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The Exorcist (1973) [Source: No Film School]

The horror films The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) and The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) both have varying representations of gender and sexuality that fit their own unique narrative style. The concepts of psychoanalysis and the Oedipus complex are deeply embedded in the characterization and interrelationships within The Babadook.

Chris Dumas describes the onset of one’s sexual awakening with the “infants feelings of satisfaction and need at the mother’s breast”. In The Babadook, this is integral in the approach of understanding Samuel’s developing sexuality, and is exemplified through several of his actions. For instance, in a discomforting scene, he is seen clinging tightly to his mother’s chest before she pushes him away, and in another he jumps right into her bed after a nightmare, interrupting her in the process of masturbation. …


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Black Mirror — “Nosedive” (2016) [Source: The Verge]

“Nosedive” was the first episode of the third season of the dark science-fiction anthology series Black Mirror and it was released on October 21, 2016. This particular episode, like most of the rest of the series, is social satire in the context of modern technology. Let me explain how.

The growing pessimism associated with modern technology and the fears that derive from it are deeply rooted in society’s lack of self-awareness, which is a proposition I’ll strive to explore here.

In his interview with Der Spiegel, German philosopher Martin Heidegger makes the statement that all our “relationships have become merely technical ones” (1966). …


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All About My Mother (1999) [Source: IMDb]

Luchino Visconti’s film Bellisima (1951) and Pedro Almodovar’s film All About My Mother, or Todo sobre mi madre (1999) both delve distinctively into the overarching theme of “motherhood” in its various forms. Whilst Bellisima approaches motherhood in a focused, mother-daughter relationship dynamic, All About My Mother is multi-dimensional in its outlook towards maternity and its relation to womanhood and feminine solidarity.


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Volver (2006) [Source: IMDb]

Pedro Almodóvar’s film Volver (2006) is a blend of several themes including maternity, the countryside as a setting, as well as a female universe as the family. However, its title in itself is the exposition of its main theme, the word ‘volver’ “means ‘going back’ or ‘coming home’ in Spanish, or in the film, the return of the supposedly dead mother.

An overarching theme that looms over the entire plot of the film is the idea of the “supernatural”, which happens to be a first of the kind for the famously agnostic Almodóvar. This rare theme is presented with a purpose, which for Almodóvar’s film happens to be quite paradoxical: the “supernatural” is presented in a natural way, which strives to appear realistic. Maura’s character at several points plays along with the pretense of being a ghost, but several of her actions suggest otherwise. For example, during the appearance of an unknowing Raimunda, Irene (Maura’s character) hides herself underneath the bed, is visible to each and everyone she is within the sight of and even impersonates a Russian woman to conceal her identity. …


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The installation art piece I created back in 2017 using a plastic glue gun on a classroom window

Focusing on the social issue of gun control, my installation art piece’s stance is particularly against gun violence perpetrated in a high school setting. Back in 2017, I created the visual of the cracked glass illusion for the artwork using a plastic glue gun to create fake gunshot cracks on a classroom window in my high school. The text was printed out and pasted onto the window separately.

School shootings have become a common occurrence in recent years, which can be supported by the fact that as of 2019, according to The Atlantic, gun violence “has killed nearly 1,200 children in the United States since the school massacre in Parkland, Florida” (Wong, 2019). …


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Are NGOs in the present day not as altruistic as they were intended to be, and what has caused them to fail? Are the critics of NGOs justified in comparing them to the imperialist project of the past?

The Roots

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are often mistaken by many for being altruistic organizations that strive to prevent human rights abuses. However, with the impact of globalization in the past few years and the whirlwind of socio-political and economic changes, non-governmental organizations have come into public scrutiny for their tendency to deviate from their original humanitarian intentions. It is increasingly difficult in the present day to credit them with being absolutely “altruistic”, for those with managerial and directorial positions in non-governmental organizational firms usually enjoy immense salaries and privileges in a billion dollar industry whilst millions around the world still suffer the human rights violations that these organizations pledge to resolve.


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Cesare Zavattini [Source: IMDb]

Cesare Zavattini, an Italian screenwriter, once wrote a famous piece of writing called “Some Ideas on the Cinema”, which delves into several of his notions on the nature of filmmaking. He had great significance in the cinematic and philosophical world as a theoretician of neorealism, and he often credited Antonio Gramsci’s influence on his work as well.

His own thinking impacted the works of André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer. He had a professional and personal relationship with Vittorio De Sica, and had numerous moralistic notions that he premised the work of his life on. …


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The Babadook (2014) [Source: IMDb]

The Babadook (2014) is a horror/thriller film directed by Jennifer Kent. Upon a breakdown of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories and the Oedipus Complex, one would find that these ideas align consistently with The Babadook’s characterization and particularly in the behavior of Amelia and her son Samuel. Through an in-depth analysis of the role of women in horror and of the ways in which a woman could be seen as the object of the camera’s gaze, a victim or a monster, one notices that all these characteristics could manifest in unison to provide Amelia with a far more complex character or narrative.


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Bad Education/La mala educación (2004) [Source: IMDb]

Pedro Almodóvar’s film Bad Education, originally titled in Spanish as La mala educación, was released in 2004.

Here is an English translation of one of the lines spoken (in Spanish) by Ignacio, one of the film’s central characters:

“I’m thinking that just this moment I lost my faith. And without faith, I no longer believe in God or hell. And if I don’t believe in hell I’m no longer afraid. And if I’m unafraid I am capable of anything” (Smith, 181).


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Death in Venice (1971) [Source: IMDb]

Death in Venice (1971) directed by Luchino Visconti is a film that is highly subjective and impressionistic, and there is often a glaring oppositionality in several of its themes. In the pursuit of beauty, the protagonist Aschenbach searches desperately for it in the “spirit” against the “flesh”, finds a distance between himself and his desired object and is engulfed within the themes of solitude, repression and voyeurism. Discourse around the film is so heavily concentrated in its visual and musical significance that there is often somewhat of a dismissal of the pivotal scene of the conversation between Aschenbach and Albert, deeming the dialogue vain and superficial. …

About

Keya Shirali

Writing. Literature. Film. Art. Culture. Creativity. Sharing whatever I’m passionate about.

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