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Saturday, May 8, 2010

HELP! I need some feedback on Films to show students in Gender & Pop Culture!


Right now, I have a short list of films. My collection of movies is getting pretty dated (as far as the Hollywood ones go!) and I don't want to show all documentaries! However, I'm actually thinking of replacing one movie with a documentary and would appreciate suggestions based on the following (additions/omissions/etc)

Watch: The September Issue        (90 minutes long)        
The September Issue Documentary Website
(a documentary on Vogue's editor-- which seems really quite interesting for this course- this documentary was commercially released to the public) instead of:
Gia      (126 minutes Long)     
Gia (the version I already own) 1998
 (the fictionalized story of Gia Carangi's tragically short life as "America's first supermodel" starring Angelina Jolie)

Meet the Joneses        (96 minutes long)      
Meet the Joneses Film Website
(fiction, but relevant to consumption, advertising, capitalism, and consumerism) but I have no idea when it will be released on DVD! Anyone know the date?

I could replace Meet the Joneses with:

Consuming Kids: the commercialization of childhood  (67 minutes long)
Consuming Kids: the commercialization of childhood on MEF's website
(a MEF Documentary-- but specifically related to consumption, advertising and childhood--which could be problematic because Maymester is a 3-week summer session, and Summer Session B is 5 weeks long--which means the length of the film could be too much to dedicate to a narrow subject area).

The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture (73 minutes long)
The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture on MEF's website
The library has it, and it may work well as one of the first films in the course (due to it's focus on gender performativity and it's reproduction through popular culture) when we cover a few of the schools of thought related to theories of sex and gender. 

Killing Us Softly 3       (34 minutes long)    
Killing Us Softly 3 on MEF's Website

This film has been a staple of mine since I started teaching Gender & Pop Culture during the spring of 2007.  I was almost going to omit it because it appears beyond dated to my students.  Then on MEF's website (, I spotted:  

Killing Us Softly 4      (45 minutes long)      
Killing Us Softly 4 on MEF's Webiste
This edition was produced in 2010... but TCNJ's library doesn't own it!!! NOOOOO!!!

Beauty Mark: Body Image & the Race for Perfection     (50 minutes long) 
Beauty Mark: Body Image & the Race for Perfection on MEF's website
However, the library actually has Beauty Mark (another MEF production), which might be a good fit where I'd ordinarily use Killing Us Softly

Clearly we can't watch films for the entire 3-weeks (or 5 weeks in the case of summer session B), but narrowing down the list further is tough! 

Ideas? Thanks!!!


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