If my professor hadn’t required us to DP (Director of Photography) some else’s film, I would have never done it.
Directed/Written/Edited by: Emily Cates
DP: Christl Stringer
(In no particular order)
- The Exterminating Angel
- 20th Century Women
- Family Plot
- Good Will Hunting
- Sling Blade
- Being John Malkovich
- A Place Beyond the Pines
- Eyes Without a Face
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Get Out
- Just Friends
- 500 Days of Summer
- Bend It Like Beckham
- Legally Blonde
- The Lobster
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Bowling for Columbine
- Hidden Figures
- Million Dollar Baby
- Wonder Woman
- Jackie Brown
- The Outsiders
- Garden State
- 50 First Dates
- Moonrise Kingdom
- The Truman Show
- Up in the Air
- The Heathers
- A Clockwork Orange
- Perks of Being a Wallflower
- St. Vincent
- The Witch
- The Breakfast Club
- Gran Torino
- The Eyes of My Mother
- Toy Story 3
- Into the Wild
- Gone Girl
- Kramer vs. Kramer
- Erin Brokovich
- Role Models
- Ordinary People (1980)
- Kill Bill Vol. I & Vol. II
- Mulholland Drive
- The Spectacular Now
- Arsenic and Old Lace
- Trading Places
- Patch Adams
- The Jerk
- Blue Velvet
- Ex Machina
- Rain Man
- Unforgiven (1992)
- First Wives Club
- Uptown Girls
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
- Call Me By Your Name
- Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
- Interview With A Vampire
- The Handmaiden
- Happy as Lazzaro
91-100 to be determined
I had a list of screenplays and plays I wanted to write this summer. I wrote some that weren’t on there, I wrote some that weren’t on there and hated them. Right now I am trying to figure out if I like writing more than directing or directing more than writing. It seems that one cannot exist without the other. I do not mind directing other people’s plays or scripts but I do mind other people directing mine.
In the fall, I will be directing a short film called Headspace. It is about a member of a secret society of feminist assassins ordered to kill her boyfriend.
I am excited and I want it to be great.
1. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Underrated and under-read. As a writer, the originality of Kindred is inspiring. Dana, a twenty-six year old African-American woman, lives with her white husband, Kevin, in 1976. While she is unpacking, she time travels back to the early 1800’s, where she saves a young boy, Rufus, from drowning. Throughout the novel, Rufus calls her back to save him through his adulthood. The problem is she doesn’t know how to return to 1976 so she must adjust to the ways of the antebellum South, sometimes being the dehumanized companion and protector of her ancestor Rufus for months at a time.
As a black woman, Dana’s experiences are traumatizing. How often am I subject to similar conditions as my ancestors? Being forced to submit as a slave when you have been granted the opportunities of education (a college education in Dana’s case), making a living wage, family members not being sold or bred, choosing your own profession, and marrying a white man——while living amongst your ancestors is humbling. That could have been me if I were born 200 years earlier. This novel brought up the question, “Why them (my ancestors) and not me?”
This novel features one of the only black female leads in science fiction I have come across. As someone who gets nightmares after watching the voyage sequence in Amistad and took years to finish 12 Years A Slave, I recommend this novel as food for thought and the imagination.
2. Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut creates satirical but thought-provoking worlds within this book of short stories. My favorites are “The Foster Portfolio,” “Miss Temptation,” “Next Door,” “Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog,” “Long Walk to Forever,” “Welcome to the Monkey House,” and “Who Am I This Time. ” In “Who Am I This Time,” he writes of an actor who has become a fabric of the community theater in town. In “The Foster Portfolio,” he writes of a man who keeps his life simple in order to maintain another secret life. Vonnegut writes about people we immediately recognize from our own family, friend group, and community.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A white woman’s dystopia. The “feminist” issues of the novel primarily deal with female oppression and reproductive rights. Stripping women of mothering their own children so they can breed for their masters has happened in American slavery and colonized countries. Society will know true dystopia when those who feel protected from laws inflected against “other” are subject to what has been going on to the colonized for years.
A particularly intriguing character for me is Serena Joy. She used to be the ultimate conservative. She was rich and could afford to preach about staying home and a woman’s duty—a lifestyle she didn’t have to live. Now that she is forced to do that duty and stay in the house, she is miserable. It is almost like what she was preaching was never something she had to actually do. Sounds like some politicians? Atwood has created the ultimate dystopia for women, women in general. But the character of Serena Joy specifically reminds me of politicians and people who make wide-sweeping statements in hope to encourage others to change their lives to live to the speaker’s ideal.
I finished this book in ten hours. The delightfully sweeping structure of weaving between flashbacks of Offred’s life before, her grooming to be a Handmaid, and of her life now is torturous but successful. I have yet to see the Hulu series but I can’t wait to experience the story in another medium. Atwood’s world is probable in the same way reading 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 in 2017 feels like a harbinger in what seems to be a predetermined regression of our society.
4. The Effect by Lucy Prebble
How big of a chance is falling in love? In this play, two young volunteers, Corinne and Tristan agree to test a trial psychological trial drug. The administrators hope this drug will be a progressive anti-depressant. Corinne is a cynical young woman and Tristan is a loving, free-spirited young man that uses these trials as a source of income. While showing Corinne the ropes, they fall in love. But too many questions arise. Is the drug responsible for their romance? Are one of them on the placebo? This play made me wonder if the circumstances, questions, and concerns raised would be any different if Corinne and Tristan weren’t inside this facility.
5. All My Sons by Arthur Miller
This is my favorite Arthur Miller play. It takes place during WWII and revolves around a family whose oldest son has been MIA for years. The mother, Kate, still clings onto hope that he’ll return. The younger son, Chris, is marrying his presumably dead brother’s fiancée, Ann. The father, Joe, has manufactured and sold faulty airplane parts to the United States Armed Forces…and has yet to suffer any consequences for doing so. This play is about figuring out the balance and fine line between how loyal you can be to your own family without corrupting your own integrity. I would love to see this play produced with adjustments made to reflect the United States current involvement in the Middle East.
6. The Reader by Bernard Schlink
Translated by Carol Brown Janeway
An emotional rollercoaster.
This book will make you feel:
empathize someone with questionable morals.
This book will remind you that history is made of movements. Movements are empowered by propaganda and propaganda doesn’t always let people know why the movement needs soldiers.
In Germany, a fifteen year old boy, Michael, develops a sexual and romantic relationship with a woman twice his age and the impact of their relationship tests the limits of his empathy for the rest of his life.
Ranking Code: Loved, Liked, Not Sure How I Finished It
If you are curious of my taste level or what kind of books I enjoy, here are the books I read last summer. Keep in mind, I don’t finish every book I pick up. All the books on this list I read front to back and loved (and for some, I at least a few times questioned) the journey.
- Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
- This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
- Drown by Junot Diaz
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
- Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Wendy MacNaughton and Isaac Fitzgerald
- I Suck At Girls by Justin Halpern
- Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
- Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
- Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
- Disgruntled by Asali Solomon
Ranking Code: Loved, Liked, Not Sure How I Finished It