Archive | News RSS feed for this section
Aside

A few things to know: The Bechdel Test

18 Jul

What is it?

The Bechdel test was first introduced in Allison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to watch out for, in a 1985 strip called “The Rule”. In order for a film to pass the Bechdel test it has to meet the following requirements:

  1. It has to have at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

There have been variations to the criteria of the test, for example the female characters have to be named.

So …..

pan's labyrinthThink about a movie that you watched recently, or any movie at all. Does it have two female characters, who have a conversation about something besides a man? Can you try and name more than 3 films that pass the Bechdel test?  I actually found it kind of difficult…

And that’s where the problem lies…

The problem isn’t about the lack of female characters in films (the movie Avatar, which features the character of Neytiri, fails the test) but the lack of depth to female characters.

  • If passing the test were mandatory it would have jeopardised half of 2009’s Best Picture Nominees
  • It would also have cut the length of the annual Comic-Con to 45 minutes,

It can also be noted that the only reason a lot of these films do pass the test is because the women only talk about marriage or babies.

Why do so few films pass the Bechdel test?

One reason so few films pass the Bechdel test is that the majority of scriptwriters are male; therefore they are less likely to write about female characters.  As a female writer, I’m more likely to write a story where female characters are central to the storyline.

Another reason is the assumption about what an audience would prefer to see in a film. You are unlikely to here a female talking about her problems to her colleague in an action packed Vin diesel film. Even if it was a cliché romcom, nine out of ten times the conversation will be about a male love interest.

To restore your faith in humanity here are some films that do pass the Bechdel test:

1. Legally Blonde

There are several instances where Elle talks to females on other topics beside men.  Elle gets Brooke to tell her her alibi; Vivian lies to Elle about the party being a costume party, and Elle interviews chutney on the witness stand. Legally_blonde

2.Black Swan

The main character regularly talks to her mother; there is also a lot of discussion between the other ballet dancers about the challenges of the profession.

3.Coraline

Women in the film include: Coraline and her mother, her other mother, Mrs Spink, and Mrs Forcible to name a few.  All of them at some point have a conversation with another female character that is not about a man.

4.Juno

Juno has plenty of arguments with her mother, and a discussion about prenatal stuff. Fails the anti-Bechdel test – no two men talk to anything other than a woman.

 5. Pan’s Labyrinth

Mercedes and Ofelia talk about believing in fairies and Ofelia’s dress; the both manage not to talk about a man while Mercedes is getting Ofelia milk. If it is easy for a dark fairytale like this one to pass the test, why does it seem so difficult for a simple romcom to do the same thing?

By Louisa Danquah

Why we love: The Fault in Our Stars

12 Jul

The fault in our stars” is a novel about love between two teenagers named Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace- but with a twist, the twist being they both suffer from cancer. It is not a typical story; even though the cancer is a big part of the story-line, the novel still manages to be humorous and uplifting despite the serious themes. “The fault in our stars” explores what it means to be alive and challenges the typical idea of a teenage romance.

TFIOS

So why is “The fault in our stars” a New York Times bestseller?

When searching through different reviews on the novel, we found that most people had a strong attachment to the characters of Hazel and Augustus. One person wrote:

 

‘I felt that when I was reading it I was friends with Hazel and Gus, and that I was with them, sorting out their problems, helping them’.

Another reader, similarly wrote:

‘this book was the total opposite of some sappy love story because of how realistic it is.’

 

Their strong and witty personalities make it easy for readers to relate and connect to them. Hazel and Augustus bring a realistic element to the novel, unlike most other teenage love stories. John Green is able to write in the voice of a teenage girl to create a story that isn’t just a

.bout ‘ordinary teenagers with teenage problems’ but about an extraordinary teenager who faces something much more than the ‘average teenage problems’.

If we could describe the novel in one word, it would be ‘powerful’; another reader shared our feelings:

TFIOS2

‘I loved it because of how powerful it was. How everything in Hazel Grace’s life, she questioned, even if it was something as simple as ‘Why should a person only have breakfast food for breakfast?’

 

The book is able to raise questions that normally wouldn’t even cross our minds. In this sense Hazel is able to present ideas that go beyond the surface and make the reader think outside of the box.  Hazel tells her mum the her t-shirt does not have a pipe on it:

‘It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract. It’s very clever’

 

Even though The Fault in Our Stars is fiction, the struggles of Augustus and Hazel, are in fact a reality in some people’s lives. The novel has inspired many people around the world, here is an example of just one:

By Louisa Danquah & Steffi Maranan

Check out what one of our Young Creatives is getting up to!

4 Apr

 

Howdy!

So here at YH! We have a bunch of young Londoners with a MAHOOSIVE amount of talent.

Take a look at our Music Editor/ girl about the Town’s blogs here on WordPress and show her some love!

–  http://thefashionmonsterbabyblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/some-wisdom-for-you/

–  http://sianabangura.wordpress.com/

http://siana1609.wordpress.com/

Fashion, making it in Journalism, and a general blog all about life as a Young Londoner, balancing the big and the small.

If you’ve got Twitter, follow her! @Sianaargh_Bizzl

And don’t forget to ‘like’ YH! On Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too!

So for now,

Ev’nin’!

*salutes*

X

Ps: look out for ‘Young and Brilliant’ …it’s coming hard and it;s coming fast! Watch this space *winks*

So I came across something VERY interesting…

30 Mar

Hey there,

So my mother pretty much banned me from my laptop for a day (for my own good) as I now seem to live and breath this thing. Whilst I had no interweb, I had to go out and find myself something to do (I mean I should be revising for my preliminary exams, which will be at the end of April but I just can’t bring myself to really kickass and get to grindin’… but anyway…). Whilst out, I stumbled across the latest initiative to get we, the British people out and active: The Outdoor Gym as brought to you by the Outdoor Gym Company. The idea is that basic elements of the gym are placed in strategic parks across London. So far, I hear that Burgess park, as well as my nearby Southwark Park, has been hit – and I am sure there are many dotted around the capital.

So anyway it seems that, despite the equipment being quite simple and perhaps not working you as hard as you should be, local people are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to get some free exercise in the great outdoors. I pumped some iron for an hour and enjoyed the blossoming flowers in Southwark park – which makes a change from the stuffy room at my indoor gym/s.

It was really nice to see mothers with their children strollers; the elderly; and those who look like they’d never even heard of the notion of ‘exercise’ , all coming together and getting a bit sweaty.

We all know that childhood obesity/ obesity in general is a growing problem in Britain. We are hot on the sluggish trail of America and *THAT* really is something to worry about. Plenty of people, although not morbidly obese, are being considered ‘clinically obese’ which means that they’re BMI is over the healthy average of about 24/25.

Even if you are not traditionally on the heavier side, it’s good to get fit. I am sure well have a couple of friends who are really slim but eat like horses! Trust me, if they are not keeping active, they’re bodies are screaming on the inside. Women usually have a higher percentage ratio of fat to muscle than men, which is why we should work even harder to get rid of unwanted jiggle.

I myself am struggling with my journey towards my GOAL of obtaining formidable bombshell Rihanna thighs – and the rest of her body to go with it *sighs*

But even if we don’t wanna aim *that* high, it’s time to get out there and enjoy the sunshine! Work up a healthy sweat…it’ll make that cheeky chocolate cake or the fries you had for dinner not be *so* bad for you. A balance diet, drinking plenty of water and doing enough exercise (at least 30 minutes 5 times a week) will improve the health of your skin, teeth, hair and nails, as well as your figure and fitness.

Anyhoo, I’m gonna love you and leave you. I’m quite hungry and the chocolate cake in the fridge is rather tempting… *scrunches face* *remembers those Rihanna thighs and stomach*

It’s Siana, Over and Out

*Salutes*

Ps: In my quest to get those legs, and in aid of the new project YH will be launching, tune in next week and watch me get my ass whooped by a Kick-boxing champ who is going places… Watch This Space, Team!

XxxX

We Marched Together. We Marched for Justice.

27 Mar

Yesterday, Saturday 26th March 2011, 500,000 people marched through the streets of central London in response to the large-scale butchering of vital funds once invested in the services the people of Britain rely on – the services that make/ made this country ‘Great’. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) called for and organised a national demonstration in response to the radical actions being taken by the Con-Dem government.  The whole country was represented as whole families; students; workers; pensioners; black,white, Asian, alien and/or others marched from Waterloo and Embankment, through The Strand and up into Hyde Park.

Unfortunately and true to form, a violent anarchist/barbarian/ignorant/full of sh*t minority removed themselves from the peaceful ethos of the movement and went around smashing things up and hurting the police (who were actually on our side) for no good reason:

http://tinyurl.com/64xd26t

The media of course will now concentrate on the violent 200 and the arrested 80 outside of the 500, 000 marchers (good mathematics will tell you that that’s about 0.04 per cent who killed it).  It is VERY important that we do not let this mar the efforts of the TUC and the people of Britain.

I read a stupid comment on Twitter from an upper-Middle-class twat-cat, which complained about the fact that young people (16 year olds to be exact) were also marching. To this I say the following things:

Firstly, these ’16 year olds’ have parents/ guardians who are workers. They were standing in solidarity with THEM and FOR them.

Secondly, the march was not *just* about the cuts in funding for the public sector. Students, pensioners and young children have also been attacked by Cameron, Clegg and their men. These young people will have children and will grow old. FACT. SO shut-up.

Thirdly,  how dare anybody question why young people/ anybody wish/es to march in solidarity. It’s that kind of arrogant/bourgeois attitude that has left us in the HOLE.

Now we say that enough is enough. We are many and they are few. WHY should the working classes pay for the mishaps of the bankers? So we are ‘all in this together?’  NOW WE ARE NOT.  Have you ever heard the joke about the banker and the umbrella?

‘A banker will give you his umbrella on a sunny day and then demand it back when the rain starts to piss down’.

Yes, to get out of a nation-wide/global crisis, everybody needs to do their part. But tell me why bankers and those in the upper echelons of society should keep their GARGANTUAN bonuses, whilst working class woman/ young children and young people/ pensioners/ whole families have to live on chicken change? That’s is Cameron’s ‘Big (business) society’.

We have been apathetic for far too long. People now need to be politicized and motivated! A march is all well and good but that is only the start of a permanent revolution.  The power lies within the masses.

This isn’t the last you’ve heard about this.

 

For now though, keep it real. keep it raw. And keep it together *salutes*

Siana. Over and out.

 

X

 

Morning! Morning!

25 Mar

Howdy Y’all,

Check out my Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/

leave comments and let me know what you think!

Much love!

*salutes*

Siana. Over and out.

Exciting new project coming your way soon…!

25 Mar

Hey there Team YH World!

I hope you are all well. It’s been a while indeed but I can assure you that all is well.  We have moved offices and have grown over the past couple of months. There is a larger team in the offices at all times now; thus enabling us to keep providing you with positive information and great opportunities!

I have been a busy bee (as always) as well. Check out what I have been up to in the other branches of my blog:

http://siana1609.wordpress.com/

http://sianabangura.wordpress.com/

http://sianafashionstalker.wordpress.com/

Once you’ve had your fill of that, make sure you check the latest news and features on the YH! World site so that you don’t miss anything good 🙂

On a more exclusive note, by the end of this coming week, we at YH! will be launching our new project: ‘Young and Brilliant’ . This will be a celebration of young talents within the capital, who are working hard and making their way up the ladder of their ambition. With the help of a series of Video blogs, we will follow the journeys of a rapper; a journalist and photographer; a television presenter; a very talented make-up artist; a kick-boxer who is going places; a young entrepreneur; and a set of dancers who are currently touring the UK!

There is plenty of talent to be found in our city and despite all the negative media coverage and the difficult economic, political and social climate, young people are still ambitious.  And we at YH! want to be there at every step to celebrate with them when thy finally do reach their goals and get to wherever it is they strive to go.

So basically my lovelies, stay tuned!

Much love for now!

 

*salutes*

Siana. Over and out.