Sunday, April 26, 2009

exotica: canadian film review.

I really enjoyed Atom Egoyan's Exotica (1994), I found it to be a very interesting story line that at no point spoon fed the audience. The narrative focuses on a nightclub in Toronto and it's owners, patrons and primary dancer (played by my favorite - Jennifer Connelly) and their intermingling plots. This is an excellent reflection of Canadian film in so many ways. Our ability to tackle the “exotic” if you will.

The story overlaps then breaks apart and re mingles connecting the dots. -Exotica both teases and in a sense educates- stripping away the layers. Healing and therapy are also major themes: “this place is for entertainment- healing should be sought elsewhere” Zoe. Watching the girls soothe clients soothes him too” in regards to Eric.

There is a considerable stretch of time elapses before its coolly juxtaposed scenes start to clearly connect mobilizing suspense. Egoyan uses ritual and repetition, from words spoken to actions made to images shown. Like a mirror image they repeat themselves,sometimes even doubling- like Thomas visiting the club for Francis whose fantasy investment in he club makes presence there a necessity even if it’s through a double.
The viewed object is not only taboo- a hand repeatedly blocks the camera’s view of a grainy clip finally revealed to be revealed as one of Lisa and her mother- too precious to touch. Exotica rehearses the concern with touch
Everybody Knows- you can look but you can’t touch”

image source:

Monday, April 20, 2009

canada's selective history.

Canada: A People’s History and Canadian Heritage Minutes and are a part of Canada’s nationalism that in many ways can be compared to a textbook of Canadian History. We are given this information about Canada as fact, and therefore have no reason to doubt its validity; especially with such established corporations as the CBC and Radio Canada presenting them. However, I believe it is important to question their selection in choosing these ‘Canadian’ moments in history, and more specifically what is not being mentioned. I found it interesting in the Canada: A People’s History when they begin with the white people saving the native girl. It is also extremely odd to me that in all the history of Canada, a soldier’s bear named after his hometown, inspiring a few children’s stories made the cut of a Heritage Minute. While both of the subjects do bring light to Canadian history, it is important to realize that it is a selective history being presented.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

slutty skirts.

The deliberation over women’s dress: provocative or empowering. It is a timeless debate. No matter what the case, what a woman wears is representative of her as an individual and as part her culture. In the case of `national culture’ for Tanzanians consumption of `Western’ fashion becomes part of this issue. Operation Vijana deals with just the consumption of objects signs and images originating from Western mass culture industries. The mini skirt in particular being a very controversial topic. The mini skirt raises politics of urban space and constructions of gender and the city. The mobility of the mini skirt allows for women to work easier whilst representing the city. It represented opportunity and threatened men by raising the bargaining position of women in the town

The sexualisation of the miniskirt is essential when discussing the men’s issues with the dress. Young men felt they were especially at loss in the issue of politics concerning Operation Vijana. They felt they were at a strong economic disadvantage to the `sugar’ daddies that the young women had relationships with because of the girl’s access. A woman her looking sexy will always be associated with prostitution, and will be assumed to gaining access to men and there money through sex. Is it valid to associate exposing skin with gaining power and to go as far as immediately linking it to prostitution? I am personally a believer of `returning the gaze’. I believe a woman looking sexy and gaining power and confidence as a result of this gaze is perfectly acceptable. I believe there are boundaries within each individual’s morals of what one will wear or how much to expose, as long as one is happy with what they gain through such means. Returning the gaze is a powerful tool that does nothing but help the advancement of any marginalized group.