into full swing. That kind of protrayal of blacks on film did not end because people--namely, some non-blacks--stopped wanting to see it: it ended because it became politically risky in a larger sense to fund those sorts of movies.

Movies with women as weak and submissive will continue so long as the social and political climate in the US allows and expects for women to behave that way.

Also, in that same note, who is the "we" that likes our women submissive and girly? I am inclined to see that as a broader societal we that I don't count myself as an active or at least voluntary member of. If some of the people here can count among the "we" that likes our women to be exclusively objects of desire and not subjects of agency, speak up. But please be careful concerning who you are speaking to, and who you are speaking for.


Well, at least Tegan and I are having a stimulatin
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-11-14 16:44:20 :
Link to this Comment: 11556

"The film bends over backwards to paint Rocky as a good guy. He rescues bums from the street, tries to talk little girls into not being whores,plays with small animals, and loves the girl that everyone else overlooked. "

That's funny, because I didn't see him as a good guy at all. Originally, I saw him as more like Paulie than anybody else. He was played as a bum - a South Philly boy who hadn't managed to get anywhere or do anything with his life. A failure. Perhaps a well meaning failure, though. (Not that failure and goodness are mutually exclusive, but still).
It kind of creeped me out when he lectured that girl. I just thought it showed how nobody took him seriously.
I saw the movie as a progression from his being this loser nobody to actually having accomplished something. He was the good guy at the end, but not until he started actually doing something with his life.



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-13 21:26:22 :
Link to this Comment: 11548

Ignore the subject line above. My computer filled it in for me...


who is this we?
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-13 21:25:41 :
Link to this Comment: 11547

Rocky: What were you left with at the end of the movie, what was the message and what images were woven together through-out the movie to create the final message?


The film bends over backwards to paint Rocky as a good guy. He rescues bums from the street, tries to talk little girls into not being whores,plays with small animals, and loves the girl that everyone else overlooked. All this, while working as muscle for the mob. Or whatever. And when Rocky gets down--or rather, realizes that he's down, becuase Rocky's life isn't exactly great--Rocky works hard, and overcomes it. All the while helping his friends.


Why was it important to use names like Rocky, the Italian Stallion, Appolo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian's brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot?


This is a movie about the underdog. People apparently don't like to watch movies about folks who make it because they really are the best at something: we watch movies about people who may not be the best, but through luck and determination they make it. Really talented people are tragic figures in movies. (Watch a war movie sometime: who makes it to the end? The courageous, smart guy? No. The idiot, the guy who screws up, but squeeks by somehow...) We identify with Rocky, because not very many of us can really be good. Rocky sounds like someone you can know, a likelable oaf that works hard.


Apollo Creed is, and sounds, like a god. Like someone we cannot be. Apollo Creed is in name and in image too much; and so we root for Rocky precisely because we, too, can not overcome that sort of power.


"Janet" Brad!" "Janet!" "Dr. Scott!" "ROCKY!"
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-11-10 19:27:56 :
Link to this Comment: 11493

Rocky: What were you left with at the end of the movie, what was the message and what images were woven together through-out the movie to create the final message?

You got the sense that it was OK because he did his best and Adrienne loved him for it. He was a winner, because he *did* something and earned somebody's love for it. It was ultimately about their relationship and not about the sport - but their relationship blossomed because of the effort he was putting into training. It brought them together (like the dog).

Why was it important to use names like Rocky, the Italian Stallion, Appolo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian's brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot?

I think it's kind of like the morality plays, like "Everyman." They're stock characters - through their names, they're meant to represent larger groups. Rocky is all athletic underdogs, Apollo Creed is superstars, Paulie is the sidekick.
I'm not sure what to do with Adrienne, though. Maybe it's because the only line I knew from Rocky before seeing it was "ADRIENNE!!!!!" ... maybe the director just thought it sounded good when Sylvester Stallone yelled it.


Week 3 ROCKY
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-10 11:48:07 :
Link to this Comment: 11487


What were you left with at the end of the movie, what was the message and what images were woven together through-out the movie to create the final message? Why was it important to use names like Rocky, the Italian Stallion, Appolo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian’s brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot?



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-09 18:04:03 :
Link to this Comment: 11473

Laura, I'm with you as far as limited options for response go...
As for your statements about Kit, fair enough. That is, I suppose, a way this film both challenges and refuses to challenge the traditional narrative: Kit is by far a more active and interesting character, but the "main"--in the traditional sense--character of this film is Dottie.
Hmmm...


Week 4 Girl Fight
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-18 23:51:02 :
Link to this Comment: 11665

What did the movie say? What images supported the message? Did it challenge the traditional narrative?


LOTR ... I mean LOTO ...
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-11-08 22:31:54 :
Link to this Comment: 11456

Y'all are leaving me with kinda limited options as to whom to respond to ... I'm gonna go with ... TEGAN!
(Who is fabulous and interesting, in addition to being the only other post up here right now.)

"The movie is really very focused on Dottie--she is, at least nominally, our main character, the one woman whose struggles we most closely follow as we watch the movie--but this is not a movie about a woman who plays baseball: it is about women who play baseball."

I agree with the latter half of your thought ... but I disagree that she's the main character. Although she is the protagonist, because she's the one who makes the greatest change in her perspective (at least, we hope she does ... it would be sad if she left the reunion and went back to hide in her room for a few more years). (On another note, can one be a protagonist and NOT be the main character? Because that's what I just said, but now I'm not sure I really think that.) Anyway, I feel like the majority of the movie looks at Kit's struggle as a younger sister and her place as a member of the team. Even though Dottie gets more screen time, she's a stagnant character for the bulk of the film. She really undergoes a change at the end, when it goes back to the Hall of Fame.
So maybe they're both protagonists?

But I agree with Tegan that the film is about the TEAM and women and not either of the sisters, specifically. Because every member of the team undergoes a fundamental change, and through this, we see the role of women in general changing.



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-06 16:44:33 :
Link to this Comment: 11398

The baseball agent begins the film "calling it like he sees it," mocking the women he recruits, judging them based on their looks, etc. His character--along with the newsreels, the periodic commentary, etc--work to show that people thought women playing baseball was at best something to be snickered at and at worst something to be shocked and appalled over. As the film develops, the agent comes around: the manager begins to treat the women like athletes, and the movie becomes more and more about the women as a whole, about the team itself.

One of the strengths of this movie is that it is an ensemble production, a group effort--which works particularly well if what Penny Marshall et al wanted to do was honor the women who really did participate in the women's baseball league. The movie is really very focused on Dottie--she is, at least nominally, our main character, the one woman whose struggles we most closely follow as we watch the movie--but this is not a movie about a woman who plays baseball: it is about women who play baseball.

As the movie progresses, it becomes less and less about her: when she leaves the team, we are waiting for her to come back, but we are also watching the team play. And at that point, it is the team we care about. It has moved from a movie about a woman, her choices, her relationships, to a story about a lot of women, and their collective effort.

Traditional sports movies about teams start with a team struggle, and then develop personal struggles along the way. This movie does that in reverse: it begins with the personal struggles of the individual characters, and then transcends them.


And I don't think that Dottie dropped the ball on purpose. That would have made this movie just about Dottie, just about the lives these women lead not as athletes, but as sisters, as women. They were both playing their best; and it was their playing that we were watching in that scene, not a just a sibling rivalry. Dottie dropping the ball on purpose would make this a movie not about athletes, but about sisters. And while it is about that, too, this movie is really very much about all of the women who played in this league.


Welcome to Women, Sport and Film
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-10-19 16:22:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11139

Welcome! This course will have both a class component and a web exchnage of ideas, thoughts and comments. "William's Sisters" is the name of your 'team'. Introduce yourself to your 'teammates' - where you're from, interest in sports etc.



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-22 15:27:26 :
Link to this Comment: 11714

I think this movie said a number of things, and one of them is that respecting yourself is the baseline you need to get other people to respect you. When Diana was able to channel her aggression and frustration into boxing, to discipline herself in that way, she was then able to confront those parts of her life--school work, her family, and her future--with the tools she needed.


Early in the film, Diana needed walls to support herself: against the lockers, in her home, etc. As the move prgressed, she was able to move away from the wall, ie, able to support herself.


My comments in class about Diana's relationship to Adrian were not about needing or not needing a man, as far as Diana's character was concerned. On that sort of level, I don't think he mattered much one way or the other, and people were right: he was used absolutely to advance the plot.


THe point I wanted to make is that, in the traditional Hollywood narrative--as well as in out society--women who play sports, and play then well are challenging traditional feminine roles. If you notice, in the flm Diana becomes more feminine--wears pink, wears her hair down, looks less aggressive--after she begins to play. I think that was intentional. And had Diana not had a male love interest, she would have challenged her role as a woman--and all the normative, hetersexuality that is supposed to come with it--on a level the writers and producers of the movie probably wanted to avoid. The images of Diana's strength and commitment to boxing, and watching her attack her father, would have been much more difficult to take by a wide audience if she had not previously established her heterosexuality.

This movie challenges notions of a woman being incapable of playing sports by showing us a woman who can. But the film is also intentionally not challenging the societal structures that make it difficult for women to play to begin with, by not challengiing the sexual roles assigned women in a broader context of the world. That might be too much challenging for a 2 hour film, and one that its creators presumably want to make money.



Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-11-23 16:30:34 :
Link to this Comment: 11736

What did the movie say?

the movie was about the classic underdog story and about how perseverance and hard work against the odds will in the end bring you the success and the payoff that you deserve. It was also addressing the issue of women taking a stand in a sport that has generally been viewed as a sport for men.

What images supported the message?

In the beginning she was not very good at boxing, like the speed bag and even doing the other physical activities like running, jump roping and doing sit ups and push ups. By the end she was obviously very phsyically fit and in the scene in gym she beat all the other girls by a big margin. She also was able to stand up to her dad not only with words but physically as well. The sport and her hard work enabled her to grow in other aspects of her life besides physically.

Did it challenge the traditional narrative?

yes and no. In the end she was a more empowered female especially since she was pursuing a spot in a sport where other men and society did not believe in her. But she was still pining after her boyfriend and though she ended up fighting him she was still upset when he was angry with her. She didn't apporach him but we saw her stalking him at work and just looking at him.



Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-11-23 16:33:36 :
Link to this Comment: 11737

going off of some comments made in class last time about this movie, i thought that it was interesting how her brother Tiny was feminized through his name and his more submissive role, but in a weird way was in a masculine role as a type of "breadwinner" when he gave his money to Diana so she could pursue boxing. it is typical to see the male as the financial figure or provider and in his beng submissive and not wanting to prusue the "manly" sport of boxing, he was able to fulfill his masculinity another way.



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-23 22:06:40 :
Link to this Comment: 11744

You've got a point, Mo.

Though I think that Tiny, though effeminate, is not nearly as controversial a figure as Diana, I hadn't quite pinned down why. And the breadwinner role is probably one of them.


WEEK 5 Pumping Iron II
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-24 07:37:45 :
Link to this Comment: 11751

Pumping Iron II is a complex film with multiple themes, images and conflicts. The most obvious is the question of what is feminine and what is masculine. Looking beyond that - identify other questions, themes and how are they played out in the movie? What was the image/scene which impressed you the most- which stood out as significant. In the end, what are you left questioning and who/what prompted the question?

Bev, Carla and Rachel were the central figures - but what did the role of Laurie symbolize and why was her role important to the movie?



Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-28 05:25:47 :
Link to this Comment: 11775

Pumping Iron II is a complex film with multiple themes, images and conflicts. The most obvious is the question of what is feminine and what is masculine. Looking beyond that - identify other questions, themes and how are they played out in the movie. What was the image/scene that impressed you the most- that stood out as significant? In the end, what are you left questioning and who/what prompted the question?


Though I think this ties in with the interplay of the masculine with the feminine in the film, I think the idea of pushing limits and boundaries was important in this film. Bodybuilding as a sport is about pushing the human body as far as it can go; and the women in this film did that. In most of the scenes, the camera work is very much tied in with boundaries: the see-through brick wall where Lori's(?) fiance proposes, the edge of the water where Carla swims. The edge of the stage separating spectator from performer, the table between the judges and the competitors. The walls that separate one room from another are often as much a part of the camera work as the rest of the footage shot. And that's appropriate, as this is a movie about boundaries.


I think of all of the scenes, the one which left the biggest impression on me was Carla's floor show bit; in the dark, this women whom we have seen as nothing but confident pretends to be scared, trots around in animal print, and performs the most sexual of any of the exhibitions the women do. And she wins. That what it took for this strong woman to get the judges attention, as it were, was to cower, almost, to be sexual and passive.

It is already abundantly clear from this film that the judges found the "lack of femininity" that Bev displayed in being so very muscular threatening to their sport. But I think that Carla's performance was an extra and far more subtle jab. Bodybuilders--female or not--are spectacles, and objectify themselves in extreme and seemingly unhealthy ways. But for this particular female bodybuilder to really be a champion, so to speak, she had to make herself into a feminine (read: sexual, subservient) object. It left me, at least, questioning how it that women are viewed in general, especially in sports. The popular female athletes, after all, the ones that get endorsement contracts and take up space in magazines are the ones who do the best job of representing that sort of sexual object. So it doesn't really matter that Anna Korniwhatever isn't a great tennis player: what matters is that she's pretty. But I digress...


Hello?
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-11-30 03:38:18 :
Link to this Comment: 11806


So, it, uh, looks like I'm talking to myself in here.

That's fine.

I think Lori's role is important for a lot of reasons--she gives us someone to root for even if she doesn't have the same chances of winning as the other characters we meet; she has big dreams and goals, just like the rest of us. But I think one of the things that Lori's character does that is really important to this film is to establish a hetro-normativity to bodybuilding. Her relationship with her fiance is probably the most traditional and happy (romantic) relationship in the film.
And her struggling to be like Rachel--the successful feminine figure in the film, contrasting with Bev's masculinity--puts the struggle all of the women in competition face concerning their femininity in perspective. Unlike Rachel, who is comfortably successful in being feminine, and Bev, who is happy to be strong even if it means she is different, Lori openly struggles to define her identity and place on the masculine-feminine scale.

And that struggle really is at the heart of what this film is all about.



Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-11-30 19:04:12 :
Link to this Comment: 11821

Pumping Iron II is a complex film with multiple themes, images and conflicts. The most obvious is the question of what is feminine and what is masculine. Looking beyond that - identify other questions, themes and how are they played out in the movie? What was the image/scene which impressed you the most- which stood out as significant. In the end, what are you left questioning and who/what prompted the question?

One major question that I felt the movie raised was how subjective certain things are. How the limits and limitations placed upon people to fulfill roles of masculinity and femininity are decided upon not by individual people but by a collective whole that does shift over time. I liked how the movie questioned the right of the judges to categorize and determine these limitations. I also think that the movie plays off of the classic underdog story but in a weird way. In the beginning I think that it was a natural, though perhaps not justified, reaction that Bev was almost frighteningly different or out of the scope of what we also delineate as a typical female form. She was a shocking image and it was almost as if we were uncomfortable with the image she presented. THough she was not what we first percieved as the underdog because of her presence and her sheer power, by the end of the film we start to root for her because we recognize that she is an underdog in these other ways.



Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-11-30 19:07:54 :
Link to this Comment: 11822

Bev, Carla and Rachel were the central figures - but what did the role of Laurie symbolize and why was her role important to the movie?

I agree with Tegan, that I thought that Laurie was kind of the one that was like the rest of us. She had all of these great hopes and dreams and her losing and her immense sense of disappointment was more powerful almost than Bev's almost nonchalant acceptance of loss. Laurie to me represented the pain of wanting something so badly but then not being able to get it. To me it also showed how there are just some people who will probably never be able to really win or be at the top of their sport and how as a society will not really notice. We noticed Rachel and Bev and CArla, but not necessarily because they worked any harder than Laurie. If anthing the movie really focused in on how hard Laurie worked--in the gym she was almost in tears.


Re: Tegan (Girlfight, I'm a little behind)
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-11-30 22:35:41 :
Link to this Comment: 11823

"respecting yourself is the baseline you need to get other people to respect you"

I agree ... and I saw this as one of the really strong parallels the film had with Rocky. Each character was his/her own obstacle - they needed to go through the process of self-betterment in order to triumph. It wasn't about the end fight, it focused on the means by which they changed themselves as people. They just happened to do it through boxing.


Week 6 Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-12-01 10:56:58 :
Link to this Comment: 11829

What supported Jess (other than Joe and Jules) and her quest to play soccer - to persevere over the objections of her family? What images did the director use? If you directed the movie what would you have done differently? What message were you left with-- what message would you have liked to be left with?


Bend it like Beckham
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-12-01 20:32:07 :
Link to this Comment: 11836

Bend It Like Beckham: What supported Jess (other than Joe and Jules) and her quest to play soccer - to persevere over the objections of her family?

She had a strong sense of who she was as a person - she was enough of an individual to recognize that she could have desires that conflicted with her culture that were nonetheless acceptable. I think she also had a drive to not get "stuck" with a role in life that she wouldn't be happy with. She didn't want the same things her sister wanted, but she felt that if she quit football, she would end up simply a wife and mother.

What images did the director use?

Bodies were focused on in different ways. The athletes were shown being functional - even in the chest shots, it wasn't like "whoa, titties!" The girly girls in the film were much more objectified - like when the sister was being fitted for her wedding outfits.
The training shots were very reminiscent of Rocky - they showed the hard work and the process of becoming an athlete.

If you directed the movie what would you have done differently?

I would have made the love story less central - or I would have made the love story between Jess and Jules. I know that it took them away from the "butch lesbian athlete" stereotype ... but when is it going to be OK for women to be athletes and lesbians?

What message were you left with-- what message would you have liked to be left with?

It was pretty much a feel-good "you can overcome obstacles and go for your dreams if you perservere" movie. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).
I maybe would have portrayed the sister a little more positively - as great as it is to overcome cultural obstacles, there is nothing wrong with being happy in the culture in which you were raised. The sister was just as aware as Jess of the opportunities that she had open to her. She challanged culture in her own way by finding her own husband. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a wife and mother, if it is a choice that you make when fully-informed.


Bend it Like Beckam 1
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-12-02 03:57:55 :
Link to this Comment: 11843

What supported Jess (other than Joe and Jules) and her quest to play soccer - to persevere over the objections of her family?


Though I don't think it was particularly explicit in the film, being the child of immigrant parents was a factor in Jess's ability to call up the personal resources available to her in her struggle. Even though her parents objected to Jess's playing football, they obviously had high expectations of her, and pushed her to do whatever it is she was doing well. Coming to terms with her identity both as Indian and as English was tough, and I think this movie showed that: but as the child of immigrant parents, the push for assimilation is high from all sides. Parents want their children to be successful: the rest of society wants her to behave and believe in a way appropriate to the standards of that society. So living in a society where women can and do play sports, and the pressure to participate in that society supported her decision in ways that no one particular person could.


What images did the director use?


There was a lot of contrasting old (Indian) culture with new (English, particularly with football.)
The image of Jess running in the sari; the poster of Beckam in Jess's room contrasted with the image of the prophet in the living room; the final sequence with the wedding and the game being spliced one into the other as both come to a celebratory culmination. And I don't think the director was trying to pit one against the other in some sort of one-is-better-than-the-other sort of way. I think the images worked so well precisely because they were so well reconciled. The colors, the movement of bodies, the placement of important icons in the same position of authority in a room: the images blend well together, and create a kind of harmony in their difference.


If you directed the movie what would you have done differently?
What messages were you left with-- what message would you have liked to be left with?


I really like this film, so I'm not sure what I would have done differently. I would have liked to have seen a little more interaction with Jess and her sister (though the movie is already a little long, and I think there was enough there to get the gist of their relationship across), and I think that Tony's coming out scene is kind of weirdly acted--a little stiff or awkward, maybe? I'm not sure.


The question of what it is to assimilate and what it is to be exceptional are really important to this movie, and I think that I would have liked to have seen Jess struggle with those on a deeper level than "my parents sure aren't going to like this." This movie really had the message that it can all work out in the end, and that's nice. For a wide audience, this film questioned just enough of the dominant societal structures to be interesting, but not enough to be controversial. I might have liked to have seen the complications of assimilation, and not just the happy ending of it all. But then again, maybe I wouldn't like to see that at all. This film was really very pleasant, and a film that brought those questions forward more wouldn't have been nearly as much fun, just more thought provoking.


the pictures
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-12-02 20:31:19 :
Link to this Comment: 11856

"the poster of Beckam in Jess's room contrasted with the image of the prophet in the living room"

... wow, I hadn't even noticed that. Now that you mention it, it seems really profound ;) Jess and her parents had different cultural icons, but they looked to them in the same way - they were something to talk to, something of a cosmic sounding board. When I look at it that way, I can really see the contrast between Jess and her parents. One difference is that Jess recognizes the importance of the guy on the wall to her culture - she doesn't utilize it to the point that her mother does, but she is very aware of its presence (like when she's lying about being sick and the picture watches her go out the door - she looks so guilty!) Her parents see the Beckham poster as just a "silly bald man" on the wall.
It's pretty clear that Jess is much better able to negotiate two cultures than her parents are.


Bend it Like Beckam 2
Name: Tegan Geor
Date: //2004-12-05 14:46:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11874

Laura, I think you're right to say that Jess had a much easier time assimilating than her parents did.

I think it's interesting to see--both in this film, and in other contexts--how parents encourage thier children to succeed in whatever cultural contexts they find themselves, only to be somehow dissappointed or shocked at the ramifications of that. This kind of thing is especially clear with children of immigrant parents, but any children of parents who hope to see them upwardly mobile in some sort of way--and that applies to most people--struggle with the same sort of issues that Jess struggles with. (Although not necessarily over sports, after all...)


Movie Responses
Name: Katie Eich
Date: //2004-12-06 02:33:22 :
Link to this Comment: 11880

I'm sorry this post is so long, but that's the way it has to be :

A League Of Their Own: The movie’s characters, women’s baseball players, by virtue of the sport (baseball) and participation in professional athletics, immediately challenges the ‘typical narrative style’ of a mainstream Hollywood movie. But, the story and the role each character plays falls within a range of supporting the narrative and challenging it:

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
2. Does the role of the ‘baseball agent’, in his colorful language mock the narrative, providing an easy comparison to the role the players assume?
3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?
4. Do you think Dottie purposefully dropped the ball in the last scene so her sister Kit could be the hero, the role she had longed for? How does that last scene play into your thoughts on the narrative?

Dottie’s character fits in the role of a semi-stereotypical woman of that time: She likes to play baseball but her primary focus is being a wife/mother, and she is willing to return to the traditional role when her husband comes back from the war. It is kind of like the character played by Julia Stiles in “Mona Lisa Smile” – she is willing to give up pursuing a law degree to get married because to her a family is more important.
I think that the agent (If by agent you mean the guy who got the girls to audition for the teams) did provide an easy comparison because the players were serious about playing baseball, but all he was interested in was if the women were attractive (because sex sells).
To challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream film, Penny Marshall presented two protagonists with differing goals, one more traditional and one radical for that time, yet making neither character negative. Most films have “good women” and “bad women” that you are supposed to think are shallow or inferior to the protagonist. In this film, there aren’t really any women who are viewed as inferior – all are equal.
I used to think that Dottie dropped the ball on purpose – she knew that she was going to end her baseball career and she wanted her sister to have a huge success to better her career since she wasn’t seen in a very positive light. But watching it again, I think that she really tried to win – Dottie and Kit were always very competitive and Dottie wouldn’t have given up. Maybe she didn’t have the kind of drive Kit did at that point, and that is why she slipped up and dropped the ball?

Girl Fight: What did the movie say? What images supported the message? Did it challenge the traditional narrative?

The movie’s message was of overcoming struggles within the self and striving to become a stronger person. The images that supported this message were when she used the boxing skills she had learned to confront her father – her boxing helped her to be able to overcome her problems with her father and resolve them, when her brother overcame his struggle to please his father and decided to give his boxing money to his sister because he realized that she wanted it more than he did, and all the images of her working hard at boxing and not giving up because it was something she loved to do. This movie, to me, definitely challenges the traditional narrative because in some ways she is more masculine than the traditional female athlete – in most women sports films today the athlete is very girly and feminine (take Wimbledon for example). Also, in most sports films of today, female athletes “dress up” to show that they can be feminine although they play a sport. In Girlfight, Diana doesn’t have to prove to anyone that she is a woman. She is herself throughout the film and at the end she overcomes all her obstacles (and gets a boyfriend as well).
Pumping Iron II is a complex film with multiple themes, images and conflicts. The most obvious is the question of what is feminine and what is masculine. Looking beyond that - identify other questions, themes and how are they played out in the movie? What was the image/scene which impressed you the most- which stood out as significant. In the end, what are you left questioning and who/what prompted the question?
Bev, Carla and Rachel were the central figures - but what did the role of Laurie symbolize and why was her role important to the movie?
One question I had was about the judging process. In the beginning, the judges were asking to see the bathing suits and just seemed sleazy, and the oldest man was saying that masculinity in women was unfavorable, and I just didn’t like him much. I thought that the judges were sexist and unfair. As the film played out, I saw that although he thought Bev was unnaturally muscular and thus shouldn’t win the competition, he was fair in following the rules. He didn’t try to find problems with her outfit, and although he probably wanted Rachel to win he made her change/fix her bathing suit because it was illegal, and even though the other judges pestered him he stuck to his beliefs about following the rules, which made me like him more because he was at least fair. The most impressive image was during the competition where Bev and Rachel were flexing and Bev was twice as muscular as Rachel. It was clear that Bev worked harder than Rachel, but due to the biased judges Bev didn’t have a chance.
Laurie’s role was comparable to Rocky – a working class underdog. The other three had experience in competitions and knew the ropes, but she was pretty new. Her role was important because she stood apart from the other three in that she was an underdog and that she had her boyfriend with her helping her work out and being there for moral support. She came out of seemingly nowhere and got 4th place.
Bend It Like Beckham: What supported Jess (other than Joe and Jules) and her quest to play soccer - to persevere over the objections of her family? What images did the director use? If you directed the movie what would you have done differently? What message were you left with-- what message would you have liked to be left with?

Tony, Jess’s friend, and Beckham’s presence supported Jess’s quest. Tony was willing to marry Jess so that she could play football. Jess often spoke to Beckham to figure out her emotions and work out her thoughts on the conflict between her culture and her dreams. The images that supported this were Tony always asking Jess to join in on the football games in the park and the large poster of Beckham over Jess’s bed.
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I think that everything was placed pretty well. However, Angel did mention to me that the song at the end (when the families are putting up pictures of Jules and Jess) is about staying true to your culture even though you are far away from home. I think that this song is kind of important because that theme is seemingly downplayed at the end, so if there was a way the song could be incorporated into some type of English so people who don’t speak hindi/Punjabi could understand the movie would make more sense to people.
The message that I was left with was one that I would have liked: that someone can overcome cultural/family barriers if s/he wants it badly enough and that you have to be true to yourself as well as to your friends and family if you are to succeed.


Pumping Iron II ... and after these, I'm done ;)
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-12-06 20:08:30 :
Link to this Comment: 11894

Pumping Iron II is a complex film with multiple themes, images and conflicts. The most obvious is the question of what is feminine and what is masculine. Looking beyond that - identify other questions, themes and how are they played out in the movie? What was the image/scene which impressed you the most- which stood out as significant. In the end, what are you left questioning and who/what prompted the question?


The biggest theme I saw was the way in which a normative culture treats a subculture - how the rest of the world reacted to the bodybuilders. I thought it was interesting the way in which they all interacted with their families. It seemed like they tried to be supportive, but it was such a foreign concept - like Bev's family didn't know what to wish her when she went off to compete.
The scene I was most hit by was about the objectification of the body - it was when (Lori's?) fiance was stripping for the room full of women - it was just the opposite of what I expected. And then there was her in the back room telling him that she'd make enough money so that he'd never have to do it again ... it was such a role reversal! But on the other hand, she was in a sport that amounts to the same thing, but he didn't feel the need to *save* her from that. I guess it comes down to an issue of choice - when do you feel the need to objectify yourself in order to get paid, and when do you do it because it's your passion?

Bev, Carla and Rachel were the central figures - but what did the role of Laurie symbolize and why was her role important to the movie?

You know, I'm not really sure what I think about this, even after reading everybody's comments. I don't find her the "normal" one that I can relate to because the entire concept is so foreign to me. (And it's not that I'm from a particularly girly family - my aunt is 1st in America in arm wrestling. She's as tough as these women, but the sport is entirely different - one is about performance, the other is about appearance. I am just dumbfounded by the idea that you would train as if for a *sport,* but the sport is showing off your body ... it made more sense to me when Bev was in the lifting competition.)


Last response (Pumping Iron II)
Name: Laura S
Date: //2004-12-06 20:13:29 :
Link to this Comment: 11895

In the beginning I think that it was a natural, though perhaps not justified, reaction that Bev was almost frighteningly different or out of the scope of what we also delineate as a typical female form.

... I never got over that reaction. I am medically curious about Bev - maybe it shows how indoctrinated I am with female stereotypes, but I literally did not think it was physically possible for a woman's body to look like that without a hormonal imbalance or steroids. She does not look like a woman to me - and it's not just her body. Her features also strike me as more masculine. I'm trying to say this without sounding like an asshole, and I think I'm failing, but our definitions of female are not only socially constructed - they are based in biological differences. My impression of Bev was that, biologically, she was probably different from the other women on some dimension. This isn't to say that she's intersexed or abnormal or to accuse her of hormone/steroid use, but I think there is probably a physical dimension to her ability to achieve that body type.
A lot of where I got this idea from was Jenny Boylan's book about having sex reassignment (M-F) surgery - I saw her speak at Bryn Mawr, and she talked about the physical changes her body went through when she started taking hormones. I thought I saw the differences she was talking about in Bev.

... maybe somebody can help me articulate this idea a little better? I'm trying to do so without sounding insensitive or ignorant or what have you. My knowledge base about this is limited.


Beckham comments
Name: Mo
Date: //2004-12-07 16:32:21 :
Link to this Comment: 11904

What supported Jess (other than Joe and Jules) and her quest to play soccer - to persevere over the objections of her family?

Her friend (who I forget his name, but he was her Indian guy friend who turned out to be gay) supported her throughout the movie and at the end during the wedding he was the catalyst for getting her to go to the championship game. He also tried to support her by offering to marry her so that she could use her betrothal as a bargaining tool to go to Santa Clara. However this was once instance in which the way he was supporting her was in the terms and by the rules of the Indian culture. So he was trying to help her rebel by complying. She was also supported by just how much fun and freedom she experienced being on an actual soccer team where her talents were being noticed. This feeling of freedom that came with playing soccer led to the ultimate rebellion against family/cultural traditions in the end. Had she not been empowered by the simple act of playing, she would not have rebelled against her parents and she probably would have ended up in Uni as she was planning to do before she was introduced to the team.


Beckham 2
Name: Mo Rhim
Date: //2004-12-07 16:34:38 :
Link to this Comment: 11905

What message were you left with-- what message would you have liked to be left with?

I was left with the message that with enough persistence, heart and courage, obstacles as formidable as cultural and parental can be overcome with everyone winning in the end. Branching two cultures and two completely polar opposite ideologies is accomplished by the pursuit of a dream. Ultimately the story leaves the audience with the sense that no matter what, fundamentally any parent would want to see their child happy. So, this is supposed to empower other teens/adults to rebel against the constraints of culture and tradition if it is absolutely vital to pursuing a dream. I think that this overall message is good, but as pointed out in discussion, the extent and speed that the parents' were happy and accepting of her rebellion is not exactly accurate coming from the viewpoint of being a first generation Asian American. However, it is a movie and if movies always stuck purely to portraying everything by the book, then it would no longer be entertainment.


Comments on Other's posts
Name: Katie E.
Date: //2004-12-10 12:59:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11945

A League Of Their Own
¡°[Dotty] is the "typical" character - and the audience is meant to look down on her for it. By placing her in the midst of these strong women who truly appreciate the opportunity they are given, it shows the flaws inherent in believing that there is nothing more than being a good wife and mother. There were other characters with husbands and children - but they did not deny the importance of baseball to their lives.¡± I don¡¯t really agree with you there Laura. I think it could go either way, but I interpreted it to mean that she has different values yes but that doesn¡¯t make her inferior to women who would rather play sports. Many housewives today are looked down on by women who would rather have a career. I myself would never want to be a housewife but I don¡¯t look down on them as being lazy or deficient as they are typically stereotyped. Dotty is portrayed positively for most of the movie, which leads me to believe that she wasn¡¯t meant to be someone to be looked down on but someone with a different goal in life.
Rocky
¡°This is a movie about the underdog. People apparently don't like to watch movies about folks who make it because they really are the best at something: we watch movies about people who may not be the best, but through luck and determination they make it. Really talented people are tragic figures in movies. (Watch a war movie sometime: who makes it to the end? The courageous, smart guy? No. The idiot, the guy who screws up, but squeeks by somehow...) We identify with Rocky, because not very many of us can really be good. Rocky sounds like someone you can know, a likelable oaf that works hard.¡± I really agree with Tegan¡¯s entire post here. The geeks, the unlucky in love types, and the akward people very nearly always win in the end. Or at least we want them to.
Bend It Like Beckham
¡°The girly girls in the film were much more objectified - like when the sister was being fitted for her wedding outfits.¡± That¡¯s a good point¡­when the ¡°girly¡± girls are shown in the film they have very low cut shirts and/or miniskirts that are focused on to contrast them with the changing scenes at the football matches, where this scene is much more low key.
Girlfight
¡°Yes, because I think she managed to be a truly independent female by the end. She has a boyfriend, but it was on her terms - he was the one who came back to her at the end. She would have gone on cleaning out her little closet just fine without him.¡± I agree with you there Laura. That was one of my favorite parts ¨C the screenwriter didn¡¯t sacrifice the character¡¯s independence in order for the character to be in a relationship.

Pumping Iron Ii
¡°In most of the scenes, the camera work is very much tied in with boundaries: the see-through brick wall where Lori's(?) fiance proposes, the edge of the water where Carla swims.¡± the comment made by Tegan is something that I had noticed but not thought much about. Often when the camera is pointed through something it is representative of something more subtle. In this case showing through the walls to the women inside who are trying to break the stereotype and break down the walls that suppress them (a dramatic approach true)

Pat & Mike
¡°So, to end the film, we don't know how Pat played in the tournament: we didn't see her win any matches then or at any point in the film. We do, however, see her neatly squared away with an appropriate romantic situation. Not exactly a major shift from traditional narrative.¡± this statement by Tegan makes a good point. Pat is never shown winning a match ¨Cthe best she does is come in second. This film was somewhat radical for its time but is really not radical at all ¨C her athletism is more of a sidenote than the focus.

::phew:: end to long posts!