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Pocket monsters

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Title:
Pocket monsters the potential power of pocket films, and the birth of pocket cinema
Added title page title:
Potential power of pocket films, and the birth of pocket cinema
Creator:
James-Erickson, Luke Hunter ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (104 pages) : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of humanities)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Humanities

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Motion pictures ( lcsh )
Amateur films ( lcsh )
Amateur films ( fast )
Motion pictures ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Review:
This paper critically examines films created with smart phones and similar devices in order to discuss how these films are understood within modern society, and how they can potentially be used as a potent source of empathy or a destructive tool of manipulation. Since the tools of cinematic creation have become more widely available, thanks to the development of inexpensive cameras and smartphones, making films and viewing films made by other amateur filmmakers has become a part of many people's everyday life, so much so that these films are rarely considered to be 'films' at all. In this thesis, I take six films shot on what I call "pocket cameras" and focus a critical eye on them, examining them as though they were 'traditional' films. It is the goal of this thesis to show that 'pocket films' have the depth and complexity of 'traditional' films, but because viewers do not consider them to be 'films', viewers thus having fewer protective 'barriers' between themselves and the pocket film's messages, these pocket films' methods of ideological dissemination are more effective than those of a 'traditional' film.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
Luke Hunter James-Erixkson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
on10030 ( NOTIS )
1003045490 ( OCLC )
on1003045490
Classification:
LD1193.L58 2017m J36 ( lcc )

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Full Text
POCKET MONSTERS:
THE POTENTIAL POWER OF POCKET FILMS, AND THE BIRTH OF POCKET CINEMA by
LUKE HUNTER JAMES-ERICKSON B.S., University of Northern Colorado, 2009
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities Humanities Program
2017


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2017
LUKE HUNTER JAMES-ERICKSON
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Ill
This thesis for the Master of Humanities degree by Luke Hunter James-Erickson has been approved for the Humanities Program by
Sarah Hagelin, Chair Margaret Woodhull Gillian Silverman
Date: July 29, 2017


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James-Erickson, Luke Hunter, (M.A. Humanities Program)
Pocket Monsters: The Potential Power Of Pocket Films, And The Birth Of Pocket Cinema Thesis directed by Professor Sarah Hagelin
ABSTRACT
This paper critically examines films created with smart phones and similar devices in order to discuss how these films are understood within modern society, and how they can potentially be used as a potent source of empathy or a destructive tool of manipulation.
Since the tools of cinematic creation have become more widely available, thanks to the development of inexpensive cameras and smartphones, making films and viewing films made by other amateur filmmakers has become a part of many peoples everyday life, so much so that these films are rarely considered to be films at all. In this thesis, I take six films shot on what I call pocket cameras and focus a critical eye on them, examining them as though they were traditional films. It is the goal of this thesis to show that pocket films have the depth and complexity of traditional films, but because viewers do not consider them to be films, viewers thus having fewer protective barriers between themselves and the pocket films messages, these pocket films methods of ideological dissemination are more effective than those of a traditional film.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Sarah Hagelin


V
To Candace, Samantha, Justine, and Margaret.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION ..........................................................1
II. PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, EXHIBITION
Part 1: The Technological Evolution of Cinema
The Birth of Nictation.....................................8
The Cinematographe and Beyond.............................10
Part 2: The Development of Cinematic Ideologies
The Need to Distinguish between Cinemas ..................15
Three Cinemas and a Baby .................................17
Part 3: How Film Shapes Us
Langue ou Langage.........................................23
Perceptions of Film: Real ..............................24
Objectivity and Film .....................................25
And Finally, the Creation of Meaning .....................26
Interactions with Films: Paratexts........................28
Why This Matters: We Will Control the Horizontal. We Will Control the Vertical..............................................31
III. ANALYSIS OF POCKET FILMS
Part 1: General Film Theory and the Feature Pocket Film
Image, Power, and the Liminal Space .............................35
Voyeuristic and Scopophilic Power................................41
Editing, Suture, and Gestalt ....................................44


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Part 2: Feminist Film Theory and the Branded Pocket Film
Signification and Objectification .....................51
Misogyny in a Moment....................................52
Pregnancy and Body Genres...............................57
Make-Up and Mastery ....................................61
Part 3: Critical Race Theory and the Actuality Pocket Film
White Identity and Racist Portrayals of Black People....65
Eric Garner and the Oppositional Gaze ..................70
IV. CONCLUSION..........................................................79
BIBLIOGRAPHY...............................................................84
APPENDIX...................................................................91


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
APF Actuality Pocket Film
BPF Branded Pocket Film
FPF Feature Pocket Film


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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The State of the You-nion
study of culture is intimately bound up with the study of society, politics, and economics. -Douglas Kellner, 2010 (Kellner, 8)
The films we create with our smartphones are changing the way we view the world. Among children, YouTuber is an increasingly popular career path. There are monthly, and sometimes weekly reports of internet-famous filmmakers using their newfound stature to rape or otherwise abuse and take advantage of their fans. Our nightly news shows now regularly feature footage captured by an amateur filmmaker, ones who may not even consider themselves a filmmaker at all.
That these filmmakers may not consider themselves filmmakers changes not only how they themselves understand their films, but how society views them. The films people create with their GoPro, their smartphone, or their drone are generally not considered to be films at all, by virtue of having been created in the manner they have been, and because of this, these pocket films are capable of affecting viewers in revolutionary ways. Because of pocket films different modes of production, distribution, and exhibition, the viewer has fewer barriers between their understanding of their own personal real world and the filmic world. As a result, not only do pocket films hide the fact of the very real lack of mutual perspective among individuals, but by appearing to be more true to life than traditional films, they are able to disseminate ideological biases in unrecognized ways. Through the perspectives of general film theory, feminist film theory, and critical race theory and film, I will explore the creation of a new movement in cinema that I call Pocket Cinema. The ideologies present in this movement are distinct, and, in my opinion, important to how we


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understand gender, spectatorship, and subjectivity. Because of the fundamentally unique modes of production, distribution, and exhibition of films in the Pocket Cinema, their mode of cultural value transmission allows them to disseminate ideological biases in unrecognized ways, and presents the spectator with fewer barriers between their personal constructs of reality and the filmic reality presented on the screen.
Because this topic is relatively unexplored territory, I have developed a handful of terms in order to accurately describe this emerging phenomenon. I identify pocket films to be films shot with pocket cameras. A pocket camera is a smartphone, an action camera, like a GoPro, a drone with a camera, or any other type of comparatively-inexpensive or already-readily-available camera that takes little to no training or expertise to use to produce a movie. An example of an already-readily available camera is the camera on many modem laptops; a camera that exists on a device that was purchased without consideration taken regarding the quality, or even existence, of the camera present. Some pocket cameras have screens on which one can watch a film, and these, as well as other comparatively-inexpensive and portable devices with a screen, are pocket theaters. Comparatively-inexpensive, in relation to both pocket cameras and pocket theaters, refers to the price differences between amateur technology and professional technology. This can be seen when comparing the most expensive, highest recommended GoPro, rounding out at about $400, and the least expensive indie filmmaker camera, set at about $1600. For a filmmaker on a budget, paying a quarter of the price of even an indie camera can free up funds to be allocated to other things. This is of course not to mention the fact that pocket cameras can be as inexpensive as already-readily available, such as the camera on a smartphone.
Not all pocket films are the same. Some are indistinguishable from modern films


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shot with more expensive cameras. Some adhere to what I identify as the pocket aesthetic, meaning a general impression of being amateur in nature, regardless of whether or not the filmmaker is in fact an amateur, or whether or not their film is intentionally created to appear as an amateur production. Pocket films can only intentionally adhere to the pocket aesthetic, unintentionally adhere to it, or adhere to traditional cinematic aesthetics, since the options are either to appear professional in nature, or amateur in nature. I have broken up the different types of pocket films into three distinct categories, which I identify as feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films. Here is how I have defined them: Feature Pocket Film (FPF)
Intentionally produced to gamer attention for the filmmakers, the filmmakers brand, and the film itself.
Intentionally produced adhering to traditional cinematic practices.
Intentionally distributed to gamer attention for the filmmakers, the filmmakers brand, and the film itself.
Intentionally produced to be exhibited in a traditional theatrical (home or otherwise) setting.
Branded Pocket Film (BPF)
Intentionally produced to gamer attention for the filmmakers, the filmmakers brand, and the film itself.
Intentionally or unintentionally produced to adhere to the pocket aesthetic, while intentionally or unintentionally disregarding or lampooning traditional cinematic aesthetics.
Intentionally digitally distributed to gamer attention for the filmmakers, the


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filmmakers brand, and the film itself.
Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively to be exhibited on a pocket theater.
Actuality Pocket Film (APF)
Intentionally produced without focusing on garnering attention for filmmakers, the filmmakers brand, and the film itself, but instead focusing on capturing objective footage of the world and garnering attention for the films content.
- Produced without any consideration for any cinematic production techniques, and thus adhering to the pocket aesthetic.
Intentionally digitally distributed without focusing on gamering attention for filmmakers, the filmmakers brand, and the film itself, but instead focusing on garnering attention for the films content.
Intentionally exhibited with the intent to present the actions within the film to someone who will not consider it with a critical eye, but rather with an eye that views it as a true representation of the world.
Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively, to be exhibited on a pocket theater.
Because of these strict guidelines, there can be little overlap between these categories1. Transformations, however, can occur. APFs are frequently transformed into BPFs by third parties whose media/internet presence exists as a distributor of a certain type of APF, the distribution of which being intended to bring viewers to their website or YouTube channel, not only gamering attention for their brand, but supplying them with revenue in the form of webpage advertisements. Even if the third part distributor does not


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put any sort of stamp on the film itself, simply by virtue of intentionally distributing the film to gamer attention for the filmmakers brand, a feature not present in APFs but defining for BPFs, said version2 of that film is no longer an APF.
I have also developed the term Pocket Cinema to refer to the movement emerging in the early twenty-first century, consisting of films that meet these qualities:
Intentionally or unintentionally produced to adhere to the pocket aesthetic, while intentionally or unintentionally disregarding or lampooning traditional cinematic aesthetics.
Intentionally distributed on a digitally accessible platform that does not specialize in traditional feature length films.
Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively, to be exhibited on a pocket theater.
You will note that BPFs and APFs easily fit into the Pocket Cinema, while FPFs do not. This is because FPFs strive to adhere to traditional aesthetics and traditional techniques, which set them apart from their brethren, and limit their impact to that of a traditional films potential impact. When Pocket Cinema films are discussed later on, this will encompass only BPFs and APFs.
As can be gleaned from examining at the definitions of the different types of pocket films, Pocket Cinema, and the introductory paragraphs, the role of production, distribution, and exhibition will play a significant role in the discussion of how pocket films, and thus Pocket Cinema, came to be, and how they differ significantly from traditional films and cinematic movements. Production, distribution, and exhibition will continue to make appearances throughout each chapter.


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In order to legitimize pocket films as another facet comprising the whole of the cinema, the first chapter will focus on how traditional films are, and have been, produced, how this has changed the ways films effect spectators, and how pocket films compare and contrast. I will first discuss how developments in the technology of film creation has played a role in not just the growing ease with which films have been produced, distributed, and exhibited, but played a role in the ideologies imbued in the messages being sent through these films. Then, through examining the Third Cinema movement, I will discuss how the development of the three types of pocket films run parallel to the ideological development of First, Second, and Third Cinema. Finally, I will discuss specifically with how films are capable of shaping our opinions, emotions, and actions, in order to drive home the importance of understanding how the language of film, and thus the languages of pocket films, affect us. Further, I will discuss how Pocket Cinema films, through their distinct forms of production, distribution, and exhibition, are capable of circumventing certain roadblocks to ideological dissemination that are present in traditional films and cinematic movements.
The second chapter will focus on examining the three types of pocket films through a variety of lenses, partially to parse what the individual films are articulating, but primarily to show that pocket films are capable of a depth such that they can be analyzed at all, and should, thus, be regarded as films in their own right.
If we see that these films shot with drones and action cameras, uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, and watched on laptops and smartphones are legitimate films, and that they are able to covertly disseminate ideologies more effectively than traditional films, we will better understand how films circulate ideology, how spectators can critically guard themselves


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against indoctrination, and how pocket filmmakers can themselves spread either malicious or benevolent ideologies.


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CHAPTER II
PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND EXHIBITION
Part 1: The Technological Evolution of Cinema
With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory,
or is removing the limits to their functioning. Sigmund Freud, 1929 (Freud, 43)
The Birth of Nictation
Feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films have roots firmly planted in the technological evolution of the cinema itself. The cinema is inexorably tied to the technology surrounding its creation, so any change in the technology used to produce, distribute, and exhibit a film will unavoidably change the content, context, and impact of the cinematic art form (Reeves, 5, 49; Gunning, 234). Like with any art form, the methods behind films development are bound together with the tools necessary to its creation. For whenever the production, distribution, or exhibition of film changes, so changes how filmmakers address the spectator, and how they construct the spectator (Gunning, 234). And those driving the evolution of filmmaking technology were specifically focused on optimizing how films are produced, distributed, and exhibited (Gabriel, 5; Wasson, 82).
In the days before the printing press, popular culture was either visual or auditory; cultural artifacts consisted almost exclusively of pictures, music, or spoken pieces (Elsaesser, 58). After prints surge in reach, thanks to Johannes Gutenbergs fifteenth century revolutionary printing innovation, Western culture found its base fixed in writing (Elsaesser, 58; Eisenstein, Elizabeth). For film theorist Bela Balazs the creation of the cinema marks a return to immediate (facial and bodily) expression, a return to visual and auditory cultural expressions3 (Elsaesser, 58). Like the written word, films popularity (and profitability) began swelling as soon as it was developed, pioneer filmmakers like the Lumiere brothers


exhibiting their films to growing audiences throughout all of Europe within a few months of their first showing in late 18954 (Reeves, 1, 2; Thompson, 19).
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The Lumiere actualites, or actuality films5, were travel films, aka scenics, and news reports, aka topicals; they were expressions of a purely iconic medium, with the projected images intended to mean simply what they are in the world (Gunning, 230; Springer, 27; Thompson, 18-21). By cultivating a cinema of attractions and placing the world within ones reach, the architects of this exhibitionist cinema filmed just about anything in order to attract a potential spectators attention, ignoring any inclinations to distinguish between documentary and fictive filmmaking (Gunning, 230; Springer, 28). Lucky for them, due to a lack of an established cinematic vocabulary, early cinema audiences likely did not think to distinguish between documentary and fictive films (Elsaesser, 122; Thompson, 21).
Actuality pocket films, like many pocket films, are created with devices similar to those used by the Lumiere brothers, one that can record as well exhibit a film. The Lumieres major contribution to cinematic history is their development of their hand-cranked cinematographe, a camera which also functioned as a printmaker and a projector (Reeves, 1; Thompson, 18-21). Actuality pocket films, like their namesake, are also primarily6 intended to be exhibited on a device similar to the one that produced it, such as a standard modem smart phone, which can record, process, and exhibit a film. While the same is true of branded pocket films, what further ties APFs to these actualities is the APF filmmakers intention to capture objective footage of reality, to capture images intended to mean simply what they are in the world. Both these early filmmakers and their audiences believed the films to be objective images of the world, unfolding before the camera


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(Thompson, 18-23). APFs and actualities are and were treated as though they are unedited, pure representations of the world, for better or worse (Elsaesser, 61).
In parallel to the Lumiere's, inventor Thomas Edison and English photographic technician R.W. Paul, inspired by Edison7, had developed their own cameras, Paul making the key decision to sell his cameras as opposed to leasing them, resulting in the spread of film production and consumption throughout Great Britain (Thompson, 18-21). And so, within the first 15 years of cinemas existence, production companies started popping up, exclusively due to the growing availability of cameras8 (Thompson, 19, 23-26). The profit-minded Edison and the Lumieres started seeing competing production companies, companies also interested in turning a profit on this highly successful and thus potentially lucrative new art, begin subjecting the art of filmmaking to a process of business rationalization intended to increas[e] production and maximiz[e] profits (Springer, 28; Thompson, 23, 24-26).
The Cinematographe and Beyond
In the beginning, filmmakers like the Lumiere's were able to travel, film an actuality with their cinematographe, print the film for production, set up in a local cafe for an exhibition, and travel to a new town to repeat the process (Thompson, 18-23). These actuality films, which relied on recording real people, shortly became difficult to market, not only because interesting real people and real events are categorically more difficult to scare up or predict, but because neither of which can guarantee to capture an audience (Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28). Driven then not by artistic inspiration, but by commercial inclinations (As was seen in other forms of mass culture at the time), film thus transformed into a narrative art


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form, as narrative films were easier to budget, pre-plan, supply, and assure audience interest (Eagleton, 30; Reeves, 74; Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28).
With the same cameras used to produce actualities being used to now create primarily narrative films, or documentary films which focused more on telling a story as opposed to just presenting landscapes or trains arriving at stations, production companies and filmmakers began building their brands, much like how branded pocket films developed (Thompson, 23-28). Branded pocket filmmakers saw in the viral videos surging onto the internet and onto local news channels and in them, saw an untapped source of profit. While it is true that the Lumiere actualities were intentionally produced with earnings in mind, distancing them slightly from actuality pocket films, we can see this profit-mentality much more decidedly present in the BPF, a type of film whose primary focus is not to capture the world, but to sell itself as a consumable piece of media. In those early days of cinema, Pathe, the Star Film Company, and Edisons production companies, to name a few, began producing specific kinds of films, tying their brand to a certain type of product, be it comedy, drama, or forays into genre filmmaking (Thompson, 23-31, 33-35, 74-77). Branded pocket filmmakers and distributors do much the same, YouTube channels like Dark Horse News focusing primarily on presenting videos of non-white individuals doing reckless and violent things, and Vine users like Jessi Smiles and Curtis Lepore attempting to create comedic films (Dark Horse News; Lepore).
Like Edison, Melies, and other early filmmakers, who were writing and rewriting how to make films while staying true to certain established rules so as not to confuse potential viewers, branded pocket filmmakers actively produce films that adhere to the established rules of amateur pocket filmmaking, or brazenly throw convention aside either in


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an intentional or unintentional defiance of tradition (Thompson, 30-31). Clubs and cafes being as important as they were, early twentieth century production companies started investing in theaters, recognizing that if there was a select place for people to experience their films9, audiences would grow accustomed to film exhibition, and, much like modem platforms like YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, it could become a natural part of their lives10 (Reeves, 65; Thompson, 34-38). Early producers and distributors understood that establishing clubs, theaters, and other forms of exhibition was key to spinning any sort of profit out of cinema11 (Reeves, 65, 239-240; Wasson, 82, 84). Through these theaters, and online distribution platforms, filmmakers were, and now are, able to distribute and exhibit as widely as their budget allows with the expressed purpose not of education, but of income. This is particularly fortunate for modern filmmakers, as digital distribution is, without considering marketing, extraordinarily less expensive, if not arguably free.
As time passed, the cinematographe, Edisons Kinetoscope, and other early filmmaking technologies were quickly taken over by more diverse film stock qualities, and improved camera and projection equipment (Wasson, 82, 84). The industry continued to grow throughout the first half of the century, advances in the production, distribution, and exhibition leading not only to larger profits, but to changes in the established language of film (Lipkin, 12-13). From the development of editing practices such as intercutting, analytical editing, and contiguity editing, to the changes in production methods such as special effects, blockbuster budgets, and an investment in particular types of film stock, not to mention the addition of sound and color, the films created in the Hollywood studios between World War I and World War II established what would later to be known by some as First Cinema (Sarto, 85; Thompson, 43, 46, 71-72, 147, 152, 213, 219-221).


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Feature pocket films mirror classical Hollywood cinema established during this time in that they are both intended to adhere to traditional, unobtrusive, and straightforward production techniques, without presenting the audience with images, stories, or music that demands too much from them (Thompson, 213-237). Avant-garde films existed during these early days of cinema, same as today, but as both Hollywood filmmakers and propagandists knew, typical audiences either found them at best unpleasant and at worst incomprehensible (Reeves, 74; Thompson 173-184). While there are only a handful of FPFs to use as example, it is clear that they are both intended to garner attention to the filmmakers, the studio, and the film itself through their appeal to a broad audience, in part thanks to their adherence to simple filmic techniques such as the shot/reverse shot, editing that provides subtle changes in the camera angles to heighten tension, and editing that presents a linear story (Thompson, 43, 46).
Tangerine (2015) and feature pocket films like it are created, like traditional Hollywood films, with the intent to be shown in a traditional theatrical setting, which in the modern time can include the home theater via streaming services such as Netflix, which market themselves as platforms that provide film and television, but which make no mention of content traditionally created and viewed on smartphones (Netflix). Feature pocket films, gimmick or not, are intended to showcase the talents of the filmmakers behind the pocket camera, making them no different than traditional films in that regard either.
The ramification of the historical technological advances, however, did not end just with the development of Hollywood films. The depreciated technological costs and growing commercial interests incentivizing the creation of a more lucrative and economic film industry conversely drove non-establishment, non-Hollywood cinematic artists to stretch and


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challenge the boundaries not only of the Hollywood Studio Style, but that of French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, or German Expressionism (Reeves, 5). When comparatively-less-expensive 16mm and 8mm handheld cameras were developed, not only were more people -who were previously unable to get a hold of cameras because of the preventative cost to rent or purchase one now able to create films with their heretofore unrepresented voices, but the stylistic choices and aesthetics developed by these budding and filmmakers were incorporated into the larger cinematic linguistic canon, expanding the vocabularies of even some bigger, more established filmmakers (Del Sarto, 81-82; Rhodes, 8). This has lead to the dissolving of boundaries separating what was considered an international or national film, a big budget or independent film, a television show or movie, with almost all distinguishing lines beginning to blur (Lipkin, 12-13).
It is this world into which the pocket camera was birthed, and so with it pocket films, pocket theaters, and the Pocket Cinema as a whole. With technological limitations becoming more an influential force of the past, current and future filmmakers will no longer look to their tools cinematic production, distribution, and exhibition to direct their hands, but to their guiding ideologies.


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Part 2: The Development of Cinematic Ideologies
...the circulation ofpower in society is not natural but culturally manipulated and directed. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard, 2005
The Need to Distinguish Between Cinemas
Pocket Films developed not only in a fashion paralleling, mirroring the ever-evolving technological advances of historical cinematic development, their advancement also echoed the growth of the ever-shifting landscape of cinematic ideologies, resulting in the birth of Pocket Cinema. Feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films resonate with the cinematic ideology theories of Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, revolutionary mid-century Latin American filmmakers and theorists who challenged their government through filmmaking, and developed an ideological classification system for films made in and out of the Third World.
Plagued by neocolonialism12, Third World filmmakers and theorists Getino and Solanas developed a manifesto titled Toward a Third Cinema (1969) (Getino, 124). The term eventually encompassing a variety of contemporaneous cinematic campaigns, the Third Cinema and the films developed in its name became the impetus to an anticolonialist, holistic13, nationalistic liberation movement that materialized in 1960s and 70s Latin American, African, and Asian underground film communities (Sarto, 80, 82).
Third Cinema filmmakers focused on establishing new national cinematographic traditions that would ignite social transformation through aesthetic experimentation, political intervention, [and] cultural reconfiguration (Sarto, 80, 82). This politicization14 of the cinema spoke truth to power, aiming to question their societys cultural hegemony15 through revolutionary new production traditions focusing on collaboration, radical aesthetics, and


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regional and local thematics (Sarto, 82, 83). The real-life hunger16 present in these exploited communities drove dissatisfied intellectuals to transform film17 from a consumer good into emancipatory, violent18, non-alienated work19 (Gabriel, 10; Getino, 108, 109-115; Rocha, 13). Through challenging traditional20 production, exhibition, and distribution methods, as well as existing film ideologies and universalistic claims of contemporary film semiotics, Third Cinema filmmakers intent was to decolonize their respective cultures (Gabriel, 5, 7; Getino, 116).
In order to effectively push against established cinematic ideologies, Getino and Solanas needed first to give these ideologies a name. Third Cinema was coined not just as a pun or play on Third World, but as part of a First, Second, and Third Cinema continuum (Sarto, 85). They identified First Cinema as meaning commercial, industrialized films that replicated Hollywoods paradigms, be them large scale US productions or smaller non-US films which nonetheless aspired to live up to Hollywood film ideologies (Sarto, 85). Second Cinema was defined as a systemic alternative to first cinema, indicating fundamentally avant-garde movements such as French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, and German Expressionism (Sarto, 85).
Third Cinema, then, meant films that the System21 finds unassimilable, films that are foreign to its needs by virtue of being actively hostile to its institutions, and decidedly transgressive in their methods of production, distribution, and exhibition (Sarto,
85). Feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films individually correlate to one specific Cinema.


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Three Cinemas and a Baby
It should come as no surprise that feature pocket films, heavily married to the techniques and methods of production common in Hollywood films, emulate the ideologies of First Cinema. The First Cinema encourages dependence upon First World ideologies and paradigms22 through presenting homogenized narratives via practiced and rote camera movements, lighting, and staging (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 108, 119, 120). FPFs too adhere to these techniques in service of paying homage and reinforcing the ideologies that paved the way to allowing for the creation of a cinema which could be called First, an elite club FPF filmmakers very much want their films to be considered a part of. First Cinemas commercial, industrialized productions formal use of language, both spoken and cinematic, encourage only the adoption of the ideological forms that gave rise to precisely that language and no other (Getino, 119-120; Sarto, 85). Meaning that they are filled with praise for their own form, their own production styles, while looking with disdain at other, more experimental forms. FPF filmmakers see the possibilities for prestige and profit present in First Cinema ideologies, which, though these ideologies view the audience as dependent, passive, consuming objects, are nonetheless nearly universally ubiquitous, and an easier road to travel if money, awards, and personal recognition want to be acquired (Getino, 119, 120).
Branded pocket films most clearly resemble Second Cinema ideologies, which show admiration for First Cinema, in the sense that Second Cinema films are not pure abstractions of narrative and form, but actively question or ignore foundational First Cinematic techniques (Sarto, 85). Cinematic movements encompassed by Second Cinema, such as French New Wave, German Expressionism, and Italian Neo-Realism, question, reflect, and enfold the process of their own making (Elsaesser, 73). They are, in many ways, about the


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filmmaking process, they are about challenging the methods of cinematic story telling and pushing the limits of how a story can be told and still get a lucid message across (Elsaesser, 42, 73, 74). BPF filmmakers who intentionally adhere to the pocket aesthetic do the same, and not just through the use of low cost, experimental camera technology, but through redefining cinematic standards by disregarding simple conventions like not breaking the 180 line, or shot reverse shot. On occasion, the humor or drama derived from a BPF comes from the dashing aside of a viewers expectations that established rules will be followed.
There is an attempt in Second Cinema films at referencing and accessing reality, presenting and examining the real world, actively separating and distancing spectators from the filmic reality on the other side of the screen, all in service of questioning the justifications of cinemas existence, and the existence of the viewers self perceived reality (Elsaesser, 74). To do this, Second Cinema filmmakers created new cinematic techniques, rules, and paradigms, introducing concepts like temps mort\ or dead time the seemingly plotless stretches of inaction, showing rapid-fire montages of seemingly unrelated images, or even simple but dramatic shifts, such as having a character unexpectedly breaking the fourth wall, or presenting a narrative with scenes in an indeterminable chronological order (Elsaesser, 73, 74, 75). Pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPFs take on many but not all of these qualities, the true relation between the two being their drive to take the tools of the traditional First Cinema and use them in a dramatically different way, to deconstruct narrative, character, and, really, what it is to be a film at all. Pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPFs do this through the intentional use of unconventional camera angles, unscripted or improvisational plots, and documentary footage taken without permission or regard for preservation of a sort of objectivity. By merging and exploiting these techniques, Pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPF filmmakers are able to present a


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cohesive brand mission statement, usually one focused around attempts at humor, which would in a more traditional theatrical context be derided as amateur and unfocused, as opposed to their explicitly, decidedly amateur aesthetic being perceived as practiced and intentional. While both pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPFs and Second Cinema films strive to redefine the limits of film, in part in service of broadening what films are capable of, they ironically succeed only to create new boundaries, new rules, which serve to guide others in making an avant-garde film, or a pocket aesthetic branded pocket film, with their own set of standard techniques and cinematic vocabularies (Elsaesser, 75; Getino, 108, 120). Pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPF filmmakers took the raw, unpracticed hand-held pocket camera footage, and turned it into an aesthetic, much in the same way that Second Cinema filmmakers aestheticized their intentionally-intellectually-demanding filmic styles, and trapped [themselves] inside [their own] fortresses] by establishing a rules broken stylistic ideology with new rules to be followed, as opposed to establishing an ideology of breaking rules (Getino, 108, 120).
Those pieces of raw, unpracticed hand-held pocket camera footage that birthed the pocket aesthetic? Those are actuality pocket films, and they have fair amount in common with the ideologies of Third Cinema. Third Cinema films are decidedly created outside and against the System, and exist above all as a result of their examination of the practical uses of film (Gabriel, 6; Sarto, 85). Third Cinema filmmakers succeeded, unlike Second Cinema filmmakers, in establishing an ideological construct focused on breaking cinematic traditions (Sarto, 85). Actuality pocket films and Third Cinema films, with an almost confrontational disregard for traditional cinematic techniques, first and foremost both strive to use the physical capabilities of handheld, inexpensive cameras to capture reality, to show the world


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how it really is23 (Gabriel, 6; Getino, 124; Sarto, 85). Third Cinema filmmakers and theorists believed that the tools to create films should be in the hands of everyday people, that the stories told by people with no formal training would, in some ways, be a more pure presentation of the real world, and that by speaking through film, amateur filmmakers would become masters of their own ideas, their own worlds (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 116, 121,
22). APF filmmakers who film developing weather patterns, police brutality, or everyday pratfalls and victories are, in many ways, the living embodiment of those Third Cinema ideals.
Third Cinema filmmakers, as a rule, strove to speak through their films in a voice that was explicitly their own, that intentionally broke all established rules of both traditional and avant-garde cinema, that was decidedly indigestible by the System (Gabriel, 8, 13, 14; Getino, 116, 124). While there is not any overlap between what distinguishes an actuality pocket film from a branded pocket film, in this instance some branded pocket films can also relate to Third Cinema, but only in the same way that APFs can. Like Third Cinema filmmakers, BPF filmmakers who unintentionally disregard any adherence to the established rules of the traditional cinematic aesthetics, and APF filmmakers, which by definition always already disregard adherence to traditional cinematic aesthetics, both strive to speak with their own voices, voices outside of the established traditional cinematic rules (Gabriel, 6; Getino, 116).
However, because both APFs and BPFs unintentionally disregarding traditional aesthetics, instead, unintentionally adhere to pocket aesthetics since, by definition, pocket films can only either adhere to pocket aesthetics or traditional aesthetics they stand out from previous ideological cinematic movements. Apart from being drastically different from


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First and Second Cinema, this unintentional adherence to the pocket aesthetic sets them apart from the knowing, thoughtful decisions that Third Cinema filmmakers made to actively rebel against established traditional cinematic techniques. This all constitutes APFs and the unintentionally-pocket-aesthetic-adhering BPFs as something beyond the revolutionary, abrasively experimental Third Cinema; a movement I refer to as Pocket Cinema.
Running perpendicular to the numbering system as opposed to adding to the continuum in part because the term Fourth Cinema24 and Fifth Cinema25 have already been claimed by other theorists, in part because of the dramatically different way Pocket Cinema operates, and in part because each numbered cinema can exist under the Pocket Cinema umbrella Pocket Cinema is, in effect, the ideologies of Third Cinema stripped of their needlessly complex structures and self imposed rules and, finally, fully realized26 (Barclay; Peach).
In the end, the Third Cinema movement was largely a bust, reaching only an always-already convinced audience (Mimura, 56; Sarto, 87). Funding dried up, and when their films were not just confiscated by the government, their naive and ill-analytical perspective distanced themselves from their potential audience, and they had little if any tangible influence in any revolutionary actions (Hondo, 340; Mimura, 56-68; Rocha, 13; Sarto 87). Third Cinema failed because Getino, Solanas, and other Third Cinema filmmakers ironically did not follow their own advice: Be receptive to all the people have to offer, and offer the best; or, as Che put it, respect the people by giving them quality (Getino, 124; Sarto, 87). They concerned themselves so much with what they thought their audience needed that they did not take into consideration what their audience wanted, and because of that they lost the opportunity to say anything at all.


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Pocket Cinema, however, picks up where Third Cinema left off, and, to some degree, offers it a reprise27. The living spirit of Third Cinema lives on in any film attempting to portray the world as it really is, attempting to show the truth as best it can (Rocha, 13). Pocket Cinema filmmakers are capable of providing that attempt at truth thanks in a large part to not being locked down by strict aesthetic guidelines. In fact, by virtue of being films that are by definition amateur in nature, shot with low production values and at uncommon angles, their lack of strict adherence to aesthetic guidelines could potentially reawaken and ensnare a spectator (Metz, 257b, 258b; Stam, 766)
Pocket Cinema filmmakers have their handheld cameras, access to digital distribution, and the ability to present their pocket film to someone just by pulling their pocket theater out of their purse or pants. But it is not just the revolutionary technology driving forward Pocket Cinema, but the unwitting desire of everyday people to capture their world, to show others what the world looks like through their eyes. While it is true that the masses may be able to better present their ideas if they were to study traditional cinematic techniques, the world audience is daily becoming more accustomed to the pocket aesthetic, making it easier for them to comprehend. It may be that one way to benefit from the lessons of earlier mistakes and past misfortune is to record them so as to prevent their repetition through exposure and inoculation, it also may be enough, for now, that the masses finally have the tools to make their voices heard, so that now they can learn how to speak, and teach others how to listen (Morrison, 36)


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Part 3: How Films Shape Us
...lam the camera, which points and yet which records.
Christian Metz, 1982
Langue ou Langage
All films create meaning and are capable of disseminating ideologies (Graham, 394). Pocket Cinema films are unlike traditional films in many ways, but the primary thing that sets them apart, the root catalyst for distinguishing between them and traditional films at all, is that Pocket Cinema films are more capable of covertly disseminating ideologies. They are capable of this because spectators do not perceive them to be traditional films. Spectators do not perceive them to be traditional films because they do not interact with them in the same way they do a traditional film. In other words, Pocket Cinema films are not viewed in theaters, or are not possible to imagine being seen in a traditional theater, and are thus not influenced by the theater, all of which inform and shape how the spectator understands the film and its presentation of a filmic reality. When the fundamental ways in which we perceive of and interact with films changes, how they affect us changes too. Because we experience Pocket Cinema films in an all together different way from how we experience traditional films, and because pocket films are not considered to be films or a facet of the cinema in the same way traditional films are, pocket films are able to bypass the emotional and intellectual barriers we have built up between ourselves and the always-already fictional filmic reality presented to us by all films. In other words, pocket films are able to disseminate ideologies more effectively because spectators do not readily understand that they are viewing a film that functions identically to how a traditional film functions, and are thus not prepared to distance themselves from the filmic reality presented in the film the same way they would with a traditional film. In order to discuss how this occurs, it must first


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be established how both traditional film and Pocket Cinema films disseminate ideologies by appearing to be an objectively truthful representation of reality.
Perceptions of Film: Real
All films, from summer blockbusters to indie documentaries to branded pocket films and beyond, are texts, facets of a language, which in ways both large and small spectators allow themselves, knowingly or unknowingly, to identify as real, or an objectively truthful representation of reality (Sanchez-Escalonilla, 81). However obvious it might seem that a film is a coded message, the cinematic apparatus functioning behind the story is all but invisible unless critiqued, the pure spectacle of a moving image hiding the underlying ideologies driving the creation of that image (De Certeau, 35; Metz, 40a, 45a, 47a). Be that aspect the way in which people talk to one another, how a tree appears, or the patterns of a penguin migration, there is always an aspect of a film that appears to be an objectively truthful representation of reality. It treacherously appears to the spectator that the visual sign for cow actually is (rather than represents) the animal, cow (Hall, 78). This, in many ways, is something filmmakers strive for, Miguel de Cervantes himself saying .. .fiction is all the better the more it looks like truth, and gives the more pleasure the more probability and possibility there is about it (Sanchez-Escalonilla, 80, 81).
However, before discussing how a film make us think that what it is showing us is real, how they hide behind a veneer of reality, it must first be established whether or not they are an objectively truthful representation of reality.


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Objectivity and Film
The human brain interprets stimuli and orders it into a comprehendible set of sensations, combining into a gestalt we can call, arguably, reality (Elsaesser, 78, 152, 153). When critical theorist Christian Metz says [a]ll is montage, he is referring to the fact that our lives, our individual interpreted realities, are an unconscious-brain-compiled gestalt of all of the outside stimuli being unconsciously interpreted and made comprehendible (Metz, 32a). The rate at which we perceive time flowing, the spectrum of light we are capable of seeing, the sounds we are able to hear, everything around us is fused into our own individual, mutually exclusive realities. The universe is exploding with gamma rays and hypersonic sounds and microscopic changes in air pressure; all things that are occurring around us, but because even those lucky enough to have a fully able body cannot perceive them, are not a part of our personal realities. This does not, however, mean that microwaves are any less real; it simply means that a human is always only capable of interpreting the world, and ordering it in a comprehendible fashion. It means that a human is incapable of objectivity, by virtue of subjectively interpreting.
What this means for films is that filmmakers, no matter if they are creating films that are documentary or fictional in nature, filter their films through their own unavoidably-subjective human minds well before any spectators are able to filter it through their own unavoidably-subjective human minds (Barthes, 36b). It also means that it is not the content of a film that makes it appear real, but the apparatus by which the film is produced. By making cuts, by juxtaposing certain images, even simply by deciding to start filming at a certain time and stop filming at another, a choice is being made, a manipulation is taking place, and thus the filtered and reconstructed filmed events when eventually projected are no


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longer true to the events as they took place28 (Barthes, 33b; Gabriel, 6; Metz, 31a, 36a, 76a; Metz, 249b; Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28). This projected spectacle is lacking not only the literal depth of the original events, by virtue of being a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional event29, but it is lacking the width and breadth one experiences when walking through the world, from the angle of the sun to the very context in which one finds oneself observing an event at all (Metz, 43a). The full gestalt that is our world can only the simulated, not reproduced. A camera and a microphone are only capable of capturing light and sound, not reality (Metz, 76a; Stam, 757). Because of this, films, like all messages created by humans, are incapable of being objective representations of reality (Foucault,
247). As Metz himself says, [ejvery film is a fiction film (Metz, 249b).
So, if films are not real, if they are not objective representations of reality, how do they make us feel like they are real? They do so by creating meaning, which is formed, as with any language, agentically and in tandem by the text and the reader (Barthes, 218a, 236a, 239a). Meaning is created in film, largely understood to be a form of writing or representation, and thus considered to be a language, along these very guidelines (Barthes, 217-218a; Metz, 40a, 41a, 47a, 76a).
And Finally, the Creation of Meaning
When an object is moved from a closed, silent existence to an oral state (in other words, when something is talked about, written about, projected, or otherwise outwardly represented in any way), the human mind of the listener, of the reader, of the spectator endows that objects mental image with additional meaning (Barthes, 218a). Relating this specifically to film, it was shown in filmmaker and theorist Lev Kuleshovs experiments that


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our brains unconsciously constructs an association and a meaning when shown two disparate but juxtaposed images30 (Metz, 31a, 46a). While there may be meanings or cultural tropes associated with certain images that feel natural to the spectator, no image has an inherent, naturally endowed meaning (Barthes, 218a, 236a; Hall, 78, 83). What this means for film is that, when an object is filmed, projected, and perceived, the spectator has created in tandem with the image a meaning that that image represents, as opposed to that image having an universally established meaning.
Not only is there an intellectual construction of meaning, but, to a certain extent there is a physiologically-informed construction taking place as well (Elsaesser, 78). It is not simply that the way in which cinematic montage functions is much the same way the human mind processes information, but our brains have inside them what are called mirror neurons (Elsaesser, 78, 152, 153). Mirror neurons collapse, bridge or fuse the difference between active and passive, between inside and outside, between Self and Other (Elsaesser, 78). Not only does it appear that our psyches conflate seeing and going, but emotional changes perceived in others, whether on the screen or not, have a tangible mirroring effect on a spectator (Dimberg, 86, 89; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112). That is to that that viewing films not only results in surface level changes, such as changes to a spectators facial expressions, or changes in the spectators body temperature, but also changes to a spectators emotional state (Cooper, 1; Dimberg, 86, 89; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112). Scientific studies have shown that a spectators emotional state can be changed by viewing an emotionally charged facial feature for as little as 30 milliseconds (Dimberg, 86, 89). With this control over the spectators motor mimicry and emotional state, films inform a spectators empathy, compassion, and capacity to emotionally learn, effectively hypnotizing the spectator into a


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state in which they are more willing to create meaning in tandem with a film, mak[ing] us think by making us feel (Dimberg, 86, 89; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112; Sanchez-Escalonilla, 87).
Interaction with Films: Paratexts
The one point of deviation for how meaning is created in traditional films and Pocket Cinema films is the way in which they are physically experienced, i.e. the way in which they are exhibited. Exploring the alternative points of entry that s film, and the cinema as a whole, employs to shape, transform, or distort a spectators sense of self, ideologies, and actions, reveals a dense web of interconnected elements (some of which effecting the spectator well before they enter the theater), blending together (much like a gestalt) to ensnare and influence the spectator (Elsaesser, 41, 67-68, 150). In order to firmly discuss how a film effects spectators, it could appear necessary to differentiate between what is within a text and that which lies outside, or, more specifically, what is part of a filmVa films text, and what is not, i.e. what is a paratext (Elsaesser, 40-41; Greenblatt, 225-226, 227, 228). Culture being as amorphous and realistically impossible to fully fathom as it is, to draw rigid distinction[s] like this would be counterproductive, to say the least (Greenblatt, 227). That is to say that it is of the utmost importance to examine the paratexts, the things related to a film but not the actual film itself, if a complete understanding of a films impact is to be reached (Gabriel, 6). When something as seemingly innocuous as a movie poster can be described as a paratext, the semantic instability (read: uselessness) of maintaining that paratexts have no effect on a films ability to disseminate a message comes into focus (Elsaesser, 40-41, 42). Movie posters are specifically designed to start


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creating images and constructing meaning in a potential spectators mind, and studies show that they succeed in doing so (Baumgartner, 154-160).
Unsurprisingly, the movie theater itself, a paratext spectators literally inhabit, has a notable, tangible effect on the spectator (Elsaesser, 88; Studlar, 215). In the theater, the passive spectator/subject is in a sense objectified by the theater, which immobilizes, surrounds, and holds them captive for an extended period of time (Elsaesser, 88; Studlar, 215). The positioning of the seating, the projector, and the screen conspire to allow the transfixation, the trancelike transposition of the spectator via motor paralysis and the conflation of optical and psychic projections, of real and representational images, through presenting the rooms sole ocular stimuli (Elsaesser, 64, 67, 68). Even the act of entering a theater can have a transformative effect (Elsaesser, 39-40). The spectator transverses a variety of borders, from walking in off the street, through the traversal of the lobby, to the entering of the presentation hall itself, each step further shrouds them in movie-theater-red-velvet (Elsaesser, 39-40). While some push against the apparatus theory view that the theater has such an effect on the spectator, opposing theorists Jonathan Crary and Tom Gunning still discuss the mode of display and address of a film as being instrumental in physically and mentally preparing a spectator for the reception of images and messages (Elsaesser, 69, 70, 88). In other words, the moving through a theater ritualistically allows spectators to begin their process of suspending their disbelief. Even if a film is not seen in a theater, when a film is presented as a traditional film, the spectator simulates the traversal of a theater, layering theater paratext over themselves simply by considering a film something on par with a theatrically-exhibited film.


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Pocket Cinema films are by definition viewed in a way all together unique from traditional theatrical exhibition. They are viewed on smart phones, tablets, the screens on action cameras, laptops, and other pocket theaters. Because they are not viewed after physically moving through a movie theater lobby, but instead viewed anywhere, at any time, Pocket Cinema films are not shrouded by the layers of theater paratexf which inform and shape how the spectator understands the film and its presentation of a filmic reality. In most instances, Pocket Cinema films are viewed without any intention placed on viewing that specific film, but, instead, as a part of a news or picture feed/stream consisting of content uploaded by filmmakers the spectator digitally subscribes to. Just like a lack of advertising in the form of movie posters, this loss of an intentional decision to see the particular film means that Pocket Cinema films are not affected by the way previous knowledge of a traditional film shapes and changes how it is received by the spectator. Because Pocket Cinema films are not shrouded with theater paratexf, the distance at which a spectator holds the filmic reality away from themselves is shortened, because the method of suspension of disbelief that occurs when entering a theater no longer occurs. This results in the images in the Pocket Cinema film to feel closer to an objective representation of a reality.
One other profoundly impactful aspect of viewing a film in a theatrical setting, one that is frequently overlooked (primarily because it is designed to be invisible), is sound design (Collins, 284, 285; Power, 112). For spectators to most readily find themselves drawn into the film, filmmakers need to realistically map out where and when sounds occur in relation to the action on the screen and the auditory map of a generalized concept of a theater31 (Collins, 285). Pocket Cinema films cannot rely on this, being limited to exclusive exhibition on pocket theaters. Because pocket theaters do not have surround sound, instead


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generally just having low powered, treble heavy speakers, Pocket Cinema films do not even sound like traditional films, allowing spectators to code them as something entirely different. The professional sound quality paratexf present in traditional films clues in spectators to the fact that what they are watching has been professionally produced, a signifier that is lacking when spectators watch a Pocket Cinema Film. Again, the apparent lack of a heavily produced product makes the Pocket Cinema Film feel more real.
The quality of the film stock also plays a significant role. The professional film stock paratexf is draped around traditional films in much the same way the professional sound quality paratexf is. Spectators have adapted to be able to recognize professional film stock, presumably with concessions and contextualizations being made for traditional films from the earlier days of film when film stock was not as crisp and clear as modern day film stock (Stam, 766). Some filmmakers know, however, that lower grade film stock has the effect of appearing more real, using 8mm film stock or handheld cameras for aesthetic reasons as well as budgetary, all of which suggesting] that [the appearance of being] nonfiction is tethered to specific types of visual representation (Rhodes, 8; Rock). Pocket Cinema films, by definition, are not shot on professional film stock, and as with the other missing paratexts, unbridled as they are by the absent professional film stock paratexf, they too suggest the appearance of objective reality.
Why This Matters: We Will Control the Horizontal. We Will Control the Vertical.
The reason this matters is because the uncritical spectator is unaware of the aforementioned text/reader meaning-creation relationship, and thus does not see it as a semiological system but as an inductive one (Barthes, 242a). In other words, in the mind of


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the uncritical spectator, images and their meanings appear to be naturally linked, as opposed to constructed (Barthes, 242a; Hall, 78; Metz, 37a). Linking an image and a meaning so that the link appears to be natural is accomplished, first, through the intentional production/linking of an image and a meaning by a filmmaker, the distribution/circulation of this linked image/message, the exhibition and subsequent consumption/reading of it, and its being reproduced/spread by readers32 (Hall, 78, 79, 80).
This is the way ideological messages are successfully disseminated and entrenched into society, through spectators successfully understanding an intended image/message link as natural, and reproducing and distributing these image/messages, further naturalizing their link (Hall, 78, 79, 82, 83, 85). If for some reason spectators do not decode the message meaningfully, i.e. understand the way the image/message link producers intended, and consequently do not reproduce and distribute said image/message link to other potential spectators, then it does not take hold either in the spectators themselves, nor society at large (Hall, 79, 85). Though this system is not inherently nefarious, since all intelligible discourses and methods of information and ideology dissemination operate in this manner, it is rife with opportunities for exploitation (Hall, 81, 82). Not only can the constructed nature of these messages be shrouded by their perceived natural status, but, simply by this being the ordinary method of discourse operation, the very processes by which the messages are naturalized are too concealed (Hall, 81, 82). In relation to Pocket Cinema films, because the images appearing in Pocket Cinema films appear to be more real, the naturalized meaning of the images is more likely to be successfully understood, meaning the ideologies present in the images have a greater likelihood of being disseminated.


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It then becomes a question of who or from where the naturalized messages which shape society coming from. The answer is, simply, those who have the tools to produce, distribute, and exhibit messages (Barthes, 251a, 252a, 253a; Getino, 122). Barthes writes that it is the bourgeoisie producing these images, these naturalized representations setting the standards by which humans should interact with one another and the world at large (Barthes, 251a, 252a, 253a). In short, the media produces naturalized image/message links.
Films, music, television, books, these products shape individuals identities, constitute a societys common culture, and to a certain extent are misperceived as cultural pedagogy (Kellner, 7, 8). If it was not already evident, the language used in media can have a profound effect on peoples everyday lives. Those creating these images have the ability to disseminate power-related ideologies between disparate groups, ideologies naturalized and seemingly justified through wide and pervasive circulation/distribution and their subsequent consumption and reproduction by spectators (Hall, 78; Kellner, 7, 8, 9). With media directing culture in this way, ideologies of domination and subordination can appear simply as the societys common (or popular) culture, or as a part of their traditional cultural institutions, as opposed to indoctrinated oppression (Kellner, 9). The efficacy of this indoctrination is increased when the messages justify the spectators already entrenched values and beliefs (Radway, 6).
Because so many barriers between the ideologies embedded in Pocket Cinema films have been stripped away, there is an enormous risk of negative, prejudiced, harmful messages to take hold in a Pocket Cinema spectator. But there is an equal risk that positive, loving, supportive messages can take hold. That ideologies are more easily disseminated


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through Pocket Cinema films is not an inherently good or bad thing, it is simply a facet of the movement that needs to be addressed and considered.
The opportunity that Pocket Cinema provides is the chance for everyday people to finally be in control of the images, messages, and ideologies that are being produced, distributed, exhibited, and consumed. This not only means that Pocket Cinema filmmakers will be in control of the messages that are being disseminated, but that they will be better equipped to parse and understand images linked with messages. It also means that these filmmakers will personally better understand their own mutually exclusive reality through examining the world with their own cameras, and will thus be better equipped to understand the realities of other fellow filmmakers. Watching someone elses Pocket Cinema film is the equivalent of looking through their eyes, seeing how someone else would order the world. At the very least, the lesson learned when we view another persons Pocket Cinema film is that there is an altogether separate way to view the world, and that its just as valid as
how we see it.


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CHAPTER III
ANALYSIS OF POCKET FILMS
Part 1: General Film Theory and the Feature Pocket Film
No matter how skillful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity.
-Andre Bazin (1945)
Image, Power, and the Liminal Space
Pocket films, by virtue of being films, are capable of being read in the exact same way as traditional films. Most pocket films do not have the same runtime as traditional films, most do not have comparable budgets, and most do not strive for the same level of prestige in the cinematic art world. While these differences do not, however, make a pocket film any less a film, feature pocket films, specifically, are designed specifically to appear as though they are traditional films, having similar run times and reaching for similar accolades, the only major difference being that they were shot on a pocket camera. Through examining an FPF with general film theory, we can better understand that spectators construct meaning with a pocket film the same way they would a traditional film, with exploitation of the liminal space between filmic reality and spectatorial reality, exploitation of voyeuristic pleasure, and exploitation of how our brains perceive motion when shown static images passing by at over 24 frames a second.
The foundations of film theory were bom as soon as filmmakers and spectators started examining films as something more than an objective capturing of reality. With the birth of the cinema heralding a return to an age when (written) language had not yet positioned itself between (human) existence and (face-to-face) communication, so with it came the yearning to understand how film, like other linguistic forms, functioned (Bazin,
309; Elsaesser, 59). While early film theorists like Andre Bazin, musing on how film


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operated, would write that the cameras mechanical photographic reproduction allowed for the world to be realistically and objectively captured without the creative intervention of man, this hypothesis clearly an impossibility, considering the fact that, to name just a few choices inherent in a films creation, humans created that specific camera, picked the position from which to shoot the film, and edited the footage, leaving their figurative fingerprints on every surface along the creative path (Bazin, 309). However, Bazin himself would admit that the camera cannot capture everything all at once, and that either by editing shots together, or choosing to allow a single static shot to remain on the screen, the filmmakers choice unavoidably evokes meaning and emotion within the spectator33 (Bazin, 309, 312-313, 316, 321).
In an attempt to avoid forging a theory of film that is seen as exterior or superior to film, or one which seemingly grants theorist an advantage over film, film theorists have attempted to speak with (and through) films, where communication with and creation of a films meaning and aesthetic presence [has become a] two-way processes between the spectator and the film (Elsaesser, 49, 113). While there are many different schools of thought on how to read films, many of which outlined in Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hageners book Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses (2009), there is a golden thread running through many of them, one which lends itself to a cursory understanding of the foundations of the multitude of cinematic lenses that exist, such as cinema as window and door, or cinema as mirror and face, and so on.
First and foremost, it should be understood that film is a technology and an artifact which should not be mistaken for real life (Elsaesser, 55). The images on the screen are representations; illusions provided by a series of free roaming, invisible, potentially-ever-


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present prosthetic eyes mechanically extending human perception (Elsaesser, 84, 94, 100). The dynamic square of the screen on which these images are projected functions as a cover, a threshold, an interface, or a permeable liminal space between the spectator and the artificial and constructed filmic reality (Elsaesser, 35, 38, 111, 115). A spectator negotiating this liminal space accepts a contract with the film, in which they consent to figuratively entering a filmic reality (which itself yearns to be exposed and displayed), accepting its rules, and allowing themselves to be transported from one ontological or temporal realm to another all while retaining an awareness of entry and transition (Elsaesser, 35, 50, 54, 111, 115-16). Plainly, spectators suspend their disbelief, accepting the fictional world the film is presenting as a defacto reality that they figuratively inhabit while watching.
Presupposed by theorists evocation of the image of a threshold or liminal space is the existence of two worlds, two directions, two sides between which this linking border lies (Elsaesser, 35-36, 37). If the screen were a fully permeable membrane, there would be no difference between the two sides, between the spectators reality and the filmic reality (Elsaesser, 39). Thus, the moveable, flexible screen sieves and releases, protects and opens, gives and takes, all to the benefit of allowing the liminal space between the two worlds to become all the more inhabitable for the two sides (Elsaesser, 39, 54). This is accomplished through a films manipulation of voyeuristic and scopophilic power, and through the weaving, or suturing, of the spectator into the narrative (Elsaesser, 53, 103).
We see this concept of a liminal space, and the transgression of liminal spaces, examined in Sean Bakers feature pocket film, Tangerine (2015). In Tangerine we follow transgender sex workers Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya


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Taylor), and their taxi-driving occasional-John/friend Razmik (Karren Karagulian) through what for others may seem like an uncommon Christmas Eve. Over the course of ninety minutes, the audience is shown these three struggle with their identities, and try to find their place in the world.
When Sin-Dee, at the beginning of the film freshly released from a 28-day prison sentence, discovers her boyfriend and pimp Chester (James Ransone) has been cheating on her with a cisgendered woman named Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan), she spends the rest of the film in a frenzied attempt to track down Dinah, take her to Chester, and confront the two. Sin-Dee becomes incensed beyond reason when she hears the cisgendered Dinah has taken her place, showing that she is insecure about her status as a real woman in the eyes of the patriarchal power structure. She talks with Alexandra about how god has cursed her with a penis, she uses the term fish when talking about Dinah, a derogatory term used against transwomen who pass for female, in an attempt to put herself on more equal footing with Dinah, and she becomes more violent when, in the second act of the film, she succeeds in finding Dinah, and Dinah says a few choice transphobic phrases. Any reference to her life as a transwoman infuriates her, much more so then when it happens to Alexandra by two police officers, Alexandra appearing to just brush it off. Although a misgendering, especially by authority figures of any sort, would still have very real and emotionally significant effects on Alexandra, the film does do work to differentiate between how Alexandra handles those situations and how Sin-Dee does, in service of distinguishing between the two womens identity struggles.
Alexandra, who is introduced in the films opening scene as a loving, caring friend to Sin-Dee, tags along with Sin-Dee on the first half of her search for Dinah, all while


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promoting her solo vocal performance, which occurs two thirds the way through the film. At each stop, after Sin-Dee gets the information she needs, Alexandra puts fliers into the hands of those spoken with, and makes them promise to see her that night. She is struggling with her identity as a sex worker, and is, as should not be too surprising noting that the location of the film is Hollywood, trying to reimagine herself as a budding performer, an identity which appears to be more glamorous, though arguably consists of the same body-selling framework as her current position.
Razmik is shown almost exclusively in two settings: his cab, and his apartment. At home, his family, somewhat talking about him as if he is not there, almost exclusively talks to him about his job, the money he brings in, and how well he is meeting their standards of a family man. In his cab we see him transporting people from all walks of life, some of them talkative, other silent. He listens attentively, but is never shown authentically connecting with even his more talkative clientele. When he has a moment for himself, he is consumed with picking up a transgender female sex worker, at one point mistakenly picking a cisgendered woman, and throwing her out of his car when he discovers his mistake. Razmik is struggling, primarily, with his identity as a father, husband, and head of household, avoiding the opportunity to spend time with them during their Christmas celebrations so as try to spend time with Sin-Dee and Alexandra.
By the end of the film all three are left in the same liminal state they were in at the start, unable to negotiate their in-between state to any sort of satisfactory degree. No one other than Sin-Dee chooses to see Alexandras performance, which, as it turns out, Alexandra had to pay the club owner for the honor of, dashing any immediate hopes at stardom. Sin-Dee, in attempting to pick up clients in the last scene of the film, has urine thrown on her and


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transphobic slurs slung at her, reaffirming her liminal state between how society sees her as a man and how she wished they see her. And Razmik is drug back to his house by his mother-in-law and wife after they discover his late night escapades, denying him his attempt to transgress domestic life. The equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming ending, with Alexandra letting Sin-Dee borrow her wig while Sin-Dees is being cleaned of urine, tells us that, while we may forever be stuck in a liminal space of some sort, love and companionship, friendship and compassionate people can help make the liminal spaces easier to bear. It humanizes and endears us to those in liminal spaces, making it easier for the spectator to identify with not only the characters, but the concept of liminality. Alexandra knows Sin-Dee struggles with her gender identity more than she does, so she lets Sin-Dee borrow her wig, allowing Sin-Dee can feel closer to normal during a traumatic time. Razmik is not given this sort of resolution, because, through his own choosing or otherwise, he does not have someone he can be truthful with, that he can share his struggle with, and he does not allow others to share theirs with him. He is closed off from the nature of his liminal existence, and it is that disavowal that disallows him resolution.
Beyond the obvious theme of gender identity, the other major themes of the film are themselves strictly about the negotiation between two seemingly disparate spheres, and liminal space between them. Tangerine explores through Sin-Dee and Chesters relationship the tenuous line between romantic sex and exploitative sex. Sin-Dee herself exemplifies the struggle to define the line between imprisonment and freedom, in that her first act as a free woman is to renegotiate the terms of her veritable indentureship with Chester. Alexandra struggles with where to draw the line between friendship and emotional-abuser with Sin-Dee, just as they both struggle to draw the line between friendship and clientele with Razmik.


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Razmiks complex sexuality, though only implicitly discussed, presents the fluidity that any sexual being can have through presenting his desire not only for the exploitative and trans-fetishizing intimacy he wishes to share with Sin-Dee, but through showing that he has children, possibly implying that he has desires for intimacy with cisgendered women as well (Doane, 426). It must be established how voyeuristic power, scopophilic power, and the theory of suture function to understand how these themes of transgression, and the evocation of liminal spaces suture the spectator into the narrative, thus allowing for the messages of the film to more easily be read and comprehended by the spectator.
Voyeuristic and Scopophilic Power
In the phenomenon of a spectator transgressing the liminal space between spectatorial reality and filmic reality, we are granted the prosthetic experience of human ontogenesis (Elsaesser, 89). In other words, we are offered the opportunity to see the creation of the spectator as subject (Elsaesser, 89). The spectators eye is a passive, reactive organ of truth, which is not to imply that it sees and comprehends an objective truth of any sort, but that it is open and potentially receptive to the truths (i.e. messages) presented by the film (Elsaesser, 82). This voyeuristic, omnipotent, disembodied eye is free of any responsibility or direction in relation to their bodily or corporeal presence in a given space or at a given time (Elsaesser, 85).
Tangerine is a film that is, in part, about images, and who is in control of them. This theme allows spectators to easily slip into the role of a masochistic, submissive voyeur, watching others enact control over their own images without any regard for the spectators wishes. Narratively, the battle over self-image takes center stage, the camera being present


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in intimate moments both large in small, from showing a taxi passenger taking selfies with a large smile and Santa hat, examining them after removing the hat and assuming a more reserved countenance, to showing Razmik, dejected, moping in his dark living room after being dragged back to his home, eyes fixed on the lit up hallway leading to the bedroom he shares with his wife. The cinematography is also not found lacking in adhering to this theme of voyeurism. The camera is, thankfully, fairly free of any objectification of our two female protagonists, but it does not shy away from examining their lives and bodies, and the lives and bodies of others. It pans and mirrors with great exuberance Sin-Dees rapid motions through the streets of Hollywood, keen to keep in pace with her, careful not to lose sight. When Alexandra sings her song in the nightclub, the camera eagerly pulls in close, and provides several static shots of just her and the red curtains behind her, isolating her in her most vulnerable state. Stopped in his taxi, when Razmik is preparing to perform fellatio on the cisgendered woman he has picked up, the camera quickly swoops in with him to investigate her genitalia, pulling back to show his reaction when he discovers that she is, in fact, cisgendered.
This seemingly-limitless, privileged, penetrative point of convergence that is the eye presupposes a distance between the spectator and the filmic reality, allowing spectatorial seeing to operate as a pure act of ocular perception, which has the potential power to promise34 mastery or possession over the images (Elsaesser, 83, 85; Metz, 252b, 253b, 254b). One form of this scopophilic power derives from this pleasurable sensation of mastery through looking (Mulvey, 1175). However, this sense of power is undercut by the fact that the eye does not literally master or posses the filmic images, it is the external gaze of the camera that is in control of the images on the screen, a rupturing of the symbolic order


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within the eye of the spectator (Elsaesser, 103; Metz, 253b). It is in this way that the spectator is kept at arms length (Elsaesser, 37). In order for the unavoidably-masochistic spectator to become a true voyeur, one that derives scopophilic pleasure, the spectator must be denied orgasmic release (i.e. true mastery or possession of the image), as this release would destroy the boundaries of disavowal and disrupt the magical thinking that defines [their] oral, infantile, and narcissistic use of the cinematic object (Rodowick, 187; Studlar, 215).
Although the narrative and cinematography within Tangerine play with themes of voyeurism, that it is a film at all allows its voyeuristic nature to shine through. The spectator at no time is able to control or direct the action of the camera, so when the characters experience emotional and physical discomfort, or simply an awkward moment that the spectator would rather not be a part of, they are denied the reins, forced to watch the events unfold. The only power present within the spectator is the power to turn off the film, which would only further the masochistic-denial of any resolution, any relief, any release, resulting in the same sort of masochistic pleasure derived from submitting to the whims of the film.
The other form of scopophilic pleasure derives from a narcissistic, ego-constituting identification with the image (Mulvey, 1175). Through image-identification, spectators strive to capture the imagined gaze of the Other (either the gaze of another character in the film or the gaze of the camera on a specific image within the film), to attempt self-examination (to the extent that it becomes self-incrimination), all in service of composing an always-unavoidably-constructed self identity (Elsaesser, 65, 66, 67, 84, 89, 110). Here too is a masochistic denial of orgasmic release, as the spectator, doomed by the fact that any act of identification with a filmic image is rooted in the misrecognition of absence as a


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presence, will never truly find their (literally absent) body reflected in the film (Elsaesser,
56, 63,65, 66, 67; Studlar, 215).
In Tangerine, Sin-Dee, Alexandra, and Razmik all offer a different sort of relatable struggle with which a spectator can identify. Be it a struggle with an issue thrust upon us without our consent, as with Sin-Dee and her struggles with gender dysphoria, a struggle with negotiating our futures and the choices yet to be made, as with Alexandra trying to reinvent herself, or a struggle with the choices we have already made, as with Razmik and his discontent with the choice to become a family man. The masochistic pleasure derived from this identification is rooted in the fact that, any identification with these characters is always-already flawed, in that, plainly, the spectator literally is not any one of those characters, no matter how similar their struggle.
Editing, Suture, and Gestalt
While plot, sound, and mise-en-scene play an enormous role in drawing the spectator into a film, to understand the first steps taken to weave the spectator into the narrative, it must first be established how editing, specifically in relation to the montage, effects the them (Elsaesser, 53; Eisenstein, 27, 34, 39). In film, it is the spectators minds ability to create a gestalt of the still frames passing in front of the projector, usually at up to or over 24 frames per second, which produces the illusion of motion (Elsaesser, 22; Eisenstein, 27). In other words, the spectator does not perceive a series of static, non-identical images flickering past their eyes, which is what is actually happening, but, instead, perceives a three-dimensional moving image, an image that melts and merges the static, disparate images appearing one on


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top of the other into one steady, unbroken projection35 (Elsaesser, 22; Eisenstein, 27). This is, simply, how film fundamentally functions (Elsaesser, 22).
It is the synthesis brought on by this combining, this colliding, this clashing together of singular, already almost abstract images which affords film the opportunity to appear to capture the complex totality of the world (Elsaesser, 24-25; Eisenstein, 23, 39). In the right hands, this gestalt effect can be wielded, through a series of calculated pressures on [the] psyche, to have a specific effect on the spectator (Elsaesser, 25). Eisenstein believed that the tension, the pressure, the intensity of a shot and its potential impression is determined by the degree of incongruity between one frame and the next, with an increase in incongruity resulting in an increased impression (Eisenstein, 27).
However, it is not simply through the creation of a shot, or the collision of nonidentical images, that create meaning in film. Eisenstein believed that the cinematic equivalent of linguistic tropes, metaphors, and synecdoches could be divined through the collision of conflicting, independent shots (Elsaesser, 26, 27; Eisenstein, 26, 38). In other words, a montage (Eisenstein, 26). As with Barthes construction of myth in written and spoken language (a sign, itself comprised of a signified and a signifier, coming together with a new signified to create myth), so too in the construction of montage are two concrete things (shots, themselves comprised of frames colliding) set against each other produce an abstract concept (the montage) (Barthes, 53, 54; Eisenstein, 27; Elsaesser, 151).
Although the film is ordering the shots, each individual, tendentious shot evokes conflicting associations within the conditioned, cognitive spectator, whose job it is then to synthesize and draw meaning from their collision, further deepening the relationship between film and spectator (Elsaesser, 26, 27; Eisenstein, 38; Reeves, 58). Montage shows that, like a


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Buddhist koan, a films meaning is not present in the film, but is constructed in the mind of the spectator through their communication with the film (Bazin, 315, 316).
An example of this can be found in the opening scene of what is largely considered the first feature pocket film, Patrick Gilles and Hooman Khalilis Olive (2011) (Orzeck ). In the first moments of the film, Olive (Ruby Alexander), titular character, is shown in tree, in a backyard garden, when Motor Cycle Driver (Brian Kehoe) approaches, sits on a log, and begins to fiddle with an empty cup. Olive fools with a radio she has slung around her shoulder, through which two radio hosts (played by real life radio hosts Sarah Clark and Vinnie Hasson) discuss how the seasons are no longer changing, how Mother Nature is falling down on the job. Reacting to this statement, Motor Cycle Driver raises his eyebrows and asks Olive if she heard the hosts. Seconds before, Olive had climbed down, walked over to a lemon tree where a caterpillar was resting on a leaf, and wrapped her hands around the insect. She screwed up her face in concentration, as if performing some difficult action. As Clarks radio host directly called out Mother Nature, Olive moved her hands back, revealing a cocoon before wrapping her hands back around the leaf. Once Motor Cycle Driver asks her is she heard what Clarks radio host was saying, Olive screws up her face in deep determination, before opening her hands again, this time to reveal a monarch butterfly. The butterfly flies off, and Olive sways back and forth with a satisfied look on her face.
To any seasoned cinephile, the scene is easy to interpret. Through the juxtaposition of the radio hosts talking about Mother Nature, and Olive appearing to have the power to move a caterpillar from larvae to chrysalis to fully grown adult butterfly, the glaring implication is that Olive is, or at least has the powers of, Mother Nature. The spectator barely needs Motor Cycle Drivers immediate next line, calling her actions a magic trick,


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to further link her determined face and cupped hands to the metamorphosis of the rhopalocera. The real magic trick, here performed by directors Gilles and Khalili, is that of montage.
The spectator is not directly told or shown, in the moments before Motor Cycle Driver discusses her magic trick, that Olive is actively performing any tasks. The only information that the spectator is given is that Olive is listening to the radio, that there is a caterpillar on a leaf, and that when she wraps her hands around that caterpillar, screws up her face, and opens her hands, the caterpillar has been replaced by the next stage in butterfly metamorphosis. The spectator is not directly told that this is not how butterflies normally metamorphose, that Olive is playing any role in this change, or that, if she is, she is somehow related to Mother Nature. It is through the juxtaposition of the image of her hands wrapping around the leaf, the image of her screwed up face, and the radio hosts discussing Mother Nature that allows the spectator to combine these parts to divine Olives potential celestial nature.
Furthermore, in the montage also lies the possibility for a spectator to receive masochistic pleasure (Silverman, 221). Inherent in the concept of the illusion of motion being captured through a psychological synthesis of non-identical static frames is the fact that there is a literal lack of recorded time between each frame. Not only that, but the camera focusing on one thing leaves off screen literally every other thing that could be filmed (Silverman, 222). Every cut further accentuates this, by showing the spectator a different scene, and, as a result, exiling the focus of the previous scene to the off-screen world (Silverman, 222, 223). When the camera moves from Olives hands to show her concentrating, to the Motor Cycle Driver, and back to her hands, the spectator submissively


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accepts the promise of the film that these events are playing back in real time. The magic of Olives trick would be lost if the spectator were to lose this trust, because for all the audience knows, when off screen, Olive may be switching out the larvae for a chrysalis, or there may be more time passing in this garden than the spectator is lead to believe. Or when, in Tangerine, the camera cuts from Sin-Dee, on her rampage through town, to Alexandra, walking the street, the spectator is left to assume that Sin-Dee is continuing on her way off screen, as opposed to filing her taxes, or cooking stirfry.
Like with the masochistic scopophilic pleasure, this teasing of substance and lack draws the spectator further in, the spectator desiring for the lack to be filled, and being presented only with a new lack with each new shot (Silverman, 223, 228). Film theorist Kaja Silverman believes that with the spectators growing desire to insert meaning into this lack or liminal space between shots, scenes, and sequences allows the filmmaker to insert new ideologies with which the spectator can commune can be introduced (Silverman, 234). She calls this move suture (Silverman, 234).
This is accomplished thanks to a conflation within the spectator of their own gaze and the gaze of the camera (Elsaesser, 89-90). When the film cuts from one shot to another, not only is the spectator denied the pleasure of mastery over an image, as exampled above, but also the spectator is made doubly aware that they are not even in control over where the gaze is focused (Elsaesser, 89-90). In Tangerine, when Baker cuts away from the largely similar and static shots of Alexandra singing her song to the nervous, wandering camera floating around Razmiks apartment, to the seductive and hazy bathroom scene with Sin-Dee making-over Dinah, the spectator is reminded that, in the same way that these three characters are not


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in control of their lives, the spectator is not in control of either the actions of these characters, nor their window into this filmic reality. The spectator can neither possess nor point.
On top of this, through breaking the natural flow of how the spectators eyes and mind function, the cut always brings the hidden machinery of the cinema to the surface, risking exposure (Elsaesser, 90). Proponents of suture theory claim that this potential loss within the spectator, the loss of being able to easily conflate their gaze with that of the camera, is sutured through the use of editing techniques, such as match-cuts, specifically ones which deviate from 30-35 to no more than 180 to one side of the original shot (Elsaesser, 90, 91). Opponents disagree, claiming that this rigid metaphysical theory has been proven neither experimentally nor empirically, insisting instead that the narrative comprehension of a scene sutures the gaze of the camera and spectator back together (Elsaesser, 90, 91, 92). Either way, be it through technical camera work and editing or through narrative, both sides agree that the trauma caused by a cut must be sutured in some fashion, and that it is with this suturing that messages can be injected into the liminal space that lies between the spectatorial reality and the filmic reality (Elsaesser, 89-93).
By keeping spectators in a pleasurable limbo through allowing them to cyclically and voyeuristically receive, and conversely be denied, scopophilic power in these ways, as well as allowing for the masochistic suturing of the spectators and the cameras gazes, the liminal space between the filmic reality and the spectatorial reality is teased open, affording a place for the spectator to create meaning in tandem with the film, and the filmmaker to attempt to insert their own ideologies. Through both technical cinematic prowess and narrative cohesion, Baker crafts a tale urging for compassion for those in liminal spaces, for those transgressing the arbitrary lines drawn by society. He does so not only through presenting


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humanized, compassionate characters with which nearly any spectator can identify, but through shots which respect the bodies of the characters by not objectifying them, and through being sympathetic to their emotional difficulties by matching the characters passion and mood.


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Part 2: Feminist Film Theory and the Branded Pocket Film
...the man looks, the woman is being looked at.
Laura Mulvey, 1975
Signification and Objectification
To review, the movie camera is simply a tool, a machine that captures images (Doane, 86). The cinema, where the images are shown to the spectator, is where those images take on meaning (Doane, 86). The spectator collaborates with the images, gaining voyeuristic pleasure from this identity-corroborating relationship, from this cooperative production of self-affirming meaning (Doane, 86; Mulvey, 1177). It is self-affirming because the spectator is, according to feminist film scholars, a masculine-coded sex-neutral subject, viewing films created by a cinematic apparatus constructed by men for male spectators, films that do nothing if not reinforce the pervasive patriarchal power structure (Elsaesser, 95; Haskell, 363; Kaplan, 122).
While images alone, just like words/linguistic signs, are arbitrary36, film, like the written word, produces meaning through the articulation of signifying elements (Cowie,
49; Saussure, 843). So when patriarchal society started communicating not with words, but with moving pictures, the same misogynistic hierarchical-reaffirming signs and linguistic methods familiar in the written word translated over (Cowie, 49; Doane, 87). The method of communication changed, the language did not.
The physical conditions inherent in watching a movie (the very act of being stationary and looking at a screen) coupled with the technological innovations and narrative conventions common to film gives rise to an instinctual scopophilic pleasure, pleasure derived from using another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight
(Mulvey, 1174, 1175, 1177). To accomplish this, the spectator disavows the cameras look


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... in order to create a convincing world in which [their]... surrogate can perform with verisimilitude (Mulvey, 1180). These narrative conventions in film, as with narrative conventions in other forms of text, work to signify women as the male other; they are silent objects, the bearer, not maker of meaning that through the male spectators command over can be imposed with his fantasies and obsessions (Mulvey, 1172). Women are, due to the sensual nature of film (some argue), unavoidably displayed solely to be looked at, either as an erotic object for the characters in the film, for the camera, or for the presumed male spectator (Haskell, 345; Mulvey, 1175, 1176). This possessive male gaze37 perceives and represents the image of a woman either sadistically as a demystified, punished, or rescued object, or voyeuristically as a fetishized, satisfying, reassuring as opposed to dangerous -object (Elsaesser, 86, 95-96; Haskell, 340; Kaplan, 121; Mulvey, 1177; Studlar, 213). Curtis Lepore and Jessi Smiles film When your girl says shes pregnant (2013) exemplifies these qualities.
Misogyny in a Moment
Setting up a successful six-second film means loading every moment with as much information as possible. Establishing mise-en-scene, like with traditional films, is paramount to the successful dissemination of a message. With Pocket Films, the drastically shorter length of the film, if anything, begs the spectator to imbue intentionality, and thus importance, into every visual sign, regardless of any actual intentionality on the part of the filmmakers. The first few frames of WYGSSP are already dripping with intentional imagery.
The room the film takes place in is one of familiar comfort. Jessi and Curtis are laying in bed, surrounded by cozy pillows and a light, soft, pearl-white blanket. They have a


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bed frame, which in and of itself is a sign of some level of sophistication, bed frames technically being an unnecessary commodity, especially among young adults. This deep brown, stylish bed frame is one of few other things in the room, and it acts, along with an open white door creating a shadow just on the corner of the screen, as a way to visually distinguish between the stark white pillows and the blank white walls behind the couple.
That the walls are blank also adds to the scene in a variety of ways. The only color in the film that is not white or brown is Jessis orange shirt, where the eventual violent action of the film is directed, and by filming in this room and setting it up as such, our eyes are immediately drawn to her, where the focus stays throughout the films duration. The blank walls also provide a sense of familiarity. This room not only looks like many blank, white American rooms, but it allows the spectator to easily insert themselves in the scene. Art work of any sort on the walls would immediately alienate at least a handful of viewers who either cannot afford art, do not want to put up art, or do not share the same taste. By leaving the walls blank, drawing all focus away from the room, Jessi and Curtis are further able to control the viewers gaze.
This orange shirt, as well as Curtis shirt, plays a large role in setting scene. The two are wearing pajamas with signs meant to endear the viewer to their quirky sensibilities.
Curtis is lying on his back next to her, his bed-shirt adorned with a boxy brown bear wearing tape-repaired black-rimmed glasses. His shirt is meant to appear both as average and unique. It is a shirt with a screen-printed image that is itself not readily recognizable. There is no brand or brand-unique design, but unique small batch screen printed shirts are at this point a common occurrence (now that the tools for screen printing have also been somewhat more democratized), something easily obtained, but devoid of any specific cultural calling card.


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Screen-printed shirts portray ones flair, as it were, while at the same time being the same thing that every easy-going everyman would own. Long gone are the '/'was the Night Before Christmas cap and button up shirt; Curtis is easily recognized by viewers as just one of the guys.
Jessi is wearing an oversized t-shirt bearing, in turquoise lettering, the Florida Dolphins fan slogan I [heart symbol with the Florida Dolphins football team logo imposed over it] Football. By wearing this shirt with no detectable trace of irony, she is telling her presumed male viewers that shes also one of the guys, that she is an honorary man (Deutscher, 33). Also implied is that she may be wearing one of Curtis t-shirts, coding her then as being marked by her man has his property. This pandering is exacerbated by the amount of makeup she is wearing. Makeup not being in and of itself a bad thing, the scenario we are witnessing is presumably taking place as the two wake up. Plainly, it is beyond expectation that anyone would wake up with their makeup as expertly done as Jessi does in this scene. The combination of these two images, the shirt and the make up, creates the patriarchal ideal woman: marked as owned, or at the very least, coded as someone who does not take interest in feminine things, but is stereotypically feminine and made up the second she wakes up.
In the juxtaposition of the image of Curtis and the image of Jessi we are immediately made aware of the presence in this film of the patriarchal structures defining the lines between genders. With the goal of the patriarchy being the continual subordination of women, due in part to the desire within men to dominate women so as to transcend their alienation from the means of the reproduction of the species, it is no surprise to witness, even in a film such as this, the cinematic language being wielded as a tool of subordination


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(Scott, 1058, 1067). With the creation of the concept of gender38, the patriarchy linguistically casts an all-media-pervasive method of signifying relationships of power which, after achieving the dominant position, was established as natural and inevitable, as though it came into form not through ideology or conflict but through social consensus (Scott, 1067, 1068).
Because of a lack of interest in potential differentiation among men and women, women are largely erased or unconsidered in all forms of language39 through the insistence of an unavoidably-masculine-coded sex-neutral subject, ignorantly intended to stand in for any gendered individual (Deutscher, 26, 27, 28, 29, 39, 40). However, when the colonial patriarchal power structure does deign to describe the female gender, it insists they are a deficient, frail, inconsistent, atrophic, complimentary opposite, or negative image, of the masculine reference point (Deutscher, 27, 28, 29, 30, 39; Duncan, 303; Elsaesser, 97;
Irigaray, 69, 70). As a result, the masculine identity becomes coded with positive signs, such as that of reason, strength, discipline, and civic responsibility (Deutscher, 28). Any threat to this dichotomy and this signification of women, inscribed onto every woman, threatens the structure of the cultures and societies built upon said power dynamic (Cowie, 48; Irigaray,
77; Scott, 1073).
We readily see this present in WYGSSP. Curtis is portrayed as simple and reserved, his clothing colors matching his surroundings, his sensible brown hair cut close to his head, his splayed-out, restful, unconcerned position exuding confidence, strength, and comfort in his environment. With her Curtis-referencing negative-image presentation40, Jessis long blonde hair, her forward-bent positioning41, and her active, awake visage, this disrupter, this


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veritable-troublemaking-catalyst stands in stark contrast and compliment to the rigid disciplined figure beside her (Elsaesser, 97).
Jessis make up is of particular interest, because the filmmakers made an explicit effort to sexualize what is, perhaps the most easily sexualizable feature of Jessi in this video42. This sexualization of her face, a move arguably unnecessary to the plot of the film, serves solely to objectify Jessi in a way that does not get in the way of the plot, but nonetheless entices the male gaze. This is not an uncommon move in cinema.
The dehumanizing reduction of the female gender to a sign in a patriarchal system of exchange, in which men not only figuratively and linguistically but literally exchange women (i.e. exogamy), positions women not as operators of the system, but the objects with which the system operates (Cowie, 52, 53, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 63). Feminist scholar Catherine MacKinnon believes that the primary form of this objectification, this subjugation of women, within the patriarchal system is that of sexual objectification, the putting into place womens sexuality and sexual agency (Cowie, 59, 60, 61; Mercer, 437; Scott, 1058). In other words, by needlessly sexualizing and objectifying Jessi, the filmmakers preemptively discredit her role as a subject in the events to come.
Pregnancy and Body Genres
The images of these two figures in their bedclothes are disrupted by a third image: Jessis swollen abdomen. This sign of her pregnancy betrays the supposed balance between other two images in that it is not how an ideal, no pressure, perfect woman would appear. While, narratively, pregnancy is capable of uniting characters, for the presumed-male spectator the sight of a pregnant woman is an abject and horrifying screen onto which are


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projected images not only of fears of responsibility, accountability, and burden, but fears of the loss of patriarchal power, exclusion from child rearing, and castration (Oliver, 193, 206, 207, 208). This is pointedly ironic in that the first three of these fears are supposedly qualities always-already present within the male figure.
With regards to the final fear listed above, in tying the sign of woman to sexual difference, the patriarchal power structure has used a womans lack of [a] penis43 to connote the image of the castrated woman, the image of a woman itself becoming the visual implication of the threat of male castration (Mulvey, 1172, 1173, 1177). While it is an oversimplification to collapse the entire signification of woman to phallic meaning, the unconscious weight this threat holds is not insignificant, especially in body genre films, which focus primarily on topics concerning the manipulation of the human body44 (Studlar, 210; Williams, 270).
Like other popular genres, body genre films, such as pornographies, melodramas, and horror films, address persistent problems in our culture, in our sexualities, in our very identities (Williams, 276). These manipulative, often sensational, texts function linguistically similarly to other popular genres and texts, criticizing, discussing, and reinforcing cultural norms, but do so in a more visceral fashion (Creed, 256; Williams, 270, 271, 276). The horror genre specifically is known for an obsession with blood, and the use of the image of the bleeding body of [a] woman, as opposed to just simply the image of a woman, to signify not only the womans castrated state, but also engender the fear of castration in the spectator (Creed, 256). This terrifying, horrific, abject signification of castration and sexual difference, termed the monstrous-feminine, is a representative image that, more so than any other representation of women, drives the spectator to more


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immediately wish to demystify or fetishize, to punish or rescue, or, more generally, to exact some form of control over the woman on the screen (Creed, 251, 252). This is particularly relevant as WYGSSP shares many qualities with body genre films.
When Jessi sits up and pulls the blanket off herself, her eyes are drawn to her stomach. She is momentarily shocked, her mouth opening slightly further, presumably in disbelief, Jessi herself appearing to be surprised that she is, in fact, pregnant. A fraction of a second later, her eyebrows raise as her eyes stay fixed on her stomach, giving the impression of reluctant acceptance. She starts her one spoken line, Babe, Im pregnant with her eyes still on her stomach, rapidly finishing it just as her head is fully turned towards Curtis, who is lying down facing the opposite direction. Here we have the acknowledgement of the pregnancy by Jessi, and, in effect, a self-betraying masculine-coded response of shock; shock arguably being an immediate if fleeting sensation of fear, in this case fear of an unplanned pregnancy. In this moment, her body already coded as abject and other simply by being impregnated, Jessi further solidifies her designation as other through the rapid, anxious delivery of her one line. This does nothing but emphasize her weakness and deficiency, especially when juxtaposed with Curtis response, which though unquestioningly horrible, is, as explained below, treated by the film as measured, strong, and reasonable45.
As though being a pregnant woman was not horrifying enough for the male spectator, the patriarchal fear of being removed from the means of reproduction and the image of the monstrous-feminine is tied together in the sign of the occasional result of the pregnant woman: the mother (Oliver, 206, 207; Scott, 1058; Studlar, 210). Not only does the sign of a pregnant woman connote images of childbirth, a naturally messy and anxiety inducing event that in ones worst fears could resemble scenes from a horror film, but its end result of


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motherhood connotes the complete deprivation of all of the fathers symbolic function (Elsaesser, 121-122; Oliver, 206, 207; Studlar, 210). The male spectator sees within this sign of the mother his own lack, seeing the potential for the mother not only to take advantage of his physiological lack by excluding him from necessary acts of childrearing (read: breastfeeding), but also the potential for her to turn her child into a signifier for her own desire to enter into the patriarchal power structure, thus exemplifying the male spectators lack of ideological and linguistic power over her (Mulvey, 1173; Studlar, 210).
Demonstrating this fear and its potential ramifications, once Jessis line finished, Curtis rapidly sits up, positions himself on his elbow, and ignores her face, staring directly at Jessis stomach, eyes mostly closed. After observing her pregnant stomach, he quickly looks at her face, eyes still mostly closed. After, for this short of a film, what feels like an eternity (almost a full second), he starts saying his only line in the film, no youre not, and begins to lie back down. He finishes his line as hes half way back down to the bed, just as his arm closest to Jessi raises up, fingers pointing towards her stomach. Viewed frame by frame, you can clearly see a thumbtack in his hand. However, at full speed, when his rapidly swinging arm connects with Jessis stomach, popping what is clearly a balloon underneath her shirt, it is a surprise to say the least.
Her pregnant stomach pops, and simultaneously Curtis draws his hand back towards himself while Jessi shrieks loudly enough that the microphone in the smartphone shes recording with proves inadequate to capture its full range, the audio clipping causing the scream to distort slightly. As her short cry fades, she looks directly at the camera, puts her hand over her mouth, and quietly whimpers as her eyes close and take the form of a face about to sob. The distorting of the cry calls into question the distance between the filmic


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world and the real. It collapses the distance, accentuating the horror by smashing the illusion of a fictive world, one where a story is being told, and one where real things happen to real people. In a way, this look is at once a call for help and a condemnation of the structures that allowed for this. Her cry, unsurprisingly, has no effect on Curtis, and as quickly as the film began, it is over.
With his actions, Curtis has done three things. He has destroyed the things that could be cause for fear, both the child and the pregnant woman; he has rescued his woman from the monstrous thing (read: child) that would not only disrupt her life and make her unattractive to him (once again: because she would be a pregnant woman), but would turn her into the mother; and he has reinforced his multifaceted dominance over the body of his woman. This damseling presentation of the woman as victim46, and her inherent need to be rescued47, is reinforced through the juxtaposing presentation of men as angry, repressed, sexually violent animals48 and the narrative and visual authorization of their violent acts (Clover, 234, 235, 238, 240; Sarkesian). In other words, although the monster in a horror film is the one destroying and killing, body horror films, and WYGSSP in particular, unintentionally-ironically present and reinforce the notion that women are not only the site of abject terror49, but also cause for it, thus endorsing any male violence used to destroy said monster (Clover, 240; Elsaesser, 97). This is to say that the film is presenting Jessi in the way it does in order to sanction, and even to some degree sadomasochistically reward, Curtis violent actions, actions Jessi brought about but has no power to alleviate (Elsaesser, 97, 122; Williams, 274). Or, to say it as derisively as possible, the film is proposing that she asked
for it.


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Make-up and Mastery
The male image, conversely, cannot so easily be objectified (Mulvey, 1176). Thanks in large part to films being structured around the image of an active male figure, a controlling, three-dimensional protagonist with which the presumed-male audience can easily relate, the male image is infrequently earnestly presented in ways which would allow for objectification (Mulvey, 1176). For feminist scholars and Feminist Film scholars, this double standard within film and other texts is unacceptable. They reject the naturalized, distorted image of women paralyzed within and by the patriarchy, unable to contribute to shaping cultural forms, traditions, or discourse (Broude, 2; Deutscher, 33). If only from one perspective, Feminist scholar Luce Irigaray writes that communication is only possible between two subjects, and with women coded by the patriarchy as object, and thus unable to communicate with the patriarchal subject, it becomes clear that the patriarchy has no interest in allowing women to shape culture (Deutscher 24, 25, 37; Duncan, 302). Texts eschew womens perspectives entirely, choosing instead to sexualize women, wholly disavowing any semblance of their agency, in an attempt to limit and demonize their power (Broude, 7; Irigaray, 77). When language itself subjects and objectifies women, women cannot wait for male filmmakers to help change the narrative, they have to actively rewrite mens history, for there are no easy fixes, no machines of freedom, that will freely and without action allow women to master their own image (Broude, 22; Duncan, 302; Foucault, 247; Scott, 1058).
Feminist filmmakers attempting to rewrite mens history have to contend with the notions that the image of a woman has always already been defined by the patriarchy, that, for some, simply directing a camera toward a woman has become equivalent to a terrorist


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act (Doane, 86, 88). Feminist filmmakers have to also have to contend with the fact that, throughout history, the more powerfully a woman asserted her agency, the more vigorous was its repression, and that frequently rebellious female creators have worked within the constraints, within the linguistic system, of the existing patriarchal discourse, not disrupting the power structure in the least (Broude, 5, 21; Irigaray, 81). While feminist film scholar Laura Mulvey pushes for women to explore making films outside of the Hollywood conventions, eschewing it for the radical, pleasure-destroying avant-garde, she herself notes that avant-garde cinema can only exist as a counterpoint (Mulvey, 1173, 1180). It is an unavoidable reality that an uncoded body is ... an impossibility, and that while feminist filmmakers may wish to dismantle the patriarchal system, their films are inescapably shaped by it (Broude, 7; Doane, 88).
Taylor Adele Smiths branded pocket film Feminist Makeup Tutorial (PARODY) (2013) exemplifies the use of patriarchal cinematic language to call the form into question as well as use it to sarcastically satirize the patriarchal concept of straw feminists (McMahon). Shot on a Canon EOS 60D50, FMT(P) starts with a close-up of Taylors made up face, cuts dramatically showing just her left eye, then her lips, before cutting to a shot of her from the shoulders up. The camera remains in this position for most of the rest of the film, but does occasionally cut to closer shots to show more fine detail on her applying eyeliner and lipstick. Overdubbed with playful narration, Taylor telling the audience to set the foundation with the powered ashes of Susan B. Anthony while plainly showing to the camera the brand of setting powder and brush and exampling the method of application, FMT(P) continuously juxtaposes the images of a traditional makeup tutorial film with biting satirical


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straw feminist rhetoric, so over-the-top are her musings and muggings at the camera that the film title barely needs the modifier of parody.
Her use of close-up, sectioning off of individual facial features, and frequent use of sexualized poses mirrors the cinematographic techniques of a patriarchal filmmaker. The close-up allows for intense scrutiny of her face, a primary goal of the patriarchy, as earlier discussed (Elsaesser, 59; Mulvey, 1177). Chopping up her facial features into bite sized chunks effectively reduces Taylor to being a collection of sexualized features, as opposed to a complete, complex person. Her sexual poses play at drawing the male gaze, further inviting objectification. These actions allow for yet another opportunity for sadomasochistic pleasure, bringing to the forefront the tension between the desire to closely examine and fetishize, or fear and recoil, because her image is pleasing by design, but much too exposed and close for comfort (Elsaesser, 72, 80, 81).
Taylors coupling of these images and tropes with sarcastic narration calls into question the practice of people criticizing feminism based on false, straw feminist stereotypes (Broude, 21). Through over exaggeration and quick, small raises of her eyebrows and corners of her mouth, shes able to provide a cathartic satire of straw feminism while using all the same patriarchal techniques. As if to condone this oppositional filmmaking tone, feminist scholars Norma Broude, Claire Johnson, and Mary Garrard contend that what is important is not to focus on womens lack of agency in Taylors case this would be her ability to rewrite the language of film but to recognize and understand womens limited access to cultural power, and for them to reclaim the power and agency that women have had and continue to exercise in order to rebalance the larger picture, in order to threaten the fragile and sometimes desperate masculine hegemony (Broude, 22;


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Elsaesser, 97). Taylor, as well as a wide swath of feminist-minded pocket cinema filmmakers, reclaims her ability to use a camera and editing software and create a movie that directly threatens the masculine hegemony through clever use of sarcasm, and an adherence to form. As well see with Part 3, this sort of oppositional use of film is not exclusive to scripted pocket films.


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Part 3: Critical Race Film Theory and the Actuality Pocket Film
There is power in looking. bell hooks, 1992
White Identity and Racist Portrayals of Black People
Same as gender, race plays an enormous role in how films are shot and viewed51 (Stam, 753, 755, 756). Just like with the colonial patriarchal power structure erasing gender and coding all reference points male, so are these reference points coded along racial lines, the natural, inevitable, ordinary way of being human being portrayed as white (Dyer, 44, 45; Irigaray, 69, 70). Whether using language that is commonsensical and everyday or language erudite and academic, it is common to see labeling along the lines of black and white, with black denoting color and otherness, and white, if denoting anything, the norm52 (Dyer, 45). This linguistic subjugation (and subjugation through language) is effective because it flexes its power in areas other than ethnic difference, allowing for the exploitative power inherent in being white in America to be tied not to historic racial oppression, but to a supposed natural state of things53 (Dyer, 44, 45; Morrison 38; Stam,
754).
Racist Black Thugget Beats Up White Girl For Being White (2017) is, with its name alone, presenting the actors54 in the film in a certain light. However, the actuality pocket film this film is created from may not have had such a leading title. Being named in this way is the first of a handful of steps highlighting the fact that while the core content of this film is based in the actuality pocket film genre, that any move to retitle, edit, or share an APF for branding purposes takes the core film and transforms it into a branded pocket film. Although the only version of the film that is easily accessible is a branded pocket film, by virtue of being distributed and watermarked by third party distributor Dark Horse News, it still once


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was an actuality pocket film, and, for the purposes of this discussion, the original footage present will be treated as such55.
The film fades in from black to show a video shot in portraiture, already securing it into the pocket aesthetic thanks to the non-standard, amateur orientation of the film. Lighting and film development techniques established during the early days of photography determined the standards by which all film was to be judged, standards which favored techniques endowing white women with a glow and radiance that has correspondences with the transcendental rhetoric of popular Christianity (Dyer, 63; Pajaczkowska, 363). These standards which made it more difficult to film people with dark skin have sadly not been resolved, because, though the image in RBTBUWGFBWis consistently blurry, the faces of the white students are markedly more discernable than those of the black students, giving their visage an otherworldly appearance (Dyer, 63; Pajaczkowska, 363).
The films setting is that of a standard American public school room, filled with wood and metal desks (the feet of which inserted into slit-open tennis balls), stark white walls with a few posters here and there, a white board on the far wall, and a blocky wooden desk in front. There is an open door to the left of the shot, and light pours in from the right. Two or three students are shown sitting, and a few shadows indicate more students present, just off screen. Illuminated in the center of the shot is the first of three primary actors we are introduced to. Since no names are given or audibly said, she will henceforth be referred to as Girl 1.
Girl 1, a young black girl dressed in black and white trainers, white pants, a white tank top, and a light blue blazer, is pummeling Girl 2. Girl 2, who, stuck in her desk, thus far unable to be seen, is later shown to be a young white girl in a baggy black hoodie. A male


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voice off screen says oh my god in a voice half annoyed, and half concerned. With her left arm holding Girl 2 in place, Girl ls right arm rises and falls, while the other students slightly lean away, watch intently, or, in one girls case, calmly amble by while staring at her phone, as though nothing were happening56. All during this struggle, it appears as though the two girls are not saying anything, and after landing seven or eight blows, the cameraperson stands from their desk, and the image begins panning to the left. Girl ls attack is intensifying, and now students around the assault are leaving their desks, a few others starting to stand at the door, watching the scene unfold.
These images of a black person assaulting a white person are not uncommon in texts of all kinds. This dichotomy of black aggressor and white victim is a common trope in texts of all sorts, the innocent or malicious intent of these distorting stereotypes being of secondary concern (Stam, 755, 756). Black people are frequently portrayed as one trope or its opposite; either as the angry, aggressive marauding native, menacing savage or rebellious slave, in order to drum up fears of these sexually predatory civilization demolishers, or as the docile servant, amusing clown and happy entertainer, which nostalgically evokes the image of a simpler, more innocent time forever lost57 (Mercer, 438; Pajaczkowska, 363). Black men are characterized as hypersexual, excessively masculine dullards58, who become aestheticized and objectified things which exist simply to reproduce the naturalized ideologically-founded notions of their otherness (Dyer, 48; Mercer, 435-6, 437, 439). Black women, like Girl 1, are shown59 either as the angry, aggressive savage, or as servants whose image is at once sexualized in the same way all women are, but because of the color of her skin is somehow also abject and thus an image which reinforces60 white women as the natural and normal locus of the phallocentric gaze61 (Gains, 295; hooks, 310, 311). This


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makes Girl ls aggressive actions towards Girl 2, her savagery, even more pronounced in the eye of the presumed white viewer, as her image is anything but sexualized and could not be further from domestic.
As the film progresses, Girl 1 continues to bash Girl 2, now beginning to berate her. Though largely inaudible, once Girl 2 is able to push Girl 1 back, Girl 1 is held back by her classmates, saying a flurry of words ending with ... remember your fucking skin tone.
Free of the attack, Girl 2 quickly repositions herself, clearly frustrated and embarrassed, but trying keep composed. In one motion she takes her arm she just pushed Girl 2 away with and positions it so she can lean her head on her hand, in a pose of nonchalance62. The camera quickly pans to the right showing a full classroom, and Girl 1 struggling to free herself from her classmates grip. She succeeds, and rushes at Girl 2 again, the camera following her back to the left. At this time, in the background and hardly noticeable, a large white adult man in a green t-shirt, henceforth referred to as Man, walks in from the door on the left of the scene, passing the two girls.
Girl 1, either ignorant of Mans presence or unconcerned, climbs the desks between her and Girl 2, landing several more blows to Girl 2s head, continuing to berate Girl 2 all the while. The camera moves up and to the left to get a better view, just as Man rushes Girl 1, grabbing her around the waist, and grunts whoa. He pulls her off the desks, and puts her on the ground, the cameraperson, or someone close to the camera, getting in a quick oooh shit as the video fades to black63.
Whiteness, thanks to its colonization of normalcy, is not portrayed as a category so much as the it is the base point by which other categories are judged, and thus does not immediately jump out as a category itself64 (Dyer, 44, 46). Further masking whiteness as a


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category is that any story about a white person instantly becomes one about class, or gender, as opposed to the stories about black people, which are first and foremost about the color of their skin (Dyer, 44, 46). Even without any assistance needed from the distributor titling this film, or from people sharing it65, like the Stormfront66 user Beast9 whose forum post prefaced it as Female google67 beats white female as she mocks her skin tone68, by focusing the film on the action of this young black girl, the film becomes one about race, a point solidified when her only audible line is one concerning skin tone (Beast9).
When reading whiteness as a category, critical race theorists must rely on comparisons69, because whiteness in and of itself is at times contradictory, fragmented, disintegrated (Pajaczkowska, 361). But by defining black people as exampled above, white people find themselves defined, if only by comparison, as orderly, rigid, and rational (Dyer, 47-48). With black women and men being defined as they are above, through comparison the category of white man takes on attributes such as safety, power, control, independence and contentment, perhaps smug or self-righteous (Pajaczkowska, 363). Because of this illusory identity, white identity being buttressed only by negative comparisons to other categories, members entrenched and invested in their white identity become fearful if the members of the comparative categories act in ways which do not fit their categorical stereotype (Pajaczkowska, 363).
We see a brilliant example of this in Man. When Man enters the room, his presence is barely noticeable, either by the viewer or by the other people in the room, specifically Girl 1, who redoubles her offense shortly after Man enters. When Man, this rational, orderly, rigid enforcer tackles Girl 1, he is understood to be the protector, the guardian of the white Girl 2. He is shown as a powerful, righteous savior, defeating the marauding fury that is Girl


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1.
The undeniable fact of the matter is that we cannot ever know what happened before the film starts; we do not receive any of the preceding information, and we do not receive any resolution past the subduing of Girl 1. The film presents the actions occurring on screen as introduction, thesis, body, and conclusion, when it is barely a snippet of the real life occurrence. Much like what is seen between the patriarchal power structure and women, it is the fear of losing white identity that drives the white power structure to reinforce racist stereotypes through such dodgy presentation of a scene (Elsaesser, 101-102; Mulvey, 1173; Pajaczkowska, 360, 362, 363; Studlar, 210). It may not have been the intent of this filmmaker to allow for this to be a racist portrayal of black people, but because of the history of how black people have been portrayed, it cannot help but be entered into that discussion. While these same issues of how black people have been portrayed plague the next film, that the film sports a bevy of footage both before and after the primary action gives credence to the films overall message.
Eric Garner and the Oppositional Gaze
Racism is not permanently inscribed into film (Stam, 766). This said, a primary issue for black spectators arises when a racist portrayal of a black character, in which the dominant reading compels the black spectator to identify with the racist inscription of the black character, stands as evidence that this inscription is far from being erased (Diawara, 769). Through building awareness of the assumptions spectators and filmmakers bring to film, films presentations of racist, stereotypical black people, primarily for the pleasure of white spectators, can be combated70 (Diawara, 770; Stam, 766).


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Like feminist filmmakers, filmmakers concerned with matters of race and critical race theorists such as bell hooks have urged for the development of an independent black cinema and the cultivation of what she calls the oppositional gaze (hooks, 308). hooks writes simply that [t]here is power in looking (hooks, 307). Established well in feminists film theory, hooks expands on this idea, writing that the reproductive mass media power structure, produced to maintain white supremacy, also opens up the opportunity to agentically develop a resistant, rebellious gaze that can change reality, the aforementioned oppositional gaze (hooks, 308). In relation to Mulveys three gazes, this resistant spectatorship takes the gaze of the spectator and endows it with the power to look back, to interrogate and question not only the images created by (and the power inherent in) the three presumed-(white)-male gazes, but also the messages being thrown back at the spectator (Diawara, 768, 769; hooks, 308, 309; Kaplan, 120-121). hooks believes that, in the light of real life lynchings and murders as a result of white people fearing black men simply looking at white women71, the oppositional gaze72 allows a black spectator to interrogate and gaze, unencumbered by the pressures of the white gazes constantly plaguing them in their real lives, at the images created by the white power structure73 (hooks, 308, 309, 314, 315, 316).
Examples of the oppositional gaze can readily be found in Ramsey Ortas film Eric Garner Video Unedited Version (2014), the most complete version finding itself reuploaded, titled, and logo-stamped by The Daily Mail. It should be noted that in discussing a film such as this, examining it for its underlying messages in no way calls into question the veracity of the events being portrayed. This film unquestioningly shows Eric Gamer actually being harassed and killed by a number of police officers. Even though the film itself is not


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real, the events undeniably, really occurred. The purpose of looking at the resulting film with a critical eye is to show how Orta, intentionally or not, wove the theme of helplessness and imprisonment through his film, thus showing that even actuality pocket films are capable of disseminating messages and playing a positive role in oppositional gazing.
EGV-UV is shot in portraiture, making the spectator immediately aware of the inexpert character of Ortas film, thus fitting it in within the pocket aesthetic. The film starts with the image shaking and is momentarily obscured by an orange strap or headphone cord, giving the impression that the phone on which the film was shot was hastily pulled out of a pocket or bag74. The image remains shaky, matching the anxious tones of the argument being held between the white police officer, Justin Damico, and Eric Gamer, a tall, large African-American man, neither of which named throughout the duration of the film. The jittery camera moves between Damico and Gamer, the angle at which Orta holds the camera shifting nervously as he attempts to capture the scene unfolding before him. The image bounces and shakes as Damico stands stock-still. Garner, with wide reaching hand gestures and an unfiltered, heated use of language, expressively proclaims his frustrations with being harassed, once again and without cause, by police officers. Garner acting in this way unsurprisingly perturbs Damico, black incarnations of patience being the preferred response (Stam, 757). Again we are being presented with the image of a savage black person and a reserved white person.
Damico tells Garner that he is under suspicion for selling loose cigarettes. Garner, flustered, continues to remark on his innocence, noting that he just broke up a fight, implying that there was a fight prior to the recording of this film that both he and Damico are aware of. At this point, a woman, named Taisha Allen by later reports, walks into the frame to support


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Garners claims, and asks Damico his name (Koeske). Damico briskly utters his name and its spelling, speaking softly and quickly enough that it can only be discerned by rewinding the footage and watching it several times. Allen is frustrated after hearing Damicos rapid articulation, and asks him to spell it again. The now equally frustrated Damico spells it again, even more rapidly. Orta attempts to capture Allen writing down Damicos name, but never takes the camera entirely off Damico.
Garner begins talking about how this harassment has to stop, and Damico glances around, spotting the camera, though probably not for the first time. He approaches Orta, and asks him to either take a ride down the block or go in [Ortas] building. During this interaction, the camera angles slightly showing Garner with his hands on his hips, his face screwed up in a grimace halfway between sorrow and exasperation. It is also during these moments that we catch sight of another officer, the plainclothes and unnamed Daniel Pantaleo, arms crossed, stance wide, eyes fixed squarely on Gamer (Koeske).
Self-identity and thus an ability to have agency within ones life is formed through the perception and recognition of similarities and differences of others (Dyer, 48; hooks, 310). This goes beyond how black people and racial differences have been portrayed in films. The two Italian police officers, ostensibly white, are characters white viewers are more capable of identifying with. Potentially, because of how white people are portrayed as normal and good, the white viewer could imagine that they are capable of viewing the scene not as one driven by racial prejudice, but just as an everyday occurance featuring two strong defenders of law and order simply doing their job, talking with someone who has broken the law. In doing this, the white viewer is disavowing not only the importance of their own race, but the importance of race in this scene.


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When white people disavow the importance or existence of race and racial differences, they are disavowing, and thus effectively ignoring and erasing, the fact that racial prejudice has a real-world, tangible, calculable effect on black people living in America (Avenanti; Braham; hooks, 309; Lindstrom). The disavowal by white people of the differences between their own social status and that of black people leaves those who are not white floundering in a position where they are not only unable to have the same power afforded to white people in the corporeal world, but also disallowed the opportunity to define and describe themselves as being in this position because of their race75 (Dyer, 48; hooks, 310). The next scene exemplifies Ortas capturing of a clear visual signification of these power relations.
Orta stands his ground after several verbal attempts by Damico to get him to move away from the scene. During Damicos persuasions, we see Pantaleo and Garner discuss something, but there are too many other sounds to make out exactly what is being said. Orta shifts position, the camera panning counterclockwise to the action, now with Pantaleo on the far left of the shot, the back-facing Damico in the center, and Garner positioned on the right between a red brick wall and the two officers.
Damicos bifurcating presence in the shot is striking; he is in no way engaging with the camera, allowing no opportunities for spectator engagement or identification, his image and character actively denying the penetrating stare of the camera. His positioning also marks an important central line in the shot. On the left side we see the open space of the street and the blinding light of the sky, broken up only by the lush green trees lining the road; on the other side, the dark shade of a storefront overhang, the imposing and ever-more-present brick wall positioned directly behind Gamer highlighting his being pined between the


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city and its law enforcement. Even if the distraught Gamer were to be able to penetrate the shielded center line to the open side, the open space on this left side is guarded by Pantaleo, a police officer whose clothes and demeanor bring forth images of an oppressive force whose nature is hidden from plain view, an image representing not only a second defense against the Garners freedom, but an image whose mere presence literally blocks the lines on the sidewalk pointing at an assumed horizon, an assumed ending, an assumed destination of hopeful liberation. After lingering in this position for a few moments, Orta returns to his original position.
In this scene Orta has fully established his theme: imprisonment masquerading as freedom. It is easy to imagine that this moment is none too different from the moments experienced in the every day life of Gamer and Orta, with one wrong move meaning the difference between life and death, possibly at the hands of a white man. Damico and Pantaleo give Gamer a wide berth, but when Garner moves too much, the officers shift slightly, as though corralling him back into position. Orta is legally free to move about, and does so, but this does not stop the Damico from trying to limit is liberty to witness the scene.
The two officers continue to barrage Gamer with accusations, and attempt to get Orta to stop filming, the camera swaying and shaking as Orta moves back to the right of the action, and up onto what he alleges is his stoop. After taking this position, there is a rapid wipe edit, cutting out an unknowable amount of time. Glimpsed momentarily before the wipe, however, is Allens foot, position still on the sidewalk to the left of the scene. After the wipe, she is entering the storefront behind Garner76, implying that very little time has passed between shots.


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The from this angle the scene is much the same, with Garner pinned in on the edge of the shot by the two officers, growing angrier thanks to the accusations of the officers. Eventually, Damico approaches Garner, appearing to start the arrest process, and Garner vehemently waives his arms in front of his face, saying no, no. The officers confer on something as Pantaleo reaches for and uses his transceiver, their minimal words muffled by street traffic and Garners exclamations that he has done nothing wrong.
After using his radio, Pantaleo approaches Gamer, waiving his hands around both as an expression of being frustrated, and as an indication to Garner to turn around and allow himself to be arrested. Gamer turns, instead, to face Pantaleo, then turns to face the approaching Damico, leaving his backside to Pantaleo. Pantaleo tries to maneuver Garners right hand being his back, but after being rebuffed once, he instead places Garner in a hold, one arm around Gamers shoulder, and one around his neck. Damico grabs at Gamers raising left hand, Garner pleading not to be touched, and Pantaleo proceeds to drag Garner backwards.
After one failed attempt to wrestle Garner to the ground, Pantaleo succeeds, landing on top of the Garner as he struggles to the ground. At this point to more officers have arrived, and attempt to assist with the arrest. A third officer joins the fray, reaching for Garners right hand, trying to get it behind Gamer. Garner lets out a wet, gargled utterance as he is yelled at, being ordered to comply. As the officers roll Garner to his stomach, and Pantaleos arm is removed from around his neck, he is able to articulate a little better, his words I cant breathe now plainly audible. Now that Garner is fully splayed out on the cement, Pantaleo rolls off of his back, placing all of his weight, momentarily, onto his two


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hands, which are positioned directly on Gamers head. Garner softly but desperately exhales I cant breathe, which he repeats as Pantaleo pushes his head into the cement.
Four more officers arrive, one of which tells Orta to back away from the scene, temporarily blocking the shot. Orta repositions, circling around again to the left, showing an innumerable number of officers piled upon Garner, who no longer appears to be struggling. Orta is again repositioned by the police, and from his stoop the camera shows more than ten officers surrounding Gamer, three of which telling Garner to stand up. They repeat their request while trying to pick him up, Garners body hanging lifelessly as they pull on his arms.
Much like with men being terrified of their loss of patriarchal power through womens pregnancy, the terror aroused in white people by black difference and identity signifies a perceived attack on the stronghold of white normalcy (Dyer, 48; hooks, 310; Mulvey, 1173; Studlar, 210). Ortas capturing of this attack, and the ludicrous number of white officers piling onto Gamer signifies this fear, and the resulting attack. Garner actively called into question the racial nature of their harassment, and called into question the legality and legitimacy of their arresting him, and the white police officers attacked him as though it were a counter offensive.
In the end, the officers lay Gamer back on the ground, the other officers milling about, looking down at Garner with much less expediency in their actions than earlier. They roll Garner onto his side, Orta speaking with a woman off camera about the frequency at which these scenes play out on their streets. An officer asks the motionless Gamer if he is okay, shaking Gamer and attempting to rouse him. The woman off camera realizes


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something has gone wrong moments before a detective ushers Orta off the stoop and further away, he himself realizing that this has become a crime scene.
The last three minutes consist of police officers milling about, all of which plagued with anxiety. There are two more wipe edits, but the scene is the same: Garners lifeless body, nervous cops, and disappointed community members. The film ends abruptly, Orta midway through explaining the situation to a man off camera.
The non-oppositional gaze would have black people, identifying with the now dead Garner, taking in the message that they should be afraid of white people, and that they should not step out of line, bell hooks herself saying that [w]e come home to ourselves, implying that being a black person in public means changing who you are, presumably, in part, because of the fear of white retribution (hooks, 312). But with an interrogative and oppositional gaze, one which presents the real life dangers of being a black person in America through not only shocking documentary footage, but also with a clear and brilliant set of visual metaphors, black filmmakers and spectators can call into question the prejudice powers which lord over black Americans (Diawara, 775; hooks, 308, 309).


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CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION
Reading, Writing, and a Selfie Stick
...there are no machines offreedom, by definition.
Michel Foucault, 1982
As long as he does not take up arms, the colonized man remains a slave
Glauber Rocha, 1965
Pocket Cinema will neither save the world, nor destroy it. It's just another tool of potential resistance and potential oppression. It is up to spectators and filmmakers to understand how these films work if they are going to effectively disseminate helpful ideologies, and if they are going to be protected from harmful ideologies. Filmmakers can do this through critically examining what they make, and spectators can do this through critically examining what they see.
Growth and understanding only comes out of critical examination of the world and ourselves. When we see something from more than one angle, we are better able to understand that thing. Depth perception is a product of having two eyes. However, because any stimuli we experience are filtered through our subjective brains, we are physically and mentally incapable of understanding concepts from a position outside our own perspective. Unfortunately, the goal of critical thinking is to do just that. So we must strive to do the best we can, to use as many tools available to us, to simulate anothers perspective. Pocket Cinema films allow us to see the world from another persons point of view. It is up to the filmmakers and the spectators, however, to critically create, and critically examine Pocket Cinema films, so as to simulate, as best we can, an outside perspective.
Because films have the characteristics that allow them to draw audiences of different origins, films play an important role in political discourse77, personal growth, and cultural


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development (Getino, 121, 122). Until recently, the major thing standing in the way of the use of film as a revolutionary tool was lack of equipment, technical difficulties, the compulsory specialization of each phase of work, and high costs (Getino, 122). Only those with the money to bankroll films, parties whose primary interest was, understandably, commercial in nature, used to be able to make films, disseminating hegemonic capitalistic ideologies along the way. With the recently ubiquity of inexpensive tools of cinematic production, distribution, and exhibition, and really the whole of the Pocket Cinema apparatus, the next hurdles were ideological and aesthetic cinematic structures, or rules.
We have seen how cinematic ideological movements have, up to this point, stood in their own ways, derailing the full realization of films potential impact on the modern world. Much like with dictators being overthrown, when each new cinematic ideology took over, claiming the throne of the true cinema that will finally be able to speak clearly to and for the people, they were simply dethroning the tyrant, to become a tyrant themselves. They relied on the same keys to power, and the same ruling structure and system, albeit with a differing aesthetic. Just as Satan realizes upon contemplating overthrowing God in The Revolt of the Angels (1914), that [w]ar engenders war, and victory defeat... God, conquered, will become Satan; Satan, conquering, will become God, the truly revolutionary act is not to enthrone just one new idol, not to enforce just one new ideology, but to provide the tools with which people can empower themselves, express their own ideologies, and overthrow the tyrant (read: harmful indoctrinated ideologies) in themselves (France).
The Pocket Cinema is not the new/next battleground. It is not the place where the people will finally be given the tools to call the powers that be into question. It is simply one of a growing number of venues in which resistance can occur. Yes, Pocket Cinema films


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are fine tools of resistance, but they are just that: tools. While, as Karl Marx says in The German Ideology (1846), productive forces accessible to men determines the nature of society..without critical minds involved in the production and consumption of these films, the same oppressive themes will show up and be consumed, as we are already witnessing in films such as Curtis Lepores (Kellner, 8, 9; Marx, 121). Pocket Cinema films are both a reflection of societys harmful ideologies and a shining light exposing them. As stated earlier, because Pocket Cinema films feel more real, that they are both mirrors and spotlights can be both good and bad. It is only through the liberating practice of intentional, oppositional, critical reading and writing that the Pocket Cinema can be used less like the former, and more like the latter (Foucault, 245, 247). As important as production, distribution, and exhibition are to movements like Pocket Cinema, the concepts (and practices) of creation, consumption, and comprehension may surpass them.
Because, for humans, the concept of artistic or industrial creation is indelibly tied to the production of their means of subsistence, creation of all kinds is tied to being alive, tied to the insuring of ones furthered existence. Even though production and creation are some of our humanity-defining features, since the industrial revolution most individuals ceased creating their own cultural forms (de Certeau, xii; Marx, 114; Radway, 8). With developments like the pocket camera, digital distribution, and the pocket theater, this is no longer the case. People are creating stories, filming their world, thanks to the means of cinematic creation no longer being tied to a certain class. All this resulting in the everyday person having the potential to liberate themselves from the ideologies of the oppressive class that was, previously, the only one wealthy enough to produce films.


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Intentionally or inadvertently, all pocket camera-using people are making films that convey ideologies. Without taking charge and intentionally imbuing their own individual ideologies into their films, Pocket Cinema filmmakers can lose the opportunity to generate the ruling ideas of the epoch (Marx, 137). In other words, those in control of the intentional production and distribution of ideas are the ones in control of ruling ideologies. Without critically examining what they are trying to convey, or how their audience may perceive their images, their films will be painfully ineffective.
In regards to consumption and comprehension, it should be noted that the aforementioned link of creation to subsistence production means that humans, to a certain degree, are products of their creations, of their conceptions, by virtue of those creations being consumed by people (Marx, 115). However, as touched on during the discussion the creation of meaning in films in Chapter 1, the spectator is not locked into being a passive consumer/observer powerless to ideology, but is, instead, capable of producing through consuming, i.e. reading as writing. While uncritical spectators are vulnerable to ideological persuasion, regardless of their unavoidably subjective and ever-interpreting, ever-rewriting mind, the critical, competent, comprehending, resistant spectator can create, cultivate, and foster their own ideologies, culled from their consumption and subsequent critique of a film78.
It is for these reasons that it is important to not put full faith in Pocket Cinema, to not lionize and crown it lord of the true cinema, a cinema that is finally able to speak for and to the people. Pocket Cinema can be used as a tool of resistance, disobedience, and opposition, but only if used critically and willfully. Because of its ability to feel more real, it can also be used as an effective tool of oppression, subjugation, and control by nefarious


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powers. That said, Michel de Certeau says that [p]ower is bound by its very visibility (de Certeau 37). It is up to Pocket Cinema filmmakers and spectators to decide whether they will use film to expose harmful ideologies by creating and consuming critical films, or if they will allow themselves, and the power that they are capable of tapping into, to be inhibited by films spouting the same tired oppressive ideologies of the past. In short, it is up to Pocket Cinema filmmakers and spectators to decide whether they will bind, or allow themselves to be bound.


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APPENDIX
1) There is a fourth category of Pocket Film that is nearly impossible to critically discuss, and possibly doesnt hold any critical weight beyond the fact that their existence provides further evidence for how simply and easily a film is to create now, and that is the Unintentional Pocket Film. A UPF is created when someone accidentally starts recording video instead of taking a picture on their smartphone, or when an action cameras button is accidentally clicked on and it captures a few second of the inside of a pocket. UPFs can be turned into APFs or BPFs through distribution and exhibition, but as soon as they are considered films worthy of either distribution or exhibition, they shift away from being a pure UPF. That UPFs exist at all stands as a shining example of how prevalent the technology to create films has become; it is so prevalent that our unintentional creations are carelessly produced, and frequently destroyed without a second thought.
2) This is another complicated feature of Pocket Films, namely that they can be duplicated, distorted, and distributed without the consent, or even knowledge, of the original filmmaker. Since third party distributors can change films in unknowable ways, each version of a film is a distinct and separate entity, and should be considered as such.
3) Since then, we have increasingly invited it into our lives, though we are in no way obliged to do so (Metz, 275b).
4) Its success can be partially attributed to its egalitarian approachability, film being equally accessible, both from an economic standpoint as well as an ideological and aesthetic one, to adults and children of all walks of life though specifically those in the working class (Reeves, 2, 23). Despite all the attention and adoration it received, in its early days the cinema had vocal opposition from the art world, which saw film as unable to have an artistic aesthetic at all due to its stature as popular culture (Reeves, 2,3). Even powerful heads of state spoke out against film, such as Russias Tsar Nicholas II calling it empty, totally useless, and even harmful (Reeves, 2, 3). Though there were those who bemoaned its worthlessness, the opposition could not help but admit the potential in its power over the people (Elsaesser, 151; Reeves, 3, 4, 55, 58).
5) A term they themselves coined.
6) But not exclusively.
7) Inspired here being used to lightly refer to the fact that Paul created counterfeits of Edisons Kinetoscope (Thompson, 18).
8) Mirroring the growth of the printing press and the printed word in the 15th century.
9) An experience that in and of itself could too be branded
10) While many branded pocket filmmakers do not actively invest in online distribution platforms, they undeniably benefit from their existence.
11) The establishment of said places no doubt having its effect on filmmakers taking into consideration how these halls would effect the spectators cinematic experience.
12) A form of oppression and global domination unique to the modem era in which First World nations develop a financial dependence in Third World nations; a disease in First World nations, first inflicted upon said Third World nations before moving in on


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their own inner cities, that revolutionaries found unacceptable (Mimura, 57-58; Mommsen, 31; Fanon, 5, 53-54, 57; Pines, 5; Rocha, 13).
13) Being at once cultural, economic and sociopolitical (Sarto, 80).
14) Their aim being the creation of a popular, critical, decolonizing national cinema/culture, which stood against under development and for the denunciation of sociopolitical oppression and economic exploitation (Sarto, 82).
15) And as a result, bringing light to their societys propensity towards oppression, exploitations, discrimination, marginality, poverty, hunger, misery (Sarto 83).
16) The essence of [Latin American] society (Rocha, 13).
17) The innately penetrative nature of film made it far more effective than any other tool of communication (Getino, 122).
18) Our originality is our hunger and our greatest misery is that this hunger is felt but not intellectually understood. ... The most noble cultural manifestation of hunger is violence. ... The violence of a starving man is not a sign of a primitive mentality. ... [Third Cinema] teaches that the aesthetics of violence are revolutionary rather than primitive (Rocha, 13).
19) In the Marxist sense.
20) Read: Colonial.
21) In their case, literally their government, and figuratively the ideological systems it represents (Sarto, 85).
22) As well as First World capital, which is more an issue relating to the Third Cinema movement than to pocket films.
23) The end result in mind for Third Cinema filmmakers may have been the decolonization of their nations, but the ideology behind the making of the films was, before anything else, to present the world as it is (Gabriel, 6, 12-13; Getino,
116).
24) Indigenous Cinema.
25) Queer Cinema.
26) For all the grief Third Cinema filmmakers gave Second Cinema filmmakers about self-imposed rules becoming the walls of their own fortress-prisons, the original Third Cinema filmmakers did just the same to themselves (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 108, 123-129). This militarized guerrilla cinema, consisting of (self described) lonely filmmakers who saw themselves as the true voices of the people, saw itself as the only one involved with the interests, aspirations, and prospects of the vast majority of the people (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 126, 129). They wished for nothing more than to get the people interested, alert, and active (Getino, 130). Bizarrely, however, Third Cinema filmmakers believed true revolutionary cinema consisted solely of unpleasant, politically stigmatizing documentaries that stretched avant-garde film ideologies to their breaking points so as to invent film forms and structures that serve a more profound vision of our reality (Getino, 118, 123, 125; Sarto, 87). The more well known films that would come out of this movement consisted of six-to-eight-hours-long avant-garde documentaries, each qualifying part of that description in and of itself being a turn off for some. They took their desire to move away from colonial/traditional cinematic ideologies and pushed themselves as hard to the other side as they could, in the end eschewing any semblance pleasure, failing to realize that, as outlined in the previous section, typical audiences either find avant-garde


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POCKET MONSTERS : THE POTENTIAL POWER OF POCKET FILMS, AND THE BIRTH OF POCKET CINEMA by LUKE HUNTER JAMES ERICKSON B.S., University of Northern Colorado, 2009 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colo rado in fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities Humanities Program 2017

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ii 2017 LUKE HUNTER JAMES ERICKSON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii This thesis for the Master of Humanities degre e by Luke Hunter James Erickson h as been approved for the Humanities Program b y Sarah Hagelin Chair Margaret Woodhull Gil l ian Silverman Date: July 29, 2017

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iv James Erickson, Luke Hunter, (M.A. Humanities Program) Pocket Monsters: The Potential Pow er Of Pocket Films, And The Birth Of Pocket Cinema Thesis directed by Professor Sarah Hagelin ABSTRACT This paper critically examines films created with smart phones and similar devices in order to discuss how these films are understood within modern soci ety and how they can potentially be used as a potent source of empathy or a destructive tool of manipulation Since the tools of cinematic creation have become more widely available thanks to the development of inexpensive cameras and smartphones makin g films and viewing films made by other amateur filmmakers has become a part of many people' s everyday life, so much so that these films are rarely considered to be films' at all. In this thesis, I take six films shot on what I call "pocket cameras" and focus a critical eye on them, examining them as though they were traditional' films. It is the goal of this thesis to show that pocket films' have the depth and complexity of traditional' films, but because viewers do n ot consider them to be films', v iewers thus having fewer protective barriers' between themselves and the pocket film's messages, these pocket films' methods of ideological dissemination are more effective than those of a traditional' film. The form and content of this abstract are appr oved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Sarah Hagelin

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v To Candace, Samantha, Justine, and Margaret.

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vi TA BLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 1 II. PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, EXHIBITION Part 1: The Technological Evolution of Cinema The Birth of Nictation ................................ ................................ ........... 8 The CinÂŽmatographe and Beyond ................................ ....................... 10 Part 2: The Development of Cinematic Ideologies The Need to Distinguish between Cinemas ................................ ........ 15 Three Cinemas and a Baby ................................ ................................ 17 Part 3 : How Film Shapes Us Langue ou Langage ................................ ................................ ............. 23 Perceptions of Film: Real' ................................ ................................ 24 Objectivity and Film ................................ ................................ ........... 25 And Finally, the Creation of Meaning ................................ ................ 26 Interactions with Films: Paratexts ................................ ........................ 2 8 Why This Matters: We Will Control the Horizontal. We Will Control the Vertical ................................ ................................ .............. 3 1 III. ANALYSIS OF POCKET FILMS Part 1: General Film Theory and the Feature Pocket Film Image, Power, and the Liminal Space ................................ ................ 35 Voyeuristic and Scopophilic Power ................................ .................... 41 Edit ing, Suture, and Gestalt ................................ ................................ 44

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vii Part 2: Feminist Film Theory and the Branded Pocket Film Signification and Objectification ................................ ........................ 51 Misogyny in a Moment ................................ ................................ ....... 52 Pregnancy and Body Genres ................................ ................................ 57 Make Up and Mastery ................................ ................................ ........ 61 Part 3 : Critical Race Theory and the Actuality Pocket Film White Identity and Racist Portrayals of Black People ........................ 65 Eric Garner and the Oppositional Gaze ................................ .............. 70 IV. CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 79 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 84 APPENDIX ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 9 1

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viii LIST OF ABBR EVIATIONS APF Actuality Pocket Film BPF Branded Pocket Film FPF Feature Pocket Film

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1 CHAPTER I I NTRODUCTION The State of the You nion study of culture is intimately bound up with the study of society, politics, and economics." Douglas Kellner, 2010 (K ellner, 8) The films we create with our smartphones are changing the way we view the world. Among children, "YouTuber" is an increasingly popular career path. There are monthly, and sometimes weekly reports of internet famous filmmakers using their newf ound stature to rape or otherwise abuse and take advantage of their fans. Our nightly news shows now regularly feature footage captured by an amateur filmmaker, ones who may not even consider themselves a filmmaker at all. That these filmmakers may not co nsider themselves filmmakers changes not only how they themselves understand their films, but how society views them. The films people create with their GoPro, their smartphone, or their drone are generally not considered to be films at all, by virtue of h aving been created in the manner they have been, and because of this, these "pocket films" are capable of affecting viewers in revolutionary ways. Because of pocket films' different modes of production, distribution, and exhibition, the viewer has fewer b arriers between their understanding of their own personal "real world" and the filmic world. As a result, not only do pocket films hide the fact of the very real lack of mutual perspective among individuals, but by appearing to be more true to life than tr aditional films, they are able to disseminate ideological biases in unrecognized ways. Through the perspectives of general film theory, feminist film theory, and critical race theory and film, I will explore the creation of a new movement in cinema that I call Pocket Cinema. The ideologies present in this movement are distinct, and, in my opinion, important to how we

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2 understand gender, spectatorship, and subjectivity. Because of the fundamentally unique modes of production, distribution, and exhibition of films in the Pocket Cinema, their mode of cultural value transmission allows them to disseminate ideological biases in unrecognized ways, and presents the spectator with fewer barriers between their personal constructs of reality and the filmic reality pre sented on the screen. Because this topic is relatively unexplored territory, I have developed a handful of terms in order to accurately describe this emerging phenomenon. I identify pocket films to be films shot with "pocket cameras". A pocket camera is a smartphone, an "action camera," like a GoPro, a drone with a camera, or any other type of comparatively inexpensive or already readily available camera that takes little to no training or expertise to use to produce a movie. An example of an already re adily available camera is the camera on many modern laptops; a camera that exists on a device that was purchased without consideration taken regarding the quality, or even existence, of the camera present. Some pocket cameras have screens on which one can watch a film, and these, as well as other comparatively inexpensive and portable devices with a screen, are "pocket theaters". "Comparatively inexpensive", in relation to both pocket cameras and pocket theaters, refers to the price differences between "a mateur" technology and "professional" technology. This can be seen when comparing the most expensive, highest recommended GoPro, rounding out at about $400, and the least expensive "indie filmmaker" camera, set at about $1600. For a filmmaker on a budget paying a quarter of the price of even an "indie" camera can free up funds to be allocated to other things. This is of course not to mention the fact that pocket cameras can be as inexpensive as "already readily available", such as the camera on a smartph one. Not all pocket films are the same. Some are indistinguishable from modern films

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3 shot with more expensive cameras. Some adhere to what I identify as the "pocket aesthetic", meaning a general impression of being amateur in nature, regardless of whethe r or not the filmmaker is in fact an amateur, or whether or not their film is intentionally created to appear as an amateur production. Pocket films can only intentionally adhere to the pocket aesthetic, unintentionally adhere to it, or adhere to traditio nal cinematic aesthetics, since the options are either to appear professional in nature, or amateur in nature. I have broken up the different types of pocket films into three distinct categories, which I identify as "feature pocket films", "branded pocket films", and "actuality pocket films". Here is how I have defined them: Feature Pocket Film (FPF) Intentionally produced to garner attention for the filmmakers, the filmmaker's brand, and the film itself. Intentionally produced adhering to traditional cine matic practices. Intentionally distributed to garner attention for the filmmakers, the filmmaker's brand, and the film itself. Intentionally produced to be exhibited in a traditional theatrical (home or otherwise) setting. Branded Pocket Film (BPF) Intenti onally produced to garner attention for the filmmakers, the filmmaker's brand, and the film itself. Intentionally or unintentionally produced to adhere to the pocket aesthetic, while intentionally or unintentionally disregarding or lampooning traditional c inematic aesthetics. Intentionally digitally distributed to garner attention for the filmmakers, the

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4 filmmaker's brand, and the film itself. Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively to be exhibited on a pocket theater. Actuality Pocket Film (A PF) Intentionally produced without focusing on garnering attention for filmmakers, the filmmaker's brand, and the film itself, but instead focusing on capturing objective footage of the world and garnering attention for the film's content. Produced without any consideration for any cinematic production techniques, and thus adhering to the pocket aesthetic. Intentionally digitally distributed without focusing on garnering attention for filmmakers, the filmmaker's brand, and the film itself, but instead focus ing on garnering attention for the film's content. Intentionally exhibited with the intent to present the actions within the film to someone who will not consider it with a critical eye, but rather with an eye that views it as a true representation of the world. Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively, to be exhibited on a pocket theater. Because of these strict guidelines, there can be little overlap between these categories 1 Transformations, however, can occur. APFs are frequently transf ormed into BPFs by third parties whose media/internet presence exists as a distributor of a certain type of APF, the distribution of which being intended to bring viewers to their website or YouTube channel, not only garnering attention for their brand, bu t supplying them with revenue in the form of webpage advertisements. Even if the third part distributor does not

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5 put any sort of stamp on the film itself, simply by virtue of intentionally distributing the film to garner attention for the filmmaker's bran d, a feature not present in APFs but defining for BPFs, said version 2 of that film is no longer an APF. I have also developed the term Pocket Cinema to refer to the movement emerging in the early twenty first century, consisting of films that meet these q ualities: Intentionally or unintentionally produced to adhere to the pocket aesthetic, while intentionally or unintentionally disregarding or lampooning traditional cinematic aesthetics. Intentionally distributed on a digitally accessible platform that doe s not specialize in traditional feature length films. Intentionally produced primarily, but not exclusively, to be exhibited on a pocket theater. You will note that BPFs and APFs easily fit into the Pocket Cinema, while FPFs do not. This is because FPFs strive to adhere to traditional aesthetics and traditional techniques, which set them apart from their brethren, and limit their impact to that of a traditional film's potential impact. When "Pocket Cinema films" are discussed later on, this will encompas s only BPFs and APFs. As can be gleaned from examining at the definitions of the different types of pocket films, Pocket Cinema, and the introductory paragraphs, the role of production, distribution, and exhibition will play a significant role in the disc ussion of how pocket films, and thus Pocket Cinema, came to be, and how they differ significantly from traditional films and cinematic movements. Production, distribution, and exhibition will continue to make appearances throughout each chapter.

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6 In orde r to legitimize pocket films as another facet comprising the whole of "the cinema", the first chapter will focus on how traditional films are, and have been, produced, how this has changed the ways films effect spectators, and how pocket films compare and contrast. I will first discuss how developments in the technology of film creation has played a role in not just the growing ease with which films have been produced, distributed, and exhibited, but played a role in the ideologies imbued in the messages be ing sent through these films. Then, through examining the Third Cinema movement, I will discuss how the development of the three types of pocket films run parallel to the ideological development of First, Second, and Third Cinema. Finally, I will discuss specifically with how films are capable of shaping our opinions, emotions, and actions, in order to drive home the importance of understanding how the language of film, and thus the languages of pocket films, affect us. Further, I will discuss how Pocket Cinema films, through their distinct forms of production, distribution, and exhibition, are capable of circumventing certain roadblocks to ideological dissemination that are present in traditional films and cinematic movements. The second chapter will focu s on examining the three types of pocket films through a variety of lenses, partially to parse what the individual films are articulating, but primarily to show that pocket films are capable of a depth such that they can be analyzed at all, and should, thu s, be regarded as films in their own right. If we see that these films shot with drones and action cameras, uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, and watched on laptops and smartphones are legitimate films, and that they are able to covertly disseminate ideologie s more effectively than traditional films, we will better understand how films circulate ideology, how spectators can critically guard themselves

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7 against indoctrination, and how pocket filmmakers can themselves spread either malicious or benevolent ideolog ies.

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8 C HAPTER I I PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND EXHIBITION Part 1: The Technological Evolution of Cinema "With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory, or is removing the limits to the ir functioning." Sigmund Freud, 1929 (Freud, 43) The Birth of Nictation Feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films have roots firmly planted in the technological evolution of the cinema itself. The cinema is inexorably tied to the technology surrounding its creation, so any change in the technology used to produce, distribute, and exhibit a film will unavoidably change the content, context, and impact of the cinematic art form (Reeves, 5, 49; Gunning, 234). Like with any art fo rm, the methods behind film's development are bound together with the tools necessary to its creation. For whenever the production, distribution, or exhibition of film changes, so changes how filmmakers address the spectator, and how they construct the spe ctator (Gunning, 234). And those driving the evolution of filmmaking technology were specifically focused on optimizing how films are produced, distributed, and exhibited (Gabriel, 5; Wasson, 82). In the days before the printing press, "popular culture" was either visual or auditory; cultural artifacts consisted almost exclusively of pictures, music, or spoken pieces (Elsaesser, 58). After print's surge in reach, thanks to Johannes Gutenberg's fifteenth century revolutionary printing innovation, Western culture found its base fixed in writing (Elsaesser, 58; Eisenstein, Elizabeth). For film theorist BŽla Bal‡zs the creation of the cinema marks a return to "immediate (facial and bodily) expression", a return to visual and auditory cultural expressions 3 ( Elsaesser, 58). Like the written word, film's popularity (and profitability) began swelling as soon as it was developed, pioneer filmmakers like the Lumire brothers

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9 exhibiting their films to growing audiences throughout all of Europe within a few months of their first showing in late 1895 4 (Reeves, 1, 2; Thompson, 19). The Lumire "actualitŽs", or actuality films 5 were travel films, aka "scenics", and news reports, aka "topicals"; they were expressions of a "purely iconic medium", with the projected i mages intended to "mean" simply what they "are in the world" (Gunning, 230; Springer, 27; Thompson, 18 21). By cultivating a "cinema of attractions" and "placing the world within one's reach'", the architects of this exhibitionist cinema filmed just abou t anything in order to attract a potential spectator's attention, ignoring any inclinations to distinguish between documentary and fictive filmmaking (Gunning, 230; Springer, 28). Lucky for them, due to a lack of an established cinematic vocabulary, early cinema audiences likely did not think to distinguish between documentary and fictive films (Elsaesser, 122; Thompson, 21). Actuality pocket films, like many pocket films, are created with devices similar to those used by the Lumire brothers, one that can record as well exhibit a film. The Lumire's major contribution to cinematic history is their development of their hand cranked cinŽmatographe, a camera which also functioned as a printmaker and a projector (Reeves, 1; Thompson, 18 21). Actuality pocket films, like their namesake, are also primarily 6 intended to be exhibited on a device similar to the one that produced it, such as a standard modern smart phone, which can record, process, and exhibit a film. While the same is true of branded pocket films, what further ties APFs to these actualities is the APF filmmakers' intention to capture objective footage of "reality", to capture images "intended to mean simply what they are in the world". Both these early filmmakers and their audiences believed the f ilms to be objective images of the world, unfolding before the camera

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10 (Thompson, 18 23). APFs and actualities are and were treated as though they are unedited, pure representations of the world, for better or worse (Elsaesser, 61). In parallel to the Lumi re's, inventor Thomas Edison and English photographic technician R.W. Paul, inspired by Edison 7 had developed their own cameras, Paul making the key decision to sell his cameras as opposed to leasing them, resulting in the spread of film production and co nsumption throughout Great Britain (Thompson, 18 21). And so, within the first 15 years of cinema's existence, production companies started popping up, exclusively due to the growing availability of cameras 8 (Thompson, 19, 23 26). The profit minded Ediso n and the Lumire's started seeing competing production companies, companies also interested in turning a profit on this highly successful and thus potentially lucrative new art, begin subjecting the art of filmmaking to "a process of business rationalizat ion" intended to "increas[e] production and maximiz[e] profits" (Springer, 28; Thompson, 23, 24 26). The CinŽmatographe and Beyond In the beginning, filmmakers like the Lumire's were able to travel, film an actuality with their cinŽmatographe, print th e film for production, set up in a local cafŽ for an exhibition, and travel to a new town to repeat the process (Thompson, 18 23). These actuality films, which relied on recording real people, shortly became difficult to market, not only because interestin g real people and real events are categorically more difficult to scare up or predict, but because neither of which can guarantee to capture an audience (Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28). Driven then not by artistic inspiration, but by commercial inclinations ( A s was seen in other forms of "mass culture" at the time) film thus transformed into a narrative art

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11 form, as narrative films were easier to budget, pre plan, supply, and assure audience interest ( Eagleton, 30; Reeves, 74; Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28). With th e same cameras used to produce actualities being used to now create primarily narrative films, or documentary films which focused more on telling a story as opposed to just presenting landscapes or trains arriving at stations, production companies and film makers began building their brands, much like how branded pocket films developed (Thompson, 23 28). Branded pocket filmmakers saw in the viral videos surging onto the internet and onto local news channels and in them, saw an untapped source of profit. Whi le it is true that the Lumire actualities were intentionally produced with earnings in mind, distancing them slightly from actuality pocket films, we can see this profit mentality much more decidedly present in the BPF, a type of film whose primary focus is not to capture the world, but to sell itself as a consumable piece of media. In those early days of cinema, PathŽ, the Star Film Company, and Edison's production companies, to name a few, began producing specific kinds of films, tying their brand to a certain type of product, be it comedy, drama, or forays into genre filmmaking (Thompson, 23 31, 33 35, 74 77). Branded pocket filmmakers and distributors do much the same, YouTube channels like Dark Horse News focusing primarily on presenting videos of no n white individuals doing reckless and violent things, and Vine users like Jessi Smiles and Curtis Lepore attempting to create comedic films ( Dark Horse News; Lepore). Like Edison, MŽlis, and other early filmmakers, who were writing and rewriting how to make films while staying true to certain established rules so as not to confuse potential viewers, branded pocket filmmakers actively produce films that adhere to the established rules of amateur pocket filmmaking, or brazenly throw convention aside either in

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12 an intentional or unintentional defiance of tradition (Thompson, 30 31). Clubs and cafÂŽs being as important as they were, early twentieth century production companies started investing in theaters, recognizing that if there was a select place for peo ple to experience their films 9 audiences would grow accustomed to film exhibition, and, much like modern platforms like YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, it could become a natural part of their lives 10 (Reeves, 65; Thompson, 34 38). Early producers and distr ibutors understood that establishing clubs, theaters, and other forms of exhibition was key to spinning any sort of profit out of cinema 11 (Reeves, 65, 239 240; Wasson, 82, 84). Through these theaters, and online distribution platforms, filmmakers were, a nd now are, able to distribute and exhibit as widely as their budget allows with the expressed purpose not of education, but of income. This is particularly fortunate for modern filmmakers, as digital distribution is, without considering marketing, extrao rdinarily less expensive, if not arguably free. As time passed, the cinÂŽmatographe, Edison's Kinetoscope, and other early filmmaking technologies were quickly taken over by more diverse film stock qualities, and improved camera and projection equipment (W asson, 82, 84). The industry continued to grow throughout the first half of the century, advances in the production, distribution, and exhibition leading not only to larger profits, but to changes in the established language of film (Lipkin, 12 13). From the development of editing practices such as "intercutting, analytical editing, and contiguity editing", to the changes in production methods such as special effects, blockbuster budgets, and an investment in particular types of film stock, not to mention the addition of sound and color, the films created in the Hollywood studios between World War I and World War II established what would later to be known by some as "First Cinema" (Sarto, 85; Thompson, 43, 46, 71 72, 147, 152, 213, 219 221).

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13 Feature po cket films mirror classical Hollywood cinema established during this time in that they are both intended to adhere to traditional, unobtrusive, and straightforward production techniques, without presenting the audience with images, stories, or music that d emands too much from them (Thompson, 213 237). Avant garde films existed during these early days of cinema, same as today, but as both Hollywood filmmakers and propagandists knew, typical audiences either found them at best unpleasant and at worst incompr ehensible (Reeves, 74; Thompson 173 184). While there are only a handful of FPFs to use as example, it is clear that they are both intended to garner attention to the filmmakers, the studio, and the film itself through their appeal to a broad audience, in part thanks to their adherence to simple filmic techniques such as the "shot/reverse shot", editing that provides subtle changes in the camera angles to heighten tension, and editing that presents a linear story (Thompson, 43, 46). Tangerine (2015) and f eature pocket films like it are created, like traditional Hollywood films, with the intent to be shown in a traditional theatrical setting, which in the modern time can include the home theater via streaming services such as Netflix, which market themselve s as platforms that provide "film and television", but which make no mention of content traditionally created and viewed on smartphones (Netflix). Feature pocket films, gimmick or not, are intended to showcase the talents of the filmmakers behind the pock et camera, making them no different than traditional films in that regard either. The ramification of the historical technological advances, however, did not end just with the development of Hollywood films. The depreciated technological costs and growi ng commercial interests incentivizing the creation of a more lucrative and economic film industry conversely drove non establishment, non Hollywood cinematic artists to stretch and

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14 challenge the boundaries not only of the Hollywood Studio Style, but that o f French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, or German Expressionism (Reeves, 5). When comparatively less expensive 16mm and 8mm handheld cameras were developed, not only were more people who were previously unable to get a hold of cameras because of the prev entative cost to rent or purchase one now able to create films with their heretofore unrepresented voices, but the stylistic choices and aesthetics developed by these budding and filmmakers were incorporated into the larger cinematic linguistic canon, ex panding the vocabularies of even some bigger, more established filmmakers (Del Sarto, 81 82; Rhodes, 8). This has lead to the dissolving of boundaries separating what was considered an international or national film, a big budget or independent film, a te levision show or movie, with almost all distinguishing lines beginning to blur (Lipkin, 12 13). It is this world into which the pocket camera was birthed, and so with it pocket films, pocket theaters, and the Pocket Cinema as a whole. With technologica l limitations becoming more an influential force of the past, current and future filmmakers will no longer look to their tools cinematic production, distribution, and exhibition to direct their hands, but to their guiding ideologies.

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15 Part 2: The Development of Cinematic Ideologies "the circulation of power in society is not natural but culturally manipulated and directed." Norma Broude and Mary Garrard, 2005 The Need to Distinguish Between Cinemas Pocket Films developed not only in a fash ion paralleling, mirroring the ever evolving technological advances of historical cinematic development, their advancement also echoed the growth of the ever shifting landscape of cinematic ideologies, resulting in the birth of Pocket Cinema. Feature pock et films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films resonate with the cinematic ideology theories of Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, revolutionary mid century Latin American filmmakers and theorists who challenged their government through filmm aking, and developed an ideological classification system for films made in and out of the "Third World". Plagued by neocolonialism 12 Third World filmmakers and theorists Getino and Solanas developed a manifesto titled "Toward a Third Cinema" (1969) (Geti no, 124). The term eventually encompassing a variety of contemporaneous cinematic campaigns, the "Third Cinema" and the films developed in its name became the impetus to an anticolonialist, holistic 13 nationalistic liberation movement that materialized i n 1960's and 70's Latin American, African, and Asian underground film communities (Sarto, 80, 82). Third Cinema filmmakers focused on "establishing new' national cinematographic traditions that would ignite social transformation" through aesthetic expe rimentation, political intervention, [and] cultural reconfiguration" (Sarto, 80, 82). This politicization 14 of the cinema spoke truth to power, aiming to question their society's cultural hegemony 15 through revolutionary new production traditions focusing on collaboration, "radical aesthetics," and

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16 "regional and local thematics" (Sarto, 82, 83). The real life hunger 16 present in these exploited communities drove dissatisfied intellectuals to transform film 17 from a consumer good into emancipatory, violent 1 8 non alienated work 19 (Gabriel, 10; Getino, 108, 109 115; Rocha, 13). Through challenging traditional 20 production, exhibition, and distribution methods, as well as existing film ideologies and universalistic claims of contemporary film semiotics" Thi rd Cinema filmmakers' intent was to decolonize their respective cultures (Gabriel, 5, 7; Getino, 116). In order to effectively push against established cinematic ideologies, Getino and Solanas needed first to give these ideologies a name. "Third Cinema" was coined not just as a pun or play on "Third World," but as part of a First, Second, and Third Cinema continuum (Sarto, 85). They identified "First Cinema" as meaning commercial, industrialized films "that replicated Hollywood's paradigms", be them lar ge scale US productions or smaller non US films which nonetheless aspired to live up to Hollywood film ideologies (Sarto, 85). "Second Cinema" was defined as "a systemic alternative to first cinema'", indicating "fundamentally avant garde" movements such as French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, and German Expressionism (Sarto, 85). "Third Cinema", then, meant films that "the System'" 21 finds unassimilable, films that are "foreign to its needs' by virtue of being actively hostile to its institutions, an d decidedly transgressive in their methods of production, distribution, and exhibition (Sarto, 85). Feature pocket films, branded pocket films, and actuality pocket films individually correlate to one specific "Cine ma".

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17 Three Cinemas and a Baby It shou ld come as no surprise that feature pocket films, heavily married to the techniques and methods of production common in Hollywood films, emulate the ideologies of First Cinema. The First Cinema encourages dependence upon First World ideologies and paradigm s 22 through presenting homogenized narratives via practiced and rote camera movements, lighting, and staging (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 108, 119, 120). FPFs too adhere to these techniques in service of paying homage and reinforcing the ideologies that paved the way to allowing for the creation of a cinema which could be called "First", an elite club FPF filmmakers very much want their films to be considered a part of. First Cinema's commercial, industrialized productions' formal use of language, both spoken and cinematic, encourage only the adoption of the ideological forms that gave rise to precisely that language and no other" (Getino, 119 120; Sarto, 85). Meaning that they are filled with praise for their own form, their own production styles, while looking with disdain at other, more experimental forms. FPF filmmakers see the possibilities for prestige and profit present in First Cinema ideologies, which, though these ideologies view the audience as dependent, passive, consuming objects, are nonetheless ne arly universally ubiquitous, and an easier road to travel if money, awards, and personal recognition want to be acquired (Getino, 119, 120). Branded pocket films most clearly resemble Second Cinema ideologies, which show admiration for First Cinema, in th e sense that Second Cinema films are not pure abstractions of narrative and form, but actively question or ignore foundational First Cinematic techniques (Sarto, 85). Cinematic movements encompassed by Second Cinema, such as French New Wave, German Expres sionism, and Italian Neo Realism, question, reflect, and enfold the process of their own making (Elsaesser, 73). They are, in many ways, about the

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18 filmmaking process, they are about challenging the methods of cinematic story telling and pushing the limits of how a story can be told and still get a lucid message across (Elsaesser, 42, 73, 74). BPF filmmakers who intentionally adhere to the pocket aesthetic do the same, and not just through the use of low cost, experimental camera technology, but through re defining cinematic standards by disregarding simple conventions like not breaking the 180¡ line, or shot reverse shot. On occasion, the humor or drama derived from a BPF comes from the dashing aside of a viewer's expectations that established rules will b e followed. There is an attempt in Second Cinema films at referencing and accessing reality, presenting and examining the real world, actively separating and distancing spectators from the filmic reality on the other side of the screen, all in service of q uestioning the justifications of cinema's existence, and the existence of the viewer's self perceived reality (Elsaesser, 74). To do this, Second Cinema filmmakers created new cinematic techniques, rules, and paradigms, introducing concepts like temps m ort ', or dead time' the seemingly plotless stretches of inaction", showing rapid fire montages of seemingly unrelated images, or even simple but dramatic shifts, such as having a character unexpectedly breaking the fourth wall, or presenting a narrative with scenes in an indeterminable chronological order (Elsaesser, 73, 74, 75). Pocket aesthetic adhering BPFs take on many but not all of these qualities, the true relation between the two being their drive to take the tools of the traditional First Cinem a and use them in a dramatically different way, to deconstruct narrative, character, and, really, what it is to be a film at all. Pocket aesthetic adhering BPFs do this through the intentional use of unconventional camera angles, unscripted or improvisati onal plots, and documentary footage taken without permission or regard for preservation of a sort of objectivity. By merging and exploiting these techniques, Pocket aesthetic adhering BPF filmmakers are able to present a

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19 cohesive brand mission statement, usually one focused around attempts at humor, which would in a more traditional theatrical context be derided as amateur and unfocused, as opposed to their explicitly, decidedly amateur aesthetic being perceived as practiced and intentional. While both poc ket aesthetic adhering BPFs and Second Cinema films strive to redefine the limits of film, in part in service of broadening what films are capable of, they ironically succeed only to create new boundaries, new rules, which serve to guide others in making a n "avant garde" film, or a "pocket aesthetic" branded pocket film, with their own set of standard techniques and cinematic vocabularies (Elsaesser, 75; Getino, 108, 120). Pocket aesthetic adhering BPF filmmakers took the raw, unpracticed hand held pocket camera footage, and turned it into an aesthetic, much in the same way that Second Cinema filmmakers aestheticized their intentionally intellectually demanding filmic styles, and "trapped [themselves] inside [their own] fortress[es]'" by establishing a "ru les broken" stylistic ideology with new rules to be followed, as opposed to establishing an ideology of breaking rules (Getino, 108, 120). Those pieces of raw, unpracticed hand held pocket camera footage that birthed the pocket aesthetic? Those are actual ity pocket films, and they have fair amount in common with the ideologies of Third Cinema. Third Cinema films are decidedly created "outside and against the System", and exist above all as a result of their examination of the "practical uses of film" (Gab riel, 6; Sarto, 85). Third Cinema filmmakers succeeded, unlike Second Cinema filmmakers, in establishing an ideological construct focused on breaking cinematic traditions (Sarto, 85). Actuality pocket films and Third Cinema films, with an almost confront ational disregard for traditional cinematic techniques, first and foremost both strive to use the physical capabilities of handheld, inexpensive cameras to capture reality, to show the world

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20 how it "really" is 23 (Gabriel, 6; Getino, 124; Sarto, 85). Third Cinema filmmakers and theorists believed that the tools to create films should be in the hands of everyday people, that the stories told by people with no formal training would, in some ways, be a more pure presentation of the "real world", and that by sp eaking through film, amateur filmmakers would become masters of their own ideas, their own worlds (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 116, 121, 22). APF filmmakers who film developing weather patterns, police brutality, or everyday pratfalls and victories are, in many w ays, the living embodiment of those Third Cinema ideals. Third Cinema filmmakers, as a rule, strove to speak through their films in a voice that was explicitly their own, that intentionally broke all established rules of both traditional and avant garde ci nema, that was decidedly "indigestible" by "the System" (Gabriel, 8, 13, 14; Getino, 116, 124). While there is not any overlap between what distinguishes an actuality pocket film from a branded pocket film, in this instance some branded pocket films can a lso relate to Third Cinema, but only in the same way that APFs can. Like Third Cinema filmmakers, BPF filmmakers who unintentionally disregard any adherence to the established rules of the traditional cinematic aesthetics, and APF filmmakers, which by defi nition always already disregard adherence to traditional cinematic aesthetics, both strive to speak with their own voices, voices outside of the established traditional cinematic rules (Gabriel, 6; Getino, 116) However, because both APFs and BPFs uninte ntionally disregarding traditional aesthetics, instead, unintentionally adhere to pocket aesthetics since, by definition, pocket films can only either adhere to pocket aesthetics or traditional aesthetics they stand out from previous ideological cinema tic movements. Apart from being drastically different from

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21 First and Second Cinema, this unintentional adherence to the pocket aesthetic sets them apart from the knowing, thoughtful decisions that Third Cinema filmmakers made to actively rebel against esta blished traditional cinematic techniques. This all constitutes APFs and the unintentionally pocket aesthetic adhering BPFs as something beyond the revolutionary, abrasively experimental Third Cinema; a movement I refer to as Pocket Cinema. Running perpend icular to the numbering system as opposed to adding to the continuum in part because the term "Fourth Cinema" 24 and "Fifth Cinema" 25 have already been claimed by other theorists, in part because of the dramatically different way Pocket Cinema operates, a nd in part because each numbered cinema can exist under the "Pocket Cinema" umbrella Pocket Cinema is, in effect, the ideologies of Third Cinema stripped of their needlessly complex structures and self imposed rules and, finally, fully realized 26 (Barcla y; Peach). In the end, the Third Cinema movement was largely a bust, reaching only an always already convinced audience" (Mimura, 56; Sarto, 87). Funding dried up, and when their films were not just confiscated by the government, their na•ve and ill a nalytical perspective" distanced themselves from their potential audience, and they had little if any tangible influence in any revolutionary actions (Hondo, 340; Mimura, 56 68; Rocha, 13; Sarto 87). Third Cinema failed because Getino, Solanas, and other T hird Cinema filmmakers ironically did not follow their own advice: Be receptive to all the people have to offer, and offer the best; or, as Che put it, respect the people by giving them quality" (Getino, 124; Sarto, 87) They concerned themselves so much with what they thought their audience needed that they did not take into consideration what their audience wanted, and because of that they lost the opportunity to say anything at all.

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22 Pocket Cinema, however, picks up where Third Cinema left off, and, to some degree, offers it a reprise 27 The "living spirit" of Third Cinema lives on in any film attempting to portray the world as it "really is", attempting to show the "truth" as best it can (Rocha, 13). Pocket Cinema filmmakers are capable of providing t hat attempt at truth thanks in a large part to not being locked down by strict aesthetic guidelines. In fact, by virtue of being films that are by definition amateur in nature, shot with low production values and at uncommon angles, their lack of strict a dherence to aesthetic guidelines could potentially "reawaken" and ensnare a spectator (Metz, 257b, 258b; Stam, 766) Pocket Cinema filmmakers have their handheld cameras, access to digital distribution, and the ability to present their pocket film to someon e just by pulling their pocket theater out of their purse or pants. But it is not just the revolutionary technology driving forward Pocket Cinema, but the unwitting desire of everyday people to capture their world, to show others what the world looks like through their eyes. While it is true that the masses may be able to better present their ideas if they were to study traditional cinematic techniques, the world audience is daily becoming more accustomed to the pocket aesthetic, making it easier for them to comprehend. It may be that "one way to benefit from the lessons of earlier mistakes and past misfortune is to record them so as to prevent their repetition through exposure and inoculation", it also may be enough, for now, that the masses finally have the tools to make their voices heard, so that now they can learn how to speak, and teach others how to listen (Morrison, 36 )

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23 Part 3: How Films Shape Us "I am the camera, which points and yet which records." Christian Metz, 1982 Langue ou Langage A ll films create meaning and are capable of disseminating ideologies (Graham, 394). Pocket Cinema films are unlike traditional films in many ways, but the primary thing that sets them apart, the root catalyst for distinguishing between them and traditional films at all, is that Pocket Cinema films are more capable of covertly disseminating ideologies. They are capable of this because spectators do not perceive them to be traditional films. Spectators do not perceive them to be traditional films because th ey do not interact with them in the same way they do a traditional film. In other words, Pocket Cinema films are not viewed in theaters, or are not possible to imagine being seen in a traditional theater, and are thus not influenced by the theater, all of which inform and shape how the spectator understands the film and its presentation of a filmic reality. When the fundamental ways in which we perceive of and interact with films changes, how they affect us changes too. Because we experience Pocket Cinema films in an all together different way from how we experience traditional films, and because pocket films are not considered to be films' or a facet of the cinema' in the same way traditional films are, pocket films are able to bypass the emotional and i ntellectual barriers we have built up between ourselves and the always already fictional filmic reality presented to us by all films. In other words, pocket films are able to disseminate ideologies more effectively because spectators do not readily unders tand that they are viewing a film that functions identically to how a traditional film functions, and are thus not prepared to distance themselves from the filmic reality presented in the film the same way they would with a traditional film. In order to d iscuss how this occurs, it must first

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24 be established how both traditional film and Pocket Cinema films disseminate ideologies by appearing to be an objectively truthful representation of reality. Perceptions of Film: Real' All films, from summer blockbus ters to indie documentaries to branded pocket films and beyond, are texts, facets of a language, which in ways both large and small spectators allow themselves, knowingly or unknowingly, to identify as real', or an objectively truthful representation of reality' ( Sanchez Escalonilla, 81) However obvious it might seem that a film is a coded message, the cinematic apparatus functioning behind the story is all but invisible unless critiqued, the pure spectacle of a moving image hiding the underlying ideolo gies driving the creation of that image ( De Certeau 35; Metz, 40a, 45a, 47a). Be that aspect the way in which people talk to one another, how a tree appears, or the patterns of a penguin migration, there is always an aspect of a film that appears to be a n objectively truthful representation of reality. It treacherously appears to the spectator "that the visual sign for cow' actually is (rather than represents) the animal, cow" (Hall, 78). This, in many ways, is something filmmakers strive for, Miguel d e Cervantes himself saying "fiction is all the better the more it looks like truth, and gives the more pleasure the more probability and possibility there is about it'" ( Sanchez Escalonilla, 80, 81) However, before discussing how a film make us think t hat what it is showing us is real', how they hide behind a veneer of reality', it must first be established whether or not they are an objectively truthful representation of reality.

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25 Objectivity and Film The human brain interprets stimuli and orders i t into a comprehendible set of sensations, combining into a gestalt we can call, arguably, reality' (Elsaesser, 78, 152, 153). When critical theorist Christian Metz says "[a]ll is montage", he is referring to the fact that our lives, our individual interp reted realities', are an unconscious brain compiled gestalt of all of the outside stimuli being unconsciously interpreted and made comprehendible (Metz, 32a). The rate at which we perceive time flowing, the spectrum of light we are capable of seeing, the sounds we are able to hear, everything around us is fused into our own individual, mutually exclusive realities'. The universe is exploding with gamma rays and hypersonic sounds and microscopic changes in air pressure; all things that are occurring arou nd us, but because even those lucky enough to have a "fully" "able" body cannot perceive them, are not a part of our personal realities'. This does not, however, mean that microwaves are any less real'; it simply means that a human is always only capabl e of interpreting the world, and ordering it in a comprehendible fashion. It means that a human is incapable of objectivity, by virtue of subjectively interpreting. What this means for films is that filmmakers, no matter if they are creating films that a re documentary or fictional in nature, filter their films through their own unavoidably subjective human minds well before any spectators are able to filter it through their own unavoidably subjective human minds (Barthes, 36b). It also means that it is n ot the content of a film that makes it appear real, but the apparatus by which the film is produced. By making cuts, by juxtaposing certain images, even simply by deciding to start filming at a certain time and stop filming at another, a choice is being ma de, a manipulation is taking place, and thus the filtered and reconstructed filmed events when eventually projected are no

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26 longer true to the events as they took place 28 (Barthes, 33b; Gabriel, 6; Metz, 31a, 36a, 76a; Metz, 249b; Rhodes, 3; Springer, 28). This projected spectacle is lacking not only the literal depth of the original events, by virtue of being a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional event 29 but it is lacking the width and breadth one experiences when walking through the world, from the angle of the sun to the very context in which one finds oneself observing an event at all (Metz, 43a). The full gestalt that is our world can only the simulated, not reproduced. A camera and a microphone are only capable of capturing light and s ound, not reality (Metz, 76a; Stam, 757). Because of this, films, like all messages created by humans, are incapable of being objective representations of reality ( Foucault, 247) As Metz himself says, "[e]very film is a fiction film" (Metz, 249b). So, i f films are not real', if they are not objective representations of reality, how do they make us feel like they are real? They do so by creating meaning, which is formed, as with any language, agentically and in tandem by the text and the reader (Barthes 218a, 236a, 239a). Meaning is created in film, largely understood to be a form of writing or representation, and thus considered to be a language', along these very guidelines (Barthes, 217 218a; Metz, 40a, 41a, 47a, 76a). And Finally, the Creation of Meaning When an object is moved from a "closed, silent existence to an oral state" (in other words, when something is talked about, written about, projected or otherwise outwardly represented in any way), the human mind of the listener, of the reader of the spectator endows that object's mental image with additional meaning (Barthes, 218a). Relating this specifically to film, it was shown in filmmaker and theorist Lev Kuleshov's experiments that

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27 our brains unconsciously constructs an association and a meaning when shown two disparate but juxtaposed images 30 (Metz, 31a, 46a). While there may be meanings or cultural tropes associated with certain images that feel natural to the spectator, no image has an inherent, naturally endowed meaning (Barthes, 2 18a, 236a; Hall, 78, 83). What this means for film is that, when an object is filmed, projected, and perceived, the spectator has created in tandem with the image a meaning that that image represents, as opposed to that image having an universally establi shed meaning. Not only is there an intellectual construction of meaning, but, to a certain extent there is a physiologically informed construction taking place as well (Elsaesser, 78). It is not simply that the way in which cinematic montage functions is much the same way the human mind processes information, but our brains have inside them what are called "mirror neurons" (Elsaesser, 78, 152, 153). Mirror neurons collapse, bridge or fuse the difference between active and passive, between inside and out side, between Self and Other (Elsaesser, 78). Not only does it appear that our psyches conflate "seeing" and "going", but emotional changes perceived in others, whether on the screen or not, have a tangible mirroring effect on a spectator (Dimberg, 86, 8 9; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112). That is to that that viewing films not only results in surface level changes, such as changes to a spectator's facial expressions, or changes in the spectator's body temperature, but also changes to a spectator's emotional s tate (Cooper, 1; Dimberg, 86, 89; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112). Scientific studies have shown that a spectator's emotional state can be changed by viewing an emotionally charged facial feature for as little as 30 milliseconds (Dimberg, 86, 89). With this control over the spectator's "motor mimicry" and emotional state, films inform a spectator's empathy, compassion, and capacity to emotionally learn, effectively hypnotizing the spectator into a

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28 state in which they are more willing to create meaning in tand em with a film, mak[ing] us think by making us feel" (Dimberg, 86, 89; Elsaesser, 78; Power, 112; Sanchez Escalonilla 87). Interaction with Films: Paratexts The one point of deviation for how meaning is created in traditional films and Pocket Cinema films is the way in which they are physically experienced, i.e. the way in which they are exhibited. Exploring the alternative "points of entry" that s film, and the cinema as a whole, employs to shape, transform, or distort a spectator's sense of self, i deologies, and actions, reveals a dense web of interconnected elements (some of which effecting the spectator well before they enter the theater), blending together (much like a gestalt) to ensnare and influence the spectator (Elsaesser, 41, 67 68, 150). In order to firmly discuss how a film effects spectators, it could appear necessary to differentiate between what is within a text and that which lies outside", or, more specifically, what is part of a "film"/a film's "text", and what is not, i.e. what is a "paratext" (Elsaesser, 40 41; Greenblatt, 225 226, 227, 228). "Culture" being as amorphous and realistically impossible to fully fathom as it is, to draw "rigid distinction[s]" like this would be counterproductive, to say the least (Greenblatt, 227). T hat is to say that it is of the utmost importance to examine the paratexts', the things related to a film but not the actual film itself, if a complete understanding of a film's impact is to be reached (Gabriel, 6). When something as seemingly innocuous as a movie poster can be described as a paratext', the "semantic instability" (read: "uselessness") of maintaining that paratexts have no effect on a film's ability to disseminate a message comes into focus (Elsaesser, 40 41, 42). Movie posters are speci fically designed to start

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29 creating images and constructing meaning in a potential spectator's mind, and studies show that they succeed in doing so (Baumgartner, 154 160). Unsurprisingly, the movie theater itself, a paratext spectators literally inhabit, h as a notable, tangible effect on the spectator (Elsaesser, 88; Studlar, 215). In the theater, the passive spectator/subject is in a sense objectified by the theater, which immobilizes, surrounds, and holds them captive for an extended period of time (Elsa esser, 88; Studlar, 215). The positioning of the seating, the projector, and the screen "conspire" to allow the transfixation, the trancelike transposition of the spectator via "motor paralysis'" and the conflation of optical and psychic projections, of "real" and "representational" images, through presenting the room's sole ocular stimuli (Elsaesser, 64, 67, 68). Even the act of entering a theater can have a transformative effect (Elsaesser, 39 40). The spectator transverses a variety of borders, from walking in off the street, through the traversal of the lobby, to the entering of the presentation hall itself, each step further shrouds them in movie theater red velvet (Elsaesser, 39 40). While some push against the "apparatus theory" view that the the ater has such an effect on the spectator, opposing theorists Jonathan Crary and Tom Gunning still discuss the "mode of display and address" of a film as being instrumental in physically and mentally preparing a spectator for the reception of images and mes sages (Elsaesser, 69, 70, 88). In other words, the moving through a theater ritualistically allows spectators to begin their process of suspending their disbelief. Even if a film is not seen in a theater, when a film is presented as a traditional film, t he spectator simulates the traversal of a theater, layering "theater paratext" over themselves simply by considering a film something on par with a theatrically exhibited film.

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30 Pocket Cinema films are by definition viewed in a way all together unique from traditional theatrical exhibition. They are viewed on smart phones, tablets, the screens on action cameras, laptops, and other pocket theaters. Because they are not viewed after physically moving through a movie theater lobby, but instead viewed anywher e, at any time, Pocket Cinema films are not shrouded by the layers of theater paratext' which inform and shape how the spectator understands the film and its presentation of a filmic reality. In most instances, Pocket Cinema films are viewed without any intention placed on viewing that specific film, but, instead, as a part of a news or picture feed/stream consisting of content uploaded by filmmakers the spectator digitally subscribes to. Just like a lack of advertising in the form of movie posters, this loss of an intentional decision to see the particular film means that Pocket Cinema films are not affected by the way previous knowledge of a traditional film shapes and changes how it is received by the spectator. Because Pocket Cinema films are not shr ouded with theater paratext', the distance at which a spectator holds the filmic reality away from themselves is shortened, because the method of suspension of disbelief that occurs when entering a theater no longer occurs. This results in the images in t he Pocket Cinema film to feel closer to an objective representation of a reality. One other profoundly impactful aspect of viewing a film in a theatrical setting, one that is frequently overlooked (primarily because it is designed to be invisible), is soun d design (Collins, 284, 285; Power, 112). For spectators to most readily find themselves drawn into the film, filmmakers need to realistically map out where and when sounds occur in relation to the action on the screen and the auditory map of a generalize d concept of a theater 31 (Collins, 285). Pocket Cinema films cannot rely on this, being limited to exclusive exhibition on pocket theaters. Because pocket theaters do not have surround sound, instead

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31 generally just having low powered, treble heavy speaker s, Pocket Cinema films do not even sound like traditional films, allowing spectators to code them as something entirely different. The professional sound quality paratext' present in traditional films clues in spectators to the fact that what they are wa tching has been professionally produced, a signifier that is lacking when spectators watch a Pocket Cinema Film. Again, the apparent lack of a heavily produced product makes the Pocket Cinema Film feel more real'. The quality of the film stock also plays a significant role. The professional film stock paratext' is draped around traditional films in much the same way the professional sound quality paratext' is. Spectators have adapted to be able to recognize professional film stock, presumably with con cessions and contextualizations being made for traditional films from the earlier days of film when film stock was not as crisp and clear as modern day film stock (Stam, 766). Some filmmakers know, however, that lower grade film stock has the effect of ap pearing more real', using 8mm film stock or handheld cameras for aesthetic reasons as well as budgetary, all of which suggest[ing] that [the appearance of being] nonfiction is tethered to specific types of visual representation" (Rhodes, 8; Rock). Pocke t Cinema films, by definition, are not shot on professional film stock, and as with the other missing paratexts, unbridled as they are by the absent professional film stock paratext', they too suggest the appearance of objective reality. Why This Matters : We Will Control the Horizontal. We Will Control the Vertical. The reason this matters is because the uncritical spectator is unaware of the aforementioned text/reader meaning creation relationship, and thus "does not see it as a semiological system but a s an inductive one" (Barthes, 242a). In other words, in the mind of

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32 the uncritical spectator, images and their meanings appear to be naturally linked, as opposed to constructed (Barthes, 242a; Hall, 78; Metz, 37a). Linking an image and a meaning so that the link appears to be "natural" is accomplished, first, through the intentional production/linking of an image and a meaning by a filmmaker, the distribution/circulation of this linked image/message, the exhibition and subsequent consumption/reading of i t, and its being reproduced/spread by readers 32 (Hall, 78, 79, 80). This is the way ideological messages are successfully disseminated and entrenched into society, through spectators "successfully" "understanding" an intended image/message link as natural and reproducing and distributing these image/messages, further naturalizing their link (Hall, 78, 79, 82, 83, 85). If for some reason spectators do not "decode" the message "meaningfully", i.e. understand the way the image/message link producers intende d, and consequently do not reproduce and distribute said image/message link to other potential spectators, then it does not take hold either in the spectators themselves, nor society at large (Hall, 79, 85). Though this system is not inherently nefarious, since all intelligible discourses and methods of information and ideology dissemination operate in this manner, it is rife with opportunities for exploitation (Hall, 81, 82). Not only can the constructed nature of these messages be shrouded by their perc eived natural status, but, simply by this being the ordinary method of discourse operation, the very processes by which the messages are naturalized are too concealed (Hall, 81, 82). In relation to Pocket Cinema films, because the images appearing in Pocke t Cinema films appear to be more real', the naturalized meaning of the images is more likely to be successfully understood', meaning the ideologies present in the images have a greater likelihood of being disseminated.

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33 It then becomes a question of who o r from where the "naturalized messages" which shape society coming from. The answer is, simply, those who have the tools to produce, distribute, and exhibit messages (Barthes, 251a, 252a, 253a; Getino, 122). Barthes writes that it is the bourgeoisie prod ucing these images, these naturalized representations setting the standards by which humans should interact with one another and the world at large (Barthes, 251a, 252a, 253a). In short, the media produces naturalized image/message links. Films, music, te levision, books, these products shape individual's identities, constitute a society's common culture, and to a certain extent are misperceived as "cultural pedagogy" (Kellner, 7, 8). If it was not already evident, the language used in media can have a pro found effect on people's everyday lives. Those creating these images have the ability to disseminate power related ideologies between disparate groups, ideologies naturalized and seemingly justified through wide and pervasive circulation/distribution and their subsequent consumption and reproduction by spectators (Hall, 78; Kellner, 7, 8, 9). With media directing culture in this way, ideologies of domination and subordination can appear simply as the society's common (or "popular") culture, or as a part o f their traditional cultural institutions, as opposed to indoctrinated oppression (Kellner, 9). The efficacy of this indoctrination is increased when the messages justify the spectator's already entrenched "values and beliefs" (Radway, 6). Because so m any barriers between the ideologies embedded in Pocket Cinema films have been stripped away, there is an enormous risk of negative, prejudiced, harmful messages to take hold in a Pocket Cinema spectator. But there is an equal risk that positive, loving, s upportive messages can take hold. That ideologies are more easily disseminated

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34 through Pocket Cinema films is not an inherently good or bad thing, it is simply a facet of the movement that needs to be addressed and considered. The opportunity that Pocket Cinema provides is the chance for everyday people to finally be in control of the images, messages, and ideologies that are being produced, distributed, exhibited, and consumed. This not only means that Pocket Cinema filmmakers will be in control of the messages that are being disseminated, but that they will be better equipped to parse and understand images linked with messages. It also means that these filmmakers will personally better understand their own mutually exclusive reality' through examining the world with their own cameras, and will thus be better equipped to understand the realities' of other fellow filmmakers. Watching someone else's Pocket Cinema film is the equivalent of looking through their eyes, seeing how someone else would order t he world. At the very least, the lesson learned when we view another person's Pocket Cinema film is that there is an altogether separate way to view the world, and that it's just as valid as how we see it.

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35 C HAPTER II I ANALYSIS OF POCKET FILMS Pa rt 1: General Film Theory and the Feature Pocket Film No matter how skillful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity." AndrÂŽ Bazin (1945) Image, Power, and the Liminal Space Pocket films, by virtue of being films, are c apable of being read in the exact same way as traditional films. Most pocket films do not have the same runtime as traditional films, most do not have comparable budgets, and most do not strive for the same level of prestige in the cinematic art world. W hile these differences do not, however, make a pocket film any less a film, feature pocket films, specifically, are designed specifically to appear as though they are traditional films, having similar run times and reaching for similar accolades, the only major difference being that they were shot on a pocket camera. Through examining an FPF with general film theory, we can better understand that spectators construct meaning with a pocket film the same way they would a traditional film, with exploitation o f the liminal space between filmic reality and spectatorial reality, exploitation of voyeuristic pleasure, and exploitation of how our brains perceive motion when shown static images passing by at over 24 frames a second. The foundations of film theory w ere born as soon as filmmakers and spectators started examining films as something more than an objective capturing of reality. With the birth of the cinema heralding a return to an age when (written) language had not yet positioned itself between (human) existence and (face to face) communication", so with it came the yearning to understand how film, like other linguistic forms, functioned (Bazin, 309; Elsaesser, 59). While early film theorists like AndrÂŽ Bazin musing on how film

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36 operated, would write t hat the camera's "mechanical photographic reproduction" allowed for the world to be realistically and objectively captured "without the creative intervention of man", this hypothesis clearly an impossibility, considering the fact that, to name just a few c hoices inherent in a film's creation, humans created that specific camera, picked the position from which to shoot the film, and edited the footage, leaving their figurative fingerprints on every surface along the creative path (Bazin, 309). However, Bazi n himself would admit that the camera cannot capture everything all at once, and that either by editing shots together, or choosing to allow a single static shot to remain on the screen, the filmmaker's choice unavoidably evokes meaning and emotion within the spectator 33 (Bazin, 309, 312 313, 316, 321). In an attempt to avoid forging a theory of film that is seen as exterior or superior to film, or one which seemingly grants theorist "an advantage over" film, film theorists have attempted to "speak with ( and through) films", where communication with and creation of a film's "meaning and aesthetic presence [has become a] two way processes" between the spectator and the film (Elsaesser, 49, 113). While there are many different schools of thought on how to r ead films, many of which outlined in Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hagener's book Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses (2009), there is a golden thread running through many of them, one which lends itself to a cursory understanding of the foundatio ns of the multitude of cinematic lenses that exist, such as cinema as window and door, or cinema as mirror and face, and so on. First and foremost, it should be understood that film is "a technology and an artifact which should not be mistaken for real life" (Elsaesser, 55). The images on the screen are representations; illusions provided by a series of free roaming, invisible, potentially ever

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37 present prosthetic eyes mechanically extending human perception (Elsaesser, 84, 94, 100). The "dynamic squa re'" of the screen on which these images are projected functions as a cover, a threshold, an interface, or a permeable liminal space between the spectator and the "artificial and constructed" filmic reality (Elsaesser, 35, 38, 111, 115). A spectator negoti ating this liminal space accepts a contract with the film, in which they consent to figuratively "entering" a filmic reality (which itself yearns to be exposed and displayed), accepting its rules, and allowing themselves to be transported from "one ontolog ical or temporal realm to another" all while "retaining an awareness of entry and transition" (Elsaesser, 35, 50, 54, 111, 115 16). Plainly, spectators suspend their disbelief, accepting the fictional world the film is presenting as a defacto reality that they figuratively inhabit while watching. Presupposed by theorists' evocation of the image of a threshold or liminal space is the existence of two worlds, two directions, two sides between which this linking border lies (Elsaesser, 35 36, 37). If the scr een were a fully permeable membrane, there would be no difference between the two sides, between the spectator's reality and the filmic reality (Elsaesser, 39). Thus, the moveable, flexible screen sieves and releases, protects and opens, gives and takes, all to the benefit of allowing the liminal space between the two worlds to become all the more inhabitable for the two sides (Elsaesser, 39, 54). This is accomplished through a film's manipulation of voyeuristic and scopophilic power, and through the "wea ving", or "suturing", of the spectator into the narrative (Elsaesser, 53, 103). We see this concept of a liminal space, and the transgression of liminal spaces, examined in Sean Baker's feature pocket film, Tangerine (2015). In Tangerine we follow transge nder sex workers Sin Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya

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38 Taylor), and their taxi driving occasional John/friend Razmik ( Karren Karagulian) through what for others may seem like an uncommon Christmas Eve. Over the course of ninety minutes, the audience is shown these three struggle with their identities, and try to find their place in the world. When Sin Dee, at the beginning of the film freshly released from a 28 day prison sentence, discovers her boyfriend and pimp Chester (James Ranson e) has been cheating on her with a cisgendered woman named Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan), she spends the rest of the film in a frenzied attempt to track down Dinah, take her to Chester, and confront the two. Sin Dee becomes incensed beyond reason when she hears the cisgendered Dinah has taken her place, showing that she is insecure about her status as a "real" woman in the eyes of the patriarchal power structure. She talks with Alexandra about how god has cursed her with a penis, she uses the term "fish" when ta lking about Dinah, a derogatory term used against transwomen who "pass" for female, in an attempt to put herself on more equal footing with Dinah, and she becomes more violent when, in the second act of the film, she succeeds in finding Dinah, and Dinah sa ys a few choice transphobic phrases. Any reference to her life as a transwoman infuriates her, much more so then when it happens to Alexandra by two police officers, Alexandra appearing to just brush it off. Although a misgendering, especially by authorit y figures of any sort, would still have very real and emotionally significant effects on Alexandra, the film does do work to differentiate between how Alexandra handles those situations and how Sin Dee does, in service of distinguishing between the two wom en's identity struggles. Alexandra, who is introduced in the film's opening scene as a loving, caring friend to Sin Dee, tags along with Sin Dee on the first half of her search for Dinah, all while

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39 promoting her solo vocal performance, which occurs two thi rds the way through the film. At each stop, after Sin Dee gets the information she needs, Alexandra puts fliers into the hands of those spoken with, and makes them promise to see her that night. She is struggling with her identity as a sex worker, and is as should not be too surprising noting that the location of the film is Hollywood, trying to reimagine herself as a budding performer, an identity which appears to be more "glamorous", though arguably consists of the same body selling framework as her cu rrent position. Razmik is shown almost exclusively in two settings: his cab, and his apartment. At home, his family, somewhat talking about him as if he is not there, almost exclusively talks to him about his job, the money he brings in, and how well he is meeting their standards of a family man. In his cab we see him transporting people from all walks of life, some of them talkative, other silent. He listens attentively, but is never shown authentically connecting with even his more talkative clientel e. When he has a moment for himself, he is consumed with picking up a transgender female sex worker, at one point mistakenly picking a cisgendered woman, and throwing her out of his car when he discovers his mistake. Razmik is struggling, primarily, with his identity as a father, husband, and head of household, avoiding the opportunity to spend time with them during their Christmas celebrations so as try to spend time with Sin Dee and Alexandra. By the end of the film all three are left in the same liminal state they were in at the start, unable to negotiate their in between state to any sort of satisfactory degree. No one other than Sin Dee chooses to see Alexandra's performance, which, as it turns out, Alexandra had to pay the club owner for the honor of dashing any immediate hopes at stardom. Sin Dee, in attempting to pick up clients in the last scene of the film, has urine thrown on her and

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40 transphobic slurs slung at her, reaffirming her liminal state between how society sees her as a "man" and how sh e wished they see her. And Razmik is drug back to his house by his mother in law and wife after they discover his late night escapades, denying him his attempt to transgress domestic life. The equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming ending, with Alexan dra letting Sin Dee borrow her wig while Sin Dee's is being cleaned of urine, tells us that, while we may forever be stuck in a liminal space of some sort, love and companionship, friendship and compassionate people can help make the liminal spaces easier to bear. It humanizes and endears us to those in liminal spaces, making it easier for the spectator to identify with not only the characters, but the concept of liminality. Alexandra knows Sin Dee struggles with her gender identity more than she does, so she lets Sin Dee borrow her wig, allowing Sin Dee can feel closer to normal during a traumatic time. Razmik is not given this sort of resolution, because, through his own choosing or otherwise, he does not have someone he can be truthful with, that he can share his struggle with, and he does not allow others to share theirs with him. He is closed off from the nature of his liminal existence, and it is that disavowal that disallows him resolution. Beyond the obvious theme of gender identity, the other majo r themes of the film are themselves strictly about the negotiation between two seemingly disparate spheres, and liminal space between them. Tangerine explores through Sin Dee and Chester's relationship the tenuous line between romantic sex and exploitativ e sex. Sin Dee herself exemplifies the struggle to define the line between imprisonment and freedom, in that her first act as a free woman is to renegotiate the terms of her veritable indentureship with Chester. Alexandra struggles with where to draw the line between friendship and emotional abuser with Sin Dee, just as they both struggle to draw the line between friendship and clientele with Razmik.

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41 Razmik's complex sexuality, though only implicitly discussed, presents the fluidity that any sexual being can have through presenting his desire not only for the exploitative and trans fetishizing intimacy he wishes to share with Sin Dee, but through showing that he has children, possibly implying that he has desires for intimacy with cisgendered women as wel l (Doane, 426). It must be established how voyeuristic power, scopophilic power, and the theory of suture function to understand how these themes of transgression, and the evocation of liminal spaces "suture" the spectator into the narrative, thus allowin g for the messages of the film to more easily be read and comprehended by the spectator. Voyeuristic and Scopophilic Power In the phenomenon of a spectator transgressing the liminal space between spectatorial reality and filmic reality, we are granted th e "prosthetic experience of human ontogenesis" (Elsaesser, 89). In other words, we are offered the opportunity to see the creation of the spectator as "subject" (Elsaesser, 89). The spectator's eye is a passive, reactive "organ of truth", which is not to imply that it sees and comprehends an objective truth of any sort, but that it is open and potentially receptive to the "truths" (i.e. messages) presented by the film (Elsaesser, 82). This voyeuristic, omnipotent, disembodied eye is free of any responsibi lity or direction in relation to their bodily or corporeal presence "in a given space or at a given time" (Elsaesser, 85). Tangerine is a film that is, in part, about images, and who is in control of them. This theme allows spectators to easily slip into the role of a masochistic, submissive voyeur, watching others enact control over their own images without any regard for the spectator's wishes. Narratively, the battle over self image takes center stage, the camera being present

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4 2 in intimate moments both large in small, from showing a taxi passenger taking selfies with a large smile and Santa hat, examining them after removing the hat and assuming a more reserved countenance, to showing Razmik, dejected, moping in his dark living room after being dragged b ack to his home, eyes fixed on the lit up hallway leading to the bedroom he shares with his wife. The cinematography is also not found lacking in adhering to this theme of voyeurism. The camera is, thankfully, fairly free of any objectification of our tw o female protagonists, but it does not shy away from examining their lives and bodies, and the lives and bodies of others. It pans and mirrors with great exuberance Sin Dee's rapid motions through the streets of Hollywood, keen to keep in pace with her, c areful not to lose sight. When Alexandra sings her song in the nightclub, the camera eagerly pulls in close, and provides several static shots of just her and the red curtains behind her, isolating her in her most vulnerable state. Stopped in his taxi, wh en Razmik is preparing to perform fellatio on the cisgendered woman he has picked up, the camera quickly swoops in with him to investigate her genitalia, pulling back to show his reaction when he discovers that she is, in fact, cisgendered. This seemingly limitless, privileged, penetrative "point of convergence" that is the eye presupposes a distance between the spectator and the filmic reality, allowing spectatorial "seeing" to operate as a "pure act of ocular perception", which has the potential power to promise 34 "mastery or possession" over the images (Elsaesser, 83, 85; Metz, 252b, 253b, 254b). One form of this "scopophilic power" derives from this pleasurable sensation of mastery through looking (Mulvey, 1175). However, this sense of power is underc ut by the fact that the eye does not literally master or posses the filmic images, it is the external gaze of the camera that is in control of the images on the screen, a rupturing of the symbolic order

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43 within the eye of the spectator (Elsaesser, 103; Metz 253b). It is in this way that the spectator is kept at "arm's length" (Elsaesser, 37). In order for the unavoidably masochistic spectator to become a "true voyeur'", one that derives scopophilic pleasure, the spectator must be denied "orgasmic release (i.e. true mastery or possession of the image), as this "release" would "destroy the boundaries of disavowal and disrupt the magical thinking that defines [their] oral, infantile, and narcissistic use of the cinematic object" ( Rodowick 187; Studlar, 215 ). Although the narrative and cinematography within Tangerine play with themes of voyeurism, that it is a film at all allows its voyeuristic nature to shine through. The spectator at no time is able to control or direct the action of the camera, so when the characters experience emotional and physical discomfort, or simply an awkward moment that the spectator would rather not be a part of, they are denied the reins, forced to watch the events unfold. The only power present within the spectator is the pow er to turn off the film, which would only further the masochistic denial of any resolution, any relief, any release, resulting in the same sort of masochistic pleasure derived from submitting to the whims of the film. The other form of scopophilic pleasur e derives from a narcissistic, ego constituting identification with the image (Mulvey, 1175). Through image identification, spectators strive to capture the imagined gaze of the Other (either the gaze of another character in the film or the gaze of the ca mera on a specific image within the film), to attempt self examination (to the extent that it becomes "self incrimination"), all in service of composing an always unavoidably constructed self identity (Elsaesser, 65, 66, 67, 84, 89, 110). Here too is a ma sochistic denial of "orgasmic release", as the spectator, doomed by the fact that any act of identification with a filmic image is rooted in the misrecognition of "absence as a

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44 presence" will never truly find their (literally absent) body reflected in the film (Elsaesser, 56, 63, 65, 66, 67; Studlar, 215). In Tangerine Sin Dee, Alexandra, and Razmik all offer a different sort of relatable struggle with which a spectator can identify. Be it a struggle with an issue thrust upon us without our consent, a s with Sin Dee and her struggles with gender dysphoria, a struggle with negotiating our futures and the choices yet to be made, as with Alexandra trying to reinvent herself, or a struggle with the choices we have already made, as with Razmik and his discon tent with the choice to become a family man. The masochistic pleasure derived from this identification is rooted in the fact that, any identification with these characters is always already flawed, in that, plainly, the spectator literally is not any one of those characters, no matter how similar their struggle. Editing, Suture, and Gestalt While plot, sound, and mise en scne play an enormous role in drawing the spectator into a film, to understand the first steps taken to "weave" the spectator into the narrative, it must first be established how editing, specifically in relation to the montage, effects the them (Elsaesser, 53; Eisenstein, 27, 34, 39). In film, it is the spectator's mind's ability to create a gestalt of the still frames passing in front of the projector, usually at up to or over 24 frames per second, which produces the illusion of motion (Elsaesser, 22; Eisenstein, 27). In other words, the spectator does not perceive a series of static, non identical images flickering past their eyes, wh ich is what is actually happening, but, instead, perceives a three dimensional moving image, an image that melts and merges the static, disparate images appearing one on

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45 top of the other into one steady, unbroken projection 35 (Elsaesser, 22; Eisenstein, 27 ). This is, simply, how film fundamentally functions (Elsaesser, 22). It is the synthesis brought on by this combining, this colliding, this clashing together of singular, "already almost abstract" images which affords film the opportunity to appear to ca pture the "complex totality of the world" (Elsaesser, 24 25; Eisenstein, 23, 39). In the right hands, this gestalt effect can be wielded, through a series of calculated pressures on [the] psyche'", to have a specific effect on the spectator (Elsaesser, 25). Eisenstein believed that the tension, the pressure, the intensity of a shot and its potential impression is determined by the "degree of incongruity" between one frame and the next, with an increase in incongruity resulting in an increased impression (Eisenstein, 27). However, it is not simply through the creation of a shot, or the collision of non identical images, that create meaning in film. Eisenstein believed that the cinematic equivalent of linguistic tropes, metaphors, and synecdoches could be divined through the collision of conflicting, independent shots (Elsaesser, 26, 27; Eisenstein, 26, 38). In other words, a montage (Eisenstein, 26). As with Barthes' construction of "myth" in written and spoken language (a sign, itself comprised of a signified and a signifier, coming together with a new signified to create myth), so too in the construction of montage are two concrete things (shots, themselves comprised of frames colliding) set against each other produce an abstract concept (the montag e) (Barthes, 53, 54; Eisenstein, 27; Elsaesser, 151). Although the film is ordering the shots, each individual, "tendentious" shot evokes conflicting associations within the conditioned, cognitive spectator, whose job it is then to synthesize and draw mea ning from their collision, further deepening the relationship between film and spectator (Elsaesser, 26, 27; Eisenstein, 38; Reeves, 58). Montage shows that, like a

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46 Buddhist koan, a film's meaning is not present in the film, but is constructed in the mind of the spectator through their communication with the film (Bazin, 315, 316). An example of this can be found in the opening scene of what is largely considered the first feature pocket film, Patrick Gilles and Hooman Khalili's Olive (2011) (Orzeck ). I n the first moments of the film, Olive (Ruby Alexander), titular character, is shown in tree, in a backyard garden, when Motor Cycle Driver (Brian Kehoe) approaches, sits on a log, and begins to fiddle with an empty cup. Olive fools with a radio she has s lung around her shoulder, through which two radio hosts (played by real life radio hosts Sarah Clark and Vinnie Hasson) discuss how the seasons are no longer changing, how "Mother Nature is falling down on the job". Reacting to this statement, Motor Cycle Driver raises his eyebrows and asks Olive if she heard the hosts. Seconds before, Olive had climbed down, walked over to a lemon tree where a caterpillar was resting on a leaf, and wrapped her hands around the insect. She screwed up her face in concentr ation, as if performing some difficult action. As Clark's radio host directly called out Mother Nature, Olive moved her hands back, revealing a cocoon before wrapping her hands back around the leaf. Once Motor Cycle Driver asks her is she heard what Clar k's radio host was saying, Olive screws up her face in deep determination, before opening her hands again, this time to reveal a monarch butterfly. The butterfly flies off, and Olive sways back and forth with a satisfied look on her face. To any seasoned cinephile, the scene is easy to interpret. Through the juxtaposition of the radio hosts talking about Mother Nature, and Olive appearing to have the power to move a caterpillar from larvae to chrysalis to fully grown adult butterfly, the glaring implicat ion is that Olive is, or at least has the powers of, Mother Nature. The spectator barely needs Motor Cycle Driver's immediate next line, calling her actions a "magic trick",

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47 to further link her determined face and cupped hands to the metamorphosis of the rhopalocera. The real magic trick, here performed by directors Gilles and Khalili, is that of montage. The spectator is not directly told or shown, in the moments before Motor Cycle Driver discusses her "magic trick", that Olive is actively performing an y tasks. The only information that the spectator is given is that Olive is listening to the radio, that there is a caterpillar on a leaf, and that when she wraps her hands around that caterpillar, screws up her face, and opens her hands, the caterpillar h as been replaced by the next stage in butterfly metamorphosis. The spectator is not directly told that this is not how butterflies normally metamorphose, that Olive is playing any role in this change, or that, if she is, she is somehow related to Mother N ature. It is through the juxtaposition of the image of her hands wrapping around the leaf, the image of her screwed up face, and the radio hosts' discussing Mother Nature that allows the spectator to combine these parts to divine Olive's potential celesti al nature. Furthermore, in the montage also lies the possibility for a spectator to receive masochistic pleasure (Silverman, 221). Inherent in the concept of the illusion of motion being captured through a psychological synthesis of non identical static frames is the fact that there is a literal lack of recorded time between each frame. Not only that, but the camera focusing on one thing leaves off screen literally every other thing that could be filmed (Silverman, 222). Every cut further accentuates th is, by showing the spectator a different scene, and, as a result, exiling the focus of the previous scene to the off screen world (Silverman, 222, 223). When the camera moves from Olive's hands to show her concentrating, to the Motor Cycle Driver, and back to her hands, the spectator submissively

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48 accepts the promise of the film that these events are playing back in real time. The magic of Olive's "trick" would be lost if the spectator were to lose this trust, because for all the audience knows, when off sc reen, Olive may be switching out the larvae for a chrysalis, or there may be more time passing in this garden than the spectator is lead to believe. Or when, in Tangerine the camera cuts from Sin Dee, on her rampage through town, to Alexandra, walking th e street, the spectator is left to assume that Sin Dee is continuing on her way off screen, as opposed to filing her taxes, or cooking stirfry. Like with the masochistic scopophilic pleasure, this teasing of substance and lack draws the spectator further i n, the spectator desiring for the lack to be filled, and being presented only with a new lack with each new shot (Silverman, 223, 228). Film theorist Kaja Silverman believes that with the spectator's growing desire to insert meaning into this lack or limi nal space between shots, scenes, and sequences allows the filmmaker to insert new ideologies with which the spectator can commune can be introduced (Silverman, 234). She calls this move "suture" (Silverman, 234). This is accomplished thanks to a conflati on within the spectator of their own gaze and the gaze of the camera (Elsaesser, 89 90). When the film cuts from one shot to another, not only is the spectator denied the pleasure of mastery over an image, as exampled above, but also the spectator is made doubly aware that they are not even in control over where the gaze is focused (Elsaesser, 89 90). In Tangerine when Baker cuts away from the largely similar and static shots of Alexandra singing her song to the nervous, wandering camera floating around Razmik's apartment, to the seductive and hazy bathroom scene with Sin Dee making over Dinah, the spectator is reminded that, in the same way that these three characters are not

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49 in control of their lives, the spectator is not in control of either the action s of these characters, nor their window into this filmic reality. The spectator can neither possess nor point. On top of this, through breaking the natural flow of how the spectator's eyes and mind function, the cut always brings the "hidden machinery" of the cinema to the surface, risking exposure (Elsaesser, 90). Proponents of "suture theory" claim that this potential loss within the spectator, the loss of being able to easily conflate their gaze with that of the camera, is "sutured" through the use of editing techniques, such as match cuts, specifically ones which deviate from 30 35¡ to no more than 180¡ to one side of the original shot (Elsaesser, 90, 91). Opponents disagree, claiming that this rigid metaphysical theory has been proven neither experi mentally nor empirically", insisting instead that the "narrative comprehension'" of a scene sutures the gaze of the camera and spectator back together (Elsaesser, 90, 91, 92). Either way, be it through technical camera work and editing or through narrati ve, both sides agree that the "trauma" caused by a cut must be "sutured" in some fashion, and that it is with this suturing that messages can be injected into the liminal space that lies between the spectatorial reality and the filmic reality (Elsaesser, 8 9 93). By keeping spectators in a pleasurable limbo through allowing them to cyclically and voyeuristically receive, and conversely be denied, scopophilic power in these ways, as well as allowing for the masochistic suturing of the spectator's and the came ra's gazes, the liminal space between the filmic reality and the spectatorial reality is teased open, affording a place for the spectator to create meaning in tandem with the film, and the filmmaker to attempt to insert their own ideologies. Through both t echnical cinematic prowess and narrative cohesion, Baker crafts a tale urging for compassion for those in liminal spaces, for those transgressing the arbitrary lines drawn by society. He does so not only through presenting

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50 humanized, compassionate charact ers with which nearly any spectator can identify, but through shots which respect the bodies of the characters by not objectifying them, and through being sympathetic to their emotional difficulties by matching the characters' passion and mood.

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51 Part 2: Feminist Film Theory and the Branded Pocket Film "the man looks, the woman is being looked at." Laura Mulvey, 1975 Signification and Objectification To review, the movie camera is simply a tool, a machine that captures images (Doane, 86). The cinema, where the images are shown to the spectator, is where those images take on meaning (Doane, 86). The spectator collaborates with the images, gaining voyeuristic pleasure from this identity corroborating relationship, from this cooperative production of self affirming meaning (Doane, 86; Mulvey, 1177). It is self affirming because the spectator is, according to feminist film scholars, a masculine coded sex neutral subject, viewing films created by a cinematic apparatus "con structed by men for male spectators", films that do nothing if not reinforce the pervasive patriarchal power structure (Elsaesser, 95; Haskell, 363; Kaplan, 122). While images alone, just like words/linguistic signs, are arbitrary 36 film, like the writte n word, produces meaning through the articulation of signifying elements" (Cowie, 49; Saussure, 843). So when patriarchal society started communicating not with words, but with moving pictures, the same misogynistic hierarchical reaffirming signs and lin guistic methods familiar in the written word translated over (Cowie, 49; Doane, 87). The method of communication changed, the language did not. The physical conditions inherent in watching a movie (the very act of being stationary and looking at a scree n) coupled with the technological innovations and narrative conventions common to film gives rise to an instinctual scopophilic pleasure, pleasure derived from using another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight" (Mulvey, 1174, 1175, 117 7). To accomplish this, the spectator disavows the "camera's look

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52 in order to create a convincing world in which [their] surrogate can perform with verisimilitude" (Mulvey, 1180). These narrative conventions in film, as with narrative conventions in ot her forms of text, work to signify women as the male other; they are silent objects, the "bearer, not maker of meaning" that through the male spectator's command over can be imposed with his fantasies and obsessions (Mulvey, 1172). Women are, due to the s ensual nature of film (some argue), unavoidably displayed solely to be looked at, either as an erotic object for the characters in the film, for the camera, or for the presumed male spectator (Haskell, 345; Mulvey, 1175, 1176). This possessive male gaze 37 perceives and represents the image of a woman either sadistically as a demystified, punished, or rescued object, or voyeuristically as a fetishized, satisfying, reassuring as opposed to dangerous object (Elsaesser, 86, 95 96; Haskell, 340; Kaplan, 121 ; Mulvey, 1177; Studlar, 213). Curtis Lepore and Jessi Smiles' film When your girl says she's pregnant (2013) exemplifies these qualities. Misogyny in a Moment Setting up a successful six second film means loading every moment with as much information as possible. Establishing mise en scene, like with traditional films, is paramount to the successful dissemination of a message. With Pocket Films, the drastically shorter length of the film, if anything, begs the spectator to imbue intentionality, and thus importance, into every visual sign, regardless of any actual intentionality on the part of the filmmakers. The first few frames of WYGSSP are already dripping with intentional imagery. The room the film takes place in is one of familiar comfort. Jessi and Curtis are laying in bed, surrounded by cozy pillows and a light, soft, pearl white blanket. They have a

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53 bed frame, which in and of itself is a sign of some level of sophistication, bed frames technically being an unnecessary commodity, especially amo ng young adults. This deep brown, stylish bed frame is one of few other things in the room, and it acts, along with an open white door creating a shadow just on the corner of the screen, as a way to visually distinguish between the stark white pillows and the blank white walls behind the couple. That the walls are blank also adds to the scene in a variety of ways. The only color in the film that is not white or brown is Jessi's orange shirt, where the eventual violent action of the film is directed, and b y filming in this room and setting it up as such, our eyes are immediately drawn to her, where the focus stays throughout the film's duration. The blank walls also provide a sense of familiarity. This room not only looks like many blank, white American r ooms, but it allows the spectator to easily insert themselves in the scene. Art work of any sort on the walls would immediately alienate at least a handful of viewers who either cannot afford art, do not want to put up art, or do not share the same taste. By leaving the walls blank, drawing all focus away from the room, Jessi and Curtis are further able to control the viewer's gaze. This orange shirt, as well as Curtis' shirt, plays a large role in setting scene. The two are wearing pajamas with signs mea nt to endear the viewer to their quirky sensibilities. Curtis is lying on his back next to her, his bed shirt adorned with a boxy brown bear wearing tape repaired black rimmed glasses. His shirt is meant to appear both as average and unique. It is a shirt with a screen printed image that is itself not readily recognizable. There is no brand or brand unique design, but "unique" small batch screen printed shirts are at this point a common occurrence (now that the tools for screen printing have also been som ewhat more democratized), something easily obtained, but devoid of any specific cultural calling card.

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54 Screen printed shirts portray one's flair, as it were, while at the same time being the same thing that every easy going everyman would own. Long gone are the Twas the Night Before Christmas cap and button up shirt; Curtis is easily recognized by viewers as "just one of the guys". Jessi is wearing an oversized t shirt bearing, in turquoise lettering, the Florida Dolphins fan slogan "I [heart symbol with the Florida Dolphins football team logo imposed over it] Football." By wearing this shirt with no detectable trace of irony, she is telling her presumed male viewers that she's "also one of the guys", that she is an "honorary man" (Deutscher, 33). Also i mplied is that she may be wearing one of Curtis' t shirts, coding her then as being marked by her man has his property. This pandering is exacerbated by the amount of makeup she is wearing. Makeup not being in and of itself a bad thing, the scenario we a re witnessing is presumably taking place as the two wake up. Plainly, it is beyond expectation that anyone would wake up with their makeup as expertly done as Jessi does in this scene. The combination of these two images, the shirt and the make up, creat es the patriarchal ideal woman: marked as owned, or at the very least, coded as someone who does not take interest in feminine things, but is stereotypically feminine and made up the second she wakes up. In the juxtaposition of the image of Curtis and the image of Jessi we are immediately made aware of the presence in this film of the patriarchal structures defining the lines between genders. With the goal of the patriarchy being the continual subordination of women, due in part to the desire within men to dominate women so as to "transcend their alienation from the means of the reproduction of the species", it is no surprise to witness, even in a film such as this, the cinematic language being wielded as a tool of subordination

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55 (Scott, 1058, 1067). With t he creation of the concept of "gender" 38 the patriarchy linguistically casts an all media pervasive method of "signifying relationships of power" which, after achieving the dominant position, was established as natural and inevitable, as though it came in to form not through ideology or conflict but through "social consensus" (Scott, 1067, 1068). Because of a lack of interest in potential differentiation among men and women", women are largely erased or unconsidered in all forms of language 39 through the i nsistence of an unavoidably masculine coded "sex neutral subject", ignorantly intended to stand in for any gendered individual (Deutscher, 26, 27, 28, 29, 39, 40). However, when the colonial patriarchal power structure does deign to describe the female gen der, it insists they are a deficient, frail, inconsistent atrophic, complimentary opposite, or negative image, of the masculine reference point ( Deutscher, 27, 28, 29, 30, 39; Duncan, 303; Elsaesser, 97; Irigaray, 69, 70 ). As a result, the masculine iden tity becomes coded with positive signs, such as that of reason, strength, discipline, and civic responsibility (Deutscher, 28). Any threat to this dichotomy and this signification of women, inscribed onto every woman, threatens the structure of the cultu res and societies built upon said power dynamic (Cowie, 48; Irigaray, 77; Scott, 1073). We readily see this present in WYGSSP Curtis is portrayed as simple and reserved, his clothing colors matching his surroundings, his sensible brown hair cut close to his head, his splayed out, restful, unconcerned position exuding confidence, strength, and comfort in his environment. With her Curtis referencing negative image presentation 40 Jessi's long blonde hair, her forward bent positioning 41 and her active, awa ke visage, this disrupter, this

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56 veritable troublemaking catalyst stands in stark contrast and compliment to the rigid disciplined figure beside her (Elsaesser, 97). Jessi's make up is of particular interest, because the filmmakers made an explicit effort t o sexualize what is, perhaps the most easily sexualizable feature of Jessi in this video 42 This sexualization of her face, a move arguably unnecessary to the plot of the film, serves solely to objectify Jessi in a way that does not get in the way of the plot, but nonetheless entices the male gaze. This is not an uncommon move in cinema. The dehumanizing reduction of the female gender to a sign in a patriarchal system of exchange, in which men not only figuratively and linguistically but literally exchange women (i.e. exogamy), positions women not as operators of the system, but the objects with which the system operates (Cowie, 52, 53, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 63). Feminist scholar Catherine MacKinnon believes that the primary form of this objectification, thi s subjugation of women, within the patriarchal system is that of sexual objectification, the "putting into place" women's sexuality and sexual agency (Cowie, 59, 60, 61; Mercer, 437; Scott, 1058). In other words, by needlessly sexualizing and objectifying Jessi, the filmmakers preemptively discredit her role as a subject in the events to come. Pregnancy and Body Genres The images of these two figures in their bedclothes are disrupted by a third image: Jessi's swollen abdomen. This sign of her pregnancy b etrays the supposed balance between other two images in that it is not how an ideal, no pressure, perfect woman would appear. While, narratively, pregnancy is capable of uniting characters, for the presumed male spectator the sight of a pregnant woman is an abject and horrifying screen onto which are

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57 projected images not only of fears of responsibility, accountability, and burden, but fears of the loss of patriarchal power, exclusion from child rearing, and castration (Oliver, 193, 206, 207, 208) This is pointedly ironic in that the first three of these fears are supposedly qualities always already present within the male figure. With regards to the final fear listed above, in tying the sign of "woman" to sexual difference, the patriarchal power structure has used a woman's "lack of [a] penis" 43 to connote the "image of the castrated woman," the image of a woman itself becoming the visual implication of the threat of male castration (Mulvey, 1172, 1173, 1177). While it is an "oversimplification to collaps e the entire signification of woman to phallic meaning," the unconscious weight this threat holds is not insignificant, especially in "body genre" films, which focus primarily on topics concerning the manipulation of the human body 44 (Studlar, 210; William s, 270). Like other popular genres, body genre films, such as pornographies, melodramas, and horror films, address "persistent problems in our culture, in our sexualities, in our very identities" (Williams, 276). These manipulative, often sensational, t exts function linguistically similarly to other popular genres and texts, criticizing, discussing, and reinforcing cultural norms, but do so in a more visceral fashion (Creed, 256; Williams, 270, 271, 276). The horror genre specifically is known for an ob session with blood, and the use of the image of "the bleeding body of [a] woman", as opposed to just simply the image of a woman, to signify not only the woman's "castrated" state, but also engender the fear of castration in the spectator (Creed, 256). Th is "terrifying, horrific, abject" signification of castration and sexual difference, termed the "monstrous feminine", is a representative image that, more so than any other representation of women, drives the spectator to more

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58 immediately wish to demystify or fetishize, to punish or rescue, or, more generally, to exact some form of control over the woman on the screen (Creed, 251, 252). This is particularly relevant as WYGSSP shares many qualities with body genre films. When Jessi sits up and pulls the blan ket off herself, her eyes are drawn to her stomach. She is momentarily shocked, her mouth opening slightly further, presumably in disbelief, Jessi herself appearing to be surprised that she is, in fact, pregnant. A fraction of a second later, her eyebrows raise as her eyes stay fixed on her stomach, giving the impression of reluctant acceptance. She starts her one spoken line, "Babe, I'm pregnant" with her eyes still on her stomach, rapidly finishing it just as her head is fully turned towards Curtis, who is lying down facing the opposite direction. Here we have the acknowledgement of the pregnancy by Jessi, and, in effect, a self betraying masculine coded response of shock; shock arguably being an immediate if fleeting sensation of fear, in this case fear of an unplanned pregnancy. In this moment, her body already coded as abject and other simply by being impregnated, Jessi further solidifies her designation as other through the rapid, anxious delivery of her one line. This does nothing but emphasize her weakness and deficiency, especially when juxtaposed with Curtis' response, which though unquestioningly horrible, is, as explained below, treated by the film as "measured", "strong", and "reasonable" 45 As though being a pregnant woman was not horrifying enough for the male spectator, the patriarchal fear of being removed from the means of reproduction and the image of the monstrous feminine is tied together in the sign of the occasional result of the pregnant woman: the mother (Oliver, 206, 207; Scott, 1 058; Studlar, 210). Not only does the sign of a pregnant woman connote images of childbirth, a naturally messy and anxiety inducing event that in one's worst fears could resemble scenes from a horror film, but its end result of

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59 motherhood connotes the com plete deprivation of all of the father's symbolic function (Elsaesser, 121 122; Oliver, 206, 207; Studlar, 210). The male spectator sees within this sign of the mother his own lack, seeing the potential for the mother not only to take advantage of his phy siological lack by excluding him from necessary acts of childrearing (read: breastfeeding), but also the potential for her to turn her child into a signifier for her own desire to enter into the patriarchal power structure, thus exemplifying the male spect ator's lack of ideological and linguistic power over her (Mulvey, 1173; Studlar, 210). Demonstrating this fear and its potential ramifications, once Jessi's line finished, Curtis rapidly sits up, positions himself on his elbow, and ignores her face, starin g directly at Jessi's stomach, eyes mostly closed. After observing her pregnant stomach, he quickly looks at her face, eyes still mostly closed. After, for this short of a film, what feels like an eternity (almost a full second), he starts saying his onl y line in the film, "no you're not", and begins to lie back down. He finishes his line as he's half way back down to the bed, just as his arm closest to Jessi raises up, fingers pointing towards her stomach. Viewed frame by frame, you can clearly see a t humbtack in his hand. However, at full speed, when his rapidly swinging arm connects with Jessi's stomach, popping what is clearly a balloon underneath her shirt, it is a surprise to say the least. Her pregnant stomach pops, and simultaneously Curtis draw s his hand back towards himself while Jessi shrieks loudly enough that the microphone in the smartphone she's recording with proves inadequate to capture its full range, the audio clipping causing the scream to distort slightly. As her short cry fades, sh e looks directly at the camera, puts her hand over her mouth, and quietly whimpers as her eyes close and take the form of a face about to sob. The distorting of the cry calls into question the distance between the filmic

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60 world and the real. It collapses the distance, accentuating the horror by smashing the illusion of a fictive world, one where a story is being told, and one where real things happen to real people. In a way, this look is at once a call for help and a condemnation of the structures that a llowed for this. Her cry, unsurprisingly, has no effect on Curtis, and as quickly as the film began, it is over. With his actions, Curtis has done three things. He has destroyed the things that could be cause for fear, both the child and the pregnant woma n; he has rescued his woman' from the monstrous thing (read: child) that would not only disrupt her life and make her unattractive to him (once again: because she would be a pregnant woman), but would turn her into "the mother"; and he has reinforced his multifaceted dominance over the body of his woman. This damseling presentation of the woman as victim 46 and her inherent "need" to be rescued 47 is reinforced through the juxtaposing presentation of men as angry, repressed, sexually violent animals 48 and the narrative and visual authorization of their violent acts (Clover, 234, 235, 238, 240; Sarkesian). In other words, although the monster in a horror film is the one destroying and killing, body horror films, and WYGSSP in particular, unintentionally iro nically present and reinforce the notion that women are not only the site of abject terror 49 but also cause for it, thus endorsing any male violence used to destroy said monster (Clover, 240; Elsaesser, 97 ). This is to say that the film is presenting Jess i in the way it does in order to sanction, and even to some degree sadomasochistically reward, Curtis' violent actions, actions Jessi brought about but has no power to alleviate (Elsaesser, 97, 122; Williams, 274). Or, to say it as derisively as possible, the film is proposing that "she asked for it."

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61 Make up and Mastery The male image, conversely, cannot so easily be objectified (Mulvey, 1176). Thanks in large part to films being structured around the image of an active male figure, a controlling, "thre e dimensional" protagonist with which the presumed male audience can easily relate, the male image is infrequently earnestly presented in ways which would allow for objectification (Mulvey, 1176). For feminist scholars and Feminist Film scholars, this dou ble standard within film and other texts is unacceptable. They reject the naturalized, distorted image of women paralyzed within and by the patriarchy, unable to contribute to shaping cultural "forms, traditions, or discourse" (Broude, 2; Deutscher, 33). If only from one perspective, Feminist scholar Luce Irigaray writes that communication is only possible between two subjects, and with women coded by the patriarchy as object, and thus unable to communicate with the patriarchal subject, it becomes clear t hat the patriarchy has no interest in allowing women to shape culture (Deutscher 24, 25, 37; Duncan, 302). Texts eschew women's perspectives entirely, choosing instead to sexualize women, wholly disavowing any semblance of their agency, in an attempt to limit and demonize their power" (Broude, 7; Irigaray, 77). When language itself subjects and objectifies women, women cannot wait for male filmmakers to help change the narrative, they have to actively "rewrite men's history", for there are no easy fixes, no "machines of freedom", that will freely and without action allow women to master their own image (Broude, 22; Duncan, 302; Foucault, 247; Scott, 1058). Feminist filmmakers attempting to "rewrite men's history" have to contend with the notions that th e image of a woman has always already been defined by the patriarchy, that, for some, simply "directing a camera toward a woman has become equivalent to a terrorist

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62 act" (Doane, 86, 88). Feminist filmmakers have to also have to contend with the fact that, throughout history, "the more powerfully a woman asserted her agency, the more vigorous was its repression", and that frequently rebellious female creators have worked within the constraints, within the linguistic system, of the existing patriarchal disco urse, not disrupting the power structure in the least (Broude, 5, 21; Irigaray, 81). While feminist film scholar Laura Mulvey pushes for women to explore making films outside of the Hollywood conventions, eschewing it for the radical, pleasure destroying avant garde, she herself notes that avant garde cinema can only exist "as a counterpoint" (Mulvey, 1173, 1180). It is an unavoidable reality that "an uncoded body is an impossibility", and that while feminist filmmakers may wish to dismantle the patriar chal system, their films are inescapably shaped by it (Broude, 7; Doane, 88). Taylor Adele Smith's branded pocket film Feminist Makeup Tutorial (PARODY) (2013) exemplifies the use of patriarchal cinematic language to call the form into question as well a s use it to sarcastically satirize the patriarchal concept of straw feminists' (McMahon). Shot on a Canon EOS 60D 50 FMT(P) starts with a close up of Taylor's made up face, cuts dramatically showing just her left eye, then her lips, before cutting to a s hot of her from the shoulders up. The camera remains in this position for most of the rest of the film, but does occasionally cut to closer shots to show more fine detail on her applying eyeliner and lipstick. Overdubbed with playful narration, Taylor te lling the audience to set the foundation with "the powered ashes of Susan B. Anthony" while plainly showing to the camera the brand of setting powder and brush and exampling the method of application, FMT(P) continuously juxtaposes the images of a traditio nal makeup tutorial' film with biting satirical

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63 straw feminist' rhetoric. so over the top are her musings and muggings at the camera that the film title barely needs the modifier of parody'. Her use of close up, sectioning off of individual facial featu res, and frequent use of sexualized poses mirrors the cinematographic techniques of a patriarchal filmmaker. The close up allows for intense scrutiny of her face, a primary goal of the patriarchy, as earlier discussed (Elsaesser, 59; Mulvey, 1177). Cho pping up' her facial features into bite sized chunks effectively reduces Taylor to being a collection of sexualized features, as opposed to a complete, complex person. Her sexual poses play at drawing the male gaze, further inviting objectification. Thes e actions allow for yet another opportunity for sadomasochistic pleasure, bringing to the forefront the "tension" between the desire to closely examine and fetishize, or fear and recoil, because her image is pleasing by design, but much too exposed and clo se for comfort (Elsaesser, 72, 80, 81). Taylor's coupling of these images and tropes with sarcastic narration calls into question the practice of people criticizing feminism based on false, straw feminist' stereotypes (Broude, 21). Through over exagger ation and quick, small raises of her eyebrows and corners of her mouth, she's able to provide a cathartic satire of straw feminism' while using all the same patriarchal techniques. As if to condone this oppositional filmmaking tone, feminist scholars Norm a Broude, Claire Johnson, and Mary Garrard contend that what is important is not to focus on women's lack of agency in Taylor's case this would be her ability to rewrite the language of film but to recognize and understand women's limited access to cul tural power, and for them to reclaim the "power and agency that women have had and continue to exercise" in order to "rebalance the larger picture", in order to threaten the "fragile and sometimes desperate masculine hegemony" (Broude, 22;

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64 Elsaesser, 97). Taylor, as well as a wide swath of feminist minded pocket cinema filmmakers, reclaims' her ability to use a camera and editing software and create a movie that directly threatens the masculine hegemony' through clever use of sarcasm, and an adherence to form. As we'll see with Part 3, this sort of oppositional use of film is not exclusive to scripted pocket films.

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65 Part 3: Critical Race Film Theory and the Actuality Pocket Film There is power in looking." bell hooks, 1992 White Identity and Racist Portrayals of Black People Same as gender, race plays an enormous role in how films are shot and viewed 51 (Stam, 753, 755, 756). Just like with the colonial patriarchal power structure erasing gender and coding all referen ce points male, so are these reference points coded along racial lines the "natural, inevitable, ordinary way of being human" being portrayed as "white" (Dyer, 44, 45; Irigaray, 69, 70). Whether using language that is commonsensical and everyday or langua ge erudite and academic, it is common to see labeling along the lines of "black" and "white", with "black" denoting color and "otherness", and "white", if denoting anything, the norm 52 (Dyer, 45). This linguistic subjugation (and subjugation through langu age) is effective because it flexes its power in areas other than "ethnic difference", allowing for the exploitative power inherent in being white in America to be tied not to historic racial oppression, but to a supposed natural state of things 53 (Dyer, 4 4, 45; Morrison 38; Stam, 754 ). Racist Black Thugget Beats Up White Girl For Being White (2017) is, with its name alone, presenting the actors 54 in the film in a certain light. However, the actuality pocket film this film is created from may not have ha d such a leading title. Being named in this way is the first of a handful of steps highlighting the fact that while the core content of this film is based in the actuality pocket film genre, that any move to retitle, edit, or share an APF for branding purp oses takes the core film and transforms it into a branded pocket film. Although the only version of the film that is easily accessible is a branded pocket film, by virtue of being distributed and watermarked by third party distributor Dark Horse News, it still once

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66 was an actuality pocket film, and, for the purposes of this discussion, the original footage present will be treated as such 55 The film fades in from black to show a video shot in portraiture, already securing it into the pocket aesthetic' t hanks to the non standard, amateur' orientation of the film. Lighting and film development techniques established during the early days of photography determined the standards by which all film was to be judged, standards which favored techniques endowing white women with "a glow and radiance that has correspondences with the transcendental rhetoric of popular Christianity" (Dyer, 63; Pajaczkowska, 363). These standards which made it "more difficult'" to film people with dark skin have sadly not been res olved, because, though the image in RBTBUWGFBW is consistently blurry, the faces of the white students are markedly more discernable than those of the black student's, giving their visage an "otherworldly" appearance (Dyer, 63; Pajaczkowska, 363). The fil m's setting is that of a standard American public school room, filled with wood and metal desks (the feet of which inserted into slit open tennis balls), stark white walls with a few posters here and there, a white board on the far wall, and a blocky woode n desk in front. There is an open door to the left of the shot, and light pours in from the right. Two or three students are shown sitting, and a few shadows indicate more students present, just off screen. Illuminated in the center of the shot is the fir st of three primary actors we are introduced to. Since no names are given or audibly said, she will henceforth be referred to as Girl 1. Girl 1, a young black girl dressed in black and white trainers, white pants, a white tank top, and a light blue blaze r, is pummeling Girl 2. Girl 2, who, stuck in her desk, thus far unable to be seen, is later shown to be a young white girl in a baggy black hoodie. A male

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67 voice off screen says "oh my god" in a voice half annoyed, and half concerned. With her left arm h olding Girl 2 in place, Girl 1's right arm rises and falls, while the other students slightly lean away, watch intently, or, in one girl's case, calmly amble by while staring at her phone, as though nothing were happening 56 All during this struggle, it a ppears as though the two girls are not saying anything, and after landing seven or eight blows, the cameraperson stands from their desk, and the image begins panning to the left. Girl 1's attack is intensifying, and now students around the assault are lea ving their desks, a few others starting to stand at the door, watching the scene unfold. These images of a black person assaulting a white person are not uncommon in texts of all kinds. This dichotomy of black aggressor and white victim is a common trope in texts of all sorts, the innocent or malicious intent of these distorting stereotypes being of secondary concern (Stam, 755, 756). Black people are frequently portrayed as one trope or its opposite; either as the angry, aggressive "marauding native, men acing savage or rebellious slave," in order to drum up fears of these sexually predatory civilization demolishers, or as the "docile servant, amusing clown and happy entertainer", which nostalgically evokes the image of a "simpler", more "innocent" time fo rever lost 57 (Mercer, 438; Pajaczkowska, 363). Black men are characterized as hypersexual, excessively masculine dullards 58 who become aestheticized and objectified "things" which exist simply to reproduce the naturalized ideologically founded notions of their otherness (Dyer, 48; Mercer, 435 6, 437, 439). Black women, like Girl 1, are shown 59 either as the angry, aggressive savage, or as servants whose image is at once sexualized in the same way all women are, but because of the color of her skin is someh ow also abject and thus an image which reinforces 60 white women as the natural and normal locus of the phallocentric gaze 61 (Gains, 295; hooks, 310, 311). This

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68 makes Girl 1's aggressive actions towards Girl 2, her "savagery", even more pronounced in the e ye of the presumed white viewer, as her image is anything but sexualized and could not be further from domestic. As the film progresses, Girl 1 continues to bash Girl 2, now beginning to berate her. Though largely inaudible, once Girl 2 is able to push Gi rl 1 back, Girl 1 is held back by her classmates, saying a flurry of words ending with remember your fucking skin tone." Free of the attack, Girl 2 quickly repositions herself, clearly frustrated and embarrassed, but trying keep composed. In one motio n she takes her arm she just pushed Girl 2 away with and positions it so she can lean her head on her hand, in a pose of nonchalance 62 The camera quickly pans to the right showing a full classroom, and Girl 1 struggling to free herself from her classmate 's grip. She succeeds, and rushes at Girl 2 again, the camera following her back to the left. At this time, in the background and hardly noticeable, a large white adult man in a green t shirt, henceforth referred to as Man, walks in from the door on the left of the scene, passing the two girls. Girl 1, either ignorant of Man's presence or unconcerned, climbs the desks between her and Girl 2, landing several more blows to Girl 2's head, continuing to berate Girl 2 all the while. The camera moves up and to the left to get a better view, just as Man rushes Girl 1, grabbing her around the waist, and grunts "whoa". He pulls her off the desks, and puts her on the ground, the cameraperson, or someone close to the camera, getting in a quick "oooh shit" as the video fades to black 63 Whiteness, thanks to its colonization of normalcy, is not portrayed as a category so much as the it is the base point by which other categories are judged, and thus does not immediately jump out as a category itself 64 (Dyer, 44, 46). Further masking whiteness as a

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69 category is that any story about a white person instantly becomes one about class, or gender, as opposed to the stories about black people, which are first and foremost about the color of their skin (Dyer, 44, 46). Eve n without any assistance needed from the distributor titling this film, or from people sharing it 65 like the Stormfront 66 user Beast9 whose forum post prefaced it as Female google 67 beats white female as she mocks her skin tone" 68 by focusing the film o n the action of this young black girl, the film becomes one about race, a point solidified when her only audible line is one concerning skin tone (Beast9). When reading whiteness as a category, critical race theorists must rely on comparisons 69 because wh iteness in and of itself is at times "contradictory, fragmented, disintegrated" (Pajaczkowska, 361). But by defining black people as exampled above, white people find themselves defined, if only by comparison, as orderly, rigid, and rational (Dyer, 47 48) With black women and men being defined as they are above, through comparison the category of "white man" takes on attributes such as "safety, power, control, independence and contentment, perhaps smug or self righteous" (Pajaczkowska, 363). Because of this "illusory identity", "white" identity being buttressed only by negative comparisons to other categories, members entrenched and invested in their white identity become fearful if the members of the comparative categories act in ways which do not fit t heir categorical stereotype (Pajaczkowska, 363). We see a brilliant example of this in Man. When Man enters the room, his presence is barely noticeable, either by the viewer or by the other people in the room, specifically Girl 1, who redoubles her offen se shortly after Man enters. When Man, this rational, orderly, rigid enforcer tackles Girl 1, he is understood to be the protector, the guardian of the white Girl 2. He is shown as a powerful, righteous savior, defeating the marauding fury that is Girl

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70 1 The undeniable fact of the matter is that we cannot ever know what happened before the film starts; we do not receive any of the preceding information, and we do not receive any resolution past the subduing of Girl 1. The film presents the actions occur ring on screen as introduction, thesis, body, and conclusion, when it is barely a snippet of the real life occurrence. M uch like what is seen between the patriarchal power structure and women i t is the fear of losing white identity that drives the white p ower structure to reinforce racist stereotypes through such dodgy presentation of a scene (Elsaesser, 101 102; Mulvey, 1173; Pajaczkowska, 360, 362, 363; Studlar, 210). It may not have been the intent of this filmmaker to allow for this to be a racist por trayal of black people, but because of the history of how black people have been portrayed, it cannot help but be entered into that discussion. While these same issues of how black people have been portrayed plague the next film, that the film sports a be vy of footage both before and after the primary action gives credence to the film's overall message. Eric Garner and the Oppositional Gaze Racism is not "permanently inscribed" into film (Stam, 766). This said, a primary issue for black spectators arises when a racist portrayal of a black character, in which "the dominant reading compels the black spectator to identify with the racist inscription of the black character", stands as evidence that this inscription is far from being erased (Diawara, 769). Th rough building awareness of the assumptions spectators and filmmakers bring to film, film's presentations of racist, stereotypical black people, "primarily for the pleasure of white spectators", can be combated 70 (Diawara, 770; Stam, 766).

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71 Like feminist f ilmmakers, filmmakers concerned with matters of race and critical race theorists such as bell hooks have urged for the development of an "independent black cinema" and the cultivation of what she calls the "oppositional gaze" (hooks, 308). hooks writes si mply that "[t]here is power in looking" (hooks, 307). Established well in feminists film theory, hooks expands on this idea, writing that the reproductive mass media power structure, produced to maintain white supremacy, also opens up the opportunity to a gentically develop a resistant, rebellious gaze that can "change reality'", the aforementioned oppositional gaze (hooks, 308). In relation to Mulvey's three gazes, this resistant spectatorship takes the gaze of the spectator and endows it with the power to look back, to interrogate and question not only the images created by (and the power inherent in) the three presumed (white) male gazes, but also the messages being thrown back at the spectator ( Diawara, 768, 769; hooks, 308, 309; Kaplan, 120 121). hoo ks believes that, in the light of real life lynchings and murders as a result of white people fearing black men simply looking at white women 71 the oppositional gaze 72 allows a black spectator to interrogate and gaze, unencumbered by the pressures of the white gazes constantly plaguing them in their real lives, at the images created by the white power structure 73 (hooks, 308, 309, 314, 315, 316). Examples of the oppositional gaze can readily be found in Ramsey Orta's film Eric Garner Video Unedited Vers ion (2014), the most complete version finding itself reuploaded, titled, and logo stamped by The Daily Mail It should be noted that in discussing a film such as this, examining it for its underlying messages in no way calls into question the veracity of the events being portrayed. This film unquestioningly shows Eric Garner actually being harassed and killed by a number of police officers. Even though the film itself is not

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72 real', the events undeniably, really' occurred. The purpose of looking at the resulting film with a critical eye is to show how Orta, intentionally or not, wove the theme of helplessness and imprisonment through his film, thus showing that even actuality pocket films are capable of disseminating messages and playing a positive role in oppositional gazing. EGV UV is shot in portraiture, making the spectator immediately aware of the inexpert character of Orta's film, thus fitting it in within the pocket aesthetic'. The film starts with the image shaking and is momentarily obscured by an orange strap or headphone cord, giving the impression that the phone on which the film was shot was hastily pulled out of a pocket or bag 74 The image remains shaky, matching the anxious tones of the argument being held between the white police offic er, Justin Damico, and Eric Garner, a tall, large African American man, neither of which named throughout the duration of the film. The jittery camera moves between Damico and Garner, the angle at which Orta holds the camera shifting nervously as he attem pts to capture the scene unfolding before him. The image bounces and shakes as Damico stands stock still. Garner, with wide reaching hand gestures and an unfiltered, heated use of language, expressively proclaims his frustrations with being harassed, onc e again and without cause, by police officers. Garner acting in this way unsurprisingly perturbs Damico, "black incarnations of patience" being the preferred response (Stam, 757). Again we are being presented with the image of a savage' black person and a reserved white person. Damico tells Garner that he is under suspicion for selling loose cigarettes. Garner, flustered, continues to remark on his innocence, noting that he just broke up a fight, implying that there was a fight prior to the recording of this film that both he and Damico are aware of At this point, a woman, named Taisha Allen by later reports, walks into the frame to support

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73 Garner's claims, and asks Damico his name (Koeske). Damico briskly utters his name and its spelling, speaking soft ly and quickly enough that it can only be discerned by rewinding the footage and watching it several times. Allen is frustrated after hearing Damico's rapid articulation, and asks him to spell it again. The now equally frustrated Damico spells it again, even more rapidly. Orta attempts to capture Allen writing down Damico's name, but never takes the camera entirely off Damico. Garner begins talking about how "this harassment has to stop", and Damico glances around, spotting the camera, though probably n ot for the first time. He approaches Orta, and asks him to either "take a ride down the block" or "go in [Orta's] building". During this interaction, the camera angles slightly showing Garner with his hands on his hips, his face screwed up in a grimace h alfway between sorrow and exasperation. It is also during these moments that we catch sight of another officer, the plainclothes and unnamed Daniel Pantaleo, arms crossed, stance wide, eyes fixed squarely on Garner (Koeske). Self identity and thus an ab ility to have agency within one's life is formed through the perception and recognition of similarities and differences of others ( Dyer, 48; hooks, 310 ). This goes beyond how black people and racial differences have been portrayed in films. The two Ita lian police officers, ostensibly white, are characters' white viewers are more capable of identifying with. Potentially, because of how white people are portrayed as normal' and good', the white viewer could imagine that they are capable of viewing the scene not as one driven by racial prejudice, but just as an everyday occurance featuring two strong defenders of law and order simply doing their job, talking with someone who has broken the law. In doing this, the white viewer is disavowing not only the importance of their own race, but the importance of race in this scene.

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74 When white people disavow the importance or existence of race and racial differences, they are disavowing, and thus effectively ignoring and erasing, the fact that racial prejudice ha s a real world, tangible, calculable effect on black people living in America (Avenanti; Braham; hooks, 309; Lindstršm). The disavowal by white people of the differences between their own social status and that of black people leaves those who are not whit e floundering in a position where they are not only unable to have the same power afforded to white people in the corporeal world, but also disallowed the opportunity to define and describe themselves as being in this position because of their race 75 ( Dyer 48; hooks, 310 ). The next scene exemplifies Orta's capturing of a clear visual signification of these power relations. Orta stands his ground after several verbal attempts by Damico to get him to move away from the scene. During Damico's persuasions, we see Pantaleo and Garner discuss something, but there are too many other sounds to make out exactly what is being said. Orta shifts position, the camera panning counterclockwise to the action, now with Pantaleo on the far left of the shot, the back fac ing Damico in the center, and Garner positioned on the right between a red brick wall and the two officers. Damico's bifurcating presence in the shot is striking; he is in no way engaging with the camera, allowing no opportunities for spectator engagement or identification, his image and "character" actively denying the penetrating stare of the camera. His positioning also marks an important central line in the shot. On the left side we see the open space of the street and the blinding light of the sky, broken up only by the lush green trees lining the road; on the other side, the dark shade of a storefront overhang, the imposing and ever more present brick wall positioned directly behind Garner highlighting his being pined between the

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75 city and its law en forcement. Even if the distraught Garner were to be able to penetrate the shielded center line to the open side, the open space on this left side is guarded by Pantaleo, a police officer whose clothes and demeanor bring forth images of an oppressive force whose nature is hidden from plain view, an image representing not only a second defense against the Garner's freedom, but an image whose mere presence literally blocks the lines on the sidewalk pointing at an assumed horizon, an assumed ending, an assumed destination of hopeful liberation. After lingering in this position for a few moments, Orta returns to his original position. In this scene Orta has fully established his theme: imprisonment masquerading as freedom. It is easy to imagine that this momen t is none too different from the moments experienced in the every day life of Garner and Orta, with one wrong move meaning the difference between life and death, possibly at the hands of a white man. Damico and Pantaleo give Garner a wide berth, but when Garner moves too much, the officers shift slightly, as though corralling him back into position. Orta is legally free to move about, and does so, but this does not stop the Damico from trying to limit is liberty to witness the scene. The two officers c ontinue to barrage Garner with accusations, and attempt to get Orta to stop filming, the camera swaying and shaking as Orta moves back to the right of the action, and up onto what he alleges is his stoop. After taking this position, there is a rapid wipe edit, cutting out an unknowable amount of time. Glimpsed momentarily before the wipe, however, is Allen's foot, position still on the sidewalk to the left of the scene. After the wipe, she is entering the storefront behind Garner 76 implying that very li ttle time has passed between shots.

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76 The from this angle the scene is much the same, with Garner pinned in on the edge of the shot by the two officers, growing angrier thanks to the accusations of the officers. Eventually, Damico approaches Garner, appeari ng to start the arrest process, and Garner vehemently waives his arms in front of his face, saying "no, no". The officers confer on something as Pantaleo reaches for and uses his transceiver, their minimal words muffled by street traffic and Garner's excl amations that he has done nothing wrong. After using his radio, Pantaleo approaches Garner, waiving his hands around both as an expression of being frustrated, and as an indication to Garner to turn around and allow himself to be arrested. Garner turns, instead, to face Pantaleo, then turns to face the approaching Damico, leaving his backside to Pantaleo. Pantaleo tries to maneuver Garner's right hand being his back, but after being rebuffed once, he instead places Garner in a hold, one arm around Garner 's shoulder, and one around his neck. Damico grabs at Garner's raising left hand, Garner pleading not to be touched, and Pantaleo proceeds to drag Garner backwards. After one failed attempt to wrestle Garner to the ground, Pantaleo succeeds, landing on t op of the Garner as he struggles to the ground. At this point to more officers have arrived, and attempt to assist with the arrest. A third officer joins the fray, reaching for Garner's right hand, trying to get it behind Garner. Garner lets out a wet, gargled utterance as he is yelled at, being ordered to comply. As the officers roll Garner to his stomach, and Pantaleo's arm is removed from around his neck, he is able to articulate a little better, his words "I can't breathe" now plainly audible. Now t hat Garner is fully splayed out on the cement, Pantaleo rolls off of his back, placing all of his weight, momentarily, onto his two

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77 hands, which are positioned directly on Garner's head. Garner softly but desperately exhales "I can't breathe", which he re peats as Pantaleo pushes his head into the cement. Four more officers arrive, one of which tells Orta to back away from the scene, temporarily blocking the shot. Orta repositions, circling around again to the left, showing an innumerable number of offic ers piled upon Garner, who no longer appears to be struggling. Orta is again repositioned by the police, and from his stoop the camera shows more than ten officers surrounding Garner, three of which telling Garner to stand up. They repeat their request w hile trying to pick him up, Garner's body hanging lifelessly as they pull on his arms. Much like with men being terrified of their loss of patriarchal power through women's pregnancy, the terror aroused in white people by black difference and identity sign ifies a perceived attack on the stronghold of white "normalcy" (Dyer, 48; hooks, 310; Mulvey, 1173; Studlar, 210). Orta's capturing of this attack, and the ludicrous number of white officers piling onto Garner signifies this fear, and the resulting attack Garner actively called into question the racial nature of their harassment, and called into question the legality and legitimacy of their arresting him, and the white police officers attacked him as though it were a counter offensive. In the end, the of ficers lay Garner back on the ground, the other officers milling about, looking down at Garner with much less expediency in their actions than earlier. They roll Garner onto his side, Orta speaking with a woman off camera about the frequency at which thes e scenes play out on their streets. An officer asks the motionless Garner if he is okay, shaking Garner and attempting to rouse him. The woman off camera realizes

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78 something has gone wrong moments before a detective ushers Orta off the stoop and further a way, he himself realizing that this has become a crime scene'. The last three minutes consist of police officers milling about, all of which plagued with anxiety. There are two more wipe edits, but the scene is the same: Garner's lifeless body, nervous cops, and disappointed community members. The film ends abruptly, Orta midway through explaining the situation to a man off camera. The non oppositional gaze would have black people, identifying with the now dead Garner, taking in the message that they should be afraid of white people, and that they should not step out of line'. bell hooks herself saying that "[w]e come home to ourselves", implying that being a black person in public means changing who you are, presumably, in part, because of the fear of white retribution' (hooks, 312). But with an interrogative and oppositional gaze, one which presents the real life dangers of being a black person in America through not only shocking documentary footage, but also with a clear and brilliant set of vis ual metaphors, black filmmakers and spectators can call into question the prejudice powers which lord over black Americans (Diawara, 775; hooks, 308, 309).

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79 CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION Reading, Writing, and a Selfie Stick "there are no machines of freedom, by defi nition." Michel Foucault, 1982 "As long as he does not take up arms, the colonized man remains a slave" Glauber Rocha, 1965 Pocket Cinema will neither save the world, nor destroy it. It's just another tool of potential resistance and potential oppressi on. It is up to spectators and filmmakers to understand how these films work if they are going to effectively disseminate helpful ideologies, and if they are going to be protected from harmful ideologies. Filmmakers can do this through critically examini ng what they make, and spectators can do this through critically examining what they see. Growth and understanding only comes out of critical examination of the world and ourselves. When we see something from more than one angle, we are better able to unde rstand that thing. Depth perception is a product of having two eyes. However, because any stimuli we experience are filtered through our subjective brains, we are physically and mentally incapable of understanding concepts from a position outside our own perspective. Unfortunately, the goal of critical thinking' is to do just that. So we must strive to do the best we can, to use as many tools available to us, to simulate another's perspective. Pocket Cinema films allow us to see the world from another person's point of view. It is up to the filmmakers and the spectators, however, to critically create, and critically examine Pocket Cinema films, so as to simulate, as best we can, an outside perspective. Because films have the characteristics that allow them to draw audiences of different origins ", films play an important role in political discourse 77 personal growth, and cultural

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80 development (Getino, 121, 122). Until recently, the major thing standing in the way of the use of film as "a revolutionary tool" was lack of equipment, technical difficulties, the compulsory specialization of each phase of work, and high costs" (Getino, 122). Only those with the money to bankroll films, parties whose primary interest was, understandably, commercial in nature used to be able to make films, disseminating hegemonic capitalistic ideologies along the way. With the recently ubiquity of inexpensive tools of cinematic production, distribution, and exhibition, and really the whole of the Pocket Cinema apparatus, the next hurdles were ideological and aesthetic cinematic structures, or rules. We have seen how cinematic ideological movements have, up to this point, stood in their own ways, derailing the full realization of film's potential impact on the modern world. M uch like with dictators being overthrown, when each new cinematic ideology took over, claiming the throne of the true cinema' that will finally be able to speak clearly to and for the people', they were simply dethroning the tyrant, to become a tyrant th emselves. They relied on the same keys to power, and the same ruling structure and system, albeit with a differing aesthetic. Just as Satan realizes upon contemplating overthrowing God in The Revolt of the Angels (1914), that "[w]ar engenders war, and vi ctory defeat God, conquered, will become Satan; Satan, conquering, will become God", the truly revolutionary act is not to enthrone just one new idol, not to enforce just one new ideology, but to provide the tools with which people can empower themselves, express their own ideologies, and overthrow the tyrant' (read: harmful indoctrinated ideologies) in themselves (France). The Pocket Cinema is not the new/next battleground'. It is not the place where the people' will finally' be given the tools to ca ll the powers that be into question. It is simply one of a growing number of venues in which resistance can occur. Yes, Pocket Cinema films

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81 are fine tools of resistance, but they are just that: tools. While, as Karl Marx says in The German Ideology (184 6), productive forces accessible to men determines the nature of society", wi thout critical minds involved in the production and consumption of these films, the same oppressive themes will show up and be consumed, as we are already witnessing in films su ch as Curtis Lepore's (Kellner, 8, 9; Marx, 121). Pocket Cinema films are both a reflection of society's harmful ideologies and a shining light exposing them. As stated earlier, because Pocket Cinema films feel more real', that they are both mirrors and spotlights can be both good and bad. It is only through the liberating practice of intentional, oppositional, critical reading' and writing' that the Pocket Cinema can be used less like the former, and more like the latter (Foucault, 245, 247). As imp ortant as production, distribution, and exhibition are to movements like Pocket Cinema, the concepts (and practices) of creation, consumption, and comprehension may surpass them. Because, for humans, the concept of artistic or industrial creation is indeli bly tied to the production of their "means of subsistence", creation of all kinds is tied to being alive, tied to the insuring of one's furthered existence. Even though production and creation are some of our humanity defining features, since the industri al revolution "most individuals ceased creating their own cultural forms" (de Certeau, xii; Marx, 114; Radway, 8). With developments like the pocket camera, digital distribution, and the pocket theater, this is no longer the case. People are creating sto ries, filming their world, thanks to the means of cinematic creation no longer being tied to a certain class. All this resulting in the everyday person having the potential to liberate themselves from the ideologies of the oppressive class that was, previ ously, the only one wealthy enough to produce films.

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82 Intentionally or inadvertently, all pocket camera using people are making films that convey ideologies. Without taking charge and intentionally imbuing their own individual ideologies into their films Pocket Cinema filmmakers can lose the opportunity to generate the "ruling ideas of the epoch" (Marx, 137). In other words, those in control of the intentional production and distribution of ideas are the ones in control of ruling ideologies. Without cr itically examining what they are trying to convey, or how their audience may perceive their images, their films will be painfully ineffective. In regards to consumption and comprehension, it should be noted that the aforementioned link of creation to subs istence production means that humans, to a certain degree, are products of their creations, of "their conceptions", by virtue of those creation's being consumed by people (Marx, 115). However, as touched on during the discussion the creation of meaning in films in Chapter 1, the spectator is not locked into being a passive consumer/observer powerless to ideology but is, instead, capable of producing' through consuming,' i.e. reading' as writing'. While uncritical spectators are vulnerable to ideologi cal persuasion, regardless of their unavoidably subjective and ever interpreting, ever rewriting mind, the critical, competent, comprehending, resistant spectator can create, cultivate, and foster their own ideologies, culled from their consumption and sub sequent critique of a film 78 It is for these reasons that it is important to not put full faith in Pocket Cinema, to not lionize and crown it lord of the true cinema', a cinema that is finally able to speak for and to the people'. Pocket Cinema can be used as a tool of resistance, disobedience, and opposition, but only if used critically and willfully. Because of its ability to feel more real', it can also be used as an effective tool of oppression, subjugation, and control by nefarious

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83 powers. That said, Michel de Certeau says that "[p]ower is bound by its very visibility" (de Certeau 37). It is up to Pocket Cinema filmmakers and spectators to decide whether they will use film to expose harmful ideologies by creating and consuming critical films, o r if they will allow themselves, and the power that they are capable of tapping into, to be inhibited by films spouting the same tired oppressive ideologies of the past. In short, it is up to Pocket Cinema filmmakers and spectators to decide whether they will bind, or allow themselves to be bound.

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84 BIBLIOGRAPHY Armes, Roy. "Culture and National Identity." Cinemas of the Black Diaspora: Diversity, Dependence, and Oppositionality. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1995. 25 39. Print. Aslan, Reza. No God but God. New York: Random House, 2011. Print. Barclay, Barry. "Celebrating Fourth Cinema." Illusions Magazine, NZ 35.1 (2003): 7 11. Print. Barnes, Henry. Olive, First Film to Be Shot Entirely on Smartphone Heads to Cinemas." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 2 Dec. 2011. Web. 2 Feb 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/dec/02/olive film shot on smartphone Barthes, Roland Mythologies. New York: Hill And Wang, 2012. Print. Barthes, Rolan d. "Rhetoric of the Image." Visual Culture: The Reader. Ed. Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall. London: SAGE Publications, 1999. 33 40. Print. Bazin, AndrÂŽ. "The Ontology of the Photographic Image; the Evolution of the Language of Cinema." Critical Visions in Film Theory. Ed. TimothyCorrigan, Patricia White, and Meta Mazaj. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 309 325. Print. Baumgartner, E. and Laghi, F. (2012), Affective responses to movie posters: Differences between adolescents and young adults. Internati onal Journal of Psychology, 47: 154 160. Beast9. "Female google beats white female as she mocks her skin tone." 14 Jan. 2017. Stormfront. 12 Feb. 2017. https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1195350/ Bhabha, Homi K. "Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambi valence and Authority Under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817." Critical Inquiry 12.1 (1985): 144 165. Print. Broude, Norma. "Introduction." Reclaiming Female Agency. Ed. Mary Garrard. Los Angeles: University Of California Press, 2005. 1 25. Print. Clover, Carol. "Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film." Feminist Film Theory. New York: New York University, 2009. 234 250. Print. Collins, Karen. "Sonic Subjectivity and Auditory Perspective in Ratatouille." Animation 8.3 (2013): 283 299. Print. Cooper, Ella A. et al. "You Turn Me Cold: Evidence for Temperature Contagion." Ed. Marcus Gray. PLOS ONE 9.12 (2014): 1 18. Print.

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86 Eisenstein, Sergei. "The Dramaturgy of Film Form [The Dialectical Approach to Film Form]." Film Theory and Criticism. Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2009. 23 40. Print. Elsaesser, Thomas, and Malte Hagener. Film Theory: A n Introduction Through the Senses. New York: Routledge, 2010. Print. Eric Garner video Unedited version Ramsey Orta. New York Daily News. YouTube. 12 July 2015. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpGxagKOkv8 Fanon, Frantz. "On Viole nce." Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1961. 61. Print. Feminist Makeup Tutorial (PARODY). Taylor Adele Smith. YouTube. 2013. Film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lET WXTsSwc Foucault, Michel. Trans. Christian Hubert. "Space, Knowledge, and Power." The Foucault Reader. Trans. Christian Hubert. Ed. Paul Rainbow. New York: Pantheon, 1984. 239 256. Print. France, Anatole. The Revolt of the Angels New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1922. Print. Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. N ew York: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd, 1989. Print. Gabriel, Teshome. "The Theoretical Context." Third Cinema in the Third World: The Aesthetics of Liberation. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1979. 5 14. Print. Gaines, Jane. "White Privilege and Lo oking Relations." Feminist Film Theory: A Reader. Ed. Sue Thornham. New York: New York University Press, 2009. 293 306. Print. Getino, Octavio, and Fernando Solanas. "Toward a Third Cinema." Tricontinental 14.October (1969): 107 132. Print. Graham, Ian, and Ronald Shaw. "WALL E's World: Animating Badiou's Philosophy." Cultural Geographies 17.3 (2010): 391 405. Print. Greenblatt, Stephen. "Culture." Critical Terms for Literary Study, Second Edition. Ed. Thomas McLaughlin and Frank Lentricchia. Chicago: Th e University Of Chicago Press, 1995. 225 232. Print. Gunning, Tom. "The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant Garde." Film and Theory: An Anthology. Ed. Robert Stam and Toby Miller. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2000. 229 235. Pri nt

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88 Metz, Christian. "Black Spectatorship: Problems of Identification and Resistance." Film Langauge: A Semiotics of the Cinema Trans. Michael Taylor. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974. 31 91. Print. Metz Christian. "The Imaginary Signifier." Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. Ed. Philip Rosen. Gilfordshire, Surrey: Colombia University Press, 1986. 244 278. Print. Mimura, Glen. "Ghostlife of the Third Cinema: Asian American Spectrality and the Experimentalist Turn." Ghostlife of Third Cinema. Minneapolis, MN: University Of Minnesota, 2009. 55 80. Print. Mommsen, Wolfgang J. "Older Theories of Imperialism." Theories of Imperialism. New York: Random House, 1980. 3 28. Print. Mommsen, Wo lfgang J. "Marxist Theories of Imperialism." Theories of Imperialism. New York: Random House, 1980. 29 59. Print. Munroe, Randall. "XKCD: Standards." XKCD. Randall Munroe, 20 July 2011. Web. 3 March 2017. Morrison, Toni. "Romancing the Shadow." Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1992. 29 59. Print Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." The Critical Tradition. Ed. David H Richter. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 20 07. 1172 1180. Print. "Netflix FAQ." Netflix. Reed Hastings, 1 Jan. 2017. Web. 3 2017. https://help.netflix.com/en/node/412 Olive. Hooman Khalili, Pat Gilles. CaveScribe. 2011. Film. Oliver, Kelly. "Conclusion: Twilight Family Values." Knock Me Up, Knoc k Me Down: Images of Pregnancy in Hollywood Films. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. 191 208. Print. Orzeck, Kurt. "Olive': The Oscar Contender Made With a Smartphone." The Wrap The Wrap News Inc, 5 Jan. 2012. Web. 2 2017. Pajaczkowska, Claire, Lola Young, "Racism, Representation, Psychoanalysis." Feminism & Film. Ed. E. Ann Kaplan. Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2000. 356 374. Print. Peach, Richardo. Queer Cinema as a Fifth Cinema in South Africa and Australia Sydney: University of Techn ology, Sydney, 2005. Print.

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89 Pines, Jim, and Paul Willemen. Questions of Third Cinema. London: British Film Institute, 1994. Print. Power, Pat. "Animated Expressions: Expressive Style in 3D Computer Graphic Narrative Animation." Animation: an Interdiscipli nary Journal 4.2 (2009): 107 129. Racist Black Thugget Beats Up White Girl For Being White Dark Horse News. YouTube. 12 Jan 2017. Web. 12 Feb. 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4WpXmFTBrA Radway, Janice. "Introduction." Reading the Romance. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University Of North Carolina Press, 1991. 1 18. Print. Reeves, Nicholas. The Power of Film Propaganda: Myth or Reality? New York: Cassell, 1999. Print. Rhodes, Gary D., and John P. Springer. "Introduction." Docufictions: Essays on the Intersection of Documentary and Fictional Filmmaking. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2006. 1 9. Print. Rocha, Glauber. "An Esthetic of Hunger." New Latin American Cinema, Volume 1. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1997. 59 61. Print. Rock, Ben. "The Making of The Blair Witch Project Part 4: Charge of the Twig Brigade." Dread Central. DreadCentral.com, 22 Aug. 2016. Web. 2 Feb 2017. http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/181921/part 4 charge twig brigade/ Said, Edward. Ori entalism. New York: Random House, 1978. Print. S‡nchez Escalonilla, Antonio, "Verisimilitude and Film Story: The Links between Screenwriter, Character and Spectator" en: Communication and Society/Comunicaci—n y Sociedad vol. XXVI, n. 2, 2013, pp.79 94 S cott, Joan W. "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis." The American Historical Review 91.5 (1986): 1053 1075. Print. Silverman, Kaja. "Suture." Nar rative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. Ed. Philip Rosen. Gilfordshire, Surrey: Colo mbia University Press, 1986. 219 235. Print. Smith, Taylor A. "LIGHTS, CAMERA, MAKEUP TUTORIAL ." Instagram Instagram, Nov. 2014. Web. 2 2017. https://www.instagram.com/p/u9mn3fp7OZ/?taken by=tadeles Springer John P. "The Newspaper Meets the Dime Novel: Docudrama in Early Cinema." Docufictions: Essays on the Intersection of Documentary and Fictional Filmmaking. Ed. Gary D Rhodes. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2006. 27 42. Print.

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90 Stam, Robert, and Louise Spence. "Colonialism, Racism, and Representation: An Introduction." Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings Ed. Marshall Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 751 766. Print. Studlar, Gaylyn. "Masochism and the Perverse Pleasures of the Cinema." Feminism & Film. Wellin gton Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford, 2000. 203 225. Print. Tangerine. Sean S. Baker. Magnolia Pictures. 2015. Film. Wasson, Haidee. "The Other Small Screen: Moving Images at New York's World Fair, 1939." Revue Canadienne D'ÂŽtudes CinÂŽmatographiques 21.1 (2012): 81 103. Print. When your girl says she's pregnant. Jessi Smiles, Curtis Lepore. Vine. 2013. Film. https://vine.co/v/heMmjd7m17J Williams, Linda. "Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess." Feminis t Film Theory. New York: New York University, 2009. 270 281. Print.

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91 APPENDIX 1) There is a fourth category of Pocket Film that is nearly impossible to critically discuss, and possibly doesn't hold any critical weight beyond the fa ct that their existence provides further evidence for how simply and easily a film is to create now, and that is the Unintentional Pocket Film. A UPF is created when someone accidentally starts recording video instead of taking a picture on their smartpho ne, or when an action camera's button is accidentally clicked on and it captures a few second of the inside of a pocket. UPFs can be turned into APFs or BPFs through distribution and exhibition, but as soon as they are considered films worthy of either di stribution or exhibition, they shift away from being a pure UPF. That UPFs exist at all stands as a shining example of how prevalent the technology to create films has become; it is so prevalent that our unintentional creations are carelessly produced, an d frequently destroyed without a second thought. 2) This is another complicated feature of Pocket Films, namely that they can be duplicated, distorted, and distributed without the consent, or even knowledge, of the original filmmaker. Since third party distr ibutors can change films in unknowable ways, each version of a film is a distinct and separate entity, and should be considered as such. 3) Since then, we have increasingly invited it into our lives, though we are in no way obliged to do so (Metz, 275b). 4) Its success can be partially attributed to its egalitarian approachability, film being equally accessible, both from an economic standpoint as well as an ideological and aesthetic one, to adults and children of all walks of life though specifically those in the working class (Reeves, 2, 23). Despite all the attention and adoration it received, in its early days the cinema had vocal opposition from the art world, which saw film as unable to have an artistic aesthetic at all due to its stature as popular cultur e (Reeves, 2,3). Even powerful heads of state spoke out against film, such as Russia's Tsar Nicholas II calling it "empty, totally useless, and even harmful'" (Reeves, 2, 3). Though there were those who bemoaned its worthlessness, the opposition could no t help but admit the potential in its power over the people (Elsaesser, 151; Reeves, 3, 4, 55, 58). 5) A term they themselves coined. 6) But not exclusively. 7) Inspired' here being used to lightly refer to the fact that Paul created counterfeits of Edison's Kineto scope (Thompson, 18). 8) Mirroring the growth of the printing press and the printed word in the 15 th century. 9) An experience that in and of itself could too be branded 10) While many branded pocket filmmakers do not actively invest in online distribution platforms they undeniably benefit from their existence. 11) The establishment of said places no doubt having its effect on filmmakers taking into consideration how these halls would effect the spectator's cinematic experience. 12) A form of oppression and global dominatio n unique to the modern era in which "First World" nations develop a financial dependence in "Third World" nations; a disease in First World nations, first inflicted upon said Third World nations before moving in on

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92 their own inner cities, that revolutionar ies found unacceptable (Mimura, 57 58; Mommsen, 31; Fanon, 5, 53 54, 57; Pines, 5; Rocha, 13). 13) Being at once cultural, economic and sociopolitical" (Sarto, 80). 14) Their aim being the creation of a popular, critical, decolonizing national cinema/culture, whi ch stood against "under development" and for the "denunciation of sociopolitical oppression and economic exploitation" (Sarto, 82). 15) And as a result, bringing light to their society's propensity towards oppression, exploitations, discrimination, marginalit y, poverty, hunger, misery" (Sarto 83). 16) "The essence of [Latin American] society" (Rocha, 13). 17) The innately penetrative nature of film made it far more effective than any other tool of communication" (Getino, 122). 18) "Our originality is our hunger and our g reatest misery is that this hunger is felt but not intellectually understood. The most noble cultural manifestation of hunger is violence. The violence of a starving man is not a sign of a primitive mentality. [Third Cinema] teaches that the aestheti cs of violence are revolutionary rather than primitive" (Rocha, 13). 19) In the Marxist sense. 20) Read: Colonial. 21) In their case, literally their government, and figuratively the ideological systems it represents (Sarto, 85). 22) As well as First World capital, which is more an issue relating to the Third Cinema movement than to pocket films. 23) The end result in mind for Third Cinema filmmakers may have been the "decolonization" of their nations, but the ideology behind the making of the films was, before anything else, to present the world as it is (Gabriel, 6, 12 13; Getino, 116). 24) "Indigenous Cinema." 25) "Queer Cinema." 26) For all the grief Third Cinema filmmakers gave Second Cinema filmmakers about self imposed rules becoming the walls of their own fortress prisons, the orig inal Third Cinema filmmakers did just the same to themselves (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 108, 123 129). This militarized "guerrilla cinema", consisting of (self described) lonely filmmakers who saw themselves as the true voices of the people, saw itself as the o nly one involved with the interests, aspirations, and prospects of the vast majority of the people" (Gabriel, 7; Getino, 126, 129). They wished for nothing more than to get the people interested, alert, and active (Getino, 130). Bizarrely, however, Third Cinema filmmakers believed "true" revolutionary cinema consisted solely of unpleasant, politically stigmatizing" documentaries that stretched avant garde film ideologies to their breaking points so as to invent "film forms and structures that serve a mor e profound vision of our reality" (Getino, 118, 123, 125; Sarto, 87). The more well known films that would come out of this movement consisted of six to eight hours long avant garde documentaries, each qualifying part of that description in and of itself being a turn off for some. They took their desire to move away from colonial/traditional cinematic ideologies and pushed themselves as hard to the other side as they could, in the end eschewing any semblance pleasure, failing to realize that, as outlined in the previous section, typical audiences either find avant garde

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93 films unpleasant at best and incomprehensible at worst (Getino, 123 129; Reeves, 74). 27) Though it is to be sure that, just as the joke goes with universal standards (when a new universal stan dard is created, so as to make obsolete the other universal standards, the new universal standard will inevitably fall short of some criteria, and now there will just be one more universal standard), as open and free from contradiction as it may seem, Pock et Cinema too is unable to escape the pitfalls of imprisoning itself in a fortress prison of rules. This, however, is the nature of lines drawn by humans; by virtue of being a distinction created by a human hand, it will inevitably evoke exceptions. But a flawed foundational distinction is better than none at all (Munroe). 28) As if the fact that simply by being filmed people act in inauthentic ways was not bad enough (Rhodes, 6 7). 29) Or, pedantically, a three dimensional projection of a four dimensional event, when time is considered a dimension. 30) That said, however natural it may be, this ability, when discussed in relation to film, is one that humans can develop, becoming more skilled with the more films to which they are exposed (Metz, 41a; Reeves, 74). 31) In o rder to blend the spectator's "real" and "illusory" auditory world, filmmakers must take into consideration how a spectator's "auditory perspective" performs outside of the theater, and employ this knowledge within the theater, creating an environment that is either familiar or uncanny, depending on the filmmaker's intent (Collins, 285, 288). 32) Again we see the importance of production, distribution, and exhibition. 33) As a result of film being understood as a language, as opposed to the objective capturing and mummification of time and reality, "the cinema", a gestalt consisting of these linguistically read films, their cultural impact, and ideologies which make up the cinematic land space, has come to be understood as a form of philosophy, its creators as moder n, technology wielding "great thinkers", and those writing about it its theorists (Bazin, 313; Elsaesser, 49, 64 65, 158 159, 161). 34) Or threaten 35) Or, as early film theorist Sergei Eisenstein would say, "[t]he superimposition of two dimensions of the same m ass gives rise to a completely new higher dimension" (Eisenstein, 27). 36) I.e. empty of an inherent meaning until the human mind gives it one. 37) The male gaze functions at three levels: the look of the camera, the look of the characters within the narrative, an d the look of the spectator (Elsaesser, 93; Kaplan, 120 121). With cinematic filming techniques developed by men within a patriarchal power structure, the narrative fashioning techniques developed under the same system, and a spectatorship trained by patr iarchal society, the hands guiding the camera, the minds guiding the writing, and the eyes watching the screen are always already structured to voyeuristically objectify women (Kaplan, 120 121). 38) a constitutive element of social relationships based on perce ived differences between the sexes" (Scott, 1067, 1068).

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94 39) Deutscher here specifies writings in "philosophy, law, economics, [and] science", but the forms of writing which do not fall into one of these categories is negligible, if not, arguably, non existent 40) Her clothes are needlessly flashy, his are not; her face is needlessly made up, his is not. 41) Implicating a turning in, a protected and alert position 42) Since the majority of her body is covered either by a blanket or a shirt, and the props inherent in the f ilm do not allow for stereotypical sexualization of her body. 43) The patriarchy being a misogynistic power structure, it should come as no surprise that the moves made by it are also transmisogynistic, as not all women lack a penis. 44) Also, while it may be true that, by "giv[ing] precedence to the eye over all other organs" through focusing on the spectator's reliance on scopophilic pleasure through the eyes, feminist film theory (which is just as guilty as apparatus theory) may be inadvertently strengthening "t he (bourgeois) ideology of looking at films in a disembodied, de contextualized and dematerialized way, even while accusing mainstream cinema of producing alienated forms of human experience", it is nevertheless true that the eyes are the primary method of filmic consumption, and should thus take on a primary focus (Elsaesser, 100). 45) It is obvious that the drastic actions taken by Curtis in the next second is supposed to be comedic, and that the juxtaposition of the measured approach to his actions with thei r ludicrousness is supposed to be the source of the joke. The fact that it is supposed to be a joke does not diminish the action's horrific nature. 46) In this case, she would be a victim of both impregnation and potential motherhood. 47) From Curtis' projected f ears. 48) In texts, if women's sexuality or sexual agency is represented at all, it is shown as a mirror of masculine sexuality: identical, drawing again on the concept of sexual indifference and the masculine sex neutral subject, or complimentary but "subordi nate to the requirements of reproduction", reinforcing the hierarchal dichotomy (Deutscher, 26, 32). This is particularly ironic, in that the main action of this film is driven by the fear of reproduction. 49) The notion of experiencing terror itself being ge ndered female. 50) A nice camera but by no means comparatively expensive. 51) There are arguments that, after the a few successes won by civil rights movement, America is living in a post racial epoch ([Cite basically anything on Breitbart]). In other words, that Critical Race Theory is no longer a valid lens through which to critique the world. This claim is baseless, if only because the insistence that race is meaningless, i.e. the "enforc[ement of] racelessness in literary discourse", is an unavoidably meaningf ul, racial act (Morrison, 46). 52) Films featuring white protagonists "position all spectators, white and black, to identify with white heroes; likewise," films featuring black protagonists are "intelligible to white spectators only if they suspend their criti cal judgment and identify with the black heroes" (Diawara, 769). 53) The previously discussed ways in which language has violent, real world effect on individuals, communities, and societies are present once again in this discussion (Deutscher, 34; hooks, 310; Scott, 1063; Stam, 753).

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95 54) Actor' being used here not to imply that that the actions here filmed were staged, but to indicate people whose actions are central to the action of the film. 55) Observations in relation to the easily accessible version of the film being a BPF: First on the screen is the uploading/distributing website's production logo, as well a warning of graphic content advising that "some viewers may find the following footage disturbing". Playing in the background of the production logo is what is designed to appear to be stock footage of actual cellulose nitrate film, or grainy, poorly preserved low quality mid to late century low budget film stock. The blank, distorted sepia tone footage rolls for a few seconds before fading to black. The prod uction logo is shown for a variety of reasons. Beyond the promulgation of their brand and the establishing of a brand aesthetic, the filmmakers are attempting to further solidify the credibility of the inherent message within the text that follows by equa ting it with "news". Furthermore, in utilizing the apparent stock footage running behind their production logo, they play on culturally established cinematic literacy which equates these signs and signifiers of age with authenticity and authority, the tho ught being that through using this imagery, further legitimacy will be added. The original, exceptionally blurry footage has been edited by Dark Horse News to not only put their logo in the bottom right corner, but fill the black sides of the portraiture s hot film with a zoomed in, blurred version of the action on screen. 56) Though it is entirely possible she was anxious about looking at the fight, lest she be drawn in, and was attempting to remove herself from the situation as covertly as possible. 57) In additio n, much like with how women are portrayed, black people are shown to be more "of nature", a move intended to objectify and infantilize, thus stripping them of agency (Duncan, 303; Dyer, 55). 58) Usually cast simply as disorderly, irrational "criminals, athlet es, [or] entertainers." 59) When allowed by the "racial patriarchy'" to appear on screen at all. 60) Through connoting otherness. 61) Which itself further objectifies the image of the black woman. 62) Dark Horse News edits the last few seconds and slows them down to abou t half speed, highlighting the words Girl 1 uttered, but without bringing any clarity to their enunciation. The film continues, replaying Girl 1 speaking her nearly inaudible words, and being held back by other classmates. This is an editing technique fai rly common to ACFs that have been turned into BPFs by third parties. 63) The easily accessible version of the film ends with another Dark Horse News production logo, this time the message underneath it reading "Thanks for watching! Please remember to like, com ment, share and subscribe." 64) When only white racists disavow historical white domination as the driving force behind the power wielded by white people in America, these racists attributing the advantages to being white in Western societies to "inherent qual ities of white people", credence is granted to the concept that white privilege came about simply by accident (Dyer, 46). 65) Thus, in part, becoming a part of the web of distributors. 66) Possibly the most prominent, public, American white nationalist website. 67) In 2016, neo Nazi's/Alt Right activists, members of the KKK, and other white nationalists started using terms such as "google" and "yahoo", large company names,

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96 in place of racial epitaphs, so that their racist posts could not as easily be filtered out of se arch engine results. 68) Going on to say Racist black high school student beats up white classmate for being white. While she's attacking the white girl the black thugget says "remember your ****ing skin tone" and starts to attack her again. #WhiteLivesMatter #ObamasLegacy. Ah just a typical day for a white teen who is surrounded by subhumans at school. Her parents should be charged with child endangerment.' The "*"'s there is Beast9 censoring himself, bizarrely believing curse words more offensive than racia l slurs. 69) A privilege afforded only to whiteness. 70) As Michel Foucault says, "in all relations of power there is necessarily the possibility of resistance'" (hooks, 308). 71) And the disavowal of the black woman's experience and worth in the feminist movement. 72) B irthed out of the private realm of television screens or dark theaters.' 73) While hooks speaks only of the spectator's gaze taking on the form of the oppositional gaze, there is no reason that, if executed from an "independent black cinema" perspective, the gaze of the camera and the gaze between characters cannot also take on that quality. 74) That these opening moments were left in at all are another signifier of the film's amateur nature. 75) Difference is not inherently bad, but by disavowing the very real differ ences between white people and black people, any desire to associate oneself with difference is coded as negative, as a deviation from the (now established as unavoidably "white") norm, and thus abject, unnecessary, and horrifying (Dyer, 44, 45). 76) From whic h position she too will later film Garner's arrest (Koeske). 77) "[T]he destruction of a national awareness begins as soon as the child has access to [the] media, the education and culture of the ruling classes" (Getino, 117). 78) This sort of creation through consumption can be seen in Native Americans subverting imposed colonial laws, using them in the service of rules, customs or convictions foreign to the colonization which they could not escape", or in modern Muslims "actively reinterpreting Islam according to their own changing needs", "not only redefining Islam by taking its interpretation out of the iron grip of the clerical institutions, they are shaping the future of this rapidly expanding and deeply fractured faith" (Asla n, 10, 11; de Certeau, 32).