Shining Light on Female Struggles in Society in Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart

Paper by Kampton Carter.

Directed by Olivia Wilde, Booksmart is a 2019 teen comedy and coming-of-age film which addresses the many difficulties women and teenage girls experience throughout their lives, such as the struggles of feeling seen and being respected. While Olivia Wilde has had experience in the entertainment industry as an actress and producer, Booksmart is her directorial debut feature film (IMDb). Following a classical Hollywood narrative form, Booksmart captures an audience by including and representing all ages, genders, and races – but most of all, by defining the current generation of women and teenage girls (Guerrasio). With 57 nominations and 23 awards (IMDb), Booksmart’s target demographic was women under the age of 25. According to Anthony D’Alessandro, Olivia Wilde stated in an interview with Deadline in regards to this demographic:

“It’s fascinating to me, because they are such a discerning demographic, and they have so many options and they don’t want to be underestimated and patronized. I feel that what we were able to tap into was the intelligence of this demographic, who felt like they wanted to see a story about their lives. They wanted to feel

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The power of the silver screen: Hollywood’s ability to rewrite History

Paper by Winston Hewes.

Hollywood is known for adding and changing storylines in order to reel in their audience. Filmmakers see the opportunity to change a narrative as a way to set new box office numbers and to better their reputation, as well as to increase their pocketbooks. But many times, without them realizing, along with the audience, the changes they create lead to lasting effects amongst the public. Political films such as Hirschbiegel’s Downfall (2004), Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others (2006), and Cameron’s Titanic (1997) alter the representation of historical events that deviate from the truth to create narratives that appeal more to the masses for entertainment purposes. Through the dramatization of a narrative, the addition of fictional characters/storylines to a historical event, and the biases of the director’s political point of view, filmmakers construct a partially fictional tale that changes the collective memory of an audience in relation to the events that actually occurred. According to the analyses of image-weaponry, the construction of a collective memory, and the misuse of history/fantasy of storytelling will work together to confront the past and provide a reworking of history in

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Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

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