Negative Image

In “Activating the Negative Image” Racquel Gates she brings up the interesting situation of how Melissa Harris-Perry show had a panel made up entirely of like minded individuals, which i think is too common in Media as a whole. Whether it’s “serious” political networks like CNN or Fox, or even talk shows, many times guests only differ in opinion by so much. They often times don’t take a full look at issues and instead just support each others opinions, leaving the audience without any other opinion than the one presented. People often bring up the importance of diversity in panels, but they’re normally talking about it in the shallow sense; as in the color of their skin, whats between their legs, or who they sleep with. The importance of diversity is in peoples thoughts and ideas, the things that actually make people interesting, until people can come to realize that encouraging people to all think individually is what’s important instead of everyone looking different then these shows will become more important.

Women, AIDS, Activism, and Knowledge

ACT UP in this article expresses a desire to educate people, specifically adolescence. To me the core to solving all worlds problems is the use of logic and education; whether it comes to all races being human, violence being the problem rather than guns/weapons, or how to stop the spread of deceases that lead to preventable deaths. Knowledge is something people often take for granted since most of us have been in school since we were around five years of age, people too often just end up telling other people what they should do instead of giving them all the information about a subject so that person can make up their own mind. The government can implement laws, or bring out medicine faster, but it’s all for nothing if there’s no knowledge out there. ACT UP doesn’t just assume people will be abstinent, they know that teenagers are sexually active and their efforts create adults who can advocate for themselves and have to hope for someone to tell them what to do.

One Step

In “One Step Ahead: A Conversation with Barry Jenkins” Jenkins describes the difference in pacing between the diner scene and all the others. The film has a fairly quick pace and flows very smoothly, even with all of the artistic editing choices used to convey the main characters head space. In the diner scene the film loses this, in a good way, everything gets slow and tense. The audience is left waiting for anticipation for one of them to talk about the elephant in the room; through this we watch Kevin make Chiron dinner, Chiron waits for Kevin eagerly, and they small talk a little. The whole time I’m waiting for a conversation or a kiss, anything, but they instead make us wait. If you become tense to see more it’s because the filmmakers brought you in and grabbed you, they made the audience invested. The last chapter, specifically the diner scene, exemplifies life; you’re constantly in this state of waiting for the good stuff to come, until you realize life doesn’t play out like the movie does before. Life is full of slow, anxious, painful moments; the bad in life can go by in a flash, but the moment you’ve been waiting forever for will last forever.

Moonlight

Before previously watching the movie, I heard many great things about Moonlight and I am so happy that we got to watch it in class! This movie was absolutely moving and powerful. Between the lighting, the shots, the character depth, and the camera movement: this movie is a truly piece of artwork.

The transitioning between Chiron’s stages of life was fluently portrayed in a beautiful depiction of what it means to grow up under a specific, challenging setting of society. It hurt me to see his younger, child self go through so much pain and suffering. When you first wonder about his situation, you don’t really get the full notion of his home life and what is making him so quiet/why he is being bullied. His bond with Juan made my heart swell up with both sympathy and hope – to see this young boy find someone to look after him in the midst of all this chaos spoke volumes. Juan was a father-figure to him and it was amazing to be able to step into Chiron’s shoes during this stage as Little. That water scene was absolutely breathtaking because you were at the same level as Chiron when he was learning how to float — this brought such anxiety to me; watching this through child eyes and feeling as if I was just as “little” as Chiron was absolutely unbelievable (I’ve never seen a movie that has done this kind of filming before).

What got me teary eyed was when Chiron was being confronted by his drug-dependent mother and she yelled out “I am your blood!”. It was so saddening to see his trembling face and the hurt in his eyes. All these elements of woe was impeccably influential towards the future adult Chiron and his drug-dealing route. If we had seen Chiron as an adult first before being guided through his entire life, we may have quickly came to judge his character and ethics about becoming this person who sells drugs — however, seeing his journey through life really grabbed a hold on the audience and made us understand that there’s more to what meets the eye.

That last scene really, really hit me hard. When Chiron is seen as Little looking back at the camera with the ocean in the background *ah man, I’m starting to get watery eyed right now, no lie* it gives this cool relief of faith in Chiron’s harsh reality. What a fantastic movie.

Moonlight

Moonlight is a great example of the term “never judge a book by its cover”. Chiron being one of the characters grew up to be a drug dealer. Somewhat of a rough life growing up. Being in an environment where drugs took a toll on someone who was so close to him (his mother) would usually mean that the person would voluntarily stay away from it. I’m sure we all have friends who doesn’t drink or smoke because their family members got caught up and had many bad experiences with it. This isn’t the case however so it is a tad alarming that he grew up on the verge of being a kingpin. Another reason we can say don’t judge a book by its cover is because now you are thinking “Oh he is a drug dealer” “real street cat right here, he’s a hustler, etc. etc.” You wouldn’t expect your drug dealer to have any feminine qualities about him. You would expect your drug dealer to be rough, rugged, and “manly”. However… Chiron is also gay. Surprise? Who knows. The film does a great job demonstrating the tolls of being bottled up in your own emotions. The mask that people put on are so tight that it is often hard to see reality and see who you truly are just because of the environment that you grew up in.

Beyonce Lemonade

Beyonce’s Lemonade was definitely a project that was made to uplift women. The Queen B showed her power and showed how powerful women can be when she “exposed” and let to light some of the information about successful rap mogul and entrepreneur Jay-Z. A man with as much power as he holds in society was pretty much owned by his wife. Certain songs through the album definitely led to certain viewpoints. Many things can be said about what type of feeling or empowerment you can get through the project. Some women were able to decode some of the lyrics as Beyonce having her guard up and not being taken advantage of. It is showing a strong, independent woman, that knows her worth and not even a man with status like her husband Jay-Z can hold her down. Beyonce also tries to unite black women in this project and to not have women attack other women because of the way that their body may look. It has a different meaning then most may think and it is definitely one to stand up against a higher power (men). This is one of Beyonce’s most rebellious projects, although Beyonce has not steered away from being a rebellious women rights activist in the past with her music.