December 09, 2023
Poor Things Overlooks One Fundamental Fact Of Human Psychology
It turns out psychological development is difficult to portray with authenticity. If you were hoping for a deep dive into the real-life science behind transplanting prenatal brains into dead bodies and reanimating the corpse, I have some disappointing news for you. — the latest bizarre yet somehow heartwarming film by Yorgos Lanthimos — is, at its core, a fresh take on tale, taking the basic premise from Mary Shelley’s story of reanimating the dead. Bella Baxter, the story’s headstrong, insatiable heroine portrayed by Emma Stone, demonstrates that psychology is the real science worth examining. Based on a , this captivating tale follows Bella from her unnatural conception through the stages of maturation and self-actualization. Viewers learn she, in her previous life, was a pregnant woman named Victoria who died by suicide. Pre-eminent surgeon Godwin Baxter finds Victoria’s body after she dies, but finds that her fetus is still alive. Then, in true sci-fi fashion, he transplants the fetus’ brain into hers, transforming her into a physically developed woman with the literal brain of a newborn. Bella’s mind, abilities, and hair all grow with preternatural speed. It doesn’t take long before she’s either reading or humping everything in sight while traveling the world in search of herself. , a developmental psychologist and psychology professor at Emory University, tells that this film is “a total adult projection on development.” This story is macabre through and through, but it’s ultimately human. As such, Bella’s psychological development is one of its most fascinating aspects. The audience sees Emma Stone toddle about screeching phonemes and peeing herself like any tot as she slowly learns about nature, human suffering, and, yes, sex. certainly isn’t trying to be a masterclass in developmental psychology, but it still portrays some parallel milestones that viewers may find familiar. Body and mind intertwined It turns out psychological development is difficult to portray with authenticity. , a developmental psychologist and psychology professor at Emory University, tells that this film is “a total adult projection on development.” He recognizes, though, that “it's very complicated to get a synthetic view of development.” The film fractures development in part by creating a stark contrast between the mind and body. From what we understand about psychological development, our minds and bodies are enmeshed, evolving in tandem to inform our sense of self. “We are not in the time of Descartes or the ancient Greeks, where there was some kind of an idealist view of the mind,” Rochat tells . He’s referring to 16th-century French philosopher Rene Descartes’ , which views the mind and body as distinct entities that can function independently of each other. This question persists as the mind-body problem, which concerns all aspects of how consciousness and the physical body exist together. According to Rochat, one informs the other. He describes the human intellect as “an embodied mind,” meaning that for infants, sensory stimuli to a developing body are integral to the brain’s development. One example of this embodied experience is how an infant experiences her own touch as opposed to a touch from another person, which also shows self-differentiation. Described in a , Rochat’s lab found that the (an involuntary oral response that helps with breastfeeding) indicates differentiation of self and other. “They root significantly less when it's themselves … as opposed to the finger of someone else,” Rochat says. With that, the mind experiences selfhood through the body, not in spite of it. The self in society Crucial to Bella’s growth is also how she learns to integrate with society. As she gallivants off to Lisbon, her boy-toy Duncan Wedderburn eagerly points out all the etiquette she flouts. For infants, learning social norms also means learning defiance. “There’s a development of dissent,” Rochat says. “With conformity, you create the possibility of protesting against the norm.” Children often learn these rules beginning in pre-school, he says. certainly isn’t trying to be a masterclass in developmental psychology, but it still portrays some parallel milestones that viewers may find familiar. Her understanding of society dramatically changes when she learns about human suffering during an excursion to Alexandria in Egypt, after which she devotes herself to improving the world. Rochat says that between 10 and 18 months, a baby can distinguish between those who hinder and those who help. By age 2, “kids will spontaneously try to soothe someone who is feeling hurt,” suggesting that, in Bella’s case, this is an appropriate milestone. One of the film’s raunchier (and potentially fraught) preoccupations is Bella’s discovery of masturbation and sexuality relatively early in the film. Rochat says that in infants, the mouth is a baby’s erotic zone, even in the womb, but Bella seems to bypass the oral phase completely. However, perhaps a more accurate psychological portrayal is how Bella’s relationship to sex evolves. Rochat says sex can be generalized as the pursuit of pleasure, which may be sublimated into other forms like music. While embraces sexuality as part of one’s agency, the over-the-top lust eventually tempers. As Bella learns about and eventually monetizes her libido, she also discovers pleasure’s more refined forms. Surprisingly, this may be the story’s psychological center. Rochat confirms that pleasure is a central driving force in humanity, from explicit eroticism to sublimated desire. Bella’s quest for experience turns from tawdry to fine-tuned, which may be the most human part of her psychological development. “Pleasure is at the core of what we do,” Rochat says. “That's the driving force in the broad sense. It's what keeps us alive.”
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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