All posts by cbarbosaa

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Sarah’s Life Story as told by her family and friends. (blog5)

When I hear the word ‘Documentary’ or see it on a course outline, I automatically think it is going to be boring and that I will have absolutely no interest in watching it at all. I mean, thats usually what happens when I am forced to watch a documentary of some sort; the only ones I can remember actually paying attention to and enjoying are documentaries about boys bands.

Thank you, Donnie Wahlberg, for the perfect .gif and being a part of my love for boy bands <3
Thank you, Donnie Wahlberg, for the perfect .gif and being a part of my love for boy bands ❤

Stories We Tell (2012) is a documentary written and directed by Sarah Polley. The film follows Sarah’s family members telling their story of their family, her mother, and most importantly about Polley’s biological father. Not going to lie, when we watched it in class…I was bored, but I also did not give it much of a chance. I re-watched it last night and was much more interested in the story being told. Polley’s family members, and friends of the family, all had many different views and variations of stories about Diane, Polley’s mother. Different peoples views/stories and how they tell the story influences the way we perceive them.

Sarah listening to the story.

After reading the articles provided for us, I have familiarized myself a little more with the different type of documentaries. I honestly didn’t know what the difference was. From the 4 types of documentary styles, Expository is commonly referred to us the more traditional style of documentary. Expository documentaries are usually about history or wild life. It involves a voiceover commentary, the speaker (which we don’t see) literally explains what we are seeing. The example that was provided for us (for those of you who might not have read the article: was City of Gold (1949):

Stories We Tell on the other hand is a Reflexive style of documentary. Reflexive documentaries are much more raw in the sense that it is a more experimental style of documentary. Usually, the filmmaker shows us behind the scenes of the film, the making of the film. It exposes the filmmaker, in this case Sarah Polley, who is usually behind the scenes and instead shows her learning and researching things about her family and her mother.

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I feel that this style of documentary challenges a views notion of truth because, like I had mentioned earlier, it is much more raw. In a expository style of documentary, facts are facts. We believe what we are being told and what we are seeing is truth and theres no other story to it. In reflexive, it is so much more bare and we see the film forming around the filmmakers research and are basically learning about the topic with them. With this documentary, we see Polley’s family members all talk about the topic at hand and they all react differently, they all have their own ways of telling the story. Some of them just have their own part of the story that no one else knew…that leads to Sarah finding out who her biological father is.

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Canada, where we hide the truths of the horrific past. (Blog 4 Assignment)

I have learned so much about the Native Indian culture in the past couple of weeks just from the films we have been watching in class. So much that I would have never even imagined to once have happened within Canada. So much brutality, unfairness, hurt…I found myself looking away, my jaw dropping and just gasping in absolute shock over some of the scenes that we have seen in these films. I was somewhat thankful for Smoke Signals to give us that little bit of comedic relief.

When thinking about which film I wanted to focus on for this blog assignment, I automatically picked Smoke Signals. And then, I thought more about what I could write about the film for this assignment and realized that Rhyme’s for Young Ghouls actually stood out to me more and made much more of an impact on me.


Rhyme’s for Young Ghouls (2013) is a Canadian film directed by Mi’gmaq director, Jeff Barnaby. In the supporting reading provided for this film, Sean Carlton describes the film as an “unflinching fictional account of Indigenous agency in the face of horrors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools”. The film follows the life of a very strong and tough teenage girl, Aila. She was a very artistic individual who was forced to grow up a lot quicker than most children. With her father being in prison and her mother committing suicide at a young age, she grew up under the care of her Uncle who was a drug user/seller. She was able to keep herself out of the Residential School by paying a ‘truancy tax’ in which she was able to do so by running the family marijuana grow up.


Many people stereotype Native Indian people as alcoholics and drug users, people believe they intoxicate themselves to such lengths to be able to deal with the pain and use it as a way to “forget”. Barnaby in fact supports this stereotype within the film by having the characters portray these stereotypes.

This film is an excellent source to educate someone who knows nothing about Indian Reserves, Residential schools, or just Native Indian history and culture in general. Barnaby is known as “one of the most powerful and challenging voices of his generation”, being a part of Mi’gmaq himself. The fear and horror that is created through the film about Residential Schools really is an eye opener about how Indigenous people were treated and the difficulties they faced on a daily basis. As I had mentioned earlier, Aila’s way of staying out of St. Dymphna’s, the residential school, was by paying the ‘truancy tax’ which she was unable to continue paying when the money was stolen. This of course led to her being forced to attend St. Dymphna’s where she was completely stripped of her identity, her long hair, her clothes, and thrown into a dark cell.


Being the tough girl that she is, Aila of course does not go down without a fight. She, along with the help of others, plot to get herself out of the school and to get back the money that was stolen from her. While doing this, they try to hurt Popper, the Indian Agent, as a form of revenge for what he had done to Aila. It’s hard to believe that these schools were still around until the late 1990’s, not so long ago people were experiencing this torture and horrific treatment and people throughout Canada did not even know it was happening.


Another scene that was so powerful, yet difficult to watch was the scene when Popper tries to rape Aila and kill her father and the little boy that was always so quiet and hardly said anything shows up and shoots Popper in the head instantly killing him. It’s as if the only way to seek revenge on the man that caused such hurt and violence to him and his loved ones is to respond with violence. Not to say that violence is always the answer, but to my understanding, Natives are all very close and defend/fight for their people/loved ones.


Watching this film really educated me about Residential Schools. I can honestly say that I didn’t know ANY of this, to this extent especially, had happened. After watching the films we watched, I feel that some schools should educate students more about the history and colonization of Aboriginals. I remember learning about Indigenous people in school, but not THIS! Canadians should be educated on colonialism and the horrors of the past.

Clark just wants to have a big happy family Christmas…is that too much to ask? (Blog assignment 3)

“Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a holiday classic. The National Lampoon Vacation movies are some of my favourite movies. This movie being released in December 1989 makes it 1 of the 2 greatest things to have happened in December that year…

Which is why this assignment is getting done now!
Which is why this assignment is getting done now!

Back to work… Christmas Vacation is a story about a typical American family during the Christmas holidays. Clark Griswold is a hard working middle-class man who is looking forward to spending Christmas with his whole family, and not to mention he’s waiting for his Christmas bonus from work because he needs to replace the money he used for a swimming pool….


but we’ll get back to that.

Throughout the entire movie, Clark is trying so hard to make sure his family has an amazing christmas, and to prove to them that he can do everything that needs to be done to make this Christmas a success. But….of course, things keep going wrong for him. He tries, and he just keeps failing. So this brings me to how the film uses Clark’s failure to humour us and entertain us. In the reading from A Companion to Film Comedy written by Andrew Horton and Joanna Rapf, they say that “Comedy and tragedy are cousins whose paths often cross”. We can see this right in the beginning of the film when the family is driving to get a tree and Clark gets into a little road rage fight with some guys in a truck. He some how managed to change lanes and end up under a transport truck, and then the car jumps a snow bank and just so happens to land in the parking lot of the tree lot. Tragedy = Comedy. Another example would be when Clark is trying to put up the christmas lights….the excessive amounts of christmas lights that NO HOUSE EVER NEEDS! and he some how manages to just cause complete chaos. He manages to not only almost kill himself by almost falling off the roof, but his poor neighbours just lost a sweet 1989 entertainment system. Again…Tragedy = Comedy. And more happens throughout the film, but lets jump ahead to when the quote above actually happens. Clark finally gets his christmas bonus and decides to finally tell his family about the swimming pool…..only it wasn’t what he thought it would be. CONGRATULATIONS! YOU JUST WON A ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO SOME JELLY CLUB THING! Anddddd good guy Clark is gone.


but wait…”I CAN FIX THIS” he says to himself. And again, he tries. And everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong at this very moment. Everyone thinks it’s best to call it a night and just go home before things get anyworse… *ADD QUOTE HERE*


The mans gone crazy….

People just want to have fun filled family gatherings for christmas, no matter the outcome, no matter the situation. Clark is well aware that his christmas dinner is a complete failure but he. keeps. trying. As would many of us in society today. 


It doesn’t end though. Failure keeps coming, even if it has nothing to do with Clark. Kind of reminds me of Stef and all her failures. (if you haven’t read her blogs on stuff she’s bad at, I suggest you do so now. Here, I’ll help you out: ) 

Stef, you my girl. But bruh…lmao

When it comes to comedic performance traditions, I would say that Clark falls under both Farce and Mock-Bravado. There were many moments throughout the movie that show both of these performance traditions, I have already listed a couple above but I feel that these two moments specifically highlight these performances very well:


Each of these clips show examples of Clark having lots of confidence which ended in humiliation, and also moments that were extreme and ended completely out of control. There are many more moments, but these three were the first ones to come to mind.

All that confidence just for all that humiliation..but at the end of the day….


Could Friends BE any funnier!

Let’s start off with this:

So, I’m sitting here filling out my experience profiles for teachers college (kinda) and watching Whose Line Is It Anyway which of course reminded me of our lecture this past week on humour…so here I am, blogging.

this isn’t gonna get me into teachers college…

So, what makes something funny? If you laugh, chances are it’s probably funny, to you. Whether it be over exaggerated, dark, dry, sarcasm, or just good old classic comedy. If you want to laugh…then laugh. Who cares if people around you don’t find it funny, not everyone finds the same things funny. I mean…I find myself to be quite the character every once in a while, but others feel the need to tell me other wise.


Anyway, moving right along…

Good ol’ sarcasm. When this was brought up in class, one person came to mind…

Mr. Chandler Bing:


Personally, Chandler kills me. Friends is one of my favourite shows,  I think it’s hilarious.

In the spirit of our neighbours celebrating Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at this:

Did you laugh? I know I did…and do every time I watch it. Joey was not even trying to be funny, but come on…it’s Joey.

But now, lets try this….

Was it as funny? I’m just going to say it. No. Monica tried WAY too hard to try and imitate Joey’s humour. She did what she had to do until she made Chandler laugh…basically, she’s needs to stop and leave it to Joey. (note Chandler’s sarcasm at the beginning of the clip towards the duck..lmao! i love him)

Since I’m on the topic of Friends, I’m just gonna throw this in here because honestly….I CRY EVERY SINGLE TIME! (of laughter that is)

i may or may not be in tears right now

And to end with some over exaggerated humour from our good friend Willard Smith, mrfreshprinchimself

Blue is not even a warm colour, what are you even talking about?: Blog Assignment 2

I feel like there should be an introduction here, but you know what they say. No. That’s what they say. Let’s just jump in and go shall we?

Alright, so two things are certain, right? Death and taxes. However, that’s not actually true and it’s just something people say. Kind of like a saying. What’s actually more certain is that we are born and we get a sweet beanie afterwards. The colour of our beanie, however, kind of sets up how we’ll be treated for our entire lives. Blue is for boys, pink is for girls. Men are strong, women are weak; men are brave, women require men to kill spiders for them; men are hella sexual, women require relationships (like always always always). Notice how men seem to get all of the cool qualities and women kind of don’t? Me too. Maybe that’s why stereotypical masculine behaviour in women is more tolerated than stereotypical feminine behaviour is in men. This tea is delicious. Opposition is how we place ourselves in our gender identities and fully root ourselves on the pink or blue side of the gender dichotomy. That’s when yet another old-timey saying comes into play: opposites attract.


See also: man disproves homosexuality by using magnets.

Men and women are supposed to desire each other, you see, because we’re opposites right? Right? RIGHT? Wrong. Surprisingly enough, gay people do exist. So do lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, and trans and non-binary individuals. Anyways, where am I going with this? Oh yes, Blue is the warmest colour.

This movie does nothing for lesbians. NOTHING. Not even the original source author likes the film. It’s probably the ultimate movie for any straight dudebro to hide away in his spankbank until further notice. I don’t want to sound gross, so I’ll be more eloquent here: the male gaze. The male gaze occurs when the audience is put into the perspective of a straight man. Did you notice how almost every scene included a shot of Adele or Emma’s butt? Almost as if the director wanted us to sexualize these ladies? Don’t lie to me. I’m not even a lesbian (to be fair, neither is the director), but I’m almost 500% sure that that’s not how lesbians have sex.

What would Zizek say about this movie? Well, pretty simple actually: mate and reproduce. The two actresses in the movie aren’t lesbians. Don’t get me wrong, the average guy has exactly a 0% chance of getting with either of them. But, they have a slightly less 0% chance of getting with them than they would if they were actually lesbians. SO THERE’S STILL A CHANCE, GUYS. MOVE TO FRANCE. YOU CAN HAVE SEX* WITH THEM!

*no you cannot.

If anything, this film does a lot to reinforce gender and sexuality stereotypes. It’s seen when Adele moves into the workforce, where she learns how to be a mother through her kindergarten teacher job. It’s seen when Adele’s relationship status changes, where she falls apart because she’s nothing without a romantic partner (remember: women care about relationships more than men). Just because she’s not in a heterosexual relationship, does not make her exempt from gendered expectations.

Thank God Lindsay had a box of tissues!


Ok, seriously. This movie….urgh! I had seen commercials/previews for this movie on TV a couple of times, but it never grabbed my attention to want to watch it. I didn’t really know what it was about, I just didn’t pay attention. But OMG! I don’t know if I should be happy that we watched this or what. It was YESTERDAY and I STILL have soooo many emotions. I’m basically still sobbing inside.

My very first reaction when the movie started: “Hey! It’s the Hulk!”


(Incase you didn’t know, Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk in the Avengers movies aaannnndddd basically thats all I know him from)

Now, remember that gif of the Hulk, throwing around Loki like its no big deal. THAT IS WHAT THIS MOVIE DID TO MY EMOTIONS! Forget about anything happy, watch this movie, and hope that you have a friend like Lindsay who has a tissue box with her! Just nope. No happiness. Be sad.

Honestly though, I loved this movie. It was emotional (clearly), but beautiful. I love that they gave this movie the title that they did. The Normal Heart, so simple but yet so strong and true with so much meaning.





















Like I said….thank God Lindsay had a box of tissues. I don’t even know what to say.