Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review/Film Project

Hello everyone!

My name is Jaime Frank, and I will be your TA for Grrrls Studies this semester. I am a senior Women's Studies major here at UCF, and hope to go on to either be a professor or a middle school guidance counselor, so this class is especially close to my heart. I was lucky enough to be in the first class when it was offered, and I am so excited for you all to experience it as well. You are going to have a chance to read some amazing pieces and theory, watch some fantastic grrrl films, and learn from each other's insight and blog postings, so please make sure to stay active in the class - I promise you, the more active you are, the more you will gain from the work and your classmates.

On your syllabus you will see that you have to complete a book review and film project this semester. Here are some quick descriptions of the work we strongly recommend you write on, but if you have another grrrl-related idea, please don't hesitate to ask if you can write on that instead.

I am beyond excited to read and learn from all of you, and will be here if you need any help. I wish you all the best of luck! :)

Here is a quick description of the recommended films, each with a link for more information. I will have the book descriptions up for you shortly.

Film Project
At Westburg High, you're either a Heather or a nobody. And while Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) may not be named Heather, she's a Heather in spirit, waging battles in the full-scale popularity war. But just when it all gets to be too much, she meets mysterious newcomer Jason (Christian Slater), who offers her the perfect -- albeit deadly -- solution to end the Heathers' social tyranny. Teen angst has rarely been this darkly funny or poignant. (Netflix)
Facing an unplanned pregnancy while she's still in high school, quirky teen Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) devises a plan to locate her unborn baby's perfect adoptive parents. But the seemingly ideal couple (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) Juno chooses still has some growing up to do. Michael Cera co-stars in this offbeat coming-of-age comedy with an Oscar-winning original screenplay penned by Diablo Cody. (Netflix)
After growing up abroad, brainy teen Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) moves to Chicago and haphazardly joins her new high school's most powerful clique. But there's hell to pay when the ex-boyfriend (Jonathan Bennett) of the clique's menacing leader (Rachel McAdams) shows interest in being Cady's guy. Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried also star in this sharply comic cautionary tale from writer Tina Fey, who also appears as Cady's math teacher. (Netflix)
Four erstwhile school chums wax nostalgic about the bittersweet passage from childhood to puberty in this gentle coming-of-age tale. Reuniting with the gang takes Samantha Albertson (Demi Moore) strolling down memory lane as she recollects the magical summer of 1970, when the then-12-year-olds first experienced sexual awakening, shared their secrets and did battle with bullies. The high-powered cast includes Melanie Griffith and Rosie O'Donnell. (Netflix)
Thirteen-year-old Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a good girl. She's smart, gets along with her mother (Holly Hunter) and is never any trouble. But then she befriends Evie (played by Nikki Reed, who co-wrote the movie), a gorgeous and popular classmate who teaches Tracy to let loose and introduces her to the beguiling world of sex, alcohol, drugs and self-mutilation -- much to the horror of Tracy's friends, relatives and, most of all, her mother. (Netflix)
Responding to the lax moral milieu of the mid-1970s, Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon (James Woods and Kathleen Turner, respectively) keep their five alluring, adolescent daughters on a short leash. When the youngest, 13-year-old Cecelia (Hannah Hall), unaccountably commits hara-kiri and wayward elder sister Lux (Kirsten Dunst) violates curfew, Mom puts all the girls under virtual house arrest. But her overreaction has unintended -- and dire -- consequences. (Netflix)
"The Strength to Resist:The Media's Impact on Women & Girls" is a 33 minute documentary about the image of women in advertising. The film presents the ideas of girls and young women as well as those of the leading authorities in the fields of psychology of women and girls, eating disorders, gender studies, violence against women, and media literacy--and focuses their ideas on practical solutions and the best tactics for reclaiming our culture. (Films That Challenge. Cambridge Documentary Films. 26 August 2009.
Are tomboys tamed once they grow up? This lively and inspiring documentary explodes that archaic myth with the stories of proud tomboys of all ages: African-American teenager Jay Gillespie; Massachusetts firefighter Tracy Driscoll, lesbian artist Nancy Brooks Brody and the inimitable political activist Doris Haddock, aka “Granny D”, whose walk across America in support of campaign finance reform has gained global attention. Interviews with these feisty women are intercut with personal photographs and archival footage to celebrate tomboys of all ages. Exploring the myriad ways gender identity is constructed from a very young age, TOMBOYS makes the connections between rebel girl and spirited women gloriously clear. With additional commentary by girls’ studies pioneer Carol Gilligan, these tales of energy and enterprise are a revelation to us all. (Women Make Movies. 2005. Women Make Movies. 26 August 2009.

Netflix. 1997. Netflix. 26 August 2009. .

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