Intellectual property theft is one of the major concerns for global business leaders. In an era of globalization and fast dissemination of information, fraudulent manufacturers employ sophisticated means of acquiring patented information and exploit it for commercial gain. As Catherine Holahan notes in her article for Business Week, pirated goods now account for nearly 7 percent of all commercial activity across the world. Developing economies such as India, China, Brazil and Russia are proving to be hotbeds for this trend as Intellectual Property laws are either vague or poorly developed here. Moreover, in the era of the Internet, online commercial transactions across borders are especially difficult to bring under the purview of cyber law, as there is no consensus between different participant nations. It is due to this reason that Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been conceived and implemented. (Holahan, 2008) The rest of this essay will look into some of the . . . Read More
One of the talking points among the intelligentsia is the dangers posed by lack of diversity and representation in the mainstream media’s coverage, especially that of Television. This situation gives rise to production of news content that serves the interests of select media elite. This concentration of power in the hands of large media conglomerates makes it easy for them to set the political agenda on the national scale. It is no surprise then that the issues that they cover are infested with their personal biases, prejudices and interests. The general public, made helpless by this system, are presented a narrow political agenda that holds no real significance for them. In other words, while the Television media has the power to elicit a policy response from the government, the outcomes tend to benefit the media elite rather than people. (Potter, 2006, p.69)
Added to this imbalance of power between the media and its consumers is the relative lack of alternative sources . . . Read More
Asian American film-making has a distinct flavour compared with mainstream films. One of its characteristics is its endeavour to highlight Asian sensibilities and sentiments to the unacquainted American audience. Bringing exposure to the differences and commonalities between Asian and mainstream American culture is another objective. Films such as Shopping for Fangs (1997), Rea Tajiri’s Strawberry Fields (1997) and Sunsets (1997) by Eric Nakamura and Michael Idemoto are composed of a “sassy melange of cinematic styles”. (Soe, 1997, p.3) They derive many cinematic elements from early Asian American films, but also include “souped-up mise-en-scenes, techno soundtracks and ultra-hip young characters…the stories are ultimately about identity, cultural confusion and finding one’s own voice and desires, all of which have been recurrent themes in Asian American films past and present.” (Soe, 1997, p.3) Thesis: In the case of Wo Ai Ni Mommy, we witness some of . . . Read More
The movie starts with a passionate monologue from Malcolm X, which immediately captures the attention and imagination of the audience. The story starts from Malcolm X’s childhood days, when his father was a local leader who believed in Back to Africa theme. His father also used to raise the cause of black women in America, who were sexually abused by white men in the centuries gone by. This is the reason, Malcolm explains, his mother (a mulatto) marries his much darker father, as a way of removing the stain of ‘whiteness’ from the progeny. Despite this, Malcolm’s own early attractions toward white women – the case of Sophia being the most prominent – betray a confusion and lack of conformity with the sentiments of his own family and community. His preference for a straight hair as opposed to the curly African hair was also seen as aping the white man and his features. But soon his father attracts enemies due to his dissident views and is murdered when Malcolm was barely . . . Read More
The movie Freedom Writers is one of the most touching to have come out of Hollywood in recent years. Starring Hilary Swank in a lead role, the movie takes up a subject that is at the heart of American culture, namely juvenile delinquency and ways of dealing with it. It also touches upon the economics of race and gender. On a cursory viewing the story looks deceptively simple. But when the storyline, screenplay and other nuances in the film are observed, numerous interpretations are made available. Embedded within it are themes of economics, especially that applying to race and gender. Moreover, what comes through the narrative is the strength of character and commitment shown by Erin Gruwell as she undertakes to set right a challenging group of students. For example,
“She encounters a diverse but segregated community so racially charged, hostile and potentially combustible that she likens it to Nazi Germany. Without the support of her administrators . . . Read More
The two characters chosen for this essay are those played by Judie Dench (Kate Winslet plays the younger Iris Murdoch) from the movie Iris and Rachel McAdams from The Notebook. The movie Iris, starring Judie Dench and Jim Broadbent is a masterpiece of the drama genre. The movie is a biographical account of British novelist Iris Murdoch, as it traces her life from early adulthood till her old age and ultimate demise. The film The Notebook, on the other hand is a conventional romantic drama presented in typical Hollywood format. But the two characters in question do display some striking similarities and obvious differences.
First, the most striking similarity between them is their enthusiasm and passion for life. In the case of Murdoch, her passions cover the two domains of love and literature. She was as adventurous and bold in her relationships as she was in the themes and plots of her novels. When it came to her personal life, not only was Iris unfaithful to her . . . Read More
No Country for Old Men is a crime-thriller movie, directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and released in the year 2007. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin in lead roles. Adapted from the novel of the same title by Cormac McCarthy, the film is the story of three rustic Texan men, whose fortunes receive an unexpected twist. The resulting interplay of tension as they attempt to exploit their opportunities forms the crux of the narrative. The film has Coen brothers’ trademark elements all over it. Reminiscent of their earlier films like Blood Simple and Fargo, this film dwells on themes of fate and circumstance and the characters’ reactions to these.
Although the Western Country terrain is a time-tested cinematic formula, the directors bring fresh perspectives to it. The acclaimed Western Classicism of past directors as Anthony Mann and Sam Peckinpah are presented within new frameworks. Tommy Lee Jones (Ed Tom Bell) plays the sheriff in . . . Read More
Missing is a classic American Drama film, released in the year 1982. The film is directed by Costa Gavras and it stars Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek and Melanie Mayron in lead roles, ably supported by John Shea and Charles Cioffi. The film is produced by Edward Lewis and Mildred Lewis; its script is handled by Donald Stewart and Costa Gavras. The music (which received wide appreciation), was composed by innovative Greek composer Vangelis. Distributed by Universal Pictures, the film runs to two hours.
The script is based on the true story of an American scribe Charles Horman, whose mysterious disappearance in the wake of the Chilean coup of 1973 sets up the crux of the narrative. In this US supported coup, incumbent President Salvador Allende was overthrown by Right-wing forces and the military. At the time of its release, the film attracted controversy due to its honest handling of political realities. Although Chile was never directly referred to in the film, the mention of . . . Read More
My Antonia, a film produced by Victoria Riskin and David Rintels, was released in 1995. It stars Neil Patrick Harris in the lead role. The cinematography and music are handled by Robert Primes and Lori Slomka respectively. Based on a classic literary novel of the same name by Willa Cather, the screenplay is adapted by Victoria Riskin. Directed by Joseph Sargent, the movie stars Jason Robards (Josiah Burden), Eva Marie Saint (Emmaline Burden) and Neil Patrick Harris (Jimmy Burden) in lead character roles.
The script of the film manages to retain most key aspects of the original written work. Set in the late nineteenth century Nebraska, the story revolves around the travails of orphan Jimmy Burden, who moves into his grandparents’ (played by Jason Robards and Eva Marie Saint) farm that is located nearby Black Hawk, Nebraska. Young Jimmy is immediately drawn to 15-year neighbor Antonia Shimerda (played by Elina Lowensohn) and they become close friends. Conflict . . . Read More
Cider House Rules is a 1999 film produced by Richard Gladstein & co. Adapted from a novel of the same name by John Irving, the film garnered both commercial as well as critical success. The movie is of special relevance to American audiences, for it deals with the subject of abortion which has been a politically and culturally contentious issue for a long time. The plot is centered on the life of Homer Wells, an orphan, who grows up in an orphanage after being returned twice by his foster parents. The movie contains many poignant and touching moments in it that lend itself for psychological analysis. For example, from a developmental psychology viewpoint, the fact that Homer is returned twice to the orphanage was bound to leave deep scars on the formative psyche of the young boy, who would struggle to form lasting attachments to other humans as a consequence. Also, the manner in which he was treated by these couples was also abusive to a degree. These abusive relationships . . . Read More