Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finding Who We Are...

Black Shoes is a story by Kate O'Neill, who participated in the CDS February Open Workshop:Denver. I like this story because it is a telling of a woman who finds her identity. Her mother encourages her to be practical and she doesn’t want to be practical. As the film begins, big band music plays in the background. O’Neill first gives the viewer examples of how practical her mother was and how unpractical she wanted to be starting with a photo of her mother and father on their wedding day. “Even my mother’s weeding dress was practical” she says, and continues to explain how she wished her mom would cook mushrooms in real butter. O’Neill gives a couple more examples of how practical her mother was. Accompanied by the explanation are personal photographs. O’Neill is from a big family and as a child had desires of having her own style. Her mother told her she could never be satisfied and O’Neill agreed. The story takes a turn when O’Neill made her first communion in the second grade. Her mother dressed her as all the other girls, in all white except one major difference; she was wearing black shoes instead of white shoes like the other girls. O’Neill was horrified and embarrassed. I love the photograph of her communion. All of the girls look alike. O’Neil is standing in the middle of the other four girls. She stands apart not because she is in the middle, but because she is in the middle and wearing black patent leather shoes. The black shoes to me represent the black sheep. O’Neill wanted to be different. She wanted to do things opposite of what her mother would do. She goes on to talk about the things she did when she was older, like, shop for a coat in season instead of buying it when coats were sale. O’Neill ends the story by reconciling her loathing for how practical her mother was and realized she too as a grown woman did things that were practical. The last piece of her story is about real pearl earrings she bought her mother. She said her mother wears them every day. Real pearl earrings are not so practical. For me, this story sends the message that is fine to be different.

Role Models is a story by Derrick Reinert about his mentor. The story begins with Mark, Reinert’s mentor and role model who was also his supporter and friend. He admired Mark and because Mark played basketball Reinert also played basketball, following in Mark's footsteps. Reinert aspired to be the teammate Mark was and show the kindness to his teammates and love for the game of basketball as Mark did. The story is told visually with pictures of Mark and Reinert. Some of the photos are really funny and others are serious. Reinert shows the intensity of the relationship he had with Mark through every picture. The pictures are from the first time he met Mark (which was when he was in middle school) to Reinert’s last game in college with Mark supporting him from the bleachers. Something happens to Mark (you will have to watch it to know what happened). Reinert talks about the help Mark was to him, and he aspires to be the mentorand role model Mark was. This story is a true testament to what a mentor can do in an individual’s life. This story made me admire my mentor even more then I already do. What I enjoyed about this story is the honesty Reinert has when telling the story. Even though, visually the story was told by photographs I do not think it could be told a better way. The viewer is invited to try to comprehend how much of an impact Mark made on Reinert’s life. I think that message is made clear visually and by the narrator very well.

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