Spectre Review – Critical Reflection – 184MC

 

‘Spectre’ is the 24th James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. ‘Spectre’ is an exhilarating film that allows Daniel Craig also known as ‘James Bond’ to go on the hunt for the leaders of the sinister organization known as ‘Spectre’.

Throughout the whole film there is still the struggle of keeping “00” section alive, as ‘C’ who is played by Andrew Scott by shuts down the section, as they believe it is outdated. Whilst this is going on ‘M’ who is played by Ralph Fiennes suspends Bond from field due to the power struggle with ‘C’. However like all Bond films, Bond disobeys M and travels to Rome to find out about the organization called ‘Spectre’. This film brings back many old faces such as Miss Moneypenny who is played by Naomie Harris, who of course helps Bond with the whole action pack drama in finding Spectre and finishing the organization.

Watching this film in the cinema made the suspense of the film very surreal, as I couldn’t not look away from the screen. Tickets only cost £7.25, which is a very good deal for such a popular movie. I did feel however that the film was repeating a lot of ideas they have done before in previous Bond films, nether the less the film gained a mass audience and mixed reviews.

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Task 4 – Are Men from Mars? 181 MC

As a group we chose to focus on gender segregation within clothes shops, specifically ‘Topshop’ and ‘Topman’ because the segregation was far more obvious to us, especially the higher interest between women wanting to shop then men wanting to shop. Shops have separate but not to dissimilar branding between the men and women clothing, physically separate within the independent building but by floors within the building they co-inhabit. `

Topshop and Topman have a cultural segregation between men and women in terms of their clothing. They also use a colour segregation due to the sign being black and white; black is a very masculine colour as men wear black on their wedding days whereas white is a very feminine colour as women usually wear white on their wedding day thus making this also become semiotic. This is noticeable throughout the shop due to the different types of clothing used, women need to be feminine and men need to be masculine. This adds to the two binary genders that our culture distinctly shows being separate these photos show the separation through clothing.
In terms of being socially acceptable women are seen as being accepted if they also wear men’s clothes but for a man it is not accepted to wear women’s clothing, thus becoming a countertype as it is challenging the traditional stereotype of men and women’s clothes. Judith Butler believes gender is a performance which masculinity and femininity perform and the clothes men and women wear are the “props” of this performance. This links to our next photo of the manikins, it is noticeable that each manikin is either female or male due to the features given the women manikins are almost posing as if they are modeling for a photo whereas the men are standing very upright and formal almost showing their strength. With the female manikins they are posing for the male gaze (Laura Malvey) to almost gain the men’s attention to enter the shop and looking inside. This shows the manikins becoming a symbol for the shop itself. The shop is physically segregated into men and women; women’s wear is upstairs whereas men’s wear is downstairs, the manikins help enhance the segregation as they target the performance of what the shop sells.
Topshop and Topman feed the cultural needs of men and women by reinforcing the social expectations of what a man and women need to wear.
Even though the shop is the same brand Topman had to enhance the MAN in their shop name allowing it to become a knowledge system.

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Task 3– I heard it through the grapevine 181MC

Within the first interview, in relation to Stephen Fry the interviewee explained to us that Fry is a “really intelligent man” with a “good sense of humor”. Further into the interview however, the interviewee stated that Stephen Fry is homosexual before we even mentioned anything of it, this raises the question: why should someone’s masculinity affect our opinion on them?

When the interview turned to Balotelli the participant told us how aggressive he considers him to be, and after our reveal that Balotelli is gay he asked us three times if that was really true; conveying he is having difficulties in conceiving a non-stereotypical gay masculinity. His reluctance to believe that a footballer is homosexual represents that homosexuality in sport is generally frowned upon and is unlikely to happen, his attitude seems to be opposed to the story we told him. After his denial and shocked utterances he starting talking about how “physical appearance doesn’t really matter” and that “being a good footballer is not about being straight or gay”, which opposes the dialogue and facial expressions he used just before as they reflected negative connotations; this could be because he is trying to conform to good social standard.

Upon revealing that Balotelli is homosexual in the second interview, the interviewee began arguing, “he is not” and said “mario balotelli gay? is he really? Stop it!” which is just like the denial from the participant in the first interview. His whole opinion of Balotelli appeared to change when we told him this, as at the start of the conversation he stated he liked him (unlike all other interviews), but now that balotelli is being addressed as homosexual he is perplexed and cant come to terms with the fact that a sportsmen is gay. Homosexuality in sports seems to be a major issue in terms of Connells theory of hierarchy in masculinity. As shown by these two participants, masculinity in football appears to threaten social order as both interviewees were extremely shocked and appeared to find it negative that Balotelli was gay, thus distancing themselves from homosexuality and conforming to the “masculine male” at the top of the hierarchy.

Alike the third interview, interviewee number four also found Stephen Fry respectable and acted composed when talking about his masculinity. His attitude towards Balotelli was juxtaposed beside Fry on the other hand when he described Balotelli as “a bit of an idiot”, which could represent Armstrong and Young’s theory that football is often characterized by homophobic banter; this could also be why Fry has received such a positive representation and Balotelli a somewhat homophobic one. When we mentioned that Balotelli was homosexual he appeared to be extremely shocked and replied to our statement with “Balotelli is gay!”. In one sense, his attitude towards Stephen Fry contradicts Connell’s theory of the hierarchy of masculinity. In the theory he states that a heterosexual male stands at the top of the hierarchy, which isn’t presented here as he respects Fry (of which he knew to be gay) more than he respects Balotelli (which he thought was masculine), overall defying the theory. It does however confirm an idea from Stasi and Evans that “individualism may work to locate homophobia in the psyches of particular men” as it has done for these individuals, seen as they have lowered their opinions towards Balotelli because he is homosexual.

Task 2 – Girls just wanna have fun 181MC

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Our three activities ‘The Herbert: Festival of the dead’, ‘JJs nightclub’ and “Fargo creative village’ target varied audiences with varied tastes, class and leisure.

The Herbert’s Festival of the dead is a free activity therefore accessible to all socio-economic audiences but appealing to those with lower incomes. In terms of Blulmer and Katz’ theory of uses and gratifications, the audience for this event would be attracted to it for the “awareness of the world” stage because they’re developing their knowledge of the world historically, benefitting their understanding on a whole. Similar to Herbert, JJs costing is aimed at the student community who are D-E in the socio economic scale, thus enticing a lower class audience into attending the event somewhat like Herbert. It differs however, because middle class people would also be likely to attend the Herbert, as it’s educational and will you will benefit by going, but JJ’s is strictly a generic student event for socialization, appealing to a more lower class audience rather than middle class.

Although Entry for Fargo is free the activities there can be costly, for example ‘Christmas craft’ is £20 per person for an hours activity, in contrast the independent brewery and fair trade coffee shop sells reasonably priced beverages which would appeal to less affluent audiences. In reference to class, Fargo interlinks with Herbert from how it targets not only lower class people but middle class people also. It can be argued however, that Fargo attracts a wider audience located towards the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs than Herbert does, as Herbert appears to attract an audience further down the scale. Fargo, the ‘creative village’ explores creativity and a certain niche culture, almost ‘hipster’ and vintage, which primarily focuses on the middle class, whereas Herbert opposes this and seems to focally target lower class. However both offer activities for the nuclear family – which itself is portrayed to be a middle class ideal.

Both Fargo and Herbert offer ‘personal development’ in contrast to JJS, that offers only entertainments and escapism to the younger, poorer audiences. This representation makes JJ’s seem quite restricted to a certain demographic, not expressing the event as pleasurable for many people, as it’s only open to one specific class and tatse. Fargo and The Herbert’s Festival of the dead have defied Tyler’s theory that British citizenship is designed to fail certain social groups, as reflected by the fact they’re accessible to all audiences, meaning everyone has the chance to better their knowledge and in fact benefits everybody, rather than just benefiting one class of people and failing the others. On the other hand it confirms Marx’s theory that lower class will have less opportunities and will live in poverty, yet middle and upperclassmen will have lives of leisure, from how Fargo has vintage shops (expensive items) that lower classmen couldn’t typically afford. Conveying that yes, they are open to all audiences, but in relation to Fargo, only certain classes can fully partake in aspects of the events.