Magazine created by students of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University.

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Gender Roles in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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by Arya Dixit

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (dir. Jacques Demy), was met with mixed reviews when the film premiered in 1964, during the French New Wave movement, but has steadily grown in both popularity and appreciation for its timeless, artistic vision. In Umbrellas, Demy infuses his cinematography with a fairy-tale-like quality. The musical numbers, bold use of colors, and choreographed movements make the visuals and storytelling dream-like. Fairy tales come with stereotypes: the audience expects happy endings, an other-worldly, pure romance, a knight in shining armor who wins over the girl he loves, and the girl who slowly grows to love him back. Similarly, in Hollywood cinema, as Backes states: “everything was larger than life. From the large scale sets, soaring visuals, and grandiose love that always ended with everything in its place”. Demy manages to break almost all of these preconceived notions of fairy-tale (and Hollywood rom-com) cinema and brings to light the inherent class structures, gender roles and expectations, and the reality of romance without losing the brilliancy and charm of a dreamy world. He carefully uses settings, colors, and dialogue to work together and illustrate the complexities of society, especially when gender norms come into play.

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Stoker: A Tale of Female Maturescence with a Tinge of Hitchcock

in Reviews

By Sandra Hrášková

Park Chan-wook, Marie Claire Korea, YouTube, CC BY 4.0.


Stoker, a 2013 psychological thriller drama film, is the English-language debut of South Korean film director, screenwriter and producer Park Chan-wook. The narrative depicts the unsettling coming of age story of a young woman repressed by her dysfunctional family. Chan-wook is praised as one of the most renowned and favoured filmmakers in South Korea and has also been gradually gaining popularity worldwide. In interviews, he lists both Western and Asian filmmakers as his figures of influence, for instance the Korean producer Ki-duk Kim and the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. As Kurt Osenlund discovered when interviewing Chan-wook, Stoker was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of Doubt.

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