The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, have been awarded annually since 1929 for excellence in film. The Oscars are generally seen as the most prestigious award in the film industry, televised live in more than 100 different countries and watched by approximately 40 million people in the United States alone. But who decides who actually gets to take home an Oscar? This infographic was produced by the LA Times as part of an investigation into the age, race and gender demographics of the nearly 6,000 people who vote for the Oscars. The results show that the Academy Awards voters are overwhelmingly white, mostly male and a majority are over the age of 60.
Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy film in which a broke Hollywood prostitute, Vivian (Julia Roberts) falls in love with a wealthy executive, Edward (Richard Gere), who has hired her to be his escort. The film was originally conceived as a dark, cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles, but was subsequently reimagined as a romantic comedy “fairy tale.” It quickly became one of the most popular films of all time. In this scene, viewers witness Vivian’s “Cinderella moment” as she is transformed from a low-class prostitute into a dazzling Beverly Hills socialite – thanks to Edward’s no holds barred approach to boutique shopping and his high-limit credit card.
In this documentary program produced by the University of Southern California in 2008, Professor of Cinema and Television Ellen Seiter leads a discussion on “Film Viewing Across Cultures.” The project brought together a dozen undergraduate students, with participants born in the US, Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait and South Africa. The goal was to explore how film and television portrayals shaped understandings of America, Islam, and the Muslim world. Viewing a variety of historical and contemporary media portrayals, the discussion also interrogated the extent to which studying film can deepen cross-cultural understandings.
In this video clip from World Trust’s film, Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity, educator, author, and researcher Joy Angela DeGruy tells the story of how she and her daughter were discriminated against at a grocery store and how her sister-in-law used her White privilege to intervene, take a stand against the discriminatory and unjust interaction, and point out that moment as an example of unexamined privileges and internal biases manifesting in an institutionalized, systemic inequity. She also describes how this interaction affected not just the people directly involved, but also the people who witnessed the event.
This trailer for “Reel Bad Arabs”, a documentary produced by the Media Education Foundation in collaboration with Professor Jack Shaheen, explores historical and contemporary depictions of Arabs in media. From the producers: “The film explores a long line of degrading images of Arabs -- from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding "terrorists"-- along the way offering devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypic images, their development at key points in US history, and why they matter so much today.”