May 09, 2005

Aesthetics Part 3

The following entries consist of blog entries that concern media, online and print journalism, Titanic, architecture and the human body, outer space, advertising, and the show Alias.


Online Journalism vs. Print Journalism-In a time where blogging is considered journalism and thousands of websites are being built daily; it seems that traditional journalism, may be in danger of becoming extinct.

Out of this World-Aesthetics initially, is a response conditioned through the senses; something used to sense beauty. Intrinsic means that something had it already within itself.

Inside "Aesthetic Judgments of the Natural Environment and Aesthetic Communication, you will find aesthetic qualities listed by Gestalt.


Strong women as characters-Frances H. Early states in "Staking Her Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Transgressive Woman Warrior that, " In the last several years, the rise of the indomitable tough woman has become an especially pronounced feature of television "episodics." The age of the tough-gal action show seems at hand, and women, warriors such as, Xena, the Warrior Princess, La Femme Nikita, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have become wildly popular, especially among young North Americans." (11)

Reflecting On Textual Memory-In the 5th grade, I was in a program at school called GATE. This program consisted of gifted or exceptional students. In this program the students were required to do certain projects and studies. One of the projects my group chose was the study of the Titanic and the history of the tragic voyage.


Love yourself-The media, particularly television and magazines, participates in perpetuating the images of women and men in society and how they should look in order to be viewed as beautiful. Though some media has positive effects, most of these effects are negative and are impacting the way women and men are viewing themselves.

Architecture and Media Aesthetics-Anne’s presentation Compared Architecture to Media Aesthetics: Ten Books on Architecture. The book she discussed was written by an architect by the name of Vitruvius. This book that consists of his work Anne said was one of most “influential pieces of work on other architects.”

Alias-Johanna’s presentation, filled with action figures, DVD’s, books was a thoroughly researched background and analysis of the hit T.V show Alias.

New Vs. Old Titanic vs. A Night to Remember-Amanda did a presentation on “The Analysis of Cameron’s Titanic and Baker’s A Night to Remember. She first examined the mediums that were used to express the tragedy of the Titanic; for example, films, books, posters, etc. She stated that the Titanic was an “aesthetic piece of artwork that influenced the way we look tragedy and elements.”

Posted by Denishia Salter at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

New Vs. Old Titanic vs. A Night to Remember


Amanda did a presentation on “The Analysis of Cameron’s Titanic and Baker’s A Night to Remember. She first examined the mediums that were used to express the tragedy of the Titanic; for example, films, books, posters, etc. She stated that the Titanic was an “aesthetic piece of artwork that influenced the way we look tragedy and elements.”

Amanda stated that Cameron’s precursors such as, Clive Cussler’s, Raise the Titanic, Walter Lord’s book: A Night to Remember, and Roy Ward Baker’s adaptation of Lord’s A Night to Remember, were works that lacked realism compared to Cameron’s Titanic and that is why they did not leave such a lasting impression like his work.

She then focuses this argument specifically on a comparison between Cameron’s Titanic and the film by Baker, A Night to Remember.

“Thesis: While James Cameron’s Titanic and Roy Ward Baker’s A Night to Remember both depict the tragic sinking of the ocean liner: R.M.S. Titanic, Cameron’s 1997 interpretation of the April 14, 1912 tragedy and the days preceding the sinking, surpass the Baker’s 1958 production; through plot, characterization, dialogue and acting and special effects, Cameron’s film achieves a realistic aesthetic that Baker’s linear style lacks.”

She then goes on to compare the two movies and particularly the acting of the movie, seemed to be her focus. I felt that Amanda had good points as far as the acting. The actors in Titanic are more dramatic, the added plot and the focus on the specific characters gives the film more depth and gives the audience a real look inside the people who were on the Titanic. Instead of just a look at how the Titanic sunk. And the acting does portray more realism, if not a little overly dramatized, then the characters in A Night to Remember.
However, many argued in class that the Titanic was again a remake from A Night to Remember, therefore, the director had a chance to build off someone else’s work and ideas.

Also, another thing to take into consideration is the fact that Titanic had a huge millennium budget. Therefore, there was more money spent on graphics and making the ship look real and really emphasizing the sinking of the ship. Just like the rays in Metropolis. The scene went on and on because the director was showing off how much money he spent on the graphics. It was also determined that the Titanic did a lot more creating to establish realism. And A Night to Remember stuck to the facts of what happened. And being the journalism that I am, any time the facts are stated that is more real than creating something or opinion.

Still, I believe that the characters in Titanic were more believable and had a lot more depth. I personally am a big fan of dialogue; I don’t focus on the aesthetically pleasing graphics or camera angles. I focus a lot on the actor’s faces and what they are saying and how they are saying it. Therefore, I would say that Titanic was more real in that aspect, but as far as more realism than A Night to Remember I would have to disagree. Amanda may want to reevaluate her thesis.

Posted by Denishia Salter at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

Alias

Johanna’s presentation, filled with action figures, DVD’s, books was a thoroughly researched background and analysis of the hit T.V show Alias.

Johanna’s presentation focused mainly on the female character and protagonist Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner. According to Johanna, Sydney is a secret agent for an organization called the SDG. She is also an agent for the CIA; which makes her a double agent. Neither of these organizations knows that she is working for the other and feeding information back and forth between the two.

Earlier in the discussion Johanna discussed that Sydney wanted to try and quit her job as a SDG agent, but they said they would kill her if she did. She of course, want s to quit because she’s tired of living so many different lives and lies. She is actually a regular graduate student. However, her friends don’t know she’s an agent and she can’t tell them. The man she wants to have a relationship with, Michael Vaughn is technically her super (because she put him there) and she can’t have a relationship with him within the job. She is dealing with the fact that she can’t trust anyone. These internal and external struggles that the she has within herself and the people around her reminded of the La Femme Nakita series a few years back on USA. I discussed this series in response to Johanna’s reading.

I wrote that, Nikita's inability to develop relationships with anyone outside the center or even her struggle with her relationship with Michael her co-operative. It was intense and extreme, but more importantly it was a woman going through it not a man. However, she was strong, independent, intelligent and beautiful, but she still had absolutely no control over her own life and what she did with it.
I feel that Sydney has more control over the situation; however, the situations are very similar as far as trusting the people around them and even themselves.

Johanna discussed how the female characters within this series are all very strong, superior, and dominative. Including Sydney’s mother, who is very manipulative throughout the show. Her mother is a double agent also and actually married Sydney’s father in order to acquirer information and material from him. Also, Nadia, Sydney’s sister and future adversary is portrayed as being just as strong, smart, and capable as she is. Therefore, all of the women in this series are strong and not inferior to the men.

However, when Johanna discussed the book Alias compared to the television show, she expertly found the book to be more linear than the television show and also portrayed Sydney weaker then the men.
For, example in an excerpt she read from the book, Sydney’s womanly aspect weakens her in a sexual moment with a male agent. She then gets so caught up in the situation with the guy that she didn’t realize that they were bugged and he did, therefore presenting her as weak.

Johanna’s presentation was very informative and before listening to her I never knew anything about the series. I was familiar with Garner though. Still, I think this background information was very important and I think that she could also discuss how Sydney’s aliases are always very sexy and how she uses that to get the upper hand when she is under cover. She can then contrast that to the professional, intelligent atmosphere when she is in her suit along with the guys.

Posted by Denishia Salter at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

Architecture and Media Aesthetics

Anne’s presentation Compared Architecture to Media Aesthetics: Ten Books on Architecture. The book she discussed was written by an architect by the name of Vitruvius. This book that consists of his work Anne said was one of most “influential pieces of work on other architects.”

Anne’s main focus was how architecture related to the human body. Anne used examples of Vitruvius’s work to show how during this time period (early 20’s b.c) they used the human body measurement and it’s geometry to build. An example is the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci based on Vitrivius’s findings that you can draw a circle around the body when stretched out.

Anne showed in her presentation that certain columns were created to depict features in a woman or a man. Columns were created to be aesthetically pleasing to a particular audience.

There were three types of columns, Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic. When building these columns, particularly Doric, they did not know the symmetry. So they used a man’s foot to measure a foot in length. And because the Doric columns were measured from a man’s foot and signified strength this temple created with the Doric style was considered a temple for men (Gods) not Goddesses.


Anne continued with the Corinthian style columns; which were supposed to represent the graceful appearance of a virgin. These columns were said to be more slender and delicate, and the ornaments were unobtrusive. These columns were detailed and flowery compared to the plain style of the Doric.

And lastly there were the Ionic columns. These columns were the medium between the two former columns that were discussed. Ionic columns have a base at the bottom of them. And were an equal balance between the two.

Anne also showed pictures from her trip to the Carnegie Museum. She stated that the museum’s columns were created for an aesthetically pleasing effect. The museum’s Porch of Maidens was done in Ionic form which is neutral, neither male nor female dominate.

Anne also did a brief comparison of architecture and artwork and also a comparison with literature. She used Alice Walker’s A Color Purple to relate how architecture and people are also discussed in literature.
I found this to be a rather interesting point and I felt that maybe Anne could have gone more into that aspect in her paper.

She discussed how the most important estate in the U.S, the White House is actually designed to be equal. However, we have had a male president forever. I found that to be contradictive on the U.S part. But isn’t that our government anyway? Present one thing and do another. She also expressed how the temple of Duamo in Florence Italy depicts the extreme importance of religion there because it’s in the middle of the city and stands taller than everything else. Overall, I found her presentation to be great and I learned a lot because the topic was new and interesting to me.

Posted by Denishia Salter at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Love yourself

The media, particularly television and magazines, participates in perpetuating the images of women and men in society and how they should look in order to be viewed as beautiful. Though some media has positive effects, most of these effects are negative and are impacting the way women and men are viewing themselves.

Today, celebrities like Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, or the extremely thin bodies of Kate Moss, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Giselle Bundchen are considered the crème da la crème, with their thin bodies, large breast; air brushed faces, and revealing wardrobe. These women, according to the covers of magazines and billboards, embody everything that makes a woman beautiful. Men like Brad Pitt, The Rock, Vin Diesel, Usher and those alike, with the six pack abs, ripped biceps, and bulging pecks are also society’s views on what the male body should look like.

In addition, some women and men actually try to look exactly like these celebrities. Because these unrealistic celebrity bodies are unattainable through healthy dieting and exercise or even unhealthy diet and exercise; which will be discussed later in the essay, many people are deciding to turn to a higher extreme.
As shown on MTV’s “I want a famous face” teens and young adults are undergoing major reconstructive plastic surgery to try and mirror the face or body of their favorite celebrity. From Angelina Jolie’s unique lips, to Brad Pitt’s bone structure, to the body of Kate Winslet, these young adults are going under the knife to attain these similarities; it’s not just breast implants and tummy tucks anymore.

So why are these young people and adults doing this? What is the cause of such insecurity in personal appearance, that people would rather be sliced up and undergo countless hours of pain and spend thousands of dollars; then go through one more day in life as a normal human being? It’s what society thinks of them. Or what they think society will think of them and how they look compared to everyone else. Due to our society’s outlook and the media ‘s constant advertising and flaunting of these impossible expectations on what we should consider to be beautiful or sexy; teens and young adults are risking their lives to look like celebrities to live up to society’s high expectations on beauty.

Posted by Denishia Salter at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)