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Women, Sport, and Film 2004 - Constance Applebee Forum

Women, Sport, and Film 2004 - Constance Applebee Forum


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Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-16 15:27:21 :
Link to this Comment: 11609

Angel said...
[Katie said:
I was left feeling like Rocky was the embodiment of the American dream. No, he didn't win the fight, but he definitely "went the distance." He worked hard and he did his absolute best and that's all that you can ever ask of someone. Visually, the entire scenario of the Bicentennial allowed for a lot of red, white, and blue, emphasizing the American dream idea.


I agree with Lauren on this one .. the American Dream is most often associated with material success, which is not what Rocky gets in this movie. His triumph here is not over Apollo and thus not an embodiment of the American dream, it is more a triumph over circumstances and proving ones worth to oneself.]

Yeah, I guess you guys are right. It's kind of sad that that's what the American dream is seen as, though. I just meant the underlying idea of making something of yourself, I wasn't thinking in terms of material possessions, but that is what the American dream is associated with.



Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-16 10:51:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11602

Katie said:
I was left feeling like Rocky was the embodiment of the American dream. No, he didn't win the fight, but he definitely "went the distance." He worked hard and he did his absolute best and that's all that you can ever ask of someone. Visually, the entire scenario of the Bicentennial allowed for a lot of red, white, and blue, emphasizing the American dream idea.


I agree with Lauren on this one .. the American Dream is most often associated with material success, which is not what Rocky gets in this movie. His triumph here is not over Apollo and thus not an embodiment of the American dream, it is more a triumph over circumstances and proving ones worth to oneself.



Name: Angel
Date: //2004-10-27 06:47:02 :
Link to this Comment: 11230

Hi

I am Angel, I am a sophomore and I am from New Delhi India. I am interested in Cricket, though I do not play it myself! I am also interested in Basketball .. I was on my school team for a while, and I enjoy Baminton. I am very excited about this course, not just coz of the 2 credits :) but also because I love Film Studies and this is another place where I can indulge myself in it!


WEEK 2 QUESTION
Name:
Date: //2004-11-03 16:05:12 :
Link to this Comment: 11343

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?



Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-16 00:50:19 :
Link to this Comment: 11597

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?

The final message of the movie to me was about proving your worth to yourself more than to other people. For Rocky, being able to last all the rounds was just as important as winning the game. He knew that he was not of the same league as Apollo, but he wanted to prove to himself that with appropriate training he could amount to something more than just another boxer playing for money. The fight was more about overcoming his own obstacles, like running upto the PMA.

Movies are often about creating personas, characters that can be identified as some category, and something that people can identify to. In the case of Rocky, this task is accomplished by the names that are given to the characters. Rocky is a rough name that suggests strength, but of a lower strata of society. The Italian Stallion gives the aura of grandeur, and creates a persona that Rocky can use when he is boxing, something that puts him in higher ranks. Apollo Creed suggests a perfection that is of the gods, like Apollo, but is not of the typical character as it is representative in this case of a different group of people, as is suggested by the term Creed being used as a last name. Adrianne is a name that creates the impression of a shy commonplace girl, who could potentially be more than that, which is what Adrianne's character is shown to be in the film. Finally Paulie is a name that reflects a personality that is weak, and suggests a character that is commonplace and can not be moved to any other place; someone who will always be plain.


response
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-15 23:01:03 :
Link to this Comment: 11590

"I was left feeling like Rocky was the embodiment of the American dream. No, he didn't win the fight, but he definitely "went the distance." He worked hard and he did his absolute best and that's all that you can ever ask of someone. Visually, the entire scenario of the Bicentennial allowed for a lot of red, white, and blue, emphasizing the American dream idea."

I disagree, basically because I have always considered the American Dream to be associated with material success. To me, Rocky's success on a personal level does not seem like the success I associate with the American Dream. If he had achieved that, he would have won in the typical sense, won the match, instead of the more personal sense in which he won. I thought the Bicentennial was more of an ironic thing, that after two hundred years of being based on liberty and equality there was still a huge group of people in this country that were struggling to lead halfway decent lives, like Adrianne and Paulie.



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-15 20:43:11 :
Link to this Comment: 11585

i`d say as a final lesson from the entire movie, in addition to the fact that hard work pays off, as someone said earlier i also got the idea that a victory isn`t necessarily one that is according to the standards of others. rather, i was still left with a sense of victory although rocky lost his match. i guess it was because he was able to overcome his own trials and his own doubts that made him able to triumph in the end.



Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-15 14:50:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11575

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?


I was left feeling like Rocky was the embodiment of the American dream. No, he didn't win the fight, but he definitely "went the distance." He worked hard and he did his absolute best and that's all that you can ever ask of someone. Visually, the entire scenario of the Bicentennial allowed for a lot of red, white, and blue, emphasizing the American dream idea.


The names allowed for a lot of easy contrast. Rocky totally outshone Paulie, and their names reflect that; Paulie is plain, kind of immature and childish, while Rocky is tough and unique. The name Apollo Creed is really elevated and meaningful, and reflected the fact that he was on the highest level of boxing, the level Rocky always dreamed about reaching.


Rocky response
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-14 23:05:07 :
Link to this Comment: 11562

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, Apollo Creed, Adrianne, and Paulie (Adrian’s brother) how does the character name advance the movie plot?

I was angry that Rocky didn't win, but I was glad that he had held his own in the match. It seemed like that was all he wanted to do, just be standing at the end of it. The message was that persistance pays off, no matter who you are or where you come from. Rocky/ the Italian Stallion are both lower-than-human names in a way, because rocky is equating a man to a rock, an inanimate object, and the Italian Stallion is a direct comparison to a horse. Apollo Creed, on the other hand, due to associations with the Greek god Apollo that traditionally represents the ideal, physically perfect male, is thought of as godlike/unbeatable in addition to his perfect record. Adrianne is a rather passive-sounding name, and Paulie just sounds diminuitive (as opposed to Paul). Their names, combined with their actions, showed that they were weak characters. Adrianne definitely improved over the course of the movie, but only because of Rocky's help. I think the only two names that figure in the plot are Rocky and Apollo, because there's a mounting tension, especially right before and then during the match about who's going to win. Rocky did knock Apollo down first, after all. There's this continual tension about whether the big shot with everything going for him is going to win, or whether a nobody from a working-class neighborhood will.


Introduction
Name: Lauren Dou
Date: //2004-10-30 15:48:53 :
Link to this Comment: 11277

Hi everyone -

My name is Lauren, I'm from PA, and this post was delayed because I needed to format my hard drive and reinstall Windows.
Sports I am interested in...I have never played a sport. I would like to train for a marathon, but at this point I am unable to run more than a mile, and even that is more like a jog. Occasionally I watch football when Penn State is playing.

- Do you think the film broke with traditional narrative? Was it able to sustain it?
I think that the film appeared to break with traditional "guy-gets-girl" movies in the beginning, but as Tracy's attraction toward Hepburn became more evident it felt as if the narrative slid back into the mold, with Tracy substituted for Hepburn's original fiance.

- Why is it important/ interesting to look at women's sports films in relation to conventional narrative?
It's important because there are generally differences between women's sports films and men's sports films. In the plots of sports films, women seem to have to deal with their whole lives all at once, on or off the playing field/court, but men seem to be able to just focus on winning and don't have to care about anything else.





Name: Sasha Karl
Date: //2004-10-31 16:52:37 :
Link to this Comment: 11283

Hi, I'm Sasha
I'm from Manhattan, and my main intrest in sports is as a viewer; I used to be really into wattching basketball and baseball when I was younger but when I started having lots of homework I mostly stopped following them. I'm very unathletic personally. I'm very interested in film though! And I was really happy the first movie had Katherine Hepburn in it.

The film seemed to follow a pretty traditional narrative to me--characters are introduced, don't get along, one's engaged to a guy who's all wrong for her and then they end up together. The relationship between Mike and Pat did seem a little weird in places, it seemed much more like she was flirting with him and he as fatherly to her except when he asks about coming up to her room...So I guess it sustained it but sometimes strangely. It is interesting to me, though, that the sports plot line did not follow a traditional narrative structure-she did not work to overcome or improve, she was just great except when her fiance distracted her, so there was no dramatic plot or resolution there.
In looking to see if women's sports films follow a traditional narrative structure we can see how seriously women's sports are taken. If the movies have no plot or structure that seems to imply that women playing sports is strange enough to constitute a plot, so no other is needed...

Do you think the film broke with traditional narrative? Was it able to sustain it? Why is it important/ interesting to look at women's sports films in relation to conventional narrative?



Name: Sasha Karl
Date: //2004-10-31 17:00:38 :
Link to this Comment: 11284

Lauren said that women seem to have to deal with their whole lives all at once, on or off the playing field/court, but men seem to be able to just focus on winning and don't have to care about anything else.
I think it is not that, it is more that men and women need to balance in different ways. In a lot of sports movies I think men have to try to pay attntion to a relationship while succeeding at a sport, with the sport being the obvious main priority and the relationship/family the questionable priority. In stories about women athletes I think it is more that the women learn to give up a sport for family or have family as the obvious priority and sports as the questionable one. Does this seem right/wrong to anyone else? =/
I guess I will see as we watch more films...


Pat and Mike - response
Name: Lauren Dou
Date: //2004-11-01 14:03:06 :
Link to this Comment: 11302

Katie said -Looking to see if these films adhere to the standards of conventional narratives can also tell us if female athletes are as groundbreaking as we are led to believe. If each one of these films were to end like Pat and Mike, with equal if not more emphasis on her relationship, there wouldn't be much progress being made.-
I agree that the movie was mostly about her relationships. The athletic part of it was just something she did to get away from her fiancé and do something she was good at. Given that the end did emphasize the importance of relationships to Pat, it seemed like she could have struck out on her own and done anything else, as long as she was good at it. Getting out of her relationship with her first fiancé, who didn’t let her be herself, and coming into her own was the important thing. She just happened to come into her own as an athlete because that was what she was good at.


Response
Name: Katie Hall
Date: //2004-11-01 17:10:02 :
Link to this Comment: 11306

Sasha said, "In looking to see if women's sports films follow a traditional narrative structure we can see how seriously women's sports are taken. If the movies have no plot or structure that seems to imply that women playing sports is strange enough to constitute a plot, so no other is needed..."

I think that's a good reason. It would be stupid - both cinematically and in regard to female athletes - if the only thing presented to hold our attention as an audience was the "preposterous" or "unusual" idea of a woman in a traditionally male world.


Ideas and Responses
Name:
Date: //2004-11-01 21:49:10 :
Link to this Comment: 11313


I think the film did in fact make the appearance of breaking the traditional narrative, just by centering the story around a woman athlete, but at the same time, the narrative was not about her struggle as an athlete to overcome her own shortcomings to become a better athlete. The action was centered around her dissatisfaction with her life and her need to find something that defined her more completely. So, while it is a movie that shows women in a role of something more than a housekeeper, its aim is not to present an empowered image of the woman athlete. It is quite the contrary actually, as can be seen through Mike's paternal behaviour towards Pat.

It is important to see how the idea of women's sports in used in films in relation to conventional narrative, especially when contrasted with movie about male athletes. This comparison allows us to get a clearer picture of the image of the female athlete, as projected to the audience. These images are shaping the thoughts of the people who see them even today, and we need to be able to see exactly what they are mean.

Sasha said: I think it is not that, it is more that men and women need to balance in different ways. I think that's its interesting to point out that this is exactly what these films are trying to make us believe, that it is ok for a man to be completely devoted to a sport, or anything else other than family as a matter of fact. But this kind of use of cinema maks no room for a woman who wants to dedicate her life to something other than family. This is an important point to be addressed, and perhaps we can try and discover the elements of the movie and the various techniques used by the filmmakers to convince us of this, to glorify a male athlete over a female one.


Ideas and Responses
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-01 21:49:41 :
Link to this Comment: 11314


I think the film did in fact make the appearance of breaking the traditional narrative, just by centering the story around a woman athlete, but at the same time, the narrative was not about her struggle as an athlete to overcome her own shortcomings to become a better athlete. The action was centered around her dissatisfaction with her life and her need to find something that defined her more completely. So, while it is a movie that shows women in a role of something more than a housekeeper, its aim is not to present an empowered image of the woman athlete. It is quite the contrary actually, as can be seen through Mike's paternal behaviour towards Pat.

It is important to see how the idea of women's sports in used in films in relation to conventional narrative, especially when contrasted with movie about male athletes. This comparison allows us to get a clearer picture of the image of the female athlete, as projected to the audience. These images are shaping the thoughts of the people who see them even today, and we need to be able to see exactly what they are mean.

Sasha said: I think it is not that, it is more that men and women need to balance in different ways. I think that's its interesting to point out that this is exactly what these films are trying to make us believe, that it is ok for a man to be completely devoted to a sport, or anything else other than family as a matter of fact. But this kind of use of cinema maks no room for a woman who wants to dedicate her life to something other than family. This is an important point to be addressed, and perhaps we can try and discover the elements of the movie and the various techniques used by the filmmakers to convince us of this, to glorify a male athlete over a female one.



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-11 20:29:21 :
Link to this Comment: 11524

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 liked the point someone raised in class about the different social classes that the names imply. rocky definitely sounds like a blue collar worker while apollo is actually the name of a god. as far as creed, i see a creed as a statement which exemplifies a persons beliefs... in a way i guess apollo creed is making a statement that he is someone in which the fans can trust because he will not fail them...

adrianne just sounds timid. it may sound ridiculous, but if i were to imagine someone with the name adrianne, it would be a timid shy to herself kind of girl.



Name: Sasha
Date: //2004-11-11 16:48:28 :
Link to this Comment: 11519

s.lim said "i think dottie did purposefully drop the ball especially since there was the scene where she explicitly was able to hold on to the ball in a previous instance. as a narrative, the ending bothers me, because i don`t think kit deserved the victory."

I didn't thin k Dottie dropped it on purpose, but it is true that they showed her holding onto it earlier. If she did do it on purpose, that makes the ending more questionable. It sort of reasserts that the woman's prioties should always put sports after family...


oops, this one's for League of their own
Name: Sasha
Date: //2004-11-11 16:44:45 :
Link to this Comment: 11518

Sorry guys, I was feeling sick last week and forgot to post:
1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
I think Dottie is kind of the "mom" of the team. She takes care of everyone and keeps things running without ever embracing a role as boss.

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?
The baseball agent kind of show the true motives and attitudes behind the formation of the league. He knows what this is really about, and will admit it. That the players defy these expectations makes their accomplishments seem much greater.

3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?
Marshall created a wide range of "types" and betrayed the expectations of them--it is the "ugly tomboy" girl that meets a man and marries him, the "slut" is happy with her sexuality. the "good little wife" is the strongest player etc. She refuses to allow people to just assume about a character.

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?
I don't think Dottie did drop it on purpose. She seemed to go through an emotional debate about whether to help Kit or be loyal to the team, and picked the team by telling the pitcher to throw high fast ones. She didn't come back for Kit, she came back for her team and for the game. I believe that in the end despite everything she said baseball really did matter to her.


Pat and Mike
Name: Katie Hall
Date: //2004-10-28 16:37:39 :
Link to this Comment: 11253

Hey guys, I'm Katie, and I'm from Reedsville, PA. The two sports I'm really into are basketball and tennis. I used to play basketball when I was younger, and I love to watch it. I live about half an hour from Penn State, and I'm a huge Lady Lions fan. I get really worked up during their games. Haha. As far as tennis is concerned, I'm pretty sure I'm horrible at it - I've only ever played with a friend of mine, and my record is 1-2 - but it's still really fun. My favorite player has been Andy Roddick for a couple of years now, and I also like Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters.

- Do you think the film broke with traditional narrative? Was it able to sustain it?

No, I don't think the film broke with traditional narrative. I felt like the main issue in the film was Pat's unhappiness, whether than stemmed from within herself or from her relationship with Collier (sp?). And that was resolved by the end of the film. She was doing what she wanted to do with her life, and she ended up with the man she felt comfortable with.

- Why is it important/ interesting to look at women's sports films in relation to conventional narrative?

Well, in theory alone, female athletes are "breaking barriers", so this makes for an automatically unconventional plot. Or does it? Looking to see if these films adhere to the standards of conventional narratives can also tell us if female athletes are as groundbreaking as we are led to believe. If each one of these films were to end like Pat and Mike, with equal if not more emphasis on her relationship, there wouldn't be much progress being made.


Week 3 ROCKY
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-10 11:48:32 :
Link to this Comment: 11488


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?


reply
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-09 18:12:47 :
Link to this Comment: 11475

The 'baseball agent' does mock the narrative with his colorful language as he is crass enough to reveal exactly what were the motives behind the formation of this all women's baseball league. It was started out to be a form of entertainment, not only for the game, but also for a show of beautiful women. This provided an easy comparison to the role the players ended up assuming, being incredible ball players, that had a huge fan following for the game they played.

Okay, you changed my mind. I thought he was more of a symbol for typical male attitudes then - which actually fits into "mocking the narrative".


Week 4 Girl Fight
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-18 23:52:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11666

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



Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-08 22:01:53 :
Link to this Comment: 11455

s.lim. said: i think it was interesting to see the different types of roles the females played throughout the movie. there were the more sexual ones like madonna, the masculine outgoing ones, the shy traditional ones, the beauty queens, the tomboys, etc. as opposed to all women fitting one mold of what everyone was used to.


I think this is a very interesting idea. The director used the different images of a woman, that of a seductress, a wife, a sister, a mother, a beauty queen, a plain jane, and put them all in the same role -- a ball player. By showing that all the trials faced by these women were the same irrespective of where they came from or what their character was like, she created the image of the sports woman, and this was definately a break from the traditional roles that women were given. She shows us that a woman can also be many things at the same time like men can.


Response
Name:
Date: //2004-11-08 23:19:20 :
Link to this Comment: 11458

Angel said... 1. Where does Dottie’s character fit? Dottie represents the way society wanted women to be in the world war era. When the men went off to war, someone was needed to fill in thier roles while they were gone. So women were sent out into the world to take over for the time being. However, it was understood that once the men came back, the women would return to their household duties and allow the men to go back into their positions. Dottie filled this role exactly, because while her husband was gone she played Baseball and took on the masculine role, but as soon as he returned she went right back to being his wife, and not the ball player she had become.

I totally agree with that, and didn't even think of it. Not in those terms, anyways. She really did play into exactly what the men running the league wanted.



Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-08 23:19:46 :
Link to this Comment: 11459

That was me just then. Oops! I wish we could edit these!



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-08 18:06:52 :
Link to this Comment: 11447

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit? dottie seems like the voice of reason within everything. she is traditional and has always done what shes been told until the end when she returns from going home with her husband to finish off her baseball career.
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?
i think it was interesting to see the different types of roles the females played throughout the movie. there were the more sexual ones like madonna, the masculine outgoing ones, the shy traditional ones, the beauty queens, the tomboys, etc. as opposed to all women fitting one mold of what everyone was used to.

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? i think dottie did purposefully drop the ball especially since there was the scene where she explicitly was able to hold on to the ball in a previous instance. as a narrative, the ending bothers me, because i don`t think kit deserved the victory.



Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-08 19:09:31 :
Link to this Comment: 11449

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
She supports the typical values of the time because she (essentially) stops playing baseball when her husband comes home. However, she does play professional baseball for a while, so that definitely goes against the grain.

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 don't think the baseball agent really mocks the narrative. What shocked me were the uniforms. Why couldn't they have just worn pants? And the whole thing with Marla not being one of "the pretty ones" really ticked me off. He did end up taking her though, and it was all part of the values of the time.

3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?
Dottie is definitely the protagonist, which defies the submissive/secondary role most women have in films. She is a strong character and leader. Kit had a lot of personality too, and the dynamic between the two of them was a core part of the film.

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?
She dropped the ball on purpose. THere's no way she would hold it all the way down, as she was falling, and then drop it when she was on the ground. She didn't play any more baseball after that - it really was just something she did. That game was her last one. Also, telling the pitcher to pitch high ones was a giveaway.


A League of Their Own
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-08 09:25:57 :
Link to this Comment: 11438

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
Dottie represents the way society wanted women to be in the world war era. When the men went off to war, someone was needed to fill in thier roles while they were gone. So women were sent out into the world to take over for the time being. However, it was understood that once the men came back, the women would return to their household duties and allow the men to go back into their positions. Dottie filled this role exactly, because while her husband was gone she played Baseball and took on the masculine role, but as soon as he returned she went right back to being his wife, and not the ball player she had become.

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?
The 'baseball agent' does mock the narrative with his colorful language as he is crass enough to reveal exactly what were the motives behind the formation of this all women's baseball league. It was started out to be a form of entertainment, not only for the game, but also for a show of beautiful women. This provided an easy comparison to the role the players ended up assuming, being incredible ball players, that had a huge fan following for the game they played.

3. What things did Penny Marshall, the director, do --to challenge the stereotypical role of women in mainstream films?
The narrative of this film provides us with not only a struggle on the part of the women to deal with their home lives in addition to their game, it also deals with their struggles as a ball player, with their search for acceptance and respect as a ball player. The film shows us that women can be just as good as men when it comes to sport, as the league was continued even after the men came back from war and could resume their sport. Thus it challenges the stereotypical role of women by legitimately putting them on a playing field and keeping them there for despite the concerns of family matters. This is also seen in the fact that even though Dottie conceeded to the idea of returning home with her Bob at first, she comes back because she embraces her role as an athlete as an important part of her life, which is not the role that women are supposed to play.

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?
I think that Dottie did drop the ball purposefully in the end of the game. While she was faithful to her team as she tells the pitcher Kit's weakness, at the absolute end she lets Kit win so she could get that glory that she's always wanted. I feel like this scene brings the movie back to some sort of a stereotypical narrative with respect to women's roles as even on the field in a very competitive game, Dottie allows her emotions to sway her actions, which shows that she values her family a lot more than she values the game. Sad as it may be, this does put her in a more traditional female role.


A League of Their Own
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-07 16:42:37 :
Link to this Comment: 11416

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?

Dottie is sort of trapped between two worlds. She loves baseball, and you can tell, but she thinks that it adds another dimension to her life that she shouldn't have. At one point she even says something to the effect of "I have Bob, I don't need this." The struggle between the life a "typical narrative" would a portray for a woman and the lives of a lot of the other girls in the league is personified in Dottie.

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?

Mock the narrative? I don't know if I'd say that, considering the fact that, as a scout, he is kind of a catalyst for the "abnormality" on which the entire narrative is based: a women's baseball league. I think the guy that rolled up his pantlegs and made fun of the players mocked the narrative, for sure. Haha. But I don't really feel like the scout did. Especially since he took Marla; it just gave me the impression that he knew that something bigger was going on, despite all of his sarcasm.

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

Well, for one thing, Dottie and Bob didn't have any children. I think this made it a lot easier to see Dottie decide to go. Also, we see Doris tear up a picture of her boyfriend and decide to leave him. Rather than submit to a guy who was treating her badly because she thought she couldn't do any better and/or deserved it, Doris was strong enough to see that she didn't have to stay with him, and that's not something earlier women in films would've done. One thing about the film that sort of bothered me was how obviously made-up the women were while they were playing. I mean, WNBA players nowadays don't go out on the court wearing red lipstick like that. Was this just because of the time period of the film? It's cool that they can play and be pretty at the same time, but...I don't know. It just bugs me when I watch that movie.

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? That scene irritates me every time I watch this movie, but I guess it's just because I think Kit is such a brat. Haha. But yeah, I do think Dottie dropped the ball on purpose. It goes back to what she said about "I have Bob, I don't need this." Baseball is all that Kit has, in a way. Kit was going back to it, Dottie was not. It meant more for Kit to be the hero, and Dottie was a big enough person to see that. As far as the narrative is concerned, for me personally, it makes it kind of disappointing. I prefer Dottie to Kit, obviously, and I'd rather she be the hero in the end.


Welcome to Women, Sport and Film
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-10-19 16:23:23 :
Link to this Comment: 11140

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



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-20 15:44:02 :
Link to this Comment: 11698

Did it challenge the traditional narrative?

i don`t know how much the movie challenged the traditional narrative.
although the female was playing the male role
it was just a matter of her gender being different.
she was the dominant character in all her relationships
and it almost seemed as though
although she may have been a female
she had to take on male characteristics
in order to be the protagonist of the story
it may have slightly challenged the narrative
but it all still seemed very familiar.


Girl Fight
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-21 13:18:24 :
Link to this Comment: 11705

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

Girl Fight was definitely about perseverance and going for what you want out of life. Diana wanted to be a boxer, and she never backed down, not even at the end when she had to fight Adrian. Once she had proven herself in the last match, it seemed like she knew she didn't have to be "on guard" so much any more. The final scene where she's hugging Adrian is really different from the opening scenes where she looks like the world is out to get her and keep her from doing what she wants with life. I think it didn't challenge the traditional narrative. She trained hard, she won her match, she got the guy. The only difference was that she was a girl.


Girlfight
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-22 14:12:20 :
Link to this Comment: 11712


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

The movie said that nothing is too hard, that if you want something, you should give it your all and you shall get it. It asks you to embrace who you are and make the most of it instead of trying to fit into the moulds people have made our for you. The images that support this are her final boxing match, her confrontation with her father, and her in the entire movie almost. It challenged the traditional narrative as the girl was put in a more powerful, more masculine position, whereas the men were shown to be intimidated by her and overpowered by her. The movie showed most of the men in her life becoming effeminate in one way or another while she boxed, thus challenginf the traditional roles prescribed for women in cinema.


Girlfight
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-22 15:57:17 :
Link to this Comment: 11716

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


Girlfight said a lot of things, but the common thread throughout them was perserverance and determination. Diana embodied the idea that, no matter where you come from, you can become someone to be proud of. The images of the 'projects' where she and Adrian grew up and the scenes depicting her somewhat tumultuous home life showed that she definitely inherited a lot of adversity, but she overcame it to be who she wanted to be. She also had to deal with the 'boys vs girls' theme that has been common in all of the films we've watched, except for Rocky. She was more traditionally masculine than her little brother was - he didn't want to fight. She was still portrayed as feminine, though, just in different ways. I don't think it necessarily challenged the traditional narrative - yeah, she ended up with the guy at the end - but it did actually show the idea that we've been talking about: the importance of the sport versus the importance of the relationship. Diana was willing to put the sport first - she had no second thoughts about fighting Adrian. I thought that put this film above the rest in a way.


Responses
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-22 22:38:44 :
Link to this Comment: 11720

responding to s.lim. and katie

When I read what s.lim. said about how Diana taking on the role of the male to be the protagonist, I realized I had never thought of it in that light, and thought that maybe she was right, but I agree with katie's take on it. She is shown as feminine, but just in different way. So while she does have dominant characteristics to her personality, she is still a woman and is portrayed in that light.



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-23 06:55:54 :
Link to this Comment: 11728

i feel like
in her having put her own desires and ambitions before that of adrians
it was somewhat admirable
but it's also difficult
as to where the line is drawn
between being strong and independent
and almost just selfish...?


response to Girl Fight
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-23 09:40:15 :
Link to this Comment: 11729

i feel like in her having put her own desires and ambitions before that of adrians it was somewhat admirable but it's also difficult as to where the line is drawn between being strong and independent and almost just selfish...?


There's a difference between looking out for your own interests, which is completely normal, and being selfish. Diana was confident and knew what she wanted, and she wouldn't let anything get between it and her. That's not being selfish. It's just having a really sharply divided set of priorities/goals. She had to look out for herself. Nobody was really looking out for her. Her brother was a wimp (a nice wimp, but still a wimp), her father was neglectful and abusive, and her mother had committed suicide.


Reply
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-11-23 13:48:20 :
Link to this Comment: 11731

I don't think she was selfish, either. They were both fighting to reach teh same goal: to win. Adrian wanted to win just as much as she did. To use a sports cliche, when you're dedicated, every game, match, whatever, is do or die. Maybe the match would've had more of an effect in the long run on Adrian, but in that point in time, they both had the same thing at stake, and I don't think that Diana was selfish at all. She was just being a boxer.


WEEK 5 Pumping Iron II
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-11-24 07:38:17 :
Link to this Comment: 11753

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: Katie
Date: //2004-11-29 17:21:00 :
Link to this Comment: 11787

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?



I think another issue the film addressed was the effect of the men with whom the women had relationships. For example, Carla didn't seem to have a man who was very prominent in her life while Laurie seemed very dependent on her fiance in certain ways. Carla came off as a much more independent, strong character because she didn't seem to have anyone to look to for approval. She worked hard for herself and herself alone. (Granted, we didn't see as much personal stuff with her.)


The scene that stood out the most to me was the part at the end in the hotel where Bev is drooling over the room service menu. I really thought she'd show more emotion than she did. Well, I thought she'd show some emotion, since we didn't really see any from her at all. It was just kind of sad, how at peace she was with the way the contest itself had failed her. I just felt she should've voiced some disappointment, to make that little bit of progress at the end.


I think Laurie symbolized, again, the traditional "girl in a relationship." Her fiance didn't hold her back, though. In fact, it was the opposite - she wanted to do well and be able to support him. He trained with her, and she seemed to be the "breadwinner" in the relationship. I think she brought a lot of traditional feminity to the movie, though. Her relationship allowed us to see her on a more personal level, and it was easy to imagine her in the future, married and with kids. So, at least for me, she served as a kind of anchor to what women are "supposed to be."



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-29 18:58:19 :
Link to this Comment: 11788

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 thought laurie's relationship said something very interesting. she was interesting because although she was in a relationship, her relationship challenged what was typical. between the two there was a more stable equal balance of power and respect within the relationship. she was doing as much for him as he was for her and that balance gave the relationship a different dynamic from the traditional role playing.


Pumping Iron II
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-29 21:09:41 :
Link to this Comment: 11793

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 scene that impressed me the most was when Bev was saying how she was always different from the other girls, how she liked being strong and powerful. I think that a theme in the movie is going for what you want, without caring what other people think about you. She definitely did. Even though she didn't win, she still had the body she wanted.
I'm mad that Bev didn't place higher in the match - I think she definitely should have and standard stereotypes about gender were influencing the judges.

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?

Laurie seems like she loved her fiance, she seemed like an "average woman," not drop-dead gorgeous and not major body builder. At the beginning of the movie she was the only one with visible body fat, with something resembling a "normal" female figure. It was important for contrast/balance between the more supermodel and more body-building types.


response
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-11-29 21:14:55 :
Link to this Comment: 11794

The scene that stood out the most to me was the part at the end in the hotel where Bev is drooling over the room service menu. I really thought she'd show more emotion than she did. Well, I thought she'd show some emotion, since we didn't really see any from her at all. It was just kind of sad, how at peace she was with the way the contest itself had failed her. I just felt she should've voiced some disappointment, to make that little bit of progress at the end.


***
I thought that what was important to her was being herself. She wanted to win, sure, but the most important thing was doing what she wanted to get the body she wanted because she liked lifting. There's something to be said for living life in the moment and being able to pick yourself up and put things behind you.


Pumping Iron II
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-30 11:28:28 :
Link to this Comment: 11807

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?


The image that I though was significant was the scene that showed the women working out in the gym. It allowed us to see the work that went into being at the place that these women were, as well as how they got there, what their source of inspiration and support was. The end left us with the question what is sports worth? What is the point behind all of it? For someone like Rachel is was about winning, whereas for someone like Bev it was a way of life, something that defined her and was an integral part of her being.

Rachel, Bev and Carla were all in the competition for the sport. For Laurie however, the competition was about winning not for herself, but for her husband, so that he would not have to keep dancing for a living. Her motives for winning were selfless, in that way she represented the traditional mould woman, looking out for her significant other and not just for her own laurels.



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-11-30 18:10:54 :
Link to this Comment: 11816

The scene that impressed me the most was when Bev was saying how she was always different from the other girls, how she liked being strong and powerful. I think that a theme in the movie is going for what you want, without caring what other people think about you. She definitely did. Even though she didn't win, she still had the body she wanted.

kind of along the same lines
a statement bev had made
that stood out
was when she talked about how
it was time for these female body building pagaents
to become more than just the typical thin well formed female
and have more of a stronger body builder within it
i think it was extremely disapopinting
that the judges categorized "feminine"
as meaning
petite.


response
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-11-30 18:50:34 :
Link to this Comment: 11820

katie said:
I think another issue the film addressed was the effect of the men with whom the women had relationships. For example, Carla didn't seem to have a man who was very prominent in her life while Laurie seemed very dependent on her fiance in certain ways. Carla came off as a much more independent, strong character because she didn't seem to have anyone to look to for approval. She worked hard for herself and herself alone. (Granted, we didn't see as much personal stuff with her.)


I dont think that laurie was dependent on her fiance, I think she cared about him and was actually taking on responsibility on his behalf. She wanted to win the competition and get the money so that she could have enough money to support her fiance and he wouldn't have to keep dancing. In this way she was almost in more of a masculine role, as she was the provider, the one trying to save her significant other from an embarressing and debasing job.


Week 6 Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2004-12-01 11:05:54 :
Link to this Comment: 11830

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: Lauren
Date: //2004-12-03 16:52:48 :
Link to this Comment: 11861

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?

The poster of Beckham that Jess had in her room and the way she talked to it as if it were Beckham both helped remind her of what was important to her personally. I really liked the movie as it was done. If I had more of a film-y background I might be able to criticize it better. The final message I got was that pursuing your dreams and obtaining them is possible, regardless of the odds. I do think the love story angle was kind of a reach, as it wasn't really developed that well.


Bend It Like Beckham
Name:
Date: //2004-12-04 10:32:29 :
Link to this Comment: 11862

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?


It seems that her true confidants, the picture of Beckham, as well as her friend Tony supported Jess in her quest to play. In the end it was her own motivations that made her go, the poster of Beckham represented all her inner thoughts, uncovered by any devices. And whenever she lost that inner determination, the people around her, especially Tony provided her with support and motivation. I think Tony was possibly the biggest motivation, because he was from the same cultural background as Jess, and this made his opinion that much more valueable, since he knew what it meant to be Indian, and the baggage that came with that.

The prominant images of the film were those of Guru Nanak and the airport and airplanes. These images were repeated several times in the movie and they added to the sense that Jess was not any girl in England, that she had a very specific space, and how soccer really was something that she would have to bend the rules to pursue.

The message the movie left us with is not only that if you go after what you want you will get it, but also learning to be accepting and allowing yourself to grow and change is vital to go on in this life. Jess's family was unwilling to allow the place where they were living affect their cultural ways in any possible way, they felt that letting the british into their lives would compromise their cultural values. But they learned that this was not true, and they were able to live more involved with their surroundings by accepting this.


oops!
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-12-04 10:32:55 :
Link to this Comment: 11863

That was me above there!


Response for Pumping Iron II
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-12-05 12:06:29 :
Link to this Comment: 11867

"The scene that impressed me the most was when Bev was saying how she was always different from the other girls, how she liked being strong and powerful. I think that a theme in the movie is going for what you want, without caring what other people think about you. She definitely did. Even though she didn't win, she still had the body she wanted.
I'm mad that Bev didn't place higher in the match - I think she definitely should have and standard stereotypes about gender were influencing the judges."


I agree. That scene was really good because it gave us some insight into Bev's attitude towards weightlifting and towards being a female in the sport. And I thought she should've placed higher as well.



Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-12-05 12:24:09 :
Link to this Comment: 11868

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?


I think what motivated Jess had a lot to do with what Joe said out loud at one point in the film: "Whose life are you living?" If she continued to sacrifice her happiness to please her parents, she would never have the kind of life she wanted. The director used the images of her culture in contrast with metropolitan London - at least at one point - to show the two sides of Jess's life. The message I was left with was that we should do what will make us happy, and compromise with those who want what's best for us, but don't understand what we want. If that makes sense.


Bend It Like Beckham Reponse
Name: Katie
Date: //2004-12-05 12:27:48 :
Link to this Comment: 11869

"The message the movie left us with is not only that if you go after what you want you will get it, but also learning to be accepting and allowing yourself to grow and change is vital to go on in this life. Jess's family was unwilling to allow the place where they were living affect their cultural ways in any possible way, they felt that letting the british into their lives would compromise their cultural values. But they learned that this was not true, and they were able to live more involved with their surroundings by accepting this."


I agree, and I think this was shown - albeit pretty abruptly and randomly - at the end with Joe playing cricket (?) with Jess's dad. Yeah, it was a weird thing to end on and probably would never have happened that quickly, but it did show that her family was willing to try to be more open.


Response - BILB
Name: Angel
Date: //2004-12-05 13:00:39 :
Link to this Comment: 11870

Katie said:
I agree, and I think this was shown - albeit pretty abruptly and randomly - at the end with Joe playing cricket (?) with Jess's dad. Yeah, it was a weird thing to end on and probably would never have happened that quickly, but it did show that her family was willing to try to be more open.


I don't feel like the ending was abrupt. I'd also like to put forth a fact that I'm guessing most people didn't realize. The soundtrack in the movie is often suggestive of the themes being explored in the film, and a lot of this soundtrack is in the Punjabi language. Some such songs are "if you go to a foreign country don't forget your culture, your ways and your language" and "there are a lot of people who live in this world, but the punjabi's have their own special place" (jess' family is punjabi). Even the scenes of the Indian culture in London vs the scenes of mainstream London are meant to convey this message. The theme of finding your place while living in a foreign land is recurring and that is why I did not find the end abrupt. Even the airplanes we see all the time have an element of travelling away from home but never quite leaving home in them. That's my reading of it anyways.



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-12-06 14:34:07 :
Link to this Comment: 11886

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

I think Jess was mostly driven by her own ambitions. there were people who were helping her along the way, but ultimately, it did become her own life to live and until she came to that realization she was continuously compromising her desires and her ambitions.

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

the movie left me believing in a possibility in change. the ending and the beginning were two very drastic depictions of jess's family and granted there was a great deal of contraversy in between, it seemed all well worth it after seeing the conclusion of the film



Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-12-06 14:38:17 :
Link to this Comment: 11887

"The message the movie left us with is not only that if you go after what you want you will get it, but also learning to be accepting and allowing yourself to grow and change is vital to go on in this life. Jess's family was unwilling to allow the place where they were living affect their cultural ways in any possible way, they felt that letting the british into their lives would compromise their cultural values. But they learned that this was not true, and they were able to live more involved with their surroundings by accepting this."

i think this was a valuable lesson that i never thought of.
i guess attempting to see it from the parents point of view puts a whole different spin on the film also. it's interesting to see how much people value their culture to the point where they would protect it against any and all "foreigners." but it was really genuinely encouraging to see jess's family open up to new surroundings and new cultures and come against what biases they may have held originally. especially on the part of the father because of the personal difficulties he had to overcome for the sake of his daughters growth.


Bend it like Beckham
Name: Lauren
Date: //2004-12-07 19:25:23 :
Link to this Comment: 11906

"The prominant images of the film were those of Guru Nanak and the airport and airplanes. These images were repeated several times in the movie and they added to the sense that Jess was not any girl in England, that she had a very specific space, and how soccer really was something that she would have to bend the rules to pursue."


The contrast between the image of Guru Nanak and the image that I remembered of Beckham contrast the two major parts of who Jess is and the double life she lives in a way. She has to find a way to not let her culture get in the way of having her be who she wants to be and do what she wants to do with her life.


pat&mike
Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-12-10 03:21:04 :
Link to this Comment: 11931

i think the film did not break with the traditional narrative, if anything it only emphasized a female need to find herself after the aid of a male in her life. it had the typical wrapped everything together ending and nothing really challenged the idea of women in society and sports. then again, i feel as though the time period in which this film was created would probably have an impact on what the film was trying to say.


pat&mike 2
Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-12-10 03:23:14 :
Link to this Comment: 11932

- Why is it important/ interesting to look at women's sports films in relation to conventional narrative?
It's important because there are generally differences between women's sports films and men's sports films. In the plots of sports films, women seem to have to deal with their whole lives all at once, on or off the playing field/court, but men seem to be able to just focus on winning and don't have to care about anything else.

i agree that in watching men's sport films the message of women's sport films are emphasized because the difference create a stronger illustration of what is right. it also seems true that women's sport films always seem to include another aspect of the woman's life that she struggles with rather than just the dead on sport idea.


a league of their own 2
Name: s. lim
Date: //2004-12-10 03:28:09 :
Link to this Comment: 11933

1. Where does Dottie’s character fit?
She supports the typical values of the time because she (essentially) stops playing baseball when her husband comes home. However, she does play professional baseball for a while, so that definitely goes against the grain.

i thought dottie's character was also essential to the film because she is the character that was kind of riding the fence. indeed as much as she loves baseball, she feels the weight of the responsibility of having to tend to the needs of her family. she was necessary because she did portray typical values.