Suffragette

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I went to see ‘Suffragette’ yesterday and I think it’s safe to say it is a film you cannot afford to miss! It is truly truly brilliant. It is incredibly well cast – Carey Mulligan and Helen Bonham Carter do not disappoint! I was however worried that by using such well established actresses, the film would be overshadowed by their star status. Thankfully this is far from the case. Their star status is almost consumed by the film’s sheer brilliance; their positions in the acting world are irrelevant! To my surprise Meryl Streep features incredibly briefly as Emmeline Pankhurst, whilst the main character is in fact the fictional Maud Watts. I’m not sure how I feel about a fictional character playing the lead, as I felt it took away the film’s historical credibility. Yet at the same time it works so perfectly. By using artistic license to create a made-up character who the entire film revolves around, it does in fact highlight the lives of all ordinary women at the time. Everyone knows the story of the Pankhursts. Everyone knows the Suffragettes were extreme. What people don’t know is the side stories of every woman involved. And every woman affected by the changes. And I suppose this film is designed to highlight that. 

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Not only is the film an incredible feminist piece (no surprises there), it is also beautifully artistic. The cinematography features an almost ridiculous amount of extreme close ups, yet as a viewer you feel you would be lost without this intensity. We look straight into the eyes of characters, see the shadows forming on the tears rolling down their cheeks. There is no escape from the emotional intensity of this film. A lot of the filmwork is also done using the handheld technique, which only amplifies the chaos you are experiencing as a viewer, particularly during scenes of riot and political unrest. Another thing I loved about the filmwork was the constant switch between being sharply in focus and being so blurred you can only make shapes out. It is incredibly effective as it really draws you into the film and the experience’s of the characters. The director Sarah Gavron has in my opinion, created quite a masterpiece. The Suffragettes would be very proud. 

Images courtesy of:

https://www.thecapitolhorsham.com

http://www.theguardian.com

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Feminist Art

Feminist Art

I discovered Feminism in Sixth Form. Yes, Sixth Form again I know,but it was very much a time of realising where my art was going and what it could be. Discovering Barbara Kruger’s work was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me! I got caught up in her fiery passion, her bold statements, her fantastic colour schemes predominantly made up of black and red. I even for the first time started using my own body. This was a very bold move for me as at the time I was incredibly self-conscious but I felt comfortable enough doing it ‘in the name of art’.

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My family were slightly taken aback by the route my art had suddenly decided to turn. But I was loving it. For the first time I really felt a connection to what I was doing and this connection has just continued to blossom. I discovered the writings of Caitlin Moran and boy, did I fall in love with this woman. She is a  columnist at The Times, TV critic and an English broadcaster. She’shad a load of books published including one titled ‘How to Be A Woman’. She is witty and direct and completely reclaims Feminism. Nowadays we have this whole stigma surrounding the word ‘feminism’ that you just can’t avoid. I hate it. I hate the connotations it carries because on several occasions where I have said I am a feminist I have been given funny looks. It drives me nuts! It’s got all these extremist attachments and it’s really not about any of that. If you believe women are equal to men, you are a feminist. Simple as that!

Kruger Influence

 I’ll leave you with a quote of  Moran’s to give you something to think about and just to prove to you how witty she is: “It’s difficult to see the glass ceiling because it’s made of glass. Virtually invisible. What we need is for more birds to fly above it and shit all over it, so we can see it properly.” 

Truly brilliant.