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Representation of Disability

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  1. 1. Media Toolkit: Representation of ‘Disability’.
  2. 2. Watch the ‘Egg’ short film……. <ul><li>Just note down your reactions to it ……. </li></ul><ul><li>Rate it out of 10: </li></ul>
  3. 3. What types of ‘disabilities’ exist? <ul><li>Note them down: </li></ul>
  4. 4. How does this short film ‘Cousin’ try to explain cerebral palsy to kids? <ul><li>Does it succeed in its aim? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Are we all dis-abled at some point in our lives, in some way?
  6. 6. How does ‘Better or Worse?’ deal with eyesight problems? <ul><li>How well does the film work? </li></ul>
  7. 7. (1) How many characters with disabilities can you remember from films or TV? <ul><li>(2) How are these disabled characters portrayed </li></ul><ul><li>in terms of appearance or behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Is it a positive or negative portrayal of someone with a disability? </li></ul>
  8. 8. ‘ Murderball’ (2006) <ul><li>“ A life-affirming portrait of the tenacity of the human spirit” </li></ul><ul><li> Hotdog magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>As we watch, note down your answers to these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>How would you describe the disabled characters in this film? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you surprised by them and their behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>How are the audience meant to react to the disabled characters – what emotions do we feel? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the film have a ‘message’ about disability – if so what? </li></ul>
  9. 9. However……. <ul><li>The media </li></ul><ul><li>re-presentation of people with disabilities has not always been that positive……. </li></ul>
  10. 10. In the past………………….. <ul><li>The physical disability is to used to say something about the character’s personality – often negative! </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Why are Batman villains always scarred or disabled? </li></ul>
  11. 11. And it’s true of James Bond villains too……. Blofeld: Jaws: Dr. No: Scarred face. Bad teeth! Three Nipples.
  12. 12. …… .Or does Jaws just have different abilities? <ul><li>How does Jaws actually use his disfigured ‘teeth’ to his advantage in this James Bond Scene? </li></ul>
  13. 13. In a ‘For a Few Dollars More’ (1965)……. <ul><li>Sergio Leone made actor Klaus Kinsky into a ‘hunchback’ </li></ul><ul><li>The disability was used to indicate a character that was irredeemably evil . </li></ul><ul><li>Question: Is this offensive? </li></ul>
  14. 14. In ‘Richard III’ (1996) the ‘hunchback’ main character was: <ul><li>Ruthless. </li></ul><ul><li>Calculating. </li></ul><ul><li>And a Nazi too! </li></ul><ul><li>Question: Does disability </li></ul><ul><li>in a film always mean a bitter </li></ul><ul><li>or evil character? </li></ul>
  15. 15. ‘ The Hustler’ (1961) <ul><li>In the classic film ‘The Hustler’ a girl played by Piper Laurie has a disability – a limp. </li></ul><ul><li>However, this is linked to other aspects of her personality: </li></ul><ul><li>She is an emotional ‘cripple’. </li></ul><ul><li>She drinks too much. </li></ul><ul><li>She has no aim or purpose in life. </li></ul><ul><li>The physical limp underscores her emotional failings . </li></ul><ul><li>( In many films a limp is used to indicate a deficient character, a loser). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Still, if they try hard enough, the disabled can succeed? <ul><li>Become a famous writer. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ My Left Foot’ (1989) </li></ul><ul><li>Life of Christy Brown. </li></ul><ul><li> Fight off the German Luftwaffe . </li></ul><ul><li> ‘ Reach for the Sky’ (1956) </li></ul><ul><li> Life of Douglas Bader. </li></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><li>But is it all down to the disabled to put in the effort? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Are there other ways to represent disability? <ul><li>How does the use of a wheelchair affect our perceptions of Patrick Stewart’s character Charles Xavier, in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it make any difference, or not? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a positive re-presentation of disability, or not? </li></ul>
  18. 18. And what about this……