April 7

Week 13-

For the RJ, relate the “coming out” genre of Show Me Love (Fucking Amal) to one of the other films in the course, and practice using film terms to describe the visual spaces in the film. Bring to class: outline with sources and biblio for final paper. Use the extra time this week to see one of your director’s other films.

OPTIONAL READING ON Fucking Amal fucking amal

Decide on public film presentation: Heartbeats (2010) or Totally Fucked Up (1993) or Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

– FOR 4/14 (see assignment in the “Assignments” tab, and choose one of the following to watch and present on, with a classmate.)

WATCH: Water Lilies (France, dir. Celine Sciamma, 2007, 85 min.), Head On (Greece, dir. Fatih Akin, 2004, 121 min), Fucking Amal (Sweden, dir. Lukas Moodysson, 1998, 89 min), My Beautiful Launderette (UK, dir. Stephen Frears, 1985, 97 min), Keep Not Silent (Israel, dir. Ilil Alexander, 2004, 52 min), Beautiful Thing (UK, dir. Hettie Macdonald, 1996, 90 min), Strawberries and Chocolate (Cuba, dir. Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio, 1994, 108 min), Fire (India, dir. Deepa Mehta, 1996, 108 min), Paper Dolls (Israel, dir Tomer Heymann, 2006, 80 min), Heavenly Creatures (New Zealand, Peter Jackson, 1994, 99 min), Savage Nights, France, Cyril Collard, 1992.) Others, TBD.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to April 7

  1. Elyse Brey says:

    Elyse Brey
    April 5, 2011
    Queer Cinema
    Heitner
    Response Journal 9
    The process of coming out is a journey that any homosexual individual will sooner or later have to deal with. Some people find that they are able to come out earlier in life in others but not matter at what point in life they do choose to come out it is a huge decision that will change a lot of things in their lives. In the film Show Me Love, Elin has to deal with her feelings for Agnes, a not-so-popular girl who also happens to be a lesbian. Agnes is not happy with where her life is at, but she knows that she is a lesbian and that she is in love with Elin. Throughout the film we see these two characters develop emotionally in a mutual relationship and are able to share their true feelings with one another. When the new couple steps out into public together, their school is in absolute shock and can do nothing but stare at them as they leave the building. I feel that in any “coming out” scene that we see in any of the films that we have viewed, there is supposed to be a sort of awe-factor to the situation which is what allows the “coming out” to be so dramatic. Though it seems almost forced, the emphasis on this kind of scene is what reminds us as viewers exactly how monumental this moment in life is for a homosexual person.
    In watching the “coming out” scene in Show Me Love, I was reminded of the closing scene in But I’m a Cheerleader. In that scene, Megan inspires Graham to be “out” with her and not be constrained by the True Directions “straight” method. The film is campy thus ridiculous for the sake of emphasizing how ridiculous the constraining ideas are, but the scene is so forced, just like the closing scene in Show Me Love, that we get to see again just how monumental it is for a homosexual person to feel comfortable enough to step out into society as “out.”

  2. Amy Slay says:

    While I was watching Lukas Moodysson’s 1998 “Show Me Love,” I was constantly drawing parallels between the Swedish film and “All Over Me.” Once again the audience is presented with a sea of teen angst, as a lonely brunette pines for the beautiful blonde. However, I found “Show Me Love” to be a much less dramatized and more realistic coming out story. There is much more depth to Elin then there is to Ellen. There is a great deal of development to her character. What starts off as a simple dare to kiss the weird new girl sparks a realization in Elin, a realization that she has most desperately been longing for. She is literally bored to tears in the tiny town of Amal, and desperately wants something else, something different, but she does not know what. That something else turns out to be Agnes, the friendless outcast who loves Elin more than anything. Agnes is dissimilar to Claude, but I do find her to be heroic in her own way. At the beginning of the film after a birthday gone terribly wrong, Agnes is so miserable that she actually slits her wrist. During the first half of the film she appears to be a very weak character set on wallowing as her father tries to cheer her up. However, as rumors circulate at school that she is a lesbian, she is not ashamed and makes no attempt to deny who she is. In the scene in which Elin and Agnes are locked in the bathroom with a curious mob beating down the door, Agnes is not afraid of them. When Elin asks what they are going to do, Agnes tells her that they will simply walk out the door.

    Elin has a lot to figure out as the film begins. Like Ellen, she is beautiful and popular and desired. Like Ellen, she begins dating a boy and even loses her virginity to him, while clearly having confusing feelings for someone else, a girl. Unlike Ellen, Elin is not self-destructive (at least not to such an extreme degree) and the boy she chooses is sweet and soft-spoken (almost to the point of stupidity). Elin is very strong and has a forceful personality; no one has power over her. She finally comes to the realization that she loves Agnes and admits it. As they hide in the bathroom, she is the one who has everything to lose by walking out with Elin. But she regains her nerve and walks right out and shows the world.

    In terms of aesthetic, both films have a kind of gritty feel that exudes teen angst. There is an interesting relationship between outside and inside locations. In “All Over Me,” there is a very claustrophobic and trapped feeling to the rooms. In the final scene, Claude is outside and appears to be free and liberated of her misadventure with Ellen. In “Show Me Love” being outside similarly represents a kind of freedom. When Elin comes to Agnes’ birthday dinner, she kisses her, humiliates her, and runs off. She returns to apologize and the two leave together, intent upon hitchhiking to Stockholm. They kiss again, and this time it is not a dare. Being outside represents the freedom to be open with one another, as well as an escape from the mundane that Elin so desperately craves. The cinematography employed in the two films is also quite similar. The directors use a great deal of close up shots to convey emotion when a great deal of things cannot be said. Agnes does not have much dialogue at all. Most of what the audience discerns about her is through her face.

  3. Alex Andorfer says:

    Certainly, Show Me Love depicts many of the themes we’ve been discussing in class throughout the semester. In both All Over Me and Show Me Love the viewer witnesses young, teenagers dealing with sexuality and expression. The female leads in the two films, ironically named Elin and Ellen, are struggling in their youth. The films capture the overwhelming frustration of teenage grief, but both have a string of irony and off-beat humor that make them painfully funny and evoke empathy from the viewer. Elin and Ellen are around 14 or 15 years old, exploring their sexuality in hostile environments. What is most striking about Show Me Love and All Over Me is the attention given to character detail, allowing the roles to be wholly authentic. The camera angles seem to invade character’s faces so that each expression is readily apparent to the viewer. While All Over Me does show the greater scene, the majority of Show Me Love is filmed in close-ups. In one particular scene, the camera is so close to Agnes’ face that it seems almost invasive or pornographic, even though she is not partaking in any sexual encounter at the time. There isn’t much depth to Moodysson’s shots, but all the drama of the film seems to lie in the character’s minds and hearts and is thus displayed sometimes what seems like too-openly on their naieve, youthful faces. The two films refuse to sweeten adolescent love in anyway. Instead, they demonstrate the monotony and torment that young people struggling to find a sexual identity face regularly on an everyday basis. However, the films are an emotional rollercoaster for any viewer, despite sexual orientation, because the themes are universal. All Over Me and Show Me Love strip away years of maturity and take the viewer back to the bored days of high school where making sure the bag of potato chips was eaten so Mom wouldn’t know you stuck out was paramount to survival.

  4. Sean Biggs says:

    I really enjoyed this film because it did a good job of encapsulating the coming out process. What makes this film interesting is the age group that it represents, Agnes being 14 and Elin being 17. The film illustrates the idea of adolescent and teenage angst intermixed with the social complications of acceptance and love. I felt that Agnes was a very strong character, although she tended to be mean and masochistic. Her behavior was symptomatic of a combination of her sexual frustration, social withdrawal, and family life. She reminded me of a younger version of Graham from “But, I’m a Cheerleader” , with her same punk style and hard-headedness. I think that “But, I’m a Cheerleader” can be considered an extension to this film because I could see the characters being enrolled into “True Directions” by their parents once they realize that they are homosexual. Overall this film provided a first-look glance into the social complications of teens, and how parties in high school can be a place where gender performativity is expected to follow the binary.

    If I were the composer for this film I would have played “I Think We’re Alone Now” during many of the scenes, although it would be kind of a cliché.

  5. João Gomes says:

    Following the previous week, “Show Me Love” is a very light, relaxing and happy-ending film. Although I have seen various “coming out” genre films, I have never watched a story about two lesbian young girls. Specifically, unlike “But I am a Cheerleader” and “High Art,” “Show me Love” introduces the struggles of two young girls coming out of the closet during their early high school years. Despite the age difference, the lesbian couples are very similar in the three films, considering their physical appearance and inner-qualities. In other words, there is a pattern that might be identified regarding the femme versus the butch lesbian-portrayal in the three films. The femme lesbian is blond, frequently wears make up, and integrates a normative heterosexual society. Specifically, Syd (“High Art”), Megan (“But I am a Cheerleader”) and Elin (Show me Love) embody a femme blond lesbian who initially pursues a coherent heterosexual life. Their lives is initially introduced under control, and the three have boyfriends. On the other hand, the butch lesbian is introduced with dark shorter hair, and is an individual who struggles and deviates, and lives outside a normative society. In particular, Lucy (“High Art”), Graham (“But I am a Cheerleader”) Agnes (“Show me Love”) have problematic relationships, and they either consume drugs or commit suicide.

    The cinematography in “Show Me Love” and “High Art” is particularly interesting, regarding the different use of the camera to enhance the plot. In “Show Me Love” there is a continuous use of the mobile camera: pans, tilts, tracking shots and so forth. In particular, during the fight scene between Elin and her sister the unsteady frame manipulates and involves the audience more immediately and concretely in the action. On the other hand, “High Art” frequently uses a steady frame, allowing the audience to observe and engage with the characters and their world more objectively. For instance, when Syd makes love with her boyfriend, the director avoids reframing the scene, merely presenting a middle shot throughout the entire act. Cinematography is thus used in different ways to engage with the audience, emerging various feelings and emotions.

  6. Kaneja Muganda says:

    I enjoyed the pure subtlety to this film. I didn’t feel as if the stereotypical homosexual “gaze” was thrown right at us. I made immediate parallels with the characters from All Over Me to the characters from Show Me Love. Claud played as Alison Folland is strikingly similar to Agnes in this film. Both young girls seem to have this issue around finding themselves and being able to identify with their sexuality. Each close shot is used to capture every single emotional detail with these characters. Agnes as well as Elin try to burry their feelings inside which ultimately gets revealed by their “coming out”. We as viewers need to be very aware of the way the cinematographer uses the camera, because each shot represents something.
    I noticed how dark the lighting gets whenever we get a close shot of either Agnes or Elin or even when their together. I thought this tactic was used to disguise the emotions that were running through both girls. It’s interesting to notice how different and similar these stories are. In this film the girls naturally grow towards each other where in All Over Me, they girls naturally fell apart from one another. Similar tactics were used in that film especially during intimate scenes. The lighting would get darker at times when Claud and Ellen would get physically intimate. My overall reaction to these tactics is that even in queer movies, heterosexual normatives still influences others.

  7. Alyx Smagacz says:

    I think that this film relates to the film “All Over Me” due to the struggle to come out and the fear of not being accepted. Agnes was the perfect example of someone who wasn’t accepted for who she was and it wasn’t only because she was homosexual, because most of her classmates didn’t know that at the time, but she was a new student and didn’t make friends well. I find it interesting when Elin came out, it was very symbolic in the way that she almost came out of a closet when she made this aspect of herself public. The fact that the two girls came out of the small bathroom was a cool way of imitating the closet idea.

  8. Brittney DeBo says:

    Show Me Love reminded me a lot of All Over Me in the “coming out” genre of queer films. Elin reminds me exactly of Ellen in that they both seem to have a struggle of their sexual orientation. In both films there is lesbian interaction between them and another female who has actually admitted to lesbianism, while one girl “the pretty party girl” goes out, drinks and ends up in a relationship with a male. I feel that the way the directors filmed both Show Me Love and All Over Me were also similar in that I got the sense that whenever Elin and Agnes or Claude and Ellen were together the moment seemed very dark, whenever and wherever they were; in rooms with only one light on, on the dark streets with only about one street light, in the bathroom with again, only one very dim light and I think this has to do a lot with the idea of coming out, and that being a homosexual was obviously a dark and non accepted lifestyle. In Show Me Love it wasn’t until the two girls physically came out of the bathroom when at that time they both fully came out about their sexual orientation that we saw them happily together in daylight/bright light. In All Over Me I noticed the same type of filming by the director. During Claude and Ellen’s intimate moments, it was usually in Claude’s room with just a lamp on after Ellen had came home late. Even though in All Over Me, Ellen’s sexual orientation is never fully revealed to us, we can tell, that there is a sense of being scared, of not being accepted, the exact same feeling that we get from Elin in Show Me Love.

  9. Courtney Faulstick says:

    While watching Show Me Love I was aware that I was going to have to write about a relationship to one of the previous movies we have watched in this class, and it made me more conscious about how most of the movies we watch can be compared to all of the others. First of all I really enjoyed this particular film, even though it was hard to focus on the more artistic aspect of the movie because of the subtitles. Throughout the beginning of this movie, the film it most reminded me of was Dottie Gets Spanked. The character of Agnes mirrored the character of the little boy Steven. He didn’t fit in at school and was into things that were considered queer by his peers. This idea is shown through Agnes as well because of her being a lesbian. All of the girls at each of the two characters’ schools make fun of them because of the lifestyles they choose, but both stay strong in their beliefs. After actually getting into the film more I realized it more mimicked the plot of All Over Me. Similarly to the relationship Claude and Ellen have in All Over Me Agnes and her new friend Elin have the same first time love experience with what looks like is just a friendship. Also the plot develops as Ellen leaves Claude very regularly for a boyfriend that she doesn’t seem to like. This is just like Elin does with Johan. The person that both Ellens (Elin) want to be with is that friend that is of the same sex and will always be there for them. Obviously the endings are much different. However, it is obvious that in All Over Me Ellen still has feelings for Claude even though Claude has moved on. The gaze Ellen and Claude share at the end of the movie forecasts that if the movie would continue there is a possibility of those two getting back together, much like the ending of Show Me Love.

    To answer the question of the use of visual spaces within the film I had to take a second look at the film as a whole not focusing on the subtitles. I started the movie in the middle and noticed that there were a lot of quick transfers to different camera angles. I also noticed the further the scene went sexually the more zoom on the subjects. For example, when Agnes and Elin are making out the area on the screen is both of their faces with little background. After Elin and Johan have sex, the camera is only able to fit one of the individuals’ faces on the screen at a time.

  10. Caroline Tibbetts says:

    I would have to the say the film that I could most relate to Show Me Love is All Over Me, mainly because of the infatuation Agnes exhibits toward Elin and just the over all confusion of sexuality during a girl’s pubesicent stage of life. The major difference between the two films I suppose it the town of Amal plays a large role in Show Me Love contributing to both of the girls angst and discontent with middle class conformist life; opposed to All Over Me which is placed in the big city and plays a different role than Amal for the girls- creates this sense of danger and almost contributes to their isolation- this lonliness both of the girls exhibit alone in the big city. Show Me Love is more about the effects of this genderization of girls in this little towns throughout the world and if you fail to meet this feminine expectations regarding clothes, make up and boys then you are essentially ostracized from that society. Like All Over Me both of these girls are fighting to find who they truly are. Elin is able to mask her true identity by some promiscuity with boys but has to drink to escape- unsure of how to deal with and manage these emotions. Agnes can come to the rescue only in that she too is gay, however, she too must battle her own internal demons, having no friends or family to turn to.

    I thought the visual space/which correlates with the use of lightness and darkness of the film was brilliant. It ideally depcited brutal honesty of the sexual ambiguity as well as the reality of the situation. When the girls finally do come out in the bathroom the light scene is ideal for that enlightening moment in the film.

  11. Emily Weber says:

    “Show Me Love” can be compared and contrasted to the earlier coming out movies we’ve seen in several ways. In “All Over Me” we see the pain and angst associated with Claude and her feelings and I think this aligns nicely with Agnes in this film. Agnes inflicts pain on herself to forget and distract herself from her feelings towards Elin which parallels the outburst of emotion we see from Claude when she is listening to music. The difference rests in the extroverted vs. introverted expression of emotion, but the turmoil resonates loudly in both films. “Show Me Love” is also raw in its portrayal of these two girls lives. Maybe it is a cultural difference, but the director exposes these girls as they are and captures a lot of genuine sincerity whether it be Elin’s exasperation and boredom or Agnes’ humiliation and shame. I noticed this especially in the scene where Agnes is cutting herself. The camera zooms in on her face multiple times throughout the cutting forcing the audience to really engage with Agnes and what she is going through. I felt the same way in watching Elin. During her fits of boredom, I always felt like I could feel her restlessness and desire for more. This culminates in the back of the car when they kiss for the second time. There is a build up that results from their talk on the bridge and as a viewer you can feel the release that takes place in the back of the dark car. This outpouring of emotion comes to an abrupt stop when the light comes on and the girls are exposed kissing. This scene I thought was strategically well calculated – while kissing in the dark can elicit one emotion, the stark contrast of this act when light floods the scene brings all the romantic erotic sentiments to a screeching halt and exposes an outsiders experience and reaction. Seeing the girls kissing through another characters eyes combined with the exposure element achieved with the lighting was something I really picked up on.

    “Show Me Love” kind of bothered me as a coming out film because as much as Agnes convinced me of her love for Elin, I was under the impression that Elin just liked the idea of being a lesbian and saw it as a fun adventure to embark on to deal with her boredom. This reminded me of Syd in “High Art”. The fascination and desire that stems from both Elin and Syd comes from the excitement and enchantment of the unknown or something different. Elin didn’t care if boys liked her, she was in desperate need of something more, something new and better; and with Syd, she was mystified by Lucy’s photography and fell in love with Lucy through a shared common ground of her work.

    I thought the final scene in Show Me Love was especially noteworthy. If you can get past the glaring metaphor of the two girls being stuck in the closet-esque bathroom deciding whether or not to “come out” and face their classmates, it is important to think why this scene was included. I don’t think this kind of bluntness would be included in American coming out movie. It is slightly ridiculous that the movie ends with the girls making this type of decision – it sends the false message that if you and your girlfriend come out and face the world together that that is the hardest part and once you come out you can rest assured you and you girlfriend will live this happen open life. They make no effort to include reactions and what happens after these girls step out together. I just thought the ending was a little over-stated and horribly unrealistic (mostly because if I was Agnes and Elin I probably would have found a window or an AC vent to crawl into rather than face a horrible crowd of homophobic teens) but overall found myself very pleased that Agnes seemed so fulfilled and happy.

  12. Sam Herron says:

    Show Me Love is a Swedish film which was about a girl as well as other people in a small town. Agnes was the main character and her parents decided to have a birthday party for her. Unfortunately, she is very unpopular and only one person comes to her party. Elin was the other character that gave Agnes a hard time at the beginning of the movie. Her and her sister went to Agnes’ party and they end up kissing at the party. By Elin saying that guys are gross and this was why she was a lesbian was an important part of the movie. The movie then is making it seem like there has to be a reason for why the girls liked each other and not because they actually had feelings for each other.
    This movie most closely reminds me of All Over Me because of the relationship between two girls. In both the movies the girls seem to be bored and therefore it seems they do this out of boredom. This is also another reason the movies makes for why the girls started to like each other. It also seems to me that the girls in both movies are having trouble with growing up and finding their places in life. In the movie Elin says that she does not want to be like everyone else and that she does not mind being weird. It seems that she just wants more in life and also after she said this, she also said she was afraid that she would not leave her town and would be stuck there with crying kids. In relation to the “coming out” genre of Show Me Love, I think that when they came out of the bathroom, it made it seem like everything was okay. This was the problem I had with the movie that it all of a sudden seems okay, and especially to society it seemed okay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s