All posts tagged: Icon

Brown, Kiddo, & Tarantino

OR: Tarantino’s Leading Ladies: Jackie Brown, Beatrix Kiddo, & Women’s Empowerment On-screen Quentin Tarantino’s body of work – from his feature film debut Reservoir Dogs (1992), to his most recent epic The Hateful Eight (2015) – consists of films that are violent, highly stylized, dialogue-driven, oftentimes problematic, and always provocative. Though each film in Tarantino’s oeuvre is quite different from the one that came before it or followed, numerous qualities of his work remain consistent. In each of his films Tarantino celebrates popular culture by commemorating genres that were once relegated to the margins by Hollywood, such as martial arts cinema, Blaxploitation, and spaghetti westerns. While appropriating genres, Tarantino provides his own authorial stamp by writing dialogue-driven scripts which are benefited by episodic structures. A “Tarantino film,” one can almost always be assured, features revenge at the heart of the narrative and creates pleasure through the irreverent combination of humor and violence. And, with each of Tarantino’s films, the appropriateness of his representations of violence, race, gender, and revisionist history, come into question time and …

Words of Wisdom from the Wisest of Them All, Oprah Winfrey

Today marks the 30th anniversary of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which premiered on September 8, 1986. The series, which is considered by many to be the best talk show of all time, lasted 25 seasons, running nationally from 1986 to 2011. The show’s host, Oprah Winfrey, is an icon and a national treasure whose wisdom, generosity, intelligence, and strength shines through all that she does. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of her talk show, here are just a few of Winfrey’s greatest quotes: “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” “It does not matter how you came into the world, what matters is that you are here.” “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” “The biggest adventure you …

Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar: Politicizing Popular Art

American popular culture, specifically from the mid-60s to mid-70s, was highly politicized, critical, and urgent. Calls to action and societal critiques were common in forms of expression created and disseminated within mainstream youth culture. The sheer abundance and popularity of politicized art meant that both creators and consumers were interested in engaging with immediate problems. The imperative for change was palpable. But this sense of American political urgency seemed to diminish in the 1980s, with the election of President Reagan and the establishment of an overpowering neo-conservative ideology. From the 1980s – 2010s, political expression was still a part of mainstream American pop culture, and is exemplified in the work of N.W.A, Shepard Fairey, Michael Moore, and countless others. My intention is not to discount these works, but to say that I am hopeful that America’s youth will collectively become more political again, with the same urgency that characterized the 60s & 70s. Which brings me to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Already this year, we have experienced two particularly powerful political moments in music: Beyoncé’s release of her music video for “Formation,” and Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy’s performance. …

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” “The time is always right to do what is right.” “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over …

Need a Pep-Talk? Here are 15 Quotes to Brighten Your Day

With my first semester of graduate school coming to an end, I’ve been seriously stressed out and my self-esteem has suffered as a result. Whether there’s something going on at work or at home, or you’re just in a rut that you can’t explain, we all need a pep-talk sometimes. Here are 15 quotes that help me get through those rough days, weeks, or months.   “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandino “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt “The more we do, the more we can do.” – William Hazlitt “We may encounter many defeats, but we must never be defeated.” – Maya Angelou “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk “In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or principle contain it or stand against it.” – Jane Smiley “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for …

Creating a Cher Horowitz Inspired Outfit

This past July Clueless, the ultimate 90’s coming-of-age film, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Although the movie may be two decades old, I’d argue that its humor and the message at its core is just as relatable today despite Cher’s laughably large cell phone and compulsive use of irrelevant slang. Much of what’s so fun about Clueless is how each character’s wardrobe acts as an extension of themselves. Cher’s style is structured and preppy, but she takes risks with patterns and accessories, which is illustrative of her good-natured, yet sometimes wild personality. I was asked by Farfetch, an online shopping site where you can discover the latest in designer fashion, to recreate an iconic fashion moment in movie history. As both a student and resident of Los Angeles, I’m personally inspired by Cher Horowitz’s take on west coast prep, but I wanted to put a bit of a contemporary spin on her look. Here’s what I came up with: Although the outfit is simple and structured, the fun is in the details. Cher is all about pairing a tucked-in button-up with a sophisticated a-line skirt, and she’s also known to rock a chic headband. Since …

Watch the Inspiring Trailer for ‘He Named Me Malala’

Emotional films often bring tears to my eyes, but only the most touching previews are capable of doing so. The trailer for He Named Me Malala is one of those rarities. Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist fighting for education rights for girls and young women, is both a survivor of an assassination attempt and the and youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. Like millions of people across the globe, I look up to her strength and courage immensely, and am in awe of all she has accomplished thus far. Please share the trailer for He Named Me Malala and be sure to see it when it hits theaters in October. And if you’re interested, visit the Malala Fund to find out how you can make a difference.

My 5 Favorite De Niro Performances

If you asked me who my favorite actor is I’d proudly proclaim ROBERT DE NIRO, along with thousands upon thousands of other fans across the world. In each role he fills, De Niro engages, scares, surprises, and connects. He is a bonafide legend, and the depth, tone, subtlety, and intensity he is able to create within each of his characters is nothing short of awe-inspiring. In honor of his 72nd birthday, here are my five favorite Robert De Niro performances, in no particular order. What are yours? Jake La Motta – Raging Bull (1980) Raging Bull is one of my favorite films for numerous reasons, including Robert De Niro’s mesmerizing performance (for which he won the Academy Award), the stunning cinematography, and the truly moving soundtrack. In Raging Bull we see the destruction of a man’s world, as his anger and jealousy corrodes the relationships in his life. It’s one of those films and performances that one can never do justice to when discussing – it simply must be watched and enjoyed. Michael – The Deer Hunter (1978) The Deer Hunter provides an examination of the Vietnam war and its impact on American …

Remembering Robin Williams

Today marks the one year anniversary of Robin William’s death, an utter and complete tragedy. Despite never knowing Williams personally, through his performances and interviews I felt like I was given a piece of his brilliant spirit. We all were. Whether comedic or dramatic, his performances always felt deeply entwined with his quick creative spark and remarkable intelligence. It’s truly astonishing just how many lives Robin Williams touched. He is greatly missed, and will be remembered forever as a great American icon. In memory of Robin Williams’ expansive career and beautiful soul, here are stills from some of his greatest performances.