Deployment of Sexuality: Stop the Violence

Ang Lihim ni Antonio is a 2008 film by Filipino film director Joselito Altarejos focused on the emerging gay sexuality of the main character Antonio who is a 15-year old teenager. The film tackled how society created standards that alienate those who choose to deviate from gender norms and how Antonio overcome such ascendancies.

The disposition of Antonio knowing his identity and sexuality is a very common case in the Philippines wherein many people (during the time the film was produced) are repressed due to societal discrimination and stigma. The acknowledgment of gender fluidity was a cellar dweller issue to start with even in small conversations. Sex, sexuality and gender are somewhat a thing not to talked about. However, this film presented the struggle of those who try to swerve from normative standards.

The film has showed how gay men are taken advantage of due to their vulnerability which turned into sexual violence. Because of the instilled “maleness” in the minds of many, they have thought of them as superiors and dominate those who are weak, for instance is the case of Jonbert and Antonio in the latter part of the film. This communicates that violence comes from different forms. Therefore, we must recognize that violence against gender and sexuality has not stopped yet and we must speak out and act on this.

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What is the right thing?

This 1989 film directed and scripted by Spike Lee is a social problem film which centers with the need to respect community and its underpinnings. This film takes place in a predominantly African-American Bedford-Stuyvesant sections of Brooklyn in which sexual and racial tensions upsurge. For instance, the relationship of Mookie to his Italian-American boss, Sal and her Puerto Rican girlfriend, Tina. The tension between Buggin’ Out and Sal, which escalated to the feelings of Radio Raheem alongside. These rigidities communicated several issues a community a facing involving racial differences.

I must specifically pinpoint the journey of overcoming racism that happened in the film. Firstly, the issue of the blacks to the whites, there is so much strain between Sal and others in the neighborhood who are almost blacks (variety of blacks). Although, Mookie handled it in a very centric philosophy way because he, in the first place, did not want to be involve in the brawl. Secondly, another level of racism between the people in the neighborhood and the Koreans who has a small store at the end of the street which they kept on bothering mainly because they are different. Thirdly, issues of blacks to other blacks, for example, Da Mayor and Mother Sister. Hence, this overcoming of sexual and racial conflict speaks vividly to what should really be the right thing to do.

Acceptance may not come easy to each one of us especially if we deemed someone as different from us. However, every race has its unique features and extraordinary capabilities that we all should acknowledge. We have to initiate dialogues, ask and raise questions and seek for a solution. The right thing to do is to live up to the word RESPECT.  

Godfather: The Underground Influence

The Francis Ford Coppola film is one of the films that showed how the underground world of gambling, drugs, etc. surprisingly have been happening since their time. It is projection of legend turned fact. One comes to understand, even to condone, the activities of the godfather and his clan.

At first, I was confused on why people go to Mr. Corleone to seek for revenge, for solutions to problem and for friendship. The role of “power” within the film is evident. On the other hand, it portrayed how family is important in the every day living, there is temperateness in the ways family interconnect to each other. The scenes are filled with festivities every now and then. Michael as one of the main characters showed his multifaceted portrayal.

The interplay of the characters within a circle of life which the family is hugely part. The anomalies were exposed and the giving birth and christening to the new godfather is the climax and significant symbolism in the film. No doubt that this would really be one of the best films of those times. Worth the watch!

What Could Be The Rules?

“Friendship with a man? When pigs have wings!”

How could a woman be just friend with a man? How could the love be possibly platonic? How could love not to transcend than a sophisticated level of love? How could you apprehend the love you have for someone is greater than what you sense from another? What could possibly be the rules of the game?

These are the questions that immediately lodged in my mind that challenged my cognizance of love beyond friendship. Sadly, I should first talk about the technicality of the film and I will deal on the meaning of the film perceived by in the latter part. Firstly, I would like to start with one of my classmate’s questions to me, “Is the film good even if it’s just black and white?” then I immediately answered, “Yes! Definitely!”.

The 1939 film by Jean Renoir has its lasting virtues through and transcend war and it is so relevant today. It showed how social class and power relations move into the visualization of the film. Renoir gave justice to the cinematic attack and the discussion of different shades of social class ruling in the set time. The cinematography is astonishing which used deep focus photography and the use of multiple 30-40 second shots which many characters come in and out of the scene. It is evident that he utilized fluid camera movements which made the film more engaging and appreciatively comprehensible.

Renoir achieved the essence of the story that was portrayed in the film which discussed the conflict between social classes and affairs in the society. Additionally, this breaks the norm of love in many language that is seen in the centrality of the film.

A Battle Against Despotism

At the end of 1925, Sergei Eisenstein’s second full-length film was released which focused on the mutiny that took place on the Battleship Potemkin in June 1905. Eisenstein used hasty and shuddering juxtaposing of images which for him is the best way to manipulate the emotional retort of the audience. He fully utilized the idea of a Soviet Montage with involves the power of editing and the use of various shots.

The film, more than its cinematography value, communicated a force of resistance among the sailors who were on board the ship. Eisenstein have showed the exposition of the narrative and how the actors portrayed the frustrations, anger, urges and dismays towards their seniors who oppressed them. Simultaneously, the fascinating fact is that Eisenstein concentrated on decisive crowd sequences and the use of untrained actors. One of the scenes in which Vakulinchuk gives a moving speech was an empowering move.

“What are we waiting for? All of Russia has risen.”

The Odessa Steps is the highlight of the film which gave Eisenstein career in flourish. It is the epitome of the of the montage technique. Amidst the struggle, there is hope given by the film and the technique used. It showed how the conflict of classes, through the stairs and the camera angles, is depicted. The different brawls of mankind represented in the movie encapsulated how power had gone into their deep wells of excavation.

The movie had this power of exchanging thoughts through the film technique employed. It manifested the stiffness and gruesomeness of war and its complications concerning the lower-class sailors and the seniors. The over-arching rhythm of life in the battleship is vividly rendered to the spectators.