Yellow and Blue

Summer is well upon us and several amazing movies have already hit the screens. One of them being the long-anticipated Pixar movie, which is only long-anticipated if you are a Pixar geek, which I am.

InsideOut

“Inside Out” is the personification of the emotions inside Riley’s head. All of them were narrowed down into five generic feelings: joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger. Each has their own important place in Riley’s life.

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The story picks up when Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked into *gasp*…Longterm Memory. They have to find their way back into Riley’s head again so she can be happy…and sad. Their absence has a huge impact. Will they make it back before its too late?

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First, let’s give a hand to the creative board on this movie. If you think about it, the feelings, like Joy, aren’t…anything. They are abstract. They’re made up by little pixels of whatever color they are. Joy is yellow. Sadness is blue. Disgust is green. You get the idea. The characters are completely abstract things, and animated as such. Plus, adding unique and fun aspects to Riley’s MIND (not brain, as you remember, everything is abstract), like the train of thought (literally), Imagination Land, and Dream Productions. Bravo, Pete Docter–I was so entertained!

I was also pleased that the main human character, Riley, was a budding tomboy. For me that was a good change for Pixar. They tried to do a Celtic princess and they did okay…the tomboy was just a good switch-up.

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But the main thing that caught my eye, my mind, my heart! …was the ending.

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On their journey back to “headquarters” (Riley’s head), Joy and Sadness meet one of Riley’s old imaginary friends. In a scene in the movie, the imaginary friend, Bing Bong, becomes really upset that Riley doesn’t remember him. Despite Joy’s attempts to cheer him up, he doesn’t feel any better. He only stops crying after Sadness comes and talks to him and empathizes with him. That is the solution.

Its a foreshadow to the end of the movie. By the time Joy and Sadness reach headquarters, Riley is soon running away from her family. But as she comes back, Joy doesn’t succeed in cheering her up as she normally does. Most of Riley’s memories have always been happy. But not this time. Sadness lets her cry. And she cries and cries.

In a new town, in a new place with new friends and new sports teams, all Riley needed was a good cry for her life in her old home. Its a bittersweet memory. Yellow…and blue.

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original art from pixar studios

Of course all the kids love the ending–Sadness finally fits in. Besides, it’s a kids movie! The problem has to be something they can understand. But let’s think about the way Pixar weaved a deep, emotional thought into a kid’s movie ending. Insane right? Inspiring. I guess Pixar is telling us to let our feelings out and don’t keep them in. Its the only way to move on in life. Don’t dwell in the past and make way for the new.

The deep ending overwhelmed me. I loved it. Through-the-roof creativity is kinda my thing.

Oh and my favorite was Disgust. In case you were wondering.

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“Ew”.

Due respect,

Jael

Boys Will Be Boys

I uncovered an old essay of mine from November 2013 in my English Comp I class. It was a group project, which at that time meant that I wrote all of it while everyone else watched.

Enjoy!

Boys Will Be Boys

On a hot summer afternoon, two boys sat in a court. Solemn, distraught, guilty looks were cast on their faces. They sat side by side as they were tried and found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl at their school. Together, they had gotten her drunk, raped her, and carried her around to numerous football parties to let other young men do the same (CNN). Thanks to wonderful social media, this scandal was soon nationwide, as many got riled up about these boys and their behavior. Surprisingly, there were few who shrug at crimes such as these and quote a simple, chancy phrase: “Boys will be boys” (The New Yorker).

“Boys will be boys” is literally defined as a phrase “used to express the view that mischievous/childish behavior is typical of boys or young men and should not cause surprise when it occurs” (Dictionary.com). In a nutshell, this phrase implies that all behavior, no matter how vile, destructive, or crude, is just natural boy behavior. We should respect everything they do because it’s in their nature. However, I believe that this phrase has crossed a borderline. It has gone too far. The “boys will be boys” mentality has reached epidemic proportions in our society. We will see how this simple phrase has negatively affected our society through inappropriate behavior, lack of respect, and young men stereotypes. Though the phrase is cliché, catchy, and might even make a person smile, those words are dangerous. And they blind us to a massive issue in our society.

Within the past century, young men’s socially expected behavior was drastically different than it is now. Boys, particularly young men, were expected to be gentlemen (The True Gentleman). TheTrueGentleman.com, a website specifically dedicated to bringing back the Victorian era, describes an old-fashioned gentleman in great detail. “The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause ajar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast— all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment” (The True Gentleman). This only briefly describes his behavior. Even his outward appearance and gestures are superb: “He is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd…he guards against topics which may irritate; never defends himself by a mere retort, he has no ears for slander or gossip… If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blunder…” (The True Gentleman). Now, this was in the Victorian Era. And many will agree that times have changed to a much greater extent. But you can at least notice the difference between male behavior then and now—more courteous, respectful, and considerate. Today on public internet forums, you see men today make fun and mimic it, as if it was just a stupid phase in history.

Did it change overnight? Does anything? No, you cannot pin-point a date and year to an evolution. Things happen—wars, depressions, and atom bombs. Slowly, our culture found a personality. I believe the change in this dream-like “knight in shining armor” behavior thrived during the most influential, crazy decade of American history: the 1960s. Counterculture popped up nationwide, bringing its drugs, protests, and mini-revolutions (Counterculture). As a result, teens across the country indulged in rebellious music, drinking, and sex. These hallmarks of the 1960’s counterculture were a major influence on young American behavior (Counterculture). 50 years later, we see massive issues with common young men behavior. Now that we’ve explored a little background of where we once were, let’s zoom forward and look at main issues today—issues that many respond to as “natural” and the ever-so-popular “boys will be boys”. Presently we will be exploring today’s young men’s inappropriate behavior, lack of respect, and common stereotypes. Does their behavior affect others? Where did it come from? What should we do about it?

Firstly, let’s look at boys’ tendency to behave inappropriately, whether for desire, satisfaction, or simple attention. Inappropriate behavior, for our purposes, would refer to rape. U.S. Disaster Center holds the total rate of rapes. In 1960 the numbers were in the low 17,000s, and in 2012 the numbers have skyrocketed to a whopping 84,376 (U.S Crime Rates).  The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network claims that 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, so these numbers could be so much larger (RAINN). The example I shared earlier, about the football players raping an unconscious girl and carrying her around, is a perfect example of inappropriate behavior. It was August of 2012. Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond in Steubenville, Ohio raped a drunk, nearly unconscious girl and carrying her around to parties (Guardian). According to The Guardian, “Prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter said the girl was helplessly drunk and the boys ‘treated her like a toy’” (Guardian). The New York Times states, “Both boys used their fingers to penetrate her…much of the evidence was ‘profane and ugly’…Rape was among one of the gravest crimes” (NYTimes). There are many other rape cases involving specifically young men. The boys were sent to serve one to two years in jail, and most students at the school thought the girl (the raping toy) as the “bad guy” for witnessing against them (NYTimes). The reason the boys didn’t sentenced to more jail time is because of that “boys will be boys” mentality, as several parents witnessed in their defense (NYTimes).

Along these lines, let’s continue on and explore young men’s lack of respect. This is towards others, society, and specifically women. Take pornography, for example. Some guys are quite open about their sexual desires and activity. Statistics say that 40 million Americans are visitors to porn sites, and 12% of the internet is pornography—that’s over 24 million websites. And these statistics are from 2010 (Chen). But do people find it a problem? Many find it disgusting. But most say that it’s natural. They can’t help it. Boys will be boys. Sexting, similarly, is a common activity among men—even in high school. Westwood High, for example, was caught in a sexting scandal in early 2011, where a cheerleader took a picture of her naked self and sent it to a couple football players (MyFoxAustin). The picture was all over the school by the end of the day (KXAN). At first glance, of course the cheerleader was at fault. She shouldn’t have sent such a picture. But now we see the football players’ lack of respect for the girl and her privacy. They find it amusing to show it off to the whole school. According to KXAN, “Criminal charges are not expected to be filed…the students [involved] were [only] given ISS.” Only the students who were sent the pictures and passing it on got in trouble. The football stars were hardly punished at all. Why? Boys will be boys.

Why are guys like this? Are they taught to be like this? Or maybe they see others to the same. We now move to typical young men stereotypes. Popular TV shows for teens, like “Gossip Girls”, and movies like “Grown Ups” contain groups of young men that are just plain jerks. They describe typical male society today. Perhaps this is what our boys look up to. They are the guys that don’t care about anyone but themselves. They love drugs, sex, and rebelling because they can. Popular songs also promote this type of behavior. Popular rap artists like Eminem, Drake, and Lil Wayne rap lyrics that disrespect pretty much everything. One of Drakes popular songs “Headlines” has this line: “You gonna hype me up and make me catch a body like that, cause I live for this, it isn’t just a hobby like that” (GoodLyrics). In Eminem’s “White Trash Party”: “In the streets of Warren, Michigan we call ‘em tramp stamps, that means she belongs to me” and “I don’t need a white tank top to be a wife beater” (Lyrics4Every1). Do you see a pattern? It degrades women, who should be respected in society, and it also encourages sex desire and activity, as if this is the way they should be. Stereotypes can certainly alter one’s ego and actions. But boys will be boys, right?

Is the counterargument to all my points strong? Absolutely, but I think it’s a little off. In an article from the Huffington Post, there are many popular opinions expressed by people who encourage the “boys will be boys” mentality. Some of them are, “He’s just going through a phase”, “He just can’t help/control himself”, “He’s such a boy—he loves destroying things!” (Huffington Post). He loves destroying things? Could that mean zombies on Black Ops…or a girl’s reputation by forwarding her naked picture around the school? He couldn’t help himself when he decided to rape an unconscious, near-dead teenager all night long with his friends. Pornography watching is only a phase (and then you see grown, married men sneaking a video or ten while “busy” at work). These are excuses, and even false assumptions, that have stood for far too long. Also consider the fact that these boys are our future men. It’s a nerve-wracking thing to think about.

In conclusion, we’ve summed up the background of young men’s behavior in America. We’ve seen it transform and we explored the major issues that now exist today as a result of the disgraceful “boys will be boys” mentality—inappropriate behavior, lack of respect, and common stereotypes. We discovered examples of each of these, including Steubenville, Ohio, Westwood High School, and popular rap songs that shun any kind of chivalry or gentility. Needless to say, it is a massive downturn from the gentlemen era.

Why in the world does any of this matter? Why don’t we just leave the world and society as it is? As a former home-schooler, I was raised in a circle of friends where all the guys were sweet, chivalrous, and never had any intention on sleeping with any girl they talked to on a regular basis. I entered public school in 2012 with stupefying shock. None of the guys would open the door for me if I was right behind them. I’ve been cussed at and cussed around by guys pretty much every class period I attend. Even watching porn on a regular basis was shocking to me—I had never been exposed to that behavior. Additionally, on social media, boys often upload pictures like on Instagram of bikini and Victoria’s Secret models. Women half-naked on a man’s photo stream is demeaning to women, especially if he has a girlfriend! Some of these small things may sound silly and unimportant, but I disagree. These small things are what make a man, generally. It takes humility and respect to become a gentleman. However, the “boys will be boys” mentality relieves young men of that expectation. It alters the way society views our young men. It lowers our standards and expectations of them. It’s just a negative outlook altogether. I’m not blaming the Counterculture. Change happens in a culture. However, it is important to recognize these controversial issues and really think about them—about the path that it has put us on.

“Boys will be boys” is a phrase I have heard all my life. Only recently did I start thinking about what it really means. It should not be an excuse to rape, sext, or disrespect anyone in anyway, whether it’s parents, leaders, or a hot cheerleader. The “boys will be boys” mentality has reached epidemic proportions in society. It is our job to be aware of its danger. As Arthur Helps, an English writer, once said, “Alas, It is not the child, but the boy that survives in a man.” (Izziquotes).

Forever yours,

J.L.

People-Watching

Did any of y’all see this movie? It wasn’t well advertised. Brought to you by the nominations at SXSW 2015:

ex machina

ex machina

I have to say this is one of the most bizarre thrillers that I actually enjoyed. Written and directed by Alex Garland, a London filmmaker.

A young programmer (Caleb) wins a mysterious contest, which buys him a trip to the massive estate of the CEO of the company he works for. Turns out Nathan, the CEO, has secret projects of his own, as he unveils artificial intelligence at its finest. Ava, his current prototype, is an ingenious, amazing robot, whose self-aware intelligence is beyond doubt. During the week that Caleb is supposed to be testing her AI, Ava manipulates and surpasses even the human intelligence that she is confronted with.

“If you’ve created…artificial intelligence it’s not the history of man. It’s the history of gods.” ~Caleb.

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There’s so much foreshadowing in this movie! And you don’t realize it until the end. The plot twist is so sudden and unreal that you just have to sit there for a couple minutes during the credits and comprehend what you just saw.

I won’t ruin the movie but I will point out several things that I thought was interesting. Ava is an AI prototype. We don’t ever know what AVA stands for. Session One: When Caleb asks how old she is, she says “I am one.” Caleb asks when she learned to speak. “I always knew how to speak,” she replies. We never see Ava sleep in the movie. We do see her draw during the night, look intently at the security cameras–all thoughtful activities.

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The movie isn’t about Caleb winning this trip and meeting with an incredible AI robot. The movie is about the evolution of this AI robot. During the first session, we see that she is ominous and quite self aware, then Second Session: she starts asking Caleb questions. The first emotional expression we see on Ava’s face is after Caleb says his parents are dead. She begins to empathize, sympathize, or is it all an act?

Session Three: Ava shares rumors about Nathan (the CEO) and how terrible he is to her. She needs to escape or she might be shut down and her memory deleted. Appealing to Caleb’s emotion now…

Throughout the sessions we see her become more and more…advanced. Not technology-wise, but in human emotion, interaction, and manipulation. She dresses up, puts a wig on, and timidly asks how she looks. Oh how well she already knows young men!

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Caleb asks Ava if she could go out of her room, where would she go? She answers that she would like to go on a date with Caleb to a traffic intersection. To people watch.

What has she been doing in the movie so far? People-watching. It’s how someone like her evolves. The movie revolves around people-watching.

When I noticed this I was quite proud of myself. That’s exactly how Ava escapes her prison: by people-watching and observing what they care about and what they want most. Manipulating Caleb, succumbing to Nathan and his “cruel” dictatorship over her: its all just simple people-watching. She’s more modest than Nathan’s other prototypes, she has a sweeter face, and she has a cunning mind. Recipe for manipulation.

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Go see this movie. Bootleg it. Rent it. Its a thriller you don’t want to miss. Flawless foreshadowing. Perfect plot twists. Of course the movie had its plot holes, but many indie film festival winners do. This is one where the plot holes didn’t get in the way of the fascinating concepts.

Ex Machina does not disappoint.

Blown away,

J.L. Cordova

Death in Romantic Poetry

My final paper in British Literature. I enjoyed the professor. The content sort of puts me to sleep. Too many poems. But here’s what I got out of it. An A paper:

Death in Romantic Poetry

Throughout literature, death is a commonly used topic. From the loss of soldiers in Wordsworth’s ballads to Beth’s heartbreaking illness in Little Women, it is a strong, emphatic, impactful subject matter. Death is a unique topic, in that there is no one particular view on death. Each person—each author—has their own view on death, dying, leaving this world and going onto the next, or maybe just decaying into the dust, cold and forgotten. There are many different views on death in Romantic literature especially. This is a time when society was exploring more, discovering more, and thinking more. New inventions were used. New types of writing became popular. And more concepts of life and death were pondered. In The Roots of Romanticism by Isaiah Berlin, it says that Romanticism was the most recently largest movement to transform the lives of the Western World (Berlin, 1). Duncan Wu’s Romanticism says that the word “Romantic” meant “fanciful”, “light”, and “inconsequential” (Wu, xxx). These words accurately display the mindset of the Romantic Period, and it sets the stage for Romantic literature. This does not necessarily mean that the poems during this period were “light and airy”. Rather, because it was such an inventive time, most poems sent messages of hope. Thus, death is portrayed in a unique way. The Romantic Era brought new and fascinating views on death.

Some Romantic poems focus on death’s appeal to people’s emotions and imagination. Because death has such a strong impact on the living, Romanticism sought to explore it. For example, William Wordsworth wrote a beautiful poem called “We are Seven” and it deals with a little girl who has lost two siblings to death. “Then did the little Maid reply/ ‘Seven boys and girls are we/ Two of us in the church-yard lie/ Beneath the church-yard tree’.” (Greenblatt, 278). Wordsworth portrays death as it appeals to the little girl’s emotions and imagination. Her view on death is imaginative, optimistic, and innocent. “You run about, my little Maid/ Your limbs they are alive/ If two are in the church-yard laid/ Then ye are only five…” Wordsworth says (Greenblatt, 279). The little girl proceeds to explain how the graves are green, they are side by side, and she eats, knits, and plays with them. “ ‘O Master! we are seven’ ”// “ ‘But they are dead; those two are dead/ Their spirits are in heaven!’… ‘Nay, we are seven!’” (Greenblatt, 279) This little maid is convinced her two past siblings are still alive. Little children have such active imaginations and their optimism is prime. “A simple child…What should it know of death?” begins this beautiful poem (Greenblatt, 278). It compels the reader to imagine death as just another form of being.

Another Romantic poem in which death appeals to emotion is a short, two-stanza rhyme by William Blake. Blake was known for his creativity with imagination (Frye, 153). “The Sick Rose” sparks the imagination as it compares a rose and a worm to a girl being stripped of her purity (Wu, 196). “O Rose, thou art sick/ the invisible worm/…Has found out thy bed/ Of crimson joy/ And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy.” Picturing a filthy worm penetrating a beautiful garden rose appeals to emotion as well, as it compels the reader to imagine an everyday rape. Many comparisons in poetry appeal to the imagination of the reader. “Does thy life destroy” (Wu, 196)—destruction. Death. How? It doesn’t say. We can only imagine.

The appeal to emotion and imagination is only one way the Romantic poets viewed death. Another common way was by emphasizing and expressing life. John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” truly has this technique. In the poem, the speaker knows he is aging and that death is coming, thus he expresses life and the beauty of the nature around him. “Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! /No hungry generations tread thee down/ The voice I hear this passing night was heard/ In ancient days by emperor and clown” (Greenblatt, 927). Keats wrote this poem after his brother died of consumption (Wu, 1396). Yet he expresses the “tasting of the Flora”, a description of a gorgeous glass of wine, flowers, incense, pastoral eglantine…all these things emphasize the beauty of nature, and the narrator is ecstatic to be alive, experiencing all of it (Greenblatt, 928). “Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well…Fled is that music: –Do I wake or sleep?” (Greenblatt, 929)

Dorothy Wordsworth also expresses life in her poem about nearing death. Also a strong Romantic influence (Zimmerman, 113), “Thoughts on My Sick-Bed” was a personal poem to Dorothy as she herself was confined to a sick bed. She received the first spring flowers at her bedside, and this poem was what she wrote after she saw them in her room (Greenblatt, 417). “Couchant within this feeble frame/ Hath been enriched by kindred gifts/ That, undesired, unsought-for, came//…The violet betrayed by its noiseless breath,/ The daffodil dancing in the breeze/ The caroling thrush, on his naked perch/ Towering above the budding trees” (Greenblatt, 417). The imagery in this poem is fabulous, as Dorothy truly expresses the life around her, while her own fades away. This poem is full of parallelism, comparing her own state to the state of things around her. She even ends the poem with a sense of comparison: “No need of motion, or of strength/ Or even the breathing air/ I thought of Nature’s loveliest scenes/ And with Memory I was there” (Greenblatt, 418). It is easy to forget how truly beautiful and fascinating nature is. What better time to remember than while thinking about death?

Finally, the Romantic poets also portrayed death as a new beginning. They implied a new life—a beacon of hope—perhaps death wasn’t the end! Going back to William Blake, who wrote many poems about death (Frye, 154), we see his poem “The Chimney Sweeper” from The Songs of Innocence. This poem talks about two young chimney sweep boys, one has a dream where they and all the other chimney sweep boys died in “coffins of black”(Wu, 183). But that was not the end. “And by came an Angel who had a bright key/ And he open’d the coffins & set them all free/ Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run/ And wash in a river and shine in the Sun/…And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy/ He’d have God for his father & never what joy” (Wu, 183). This dream of the chimney sweep (Tom) implies a new life after the filthy, disgraceful life he led now. His dream was a vision of heaven. It was hope for him the next morning, as he was “happy & warm” (Wu, 183).

Percy Bysshe Shelley also uses death as a new beginning in his poem “Ode to the West Wind”.  The “West Wind” is the spirit of autumn, as it blows in and marks the death of summer (Greenblatt, 791). The poem implies new beginnings by referencing mythical gods of the afterlife. “Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere/ Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!” These two references are from Hinduism: Siva the Destroyer and Vishnu the Preserver (Greenblatt, 791). “Of some fierce Mænad, even from a dim verge…” A Mænad is a female worshipper of the Greek god of vegetation (Greenblatt, 792). So these references to gods imply a new beginning—a mythical start to autumn. Shelley concludes his poem by reminding his reader of the continuous cycle of seasons. “The trumpet of prophecy! O wind/ If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” (Greenblatt, 792) The Romantic Period was, indeed, heavily influenced by the Bible and Greek Mythology, both of which have severe afterlife beliefs—a new beginning for those right with God(s). (Berlin, 3-4)

Many other religious references imply new beginnings after death, even when the poem isn’t about death. For example, William Blake’s “The Lamb” has the Christian references of Jesus, pure and without sin, sacrificed for the sins of his people. “For he calls himself a Lamb/ He is meek & he is mild/ He became a little child/ I a child & thou a lamb/ We are called by his name” (Greenblatt, 121). Also from Blake, in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, “Energy is eternal delight/ Eternity is in love with the productions of time/ God only Acts and Is, in existing beings or Men” (Wu, 208). When Blake references eternity, of course he means the afterlife, especially since he proceeds to write about God living in Men. Consequently, poems can still reference death in a different and unique light even when the poem doesn’t revolve around death itself.

Death was a common and intriguing subject in the literary world during the 1700 and 1800s (Berlin, 1). The Romantic Era brought new and fascinating views on death. In literature, poets appealed to emotion and imagination, the expression of life, and new beginnings when writing about death. Romantic poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Percy Shelley truly capture death in these lights. The common topic of this time period is not only a creative one, but also thought-provoking and exciting.

Best regards,

JJ

The Story that is Cinderella

collage Cinderella

Ah don’t we all know about the smashing servant girl who fits into the glass slipper and lives happily ever after.

Saw Disney’s 2015 “Cinderella” at the Alamo Drafthouse today. Their pre-show had a bunch of little animated shorts based off of Cinderella. It made me think of how cliche this story actually is. Its one of the most famous Grimm fairy tales of all time, wouldn’t you agree? Then I started thinking how many movies have been made about Cinderella. Then I went home and researched Cinderella. So let’s talk some Cinderella.

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1899: The first movie to come out about this old folk tale was a 5 minute live-action flick made by George Méliès, a French filmmaker. Called (wait for it) “Cinderella”. It was considered a huge failure after it was released and didn’t go very far, as it had very little critique. Give it a watch and you’ll appreciate modern filmmaking. Turn on your iTunes too because it has no sound.

I’m sorry. But that’s funny.

1911: “Cinderella” starring Florence La Badie as the servant girl. A 15-minute U.S film by George Nichols. Its also a silent film. Its sort of difficult to watch–more like a play than a movie since there’s no sound. But La Badie makes a beautiful Cinderella…in a Wild West show maybe.

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1922: Enter Walt Disney, who made a cute little Cinderella short as he just started out his career in movie-making. It’s a Laugh-O-Gram piece that is, what do you know, silent. Just watch a little bit; you don’t have to watch the whole thing. You’ll smile I promise–sounds like a Charlie Chaplin flick.

1950: Then in 1950, Disney’s company was in major debt. He poured all his money into one last animated feature in hopes that he’d get another chance at life. And he got it! The “Cinderella” we all know is one of his most famous pieces. Its still one of the most beloved Disney movies of all little girls. Perfect porcelain skin, tiny feet, enchanting voice…I mean who doesn’t love “Sing Sweet Nightingale” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”???

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1957: Seven years later, thanks to Rodgers and Hammerstein, we have the most successful Cinderella story to-date. Featuring Julie Andrews as Cinderella, this musical written for television captured the hearts of 60% of Americans during that time. It was truly a success, as it boasted the largest audience in history. Why was it so amazing? So many popular actors and actresses of that time we’re in this musical: Andrews, Howard Lindsay, Jon Cypher, Ilka Chase, Edie Adams…and the score was filled with so many songs that we don’t see in newer editions of Cinderella. “Stepsisters’ Lament”? Come on, I even want to hear that one.

Beautiful Julie Andrews <3

                 Beautiful Julie Andrews <3

1997: Here’s an interesting one. A Cinderella movie with African-American actors, (the first of its kind). Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, and Whoopi Goldberg starred in this direct-to-television broadcast with over 60 million views on the original air date. (Whitney Houston was the fairy godmother by the way, in case you were wondering.)

brandy and whitney

Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston

2008: “Ever After” of course is today’s most popular adaption of the Cinderella story. A mash-up, but a good watch and brilliant storytelling. Starring Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott, I’m sure most have you have at least heard of it.

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2015: And now we’ve come to Disney’s newest creation: “Cinderella”. Live action, starring a Downtown Abbey slut and a Game of Thrones perv.

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Oh you know I’m joking. It was the same old story, with the addition of a few things from the original tale, and the same old happy ending. I was actually really happy they developed an actual relationship between Cinderella and the Prince. That seemed more realistic.

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Cinderella was called “Ella” for the majority of the movie, which was refreshing. The costumes and colors, especially on the stepmother and stepsisters–gasp. Very well done.

Casting and acting…it was decent. Lily James (star from Downtown Abbey) proved herself to actually be a good actor. Pleasant surprise. Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter were quite rightfully cast. (They never cease to please me. I can’t get over how much I love Carter in this movie).

There you have it! A [brief] history of Cinderella movies. Obviously there are many more, but these just give you an idea of how far this movie+filmmaking has come. Thank the Lord for digital.

Feeling accomplished [for looking up so many Cinderella movies],

J.L. Cordova