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The Gaze

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Hi guys, I know that it's been a while since I've logged in. A lost of $h!t has happened in my life.

First, I would like to mention that I got accepted into a foreign exchange program and i will be going to Japan at the end of May. I'm so freaken excited, and this month is just dragging on. :P

Next, I just got done with my 4th semester in college (I still need to take 2 finals, but I'm done for the most part). And I have a habbit of posting some of my term papers because I want people to read what I write. Please read my paper and let me know what you think.


The Gaze

One of my favorite animated movies is Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon, and it wasn't until I took this cl@ss that I realized that there was more to that movie than what I had noticed before. From the moment it was mentioned in the cl@ss the gaze was something that caught my attention from the moment it was mentioned in the cl@ss. I never knew that we (the audience) could be able to see the same film with so many different points of view, sometimes switching back and forth seamlessly unable to see the subtle differences. This was something that was talked about extensively by Susan Napier and Laura Mulvey in the articles that were assigned to us.
The purpose of this paper is to try to understand a few of the concepts and ideas that are discussed in the articles of both authors. I will try to focus on different types of gazes used in the film Perfect Blue. I will only use the film Perfect Blue as an example since it's the only work by Satoshi Kon that I'm the most familiar with.


First off, the gaze comes from feminist film theory where a woman is objectified by the camera and become a mere object to be looked at by the audience. Most of the time this is called the "Male Gaze" since it usually involves scenes where the camera focus on the body of the female. Mulvey points out the Male Gaze is always active, because it's men that are always in power while the women are passive. Mulvey points out that to a certain point, women don't even matter in most films. All that matter is how the female makes the protagonist act. An example that she gives in her article is that is the female is in danger, she will make the protagonist act out of desperation and save her in the climatic point of the movie. (23) But Satoshi Kon treats her female characters a little different, and that's what makes Perfect Blue a great film to analyze with relation to the gaze.


Second, while the male gaze is always present in a film, there are many different types of gaze that can show up in a single film. This is where I would like to introduce the film Perfect Blue. Napier talks about this in her article, and she points out that from the very beginning we are first shown us a camera that is recording a show of some Power Ranger-like character. Then we are shown the many fan boys that are talking about her in a very possessive way. Then it jump to show us the backstage view of all three girls getting ready for their last performance together. (28-29) I think that it's interesting how we are shown these many types of gazes from the very beginning. Like Napier says, this sets up the whole movie in a way to let us know that not everything that we see is necessarily real.


A scene comes to mind when mentioning "that not everything is real," is probably the most graphic scene in the whole movie: the rape scene. Before this scene is even shown to us, the people in the film as arguing on whether Mima should do the scene. Mima decides to act out the scene, even if we later find out that she only did it so that she wouldn't be a bother to anyone, but she never wanted to do it. (31) In that scene, she plays the part of a striper and while on her first night on the job, she gets attacked and raped by one of the customers of the bar. The audience can obviously tell that this isn't part of "reality" because you can hear all the different voices of the people on the set that are getting ready to take the shot. And it's in this precise scene we are shown many different gazes.


First we have the cameras, which are only there to record the actors and their surroundings. But the cameras view can be extended beyond that; to a certain point, the camera will represent how people will perceive Mima. This can also serve as a way for Mima to become objectified beyond what she is normally used to. Before the actual rape scene begins, she is show dancing and looking all pretty. This is where the audience only see her as an object that lures them, but yet they can never truly posses her since she is merely an image being broadcasted. At the same time, the camera serve as a way for the director of the show to manipulate the audience, this is due to the fact that he can decide what they will and will not see.


The next gaze that I would like to point out is that of Rumi, her manager. Since the beginning of the film, she didn't like the idea of Mima leaving behind her life as a pop idol. She was also against Mima taking part in the rape scene, and tried hard to convince Mima not to do it. The rape scene is the turning point in the film, because this is where we can see Rumi crying because all she can do is watch by as Mima is "raped". Like Napier mentioned in her article, Rumi's gaze is probably the most important in the whole movie.
Napier says that Rumi's actions are an attempt to protect Mima, but that she isn't really trying to protect the real Mima, which has abandoned her old life as a pop idol. Rumi wants to protect the Mima that she identifies with, the old Mima that exists in her imagination. But at the same time, she wants to become Mima and be the center of attention that Rumi was originally trying to protect Mima from. (33 – 34)


Last, it's worth noting that many people have asked Satoshi Kon why he didn't just do this film in live action. But he defends his work by saying that Perfect Blue is more interesting because it's an animation. (24) Also, at the beginning of the article he was also asked why he focused so much on his female characters. He responded by saying: "I can project my obsession onto the character and expand the aspects I want to describe." (23) Even if Satoshi Kon is showing us how the same person can be viewed in many different ways, I belief that this film can also be seen as his own attempt to make us see the world through his eyes (since Perfect Blue has been described as a critique on Japanese pop culture and consumerism).
While I'm perfectly aware that every director will always include their own personal bias in any movie they are in charge of, I belief that this is trying to tells that we need to be careful in what we consume (ex: celebrities, pop culture, etc.). There's nothing wrong with being a fan of a particular thing, but it's when we take it beyond just being a normal fan. We have to be careful that we don't fall prey to the exact same thing that we are always chasing after. If we let anything take too much out of personal lives, it moves from being a mere hobby or pastime and evolves into something a sick and twisted obsession like the one displayed by Mimania.


References


Hiroaki, I. (Producer), & Satoshi, K. (Director). (1997). Perfect Blue. [Motion Picture]. Japan: Rex Entertainment.


Mulvey, L. (1989). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. 14 – 26.


Napier, S. (2006). Cinema anime. "Excuse Me, Who Are You?": Performance, the Gaze, and the Female in the Works of Kon Satoshi. 23 – 42.


Thanks for reading my paper, and please let me know what you think. C ya around.

Re-Education (Through Labor)

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Band: Rise Against

Albulm: Appeal To Reason 2008

To the sound of a heart beat pounding away
To the rhythm of the awful rusted machines

We toss and turn but don't sleep
Each breath we take makes us theifs
Like causes with out rebels
Just talk but promise nothing else

We crawl on our knees for you
Under a sky no longer blue
We sweat all day long for you

But we sow seeds to see us through
'Cuse sometimes dreams just don't come true
We wait to reap what we are due

To the rhythm of a time bomb ticking away
To the blare of a siren combing the streets

Chased down like dogs we run from
Your grasp until the sun comes

We crawl on our knees for you
Under a sky no longer blue
We sweat all day long for you

But we sow seeds to see us through
'Cuse sometimes dreams just don't come true
Look now at what they've done to you

White needles buried in the red
The engine roars and then it gives
But never dies 'cause we don't live, we just survive
On the scraps that you throw away

I won't crawl on my knees for you
I won't believe the lies that hide the truth
I won't sweat one more drop for you

'Cause we are the rust upon your gears
We are the insect in your ears
We crawl, we crawl
we crawl all over you!

We sow the seeds to see through
Our days are precious and so few
We all reap what we are due

Under this sky no longer blue
We bring a dawn long overdue
We crawl, we crawl
We crawl all over you!


So I know that I haven't done a blog in ages. And I like to post the songs that I really like because it usually reflects how I'm feeling. This song is really good, and it's by one of my favorite bands of all time. If you've never listened to them, I suggest that you do. Especially their new music video for this song, it's awesome.

Either way, I'm sorry that I haven't been here in a long time. I even had to give my union to someone else so that it wouldn't die. I've been really busy with school and stuff. And I'm not just saying that. You can check out some of my work for my computer programing at this site.

Some of my stuff isn't up yet because I kind of fell behind in the semester and now im trying to get everything done before grades are due. :P

Other than that, I've been my usual self. Just that a little more stressed since I'm so confussed in life at the moment that i don't know what to do with my self. :( Hopefuly everything will work its self out. It usually does.

One good thing is that I learned a little of HTML code in my programing cla$$ and I actually made this whole post in HTML. :D I don't know that much, so I can't really brag or anything. But I'm proud of what I've learned this semester. I had to learn how to use Flex Developer and learn how to use ActionScript.

I've worked with Java before (I don't remember a much of the stuff that I learned) but this was a whole new experience for me. And since I didn't know alot about ActionScript, I fell behind on this cla$$ :(

I've managed to catch up now, but i used to spend like 15 to 20 hours a week working on programs for this cla$$.

This semester I also started to take a Japanese cla$$. I don't know that much yet, but I'm actually considering getting either a Major or a Minor in Japanese. I know how to read all the Hiragana and most of the Katakana and I know how to read around 50 Kanji and their meaning.

Other than that I haven't had much time to do anything else :( . Im so busy with work and school to the point that I have almost no social life. ( double :( )

Well, thats all for me. Let me know how you guys are and what you guys have been up to. I know that I took for ever to finish this blog, but since cla$$es started up again I'm back to my usual self.

Thanks for reading. :D

Wait And Bleed

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Artist: Slipknot

Albulm: Slipknot 1999

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

Goodbye

I wipe it off on a tile, the light is brighter this time
Everything is turning blasphemy
My eyes are red and gold, the hair is standing straight up
This is not the way I picture me

I can't control my shakes, how the hell did I get here?
Something about this, so very wrong
I have to laugh out loud, I wish I didn't like this
Is it a dream or a memory?

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

Get outta my head 'cause I don't need this
Why didn't I see this?
Well, I'm a victim Manchurian candidate
I have sinned by just makin' my mind up
And takin' your breath away

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

Goodbye

You haven't learned a thing
I haven't changed a thing
The flesh was in my bones
The pain was always free

You haven't learned a thing
I haven't changed a thing
The flesh was in my bones
The pain was always free

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

I've felt the hate rise up in me
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed

And it waits for you

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This song kid of describes how I'm feeling right now, and it's a confusing state. Before I get into my problem, I have never been that good in the dating world because I'm just a shy person. I'm not all that worried about this right now because I'm still 18 (I'll be 19 this next Saturday), but I'm trying to step it up in this category. But that is not the problem, unfortunately.

As many of you know, I work at a bank (don't ask witch one, because I won't tell you) and I've been working there for almost 3 years. A girl started to work there about 9 or 10 months ago and ever she started to work at the bank, I've had a crush on her. I know that it's not right to date your coworkers because if there is a problem later in the relationship, it might cause problems in the work place that might interfere with work. I also consider it very unprofessional, and I never thought that I would be forced to eat my own words.

Lately, I've found my self thinking about her and being extra nice to her at work. I know that I'm not supposed to do that, but I just can't help my self. And that isn't even the worst part, she is MARRIED!!!!

That's right, she is married and I can't stop my self from loving her. This is really sad because I sometimes wish that she would get divorced from her husband so that I can get with her. And it seems that this might actually become a reality.

Lately, they have been having problems to the point that she moved out of the house and went to live with her mom for a while. They are supposed to go see a marriage counselor to see if it helps them get their differences worked out. The thing is that I find myself wishing that they would just get divorces so that I may have the opportunity to make my move.

I feel that I really do love her, and that I just don't have a crush on her. It started all as a crush, but I belief that this is true love and I know that I'm not supposed to go after women that are married but I can't help myself. I couldn't keep it all bottled up anymore so I thought that I would post this here. For some reason, when I write about how I feel it helps me relax and think about things more clearly.

Like I said, I don't really know what to do. Any advice would be helpful, thanks. And thanks for reading.

Death Note

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So I've been reading a lot of manga lately and I've even started a little collection of my own. So far I've got:

Blood + Vol 1 & 2

Claymore Vol 1-12

Deathnote: Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Case (Not really a manga, more of a story but it's still fun to read)

Deathnote Vol 1-12 (I've got the whole series, I'm just missing 13 witch is like an encyclopedia of the world of Deathnote)

Kurohime Vol 1-3

Withcblade: Takeru Manga Vol 1 & 2 (I'm confused about this series because it only suposedly ends on Vol 2 but I've seen like Vol 12 and other numbers like that. So if anyone knows anything about this, I would really apreciate it. Thanks)

So just last 2 nights ago (6-29) I finished reading Deathnote. And I LOVED it. The whole story was amazing and I totally didn't expect the way that it was goin to end. I'm not going to say how it ended because I don't like to be a spoiler, but if you have read the series then you know what I'm talking about. So I would really apreciate your help on this.

[spoiler] so after Light was killed, Matsude starts to say how he thinks that Near used the book because of the weird wayt that T died. How he went crazy and then died 10 days later. And then a bunch of people are in the mountain and a girl says something like "Kira, Our saviour!" At first I tought it was Amane but then I reallized that it wasn't. Are they the Kira worshipers that still belief that Kira is alive or do they mean something more??? [/spoiler]

Thanks in advance. And thanks for reading.

Everything Worked It Self Out & Firefox 3.0

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So after everything that has been goin on these last few months, I think that things are finally done. My parent's went into some intense counsiling for a weekend like a month ago and i think that it's paying off. They now try to talk things out before jumping into an argument. They are more calm about things and i actually feel much better now at school. We also started doing something that was recomended by one of you guys here on GS, we started to go out almost every week for dinner and we make sure that we spend a lot of time as a family.

There is still does ocassional fights, but it's nothing like it used to be. I would like to thank every single one that helped, that gave me advice, and that was there to support me. I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for everyones help, thanks again.

And now moving on to Firefox 3.0. Recently Mozilla released Firefox 3.0 that is loaded with great stuff. I didn't evern know that they were working on a new version until I read an article about the new version on Yahoo! Tech today while I was at work. (I was suppose to be working, but I got bored and decided to check out the Tech page for anything interesting. :P ) So as soon as I got home I went to the mozilla home page and I downloaded the new version. It's a little different but i really like it. I think that the article on yahoo does a really good job at explaing the basic features of the new version so i will just let you guys read it.

If you guys don't use Firefox, I recomend you that you switch over to it as soon as possible. It's is more secure and way better than Safari or Internet Explorer. If you are interested on downloading it just go to the mozilla homepage.

Well, thanks for reading my blog.

Trying To Get Things Back To Normal

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Sorry guys for not posting here for almost a month, I know that all unions depend on an active members but a lot of stuff has happened in the last few weeks. And I'll start off where I left off last time.

As many of you already know, my parents haven't exactly been getting a long and I have to say that it hasn't been easy. So now I'm almost sure that my mom isn't addicted to drugs. And I think that most of the stuff that has happened is because of my dad. Lets me explain.

So my dad is a great father, but when it comes to him being a good husband for my mom he needs a lot of help. Over the last few weeks, I've noticed that he is kind of paranoid and it's almost as he is trying to find something that will prove that my mom in cheating on him. I know that it sound weird but I think that it's true, I've seen him go through my mom stuff in her purse. And then he expresses himself really bad of anything that my mom does. I think that he might also be jealous of my mom, in the 2 following ways. My mom is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and she earns a lot more money than my dad. The second reason might be because my mom is surrounded my many guys that are always hitting on her (my mom works at a nursing home, where she takes care of elderly people that can't live on their own anymore).

So now my parents have talked to 2 priests and things have "kind of" calmed down. But the other day, they started arguing and my dad started to say: "Your sons have seen what you've done. They have seen that I've tried to make it better, but you always get angry. And they have stuff that they would like to tell you about the way that you have acted in the last few months." That is when my brother and I got angry because my dad was trying to use us for his argument. So my brother and I got out of the house and went somewhere else for an hour.

So I'm at the point that I just don't care anymore. I'm tired of hearing them argue and I think that I might even be falling in a little of a depression. I'm not suicidal or anything like that, but I just don't want to be where all the fighting is. I used to think that my family was a good one, but I guess that everyone has to go through a rough time to really appreciate what they have and not take everything for granted.

On other news, I'm done with my first year in college and I'm glad to say that I kicked but. I got: an A, an A-, two B's, and a B-. I think that I got like a ~3.2 GPA. I'm not going to summer school, I need my summer break and I can't wait until I get my vacations from work. I want to go somewhere that is not in my house, but I don't know where. But I'm still not sure if I can even afford it, but whatever. I also have 2 term papers that I wrote for my ****s that I'm going to post here in a while.

Thanks for reading, and I'm sorry for not logging in for a month. I promise that I will try not to let this happen again. Thanks again.

Family Breaking Apart (Please Help Me, No Joke)

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I think that this is the most personal and most revealing blog that I've ever done. And I'm writing this because even if my college life and everything else is good, my family is breaking apart. This has been going on for a few months now, but I didn't really think that it was going to get to this point and let me start from the beginning so that all of you may understand what is going on. Please read it and help me out. Thanks in advance.

About 10 months ago, my mom decided to quit her job and studied to become a CNA (certified nursing assistant). She got a job at a nursing home and started working there very happily and everything seemed to be going really smooth. Then about 5 months ago she started to change a lot, I was at work and school a lot but my brother said that they fight a lot for the stupidest things. She worked there every night for about 7 months with a few days off every once in a while.

About 1 month ago things got worse because there was a thing going at my moms work that they were saying that she was having an affair with some guy at the nursing home. So due to this she decided to leave that place, and got a job also as a CNA in a hospital and things seemed to calmed down a bit. But right before she left the old place, my mom and dad got a new car together but they had agreed that my mom was going to pay for the car since it was hers. So she said that she wasn't going to make as much money since she wasn't going to work every night, so she decided to go back 2 days a week to the old place so that she could make a little extra money while her trail period was up at her new job and got a raise.

My dad and mom started to fight again and things have gotten progressively worse as time goes by. And here is where it gets really messy because I just get really confusing and I don't know what to do anymore.

My mom has told me that she doesn't understand why my dad has been the way that he is. She says that he has never had her back, she has wanted to do a lot of things in the past but he never helps her. She says that she feels like she is the one responsible for everything in the house, because my dad is very careless. My mom says that she sometimes feels alone and like no one is there for her.

My dad says that he doesn't know what's wrong with my mom because he says that it's been a while now that he can't really get close to her with out her getting mad for no reason. My dad says that this only happen once in a while, but that it's weird to him. Then he says that sometimes my mom just gets angry for no reason and she is always insulting him and all this other stuff.

My mom says that she has been trying to schedule and appointment with a priest but that the priest that she wanted to meet with wasn't available. So today (4-20) my dad talk to another priest and the priest now wants to meet with my mom. After we got home, my brother and I went to Sonics to get some shushes (drinks with fruit juice and crushed ice) and we talked about the stuff that's been going. My brother and I are already at the brink of this, he has been the one that has seen most of the fights that they had and he says that he can't stand it anymore. I told him that I didn't like it either and it's just making me disconcentrate from stuff that I should be focused on, like my final test this next week since the semester is over.

After we got back, my dad says that they had a huge fight. My dad says that my mom was really angry because he went to talk to the priest. She said that he shouldn't have gotten him involved. My mom says that she wanted to speak to a priest that they don't know, that way the priest can do a real analysis of their relationship with out being bias (spelling? With out taking sides or something like that.). My dad says that she told him that she might leave the house on Tuesday after talking with the priest, depending on what they talk about.

Now this is something that I really hate and it's driving everyone apart, I think that the only ones that are still "normal" are my brother and I. We don't want my parents to get divorced because we don't want to pick who we go with. Technically I'm 18 so I don't have to choose nor am I forced to go with anyone since I'm already an "adult". But my brother is only 15 (almost 16) and is still considered a minor so he would have to go with either my mom or dad and he doesn't want to choose nor does he want to be forced to go with either one. My brother and I have decided that if they do get divorced that we won't go with either one, we will move out and we will live by our selves because this a decision that we don't want to make. My brother will probably emancipate him self and will go to school and work just like me and we will find an apartment.

If we move out, is because we feel that if we go with my mom then we are betraying my dad and the same thing goes if we go with my dad. I don't think that this is a decision that anyone should make, and I really hope that this gets fixed soon.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that the priest said that the way that my mom is acting might be linked to drug abuse, because people can't work for months every night with out some sort of supplement that keeps them going. My dad has found a few pills that have the name of hydrocod/apap, which I read, are like Morphine or that is also similar to Opium. We (my brother and I) don't know what to think anymore and we just want this nightmare to be over because we just can't take it anymore.

We have also decide that we are going to do something for ourselves that will get them so pissed off that they will forget about why they were even fighting. Going back in time for a little second, my brother got a lip pierce about 3 weeks ago and that caused my parents to get really angry with my brother. So what we are thinking now is that he will get a second lip pierce (which are sometimes referred to as the "snake bites") and see if that gets them worked up again.

I don't know how many of you have watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" but we are going to try something that we saw in one episode. Rays mom and his wife were so angry at each other that they couldn't talk to each other anymore. The whole family was getting separated to the point that they all felt tired of all the fighting between both women. So Ray's brother decided to "convert" to a cult. They had an intervention for Robert (Rays brother) and then because of that both women managed to get over both their differences and were happy again. I don't know I explained it good, but basically my brother is going to be the scapegoat (but in a good way) to see if my parents will get happy with each other. I guess you can say that we are sort of manipulating both of them, but it's a necessary evil if we wish to keep our family together.

I really hope that our plan works, but most of all I want your opinion or advise on what we should do. Thanks for reading this really long blog.

Dilema (I Need Your Help)

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I have a dilema, and I don't know what to do. In my MacBook Pro I currently have Microsfot 2004 Studen Teacher Edition (its the one program that has Word, Power Point, Excel and all that other stuff). Back in December I got my program and there was an offer going on that if I bought a 2004 verison then I could get the 2008 version for free, the only thing that I have to pay for is Shipping and handling wich is only like 10 dollars. So now I'm geting my copy of the 2008 version in a few days and I'm not sure if I should upgrade to it. I've read in the internet that its slower and it has a lot of glitches so I'm just wondering if I should wait a bit febore installing it or if I should just upgrade and wait for the updates to come up. What do u guys think???

The Lonely Men

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Ok, so lately all I have been posting is my essays that I write for my film class and other classes. So here is another essay from my film class that I had to compare simular but seperate film characters so I decide to do it on Basic Instinct and on Basic Instinct 2. I had to talk about how the director makes us like these guys in the movies instead of hating them for their actions. I think that i did a good job, so I hope that you guys like it as well. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.

------------------------------------

The Lonely Men

Films have to be realistic in order for people to be able to identify with the characters and be able to watch the whole thing with out getting bored and keep them engaged with the progression of the story line. But there is always that one character that people identify with the most and that is why they enjoy the film so much, because they can see that the film isn't just a story that someone made up and decided to make it into a movie. People love to see different types of characters in films and that's how our personal preferences are developed and how we decide what films we want to see. But the one character that I want to focus on is the "lonely men" that we sometimes see in films. I'm not talking about men that are alone because they have no social skills, I'm talking about the men that choose to be alone because something tragic happened in there past. There is to film that project this "lonely men" picture and it's Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, 1992) and Basic Instinct 2 (Caton-Jones, 2006). It's interesting the way that director makes us fascinated by the behavior of these men. Normally the actions that they take during the film would get people arrested for "stalking", but we sometimes find ourselves defending their actions and their motives.

While it may seem that I'm comparing movies that are the same, let me just say that it isn't true; both of these films where directed by two different directors and have different storylines. While they do have some similarities, the story line is essentially different and it's perfect to be able to compare the two "lonely men" in the films.


In Basic Instinct, a detective named Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) in charge of a murder chase gets involved with a book writer named Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) who is the prime suspect in the murder case. And in Basic Instinct 2, a psychiatrist named Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) who has to do a psychiatric analysis of Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) after she is accused of the murder of a famous British Football player. In both films she is a very cunning women that always gets what she wants, no matter what she has to do, and since she is rich and famous she has an enormous amount of resources that she can draw upon at any given time making her a very powerful person. While it may seem weird that I'm going into so much detail about Catherine is because she is a key part in the behavior of the men on both films and it will all be made clear in the following paragraphs.


In both films, Catherine likes to toy with people, but in particular with Nick and Dr. Glass. She seem to get a certain pleasure from tormenting them and this is what drives them to act in the way that they do, and now let me explain. In the Basic Instinct Nick started out like any other guy, he had his job and he seemed like there was nothing bothering him. He had a few issues, but if we look at it from a realistic point of view everyone has their own issues so at first glance he was relatively "normal." Then there was a murder and he was the detective in charge of the investigation and they had some clues that were leading straight to Catherine. They interrogated her and she didn't look intimidated or nervous at all, instead she started to turn their own statements against them and out smarting them in their game. When they took her to Police Station to question her regarding her relationship with the murder victim. It even looks like she enjoys making the men inside that room feel uncomfortable and acts in a way that gives her the upper hand. An example of this can be seen as soon as she walks in the room she lights up a cigarette and when a cop tells her that she can't smoke in the building she answers: "What are you going to do? Charge me with smoking?" This just shows how powerful of a character Catherine really is just like Karen Rutter says, "On the surface, her attraction could be said to be purely physical. But a large part of her appeal lay in the fact that she was dangerous in ways which weren't stated obviously, but more subliminally amalgamated into her character: an economically independent single woman, a person unafraid to challenge society's ground rules for gender behavior." (101)

This kind of behavior just drives Nick insane, and I think that it's because he has never meet a women that has so much trouble for him. I think that this started to wake up some feelings that he had stored away inside of him to the point that the just had to let them out. These feelings weren't of love or anything cute and cuddly, they were violent and they made him want to find out why he had those feelings. "Strong violence also acts on the mind by refusing it glib comfort and immediate resolutions. If successful socialization depends on a neutralizing of extremes, then violence of this kind amounts to a rent in the curtain of rationality, a glimpse of the ultimate questions one spends a lifetime denying." (McKinney, 17) This kind of means to me that depending on how strong the violence is in some films, it can actually start to make us feel uneasy inside which starts to make us question our own integrity.

In Basic Instinct 2, Catherine is still pretty much the same person that she always has been. Still smart as ever and there doesn't seem to be anyone that can stand up to her and uninitiated by anyone, the only thing that changes is that by the time of this second film she has moved to London. The thing that set the whole movie in motion is the death of British Football player like I mentioned before, but the thing is that he died and he was last seen with Catherine. This puts her as the number one suspect and they quickly take her to Scotland Yard and start to question her, they try to pin stuff on her so that they can arrest her but she makes quick work of the accusations and is let go. Before her trial, she has to have a psychiatric evaluation to make sure that she isn't a risk to herself and others. Catherine is appointed to Dr. Glass as her evaluator since Dr. Glass has been very successful and is renowned in his field of study. He testifies in the court that she is a very dangerous person and that it's addicted to risk, to the point that she might one day take a risk so big that it will end her life and even the life of others. And this is where it all the commotion starts for Dr. Glass.

Dr. Glass starts to take Catherine as his patient and learn a lot about her past and he starts to get more and more interested in her. She starts to toy with his mind just like he did to Nick in the first movie. I think this is what drives him nuts because he just wants to make sure that nothing bad happens to Catherine. I think that Catherine also got to Dr. Glass because after a while he couldn't think of nothing else but Catherine; he also seemed to get more and more violent as time when on for no reason. Since there is some stuff that both Nick and Dr. Glass share, it would be pointless to repeat something that I already stated above, so for the sake of this paper lets just assume that both characters are almost identical with a few minor variations.

We can clearly see the connection between both Nick and Dr. Glass, which are the following. They both are being manipulated by a woman to the point of insanity, and they both have a past that torments them. Nick is guilty of killing bystanders in a police shoot out, but he never went to jail for that and still felt guilty all the way to the end of the first movie. Dr. Glass had a patient that killed his girl friend and Dr. Glass feels that he had seen it coming and did nothing to stop him from doing it. But I think that the director manages to get us to actually b e fascinated by these guys even if they behave like "stalkers." I think that this happens is because of the positions that their characters have in society, Nick is a detective and Dr. Glass is obviously a doctor. They both have a position which is respected and that we may even look up, these people are suppose to try and help us as much as possible because that is their job. This may have become the images of how they view them selves, and subconsciously they probably thought that they were actually helping Catherine. They really cared about her and the must have thought that it was their jobs to protect and help her, just like its their job to help everyone else. I really think that to them it didn't seem like they were doing anything wrong, and they only had the purest intentions at the beginning. But as time goes on, that dedication that they have for their job warps into an obsession that drives them insane and to the brink of a total brake down.

The way that character like Nick and Dr. Glass act makes like them and not hate them because of behavior is due to the fact that the films are realistic and that we ca identify our selves with the characters to the point that we ma even see or selves in the screen; "when a film artist makes us cry over spilt blood it can start to seem like the project is worth it." (McKinney, 22) By this I don't mean that we are al bad people or anything like that, I just mean that we all have our own issues that we have to deal with. We just have to be careful with those feelings; because if we aren't careful, all those feelings that we have bottled up might explode to the point that we might go out of control.

Works Citied

Basic Instinct. Dir. Paul Verhoeven. TriStar Pictures, 1992.
Basic Instinct 2. Dir. Michael Caton-Jones. Sony Pictures/MGM, 2006.
McKinney, Devin. "Violence: The Strong and the Weak." Film Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Summer, 1993), pp. 16-22. Jstor. 7 April 2008.
Rutter, Karen. "Stoned Crazy." Agenda, No. 20, Politics, Power and Democracy (1994), pp. 101-103. Jstor. 8 April 2008.

The American Dream

by on

Hi guys, I know that I haven't been that active lately and that's cuz of school. College is really wearing me out so i've decided to take the summer off and hopefuly I'll be more active. In the mean time I've written another essay like the other 2 that I've posted here and this is part of my sociology class that we are studying what's it mean to be an American and how the American Dream connects to this. I hope that you guys read this and I hope that you like it. See ya around

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The American Dream


The American Dream is an idea that is known to everyone around the world because it has become a way of life for some people. The American Dream is something that has so many meanings depending on where you're from and it can't never truly be defined like a word in a dictionary. Since there are so many meanings for this single idea, we have to look at it from different perspectives to grasp the concept more efficiently. Dave Eggers wrote a novel called What Is The What, which is a story based on the life of a refugee from Sudan named Valentino Achak Deng, which narrates his experiences. Luis A. Urrea wrote a book called The Devil's Highway, which is based on the story of men trying to cross the border from Mexico so that they can get to the United States. These two books give their own meaning to the American Dream.
Sudan has been in war for a really long time, and this is mainly because the Muslim law was imposed on the people of Sudan. There have been brief moments of peace, but they never last. Many people have been driven out of their homeland and in that same process many lives have been lost and families broken apart. We get to hear the story of Achak of how he had to survive so that he could survive. But there is one thing that separates Achak from the people of the other book, and it is that he is a refuge. He is in America because he had to, not because he wanted it to. Proof of this is when he says, "It is a strange thing, I realize, but what I think at this moment is that I want to be back in Kakuma." (Eggers, 4) He never wanted to leave his home to begging with, but he was forced to do so.
Achak doesn't want to be in the United States because he feels that he doesn't belong there; "I am alone again. I detest this city of Atlanta. I cannot remember a time when I felt otherwise. I need to leave this place." (Eggers, 138 ) But he can't really go back to his country because of the war, and even if he managed to get to Sudan he would be killed. He's like a man with out a country in the sense that he cant' go anywhere, he may look like he is free but in reality has more restraints here than if he were back home; "I have been humbled so many times since arriving that I am beginning to think someone is trying desperately to send me a message, and that message is 'Leave this place.'" (Eggers, 4)
But now that Achak is here, he just wants to get a college degree so that he can help his country. As a refuge, he doesn't want to stay here because he doesn't feel welcome and maybe at times like he can't don anything for himself, "This man makes me ashamed that I didn't do more against my attackers." (Eggers, 313) Is like he is subconsciously comparing and contrasting the life that he had in Africa and the life that he has here. I guess that Achak's American Dream is to go back to his own country and forget about everything else. We might think that going back to Sudan is not he best choice, but it doesn't really matter what we think as long as it's what he wants. After all, isn't the American Dream a desire to reach the one thing that we want the most? He wants to leave and never comeback, "I walk outside; it's an unremarkable day. I know that I will not miss the sky that guards over this city. The heavens here have been a hammer to me, and I will be moving, as soon as I am able, to a quieter place." (Eggers, 533)
Mexico is a wonderful place, and I think that any Mexican would agree with me. I am of Mexican heritage and I'm proud of it because even though I was born in the United States I can relate to the people in Urrea's book. Everyone loves their country of origin and just because they leave it, it doesn't mean that they don't. Many people leave Mexico because sometimes having love for something isn't enough to survive. People that leave is because they have to find a better source of income for their family, and the only way that they can achieve this is by working in the United States and sending money back home. An example of this is a guy named Lorenzo Ortiz Hernandez, he had a family but he had to get them money. Urrea says, "The kids were deeply into the age when they needed things, things he couldn't afford for them." (145)
Life in Mexico can be harsh because people over there don't have a lot of money. Most of the people that risk their life's in the desert are from rural villages where their chances of getting money are even less. I can relate to this because my parents are originally from Puebla, Mexico and they had to come to America so that they could provide a better life for their families. My parents meet in Los Angeles, California and that's where my brother and I were born. This only makes me more grateful for being born in the United States because that means that I will never have to suffer what my parents and what other people have had to. Urrea describes the desert in such a way that it makes this place look like Hell on Earth. In the first part of the book he describes this desert in the fallowing way, "In many ancient religious texts, fallen angels were bound in chains and buried beneath a desert known only as Desolation. This would be the place." (4)
Why would anyone want to cross that place by foot? They all have a goal in their minds and they are willing to put their lives on the line just to do it, but is it worth it? This would be their American Dream, to get some money and then go back to their country to be with their loved ones. Like Lorenzo, people only want money for their families an then one day go back to live with them. I think that to Lorenzo's American Dream is not really possessions, even if it was money that made him want to cross the desert. I think that his ultimate goal is just to see his family happy and having all the stuff that they need. Like I said before, there so many meanings to the American Dream depending on the person, but I can't be sure if I'm right since he never got a chance to live out his dream. And this was how his dream ended, "Lorenzo Ortiz Hernandez lay as if asleep beside an ancient saguaro." (Urrea, 174)
One thing that we have to put in perspective is that the American Dream isn't always as nice as it sounds. Immigrants, refuges, and many more people have to suffer a lot so that some of their dreams can become a reality. This makes we wonder if the American Dream is just a misconception of what people try to get while they are in the United States. The American Dream can also be seen as a nightmare; this is because not all dreams are necessarily good and some dreams can even have a negative impact on the person, hence a nightmare. By this I'm not saying that America is bad or anything like that, I just meant that they shouldn't try to sugar coat reality. While we may not reach that Dream that we have, we know what it means to survive in this world. We never give up and we keep trying to reach that goal which we will never have.

Works Cited

Eggers, Dave. What Is The What. New York: Vintage Books, 2007.
Urrea, Luis A. The Devil's Highway. New York: Back Bay Books, 2004

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And that's the end of it. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks for reading.