An Apple Commercial in an Auteur perspective…

by Yuleisy Michel Audain

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It’s been a stressful week.

For days I have been working 12 hours a day, going late to sleep and back at it again to work. My mother always told me that hard work would get you to the place that you belong but sometimes when it’s not your idea, it takes a lot from you. Working for other people’s envisions, where they are good or not ultimately take time and preparation and this, has led me to think towards the purpose of this post and it’s meaning in my life .

When working for someone else, there is something that you have to lose, in order to receive. I see it as a give or take combination, where you take something that already exist, an entity and your job, in this case as the director, is to present it to the audience and make them see your vision. Auteurism ultimately aids the visionary to keep things spicy in their career, ultimately aiming to use this tool to their advantage into their preparation towards what they want to present to the audience.

In one of the previous posts, I mentioned my first encounter with DuVernay’s work as she has been the ‘it’ thing to talk about. Really, the topic of Women of Color with the involvement of film has been on fire, and this awareness that is rising and shaming Hollywood for their extreme gender gap and their treatment to be unequal than what they should get, has been fueling me to the concept of the power to being a director in today’s date. Even with that, DuVernay’s name is the first one to lead this conversation she influences the way that we discuss these topics of race and perspective together as one.

In the lens of an Auteurist, we will be changing our lenses to DuVernay’s Apple commercial. In this minute and six seconds video, we indulge into the perspective of the group of successful women of color in film and television and their enjoyment of being their truest self. Along with music, their moves and their reactions come to be authentic to the screen.

We are all used to this concept that we don’t get to really know the actor itself, more of the images and characters that they portray for our entertainment. Here in this minute and change video, we get a glimpse of their interaction and their support towards what they all do. The reaction of this video made this topic and the importance to be aware of having support systems reassures me of their connection not only as actresses, but as women of color with impact to their community acting towards the visual portrayal of being themselves.

Stars like Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington and Mary J Blige appear in this video to join together and jam to some of their favorite tunes and show their comfortable and authentic charisma in a position where we don’t get to see these faces. When In Hollywood, it’s not hard to notice that as an actor, actress of person of substantial position, the camera seems to extract all human connection to being a regular human person…whatever that is.

Their interaction, where Ms. Washington and Ms. Henson walk toward Ms. Blige’s house is authentic. Their interaction and their body language express to the camera comfortableness, security and freedom to express themselves without being judged. Their reactions after playing the songs is great, where their reactions after hearing their favorite tracks emits happiness, something that again is not really portrayed.  

This simple yet powerful statement comes at the best time. Apple music drops this video in the time that Viola Davis wins Best actress at the Emmys, where she mentions “The only thing that separates women of color, from anything else, is opportunity and that is EXACTLY what this video emphasizes on. This opportunity that DuVernay used to her advantage, took all of these important women, gave them good music, hired a great cinematographer and went to town with their moves.

Auteurism in this modern era is something that is extremely hard to do. When I learned about this concept and what it does, names like Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock and many others came to mind, but thinking about it, Ava Duvernay’s concept with this minute film not only is successful to attract young people like me to see the representation, and the opportunity that we so deserve. Her ‘hired hand’ with Apple and it’s purpose with grabbing their audience’s attention helps a lot, but to me, as a woman of color means a lot to me because I see three successful women dance their worries away I feel represented not only to myself, but to the world.

Watching this video again, in a time where I have been so stressed, makes me happy. In the directing class that I am taking, the professor spoke about how as young people my age stress themselves out where they are not supposed to. She told all of us in the class to find something that helps you relax where everything seems to be too much. The first thing that came to my mind was the word ‘dance’ and how free it makes me feel.

How DuVernay, whether intentionally or not made me feel when I saw the commercial for the first time and how many other women of color felt when they saw this video. This commercial is empowering in many ways and it engages audience and piece together as one, not only as a video but as an representation of what it means to be a woman of color in the entertainment industry.

Like any piece of art, the creator, in this case the director aims to meaningfully to present their work of art to their audiences. This being my last semester as a student and a person who wants to pursue film as a profession, I have to realize that this is only the beginning towards what I want to accomplish. It’s hard work but I’m up for it. As everything is going crazy, I just got to take it easy and break a few moves and everything will be alright.

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