603-BXE-DW: Nonfiction Writing
April 1st 2017
- Cinema & Communications. How are women represented in cinema and what does it communicate to society?
- Myriam Rafla, teacher at Dawson College in the Cinema and Communications program.
- I believe this person did turn out into a good interview. I learned some new things with what she told me! I am not sure if I will be able to put it into my article, but I find it still valuable to learn new things.
- I conducted my interview in person and in Myriam Rafla’s office. The interview felt like a conversation, but mostly like an interview quite frankly. We did not have much time, so I tried to go through the questions as efficiently as possible (without feeling pressed!).
- Rafla is a very outgoing person, who gets straight to the point when she speaks. She would even ask me during the interview: “Did I answer enough?”, to which I would chuckle and tell her “You tell me as much as you want.”. She is also a physically expressive person, using a lot of hand gestures. She is also expressive in her tone of voice. However, I noticed that she talked in a very paced way, being unable to miss my furious typing on the laptop.
- Q: To you, what were the most striking differences between the representation of female and male characters in cinema?
A: Men have macho characteristics, Women have exaggerated feminity traits. We see extreme stereotypes. Feminine characters are in subordinate roles, they’re always or often foil characters, meaning they’re there to complement the male characters.
Q: As a cinema teacher here in Dawson College, do you ever aboard this subject in any of your classes?
A: Yeah we do in cinema and culture. It’s certainly seen in script writing. The students are highly conscious of stereotypes and so they create roles that critic and analyse it. Often hear from students how they wish they had role models and more empowered characters in movies. It’s interesting in writing lab because the girls practice this, and students are called out if their creations contain violence towards female characters. It’s often a discussion that comes up in the classroom as well as feminist issues in relation to films.
Q: What is your take on female superheroes? Empowering or Degrading?
A: This is isn’t my area of specialty, I do not watch or teach this type of movies. Disney/Superhero movies, they often embody male characteristics within the female bombshell body. I THINK WE NEED TO SEE MORE WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA TO HAVE A SENSE OF CHANGE IN CHARACTER TRAITS AND ROLES THESE WOMEN SORT OF TAKE ON. THEY WOULD OFFER EMPATHY TO GET THIS CHANGE COME ONTO THE SCREEN. IT’S A VERY MALE DOMINATED ENVIRONMENT. IF IT’S NOT HAPPENING IN ROOM OR ON THE PAGE, IT WILL NEVER CHANGE ON THE SCREEN. MEN’S FANATSY OF CHARACTERS ARE PROJECTED ON THE FILM.
Q: The movie industry keeps producing movies with these gendered stereotypes. Why do you think this is?
A: WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO CHANGE IS THE CULTURE OF PRODUCTION. UNFORMTUNALTELY IT IS COMPLETELY TIED INTO THE CULTURE OF FINANCING WHICH IS DOMINATED BY THE PATRIARCHAL MALE DEMOGRAPHICS THAT ARENT NEECESSARILY CENSITIVE TO THESE GENDER STEREOTYPES, ENFORCING THEM BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE AND BELIEVE THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE WANTS TO SEE.
(((She sat in meetings. Believes that the writing, directing, producing and to a certain degree financing needs to include more women. The making of the product needs to change.)))
I’ve financed and worked for the funding agencies. I’m currently sitting at the board of directors, we’re trying to create policies and categories for more women to apply and trigger financing of female writers or director. SODEC.
Q: Do you find yourself going to see a movie even though you are fully aware it endorses fake representations of women? If so, why?
A: I do not.
I tend to not even watch any mainstream Hollywood films; if I do it’s strictly based on the film director.
Yes it does happen, rarely, if it falls within the realm of acceptable.
I would just like to point out that Myriam Rafla did not scream or lift her voice at any instances, I simply started typing in Caps when she started saying whatever that I found truly interesting…