Passing; The Girl in the Mirror
2015; Spring Semester
Filmed using a Canon xA
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Elizabeth Gonzalez
Girl Protagonist: Cristal Liriano
Protagonist's Mother: Margarita Gonzalez
The short film, “The Girl in The Mirror” highlights the difficulties that some minorities face when dealing with assimilation into the white culture of America. The film will follow the routine morning of a young Latina woman, and her efforts to make herself appear “whiter” than her true complexion or hair would suggest. The film will invoke the desperation and obsession that this woman has with the aspect of whiteness by using the technique of reflections from mirrors and even water to show her apprehension to seeing her true state. The point of the film is to demonstrate a realistic view of the effects of living in a white driven culture in America and the psychological effects it has on minorities.
The short film, “The Girl in The Mirror” delves into the psychological effects that a white driven culture in America has on a young Hispanic woman. The film showcases the routine that a young Dominican woman has each morning and her preparation to become “whiter.” The woman represents the outward expression of the mentality that many Hispanic women in the American culture struggle with. The Hispanic woman’s attempt to become white is all in the effort for acceptance and belonging to the white culture she is exposed to. The film shows the white-obsessed mentality with the recurring symbol throughout the film of white objects and the use of mirrors. Extreme close-ups serve to emphasize the natural beauty of the protagonist opposed to the fakeness of her skin as she finished her whitening process. Her mother serves to represent the unintentional baggage that a mother can impose on her child. Although the mother, in her mind, is helping her daughter by exposing her to the reality that there is an intense racial hierarchy in America, by telling her that she must appear a certain way to get privileges, she is also imposes an intense struggle upon the protagonist, in that she is ashamed of her true identity because it cannot co-exist with her American identity. This film slightly hints at the themes Rafael Trujillo, a Dominican dictator, shared with Dominicans: that the ideal Dominican is light-skinned and has silky, straight hair. This kind of mentality is not unheard of. The famous and notorious baseball player Sammy Sosa, after retiring from baseball began his whitening process. He used creams and avoided the sun, all in an effort to become whiter because he felt that he would set an example for Dominicans to refine his race by whitening it.
The short film, “The Girl in The Mirror” highlights the difficulties that some minorities face when dealing with assimilation into the white culture of America. The film follows the routine morning of a young Hispanic woman, and her efforts to make herself appear “whiter” than her true complexion or hair would suggest.
-Need to correct some color issues
-Reshoot flashback scene
-Work out some audio issues
-Blur out logos and brand names
As a professional musician uses art and dance to expand her sense of creative freedom, the director becomes braver in expressing herself through film.
In portraying the creative life of Sarah Cunningham, a world class viola de gamba player, How Should an Artist Be? explores the way artists disperse creative energy across different disciplines to access different parts of themselves. It is a film about the interplay between creative improvisation and the meticulous planning that goes into any performance. It shows that when artists are honest and present, they give one another permission to be vulnerable and to take risks.
Video: HD 1920x1080p 24p
Audio: AAC 48kHz 320bit/s
Allison Rodgers, director
Sarah Cunningham, person
Harlow Figa, boom pole
Work to be done:
-cut down to between 9-10 minutes
-sync video and sound at 2:48
-mix sound better
-tighten video transitions
-fiilm one more dance this weekend and add brief art overlays to final dance sequence
Produced: Fall 2014
Film Synopsis: Class project for course "Postwar Japanese Cinema" at Haverford, in imitation of the style of director Ozu Yasujiro.
Director’s Statement: Ozu was most famous for his portrayal of Japanese families and its dissolution (a vague sense of melancholy known as "mono no aware" in Japanese) in his films, therefore we chose the theme of family as well. «Autumn Leaves» tells the story of a Chinese immigrant family living near Philadelphia, as the parents witness their daughter make the decision of leaving them in search for a new life in New York. While the context of an Asian immigrant family certainly brings exclusive issues to address in the film--for instance, traditional Asian perspective versus an American one, and language barriers--on a larger level, the principal question of the film is still a universal one, the question of departure and what it leaves behind in the family.
Technical Specifications: 1920x1080, AAC, H.264, HD, 2 Audio Channels
Principle Crew and Cast: Rongyi (Rita) Lin, Mingyang Liu, Amanda Benoliel, Chenlei Zhuang and Ruoyi Wu. Special thanks to Professor Erin Schoneveld and Charles Woodard.
by Anita Castillo-Halvorssen
FMST Senior Capstone Video Essay Project - Swarthmore College
A personal video essay exploring hyperrealistic duration of shots as the punctum of four favorite films:
William Wyler’s Roman Holiday (1953)
François Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s La Promesse (1996)
Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
I began the process of creating my video essay by focusing in on one of my favorite topics in film studies: hyperrealism. Specifically, I wanted to discuss the duration of shots and scene sequences in films that approach production in an unconventional manner. All four of the films I chose are movies that I sigh and swoon with cinephilia over whenever I think of them. I saw this reaction as a punctum, but I was not so sure if Roland Barthes’s definition fit what I was experiencing. As I skimmed through his ideas of the punctum, I began to realize that his idea of the phenomenon changed as he was writing Camera Lucida. At first, he describes it by stating that “[…] occasionally […] a ‘detail’ attracts me. I feel that its mere presence changes my reading […] This ‘detail’ is the punctum” (42). I wondered if the duration of a shot and its hyperrealistic effect could be this very “detail” that Barthes describes – a detail that completely changes my experience of what I am seeing. I finally understood my punctum as valid when Barthes hit a turning point in his definition: “I now know that there exists another punctum […] than the ‘detail.’ This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time” (96). In Part Two of Camera Lucida, Barthes realizes that the implication of time significantly changes his experience of an image, just as I found that seeing time allows me to delve into what I feel about an image.
Work Cited: Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981. Print.
Cars & Animals
Submission for 4th Annual Tri-Co Film Festival
"Cars present an escape from the roads they travel on. With engines running, the driver zips through the world around us. Let's talk about what gets left outside."
It seems too easy to block out people, advertisements, and whatever doesn't cater to us. This happens everyday in modern American life. Does it make the outside world go away, for you and me? This music video-film challenges the nation's anxiety towards the "urban jungle." Perhaps it shows that Capitalist society, right or wrong, cages its members in a larger jungle called survival.