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Michael Ray De Los Angeles

WRITER | EDITOR | ARTISAN

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cinema

The Danish Girl

#TheDanishGirl is a cinematic journey about love, identity, and self acceptance.

The Danish Girl is a new film by Focus Features and Working Title/Pretty Pictures. The story takes place in the 1920’s and highlights the relationship between Lili and Gerda. The issue? Lil is also Einar Wegener (played by actor Eddie Redmayne), Gerda’s husband. The film starts out in Copenhagen, the married couple are both working artists; Einar/Lili an acclaimed landscape painter, and Gerda (played by actress Alicia Vikander) a portrait painter relentless in her pursuit for success. Their love for each endures through a rocky relationship, a midst travels to Paris, Dresden, and back home to Copenhagen where Lili/Einar lives the last of her days before her untimely death.

The film is a tearjerker, as the couple attempt to negotiate space for their relationship, financial stability, social acceptance, and matters of sexuality. During all of this Lili/Einar undergoes multiple evaluations from medical professions across the board. The result is a hodgepodge of diagnoses and suggested procedures; suggesting that Lili/Einar is a “perverted” “schizophrenic” that needs radiation therapy and his head operated on. Although s/he does eventually undergo an operation it is at her accord–with the support of Gerda as well as Lili’s childhood friend Hanz.

The film’s focus on the feminine mystique is a driving force that perseveres from the opening scene to the roll of the credits as makeup, dresses, and vogue poses become the defining characteristics of womanhood. Additionally, there are a few references to childbearing, heterosexuality, and genitalia– the later being the centerpiece of story-line, as Lili/Einar opts to undergo Sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). All in all the film is a very modern and timely piece of cinematography, especially in a year in which gay marriage, and transgender issues have hit the national stage– hat tip to Chelsea Manning, Caitlyn Jenner, and a wag of the finger to Antonin Scalia.

Embedded into the subtext of the film are modern transgender issues, including the need for social acceptance, the ability to “pass” as a woman, and “coming out” to friends and loved ones. One exceptionally powerful statement is Lili’s assertion, “there is nothing wrong with me,” an ongoing affirmation, even today. Whereas the “professionals” defined Einar’s circumstance as a matter needing to be suppressed through institutionalization; Gerda feels something different, and sees a beauty in Einar that surpasses what he sees in himself.

Vampyrohtechnix-The-Danish-GirlThe relationship continues to hit rough patches as Einar transitions into Lily, and what starts of as impromptu modeling sessions becomes a fully realized release for Einar. More and more he sees himself through the gaze of his wife, a lens in which his soft facial structure, and slim figure are emphasized. The two share intimate sexual moments during the sittings, but become less and less frequent as Einar becomes more and more femme. The bond between the two is unquestionable, yet the tragedy here is that both seek a heterosexual relationship– Gerda with the man she had married, and Lili with a man that will appreciate her as she is.

With a run time of 2 hours and change, the film covers a lot of ground, but is not completely comprehensive, as the movie begins with Einar and Gerda’s married life as Vampyrohtechnix-The-Danish-Girl (2)working artists and only glosses over their premarital life. However one can image that Einar’s story-line would consist of beatings for his lack of rugged masculinity, and Gerda’s push for recognition as an artist in a world dominated by men. That said, the film is a welcomed addition to the canon of cinematography devoted to transgender themes and nonconforming lifestyles.

The film has been nominated for 3 Golden Globe awards; including “best actor in a motion picture (Drama), and best actress in a motion picture, (Drama). Check local listing for the nearest screening.

Modern Transgender Success

Andreja Pejic, international model.

Buck Angel, Female-to-male adult film star

Chelsea Manning, a proponent of public information

Lana Wachowski, sibling mastermind behind The Matrix Trilogy, & V for Vendetta.


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)

Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Freelance Writing, Editing, & Cinematography
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


White Oleander
by Janet Finch
(Also full-length
feature film )
Whiteorleander
This coming of age story follows the young girl Astrid as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves an extended jail sentence for poisoning and murdering a cheating lover. Throughout the novel Astrid has numerous identities imposed onto her by those around her; her surrogate mothers, foster parents and even the school system all take a part in constructing Astrid’s identity. In adapting a book for film, there are always elements which are not represented, either because of film’s time constraints or production limitations; within the film, one aspect of the book that is glossed over is the explicit sexual relationship that Astrid has with her adoptive father figure which ends violently for the young girl. The censorship of the fictitious relationship between Astrid and her paternal figure within the film demonstrates one of the many ways in which female sexuality is muted. Furthermore, this muting of sexual identity demonstrates that the sexualization of females is “signified by age” (as Nancy Lesko would suggest), and because Astrid has not fulfilled the social sand cultural signifiers of adulthood, the representation of her relationship with her adoptive father is something that is only expressed in the print version of White Oleander.

Read more: White Oleander by Janet Finch  (also full-length feature film ) and lets connect on Goodreads!


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

 

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


The Crucible
by Arthur Miller
(adapted for
film)
The Crucible
In an adaptation of  Arthur Miller’s play, Jean-Paul Sartre provides a French interpretation of the American play. The play is set in colonial America (Salem Massachusetts to be exact), and it revolves largely around the life of John Proctor and his adolescent mistress Abigail Williams. A hardworking farmer, John Proctor discovers, Abigail and several other girls from his village dancing around a fire– which is considered blasphemous amongst the townspeople. The result of this discovery is a series of trails in which the adolescent Abigail claims that she was under the influence of witchcraft at the time that she had been dance. She, along with the other accused directed their allegations at various people within the village in an effort to protect themselves from punishment. In the process, Abigail is shown to be aware of her sexuality (even attempting to fulfill her desires with the resistant John Proctor), simultaneously she acquires position of power falsifying her identity and claiming to be possessed– therefore not herself. The historical and cultural context of the film is particularly interesting–Marcarthyism and the blacklisting of U.S citizens within film and literature are the actual witch hunts which occurred during the time which Miller had produced the play.
This novel is a CA Dept of Ed. recommended reading

Read more: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (adapted for film) and lets connect on Goodreads!


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

 

Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Recommended Reading
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


Dreamworlds 3
directed by Sut Jhally
Dreamworlds 3The films examines the cultural construction of the female identity within film, specifically music videos. Sut Jully suggests that the women within the dream world consent to being objectified. As a result, we, the consumers of staged misogynistic, violent, or pornographic images are directly on the social level. He suggests that the falsified portrayals of women within film, and other media affects how they are seen outside of the fantasy, or “dream world.” Within this Sut Jhally’s film there are various example of how music artists (of all genres) conform to the standards of the dream world– in some cases this conformity is represented by a surrender of the female body to physically abusive, dominant males. Dreamworlds 3 was chosen to help frame the concept of the disappearing girl. Throughout Sut Jully’s discussion, he highlights the various ways that women are muted, marginalized, objectified and abused because of the dominant cultural ideals held by the belief in the dreamworld.

Watch more: Dreamworlds 3 directed by Sut Jhally and lets connect on YOUTUBE!


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

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