Archivo de la categoría: Cultura Pop

Hereditary and the selfless mother/selfish woman dichotomy

Warning: This post includes MAJOR Hereditary spoilers. Proceed with caution.

As I previously stated , the mythical mothers in cinema history have the tendency to be represented as these selfless individuals who are capable of putting everyone else before them and who would do everything for their families, specially for their children.

What’s really dangerous of this portrayal is not the very idea of selflessness, but the assumption that motherhood is inherent to all  women and, even worse, that it constitutes the definition of womanhood.

With this trope, movies are telling us that women need to be mothers in order to fulfill their purpose, that women need to be mothers to feel complete and that there’s really nothing else for them to do in this world but to deliver babies .

From rom-coms to dramas, movies go out of their way trying to beatify their mothers’ purpose on their stories. But there’s actually one genre that has been subverting this trope all along: horror movies.

I’m talking about horror movies, not their suitable cousin, slasher movies, where the mother figure is commonly the first one that is willing to die, literally, for her family at any time, as she is always available for screenwritters to use as cannon fodder in order to increase the body count to up the movie stakes.

Unlike these films, recent horror movies, like The Babadook (2014) or Good Night Mommy (2015), have helped to change the ways cinema represents their mothers  by portraying flawed maternal figures that are tired of the inherent responsability that comes with motherhood and are acting on it in sadistic and vicious ways. Everything but mother-like.

Fortunately, the wonderful jaw-dropping Hereditary (2018), falls right into this place, too. Specially when it tries to unpack the trials and tribulations  behind  the difficult relationship between its protagonist Annie, her mother Ellen, and with her children, Charlie and Peter.

From the very beginning of the movie, Annie lays it all for us at her mother’s funeral: she really loved her, but their relationship was complicated and really difficult to process, Ellen had her secrets and was a really secretive person whose husband died young at the hands of a mental disease and a son who went mad blaming her for placing the voices in his head. Clearly, she did not embraced the stereotypical idea of motherhood.

Later we discover that not only did she offered up all her family —specially her grandchildren— as a sacrifice to bring back a demon from hell, but that her first attempt involved using her husband and son as a mean to achieve her goal, but eventually failed.

With Ellen, the movie paints a character that  goes against everything the mother trope stands for. She is someone who’s purpose goes beyond her inherent motherhood and a cult leader who also happens to have children. She is the antithesis of the selfless mother: the selfish woman; that’s what happens when a mother stops thinking about her children and starts thinking about herself.

In fact, not only does she has a particular aim whose very process involves putting herself and her cult interests first and foremost before their family and their well being, but she carries along with it without even considering it or flinching. Ellen’s purpose on earth is clearly not putting their children first, as society expects her to do. She sees her kids as tools to find meaning to her life,  not the meaning itself.

Ellen, as a character, is easy to portray because her motivations are clear and directly comes from a subverted trope. Annie, on the other hand, is a more complicated, and nuanced, individual. She tries to act like an overbearing mom with Charlie, her younger daughter, but the ghost of her mother, and her consequential heritage, lingers with her.

Annie loves her children, but she also knows —on a subconscious level— that there’s something wrong with them. Charlie represents the first embodiment of the demon her grandma is trying to bring back to earth, while Peter is the masculine body that later will be used as a vessel for the same demon to occupate.

Annie’s character represents perfectly the dichotomy of the selfless mother/selfish woman on a conscious/unconscius level as a criticism against the expectations that society has towards women. A mother know on a conscious level that her selflessness must be part of her daily “job” but, on an unconscious level, she will always try to fight back all these ideas bestowed upon on her, by separating the idea of motherhood from her very own construction of womanhood.

We learn, as the movie goes on, that Charlie was Annie’s mother favorite  child as she always wanted to fed her since she was a little baby; that was the main reason why Annie smothered her so much, to kept her away from her.

Annie also didn’t want to have Peter, her oldest son, as she even tried to abort him on a failed attempt. She also tried to kill both of her children on a sleepwalking night by showering them on kerosene and lightning a match before walking up.

Annie is overbearing and smothering with her children on a conscious level because it’s the only way she understands how a mother should behave, but she is also selfish, on a unconscious level, by doing what it has to be done  for the sake of her family and against her mother’s wishes, by trying to get rid of the evil her children will become in the future.

The great thing about Hereditary is that, not only does it give us the opportunity to get excited about an inteligent horror movie with nuanced symbolisms to talk about, but it also offers a great way to understand the stereotype behind motherhood and the different ways that some women are capable of carrying along in order to break this mold in numerous and fulfilling ways.

Tenemos un problema de perspectiva en Hollywood.

Es un hecho, Hollywood sigue siendo una máquina fílmica sexista que le interesa poco el punto de vista femenino detrás de sus películas y que, cuando sucede lo contrario, le da la espalda a las directoras y realizadoras al momento de reconocer su trabajo.

Aún cuando miles y millones  de veces se ha intentado mostrar y demostrar la importancia de la perspectiva femenina en el cine actual, el punto de vista masculino sigue siendo el imperativo en el mundo de las películas, tanto delante como detrás de cámaras.

Esto no es más que resultado directo de la sociedad en la que vivimos, donde la perspectiva masculina es la hegemónica y donde las experiencias de vida, así como los relatos e historias, son tomadas en cuenta desde el punto de vista masculino.

Con ello, no quiero decir que contar con una mirada masculina detrás de un proyecto es algo necesariamente negativo, sino que, más bien, el exceso de perspectivas similares no solo acapara y monopoliza el discurso, sino que propicia , voluntaria o involuntariamente, que el resto de miradas se pierdan en el camino.

El problema, entonces, radica en la unilateralidad de visiones. Todos los días nos enfrentamos a un mundo donde las historias que vemos y consumimos a diario son vistas con el mismo lente, y contadas con la misma voz. Un mundo donde la falta de representación femenina nos condiciona a creer que la realidad y la perspectiva deben ser alineadas con y hacia lo masculino.

La incidencia masculina hegemónica en la creación de películas influye al discurso fílmico, en gran manera, de diferentes formas y con una enorme variedad de aristas, donde la dirección, el guión, la producción e incluso la actuación se ven afectadas.

En el caso de la dirección, el punto de vista masculino es tan permanente y recalcitrante que incluso existe un término (a veces derogativo) para nombrar a la perspectiva (casi siempre) sexista detrás de la cámara masculina: The male gaze. 

The male gaze se puede identificar de diversas formas en una película: en el vestuario que usan los personajes femeninos, en la forma que la cámara encuadra y decide enfocar a los cuerpos femeninos o, incluso, en las actuaciones reductivas de los personajes femeninos.

El mejor, y más actual, ejemplo de ello puede ilustrarse de manera clara en la modificación de la armadura de pelea que usan las Amazonas en Wonder Woman, dirigida por Patty Jenkins, y los bikinis ajustados que usan en Justice League de Zach Snyder. Misma película donde el trasero de Diana Prince es protagonista de una cantidad exhorbitante de tomas.

La dirección de un filme no es la única víctima de la mirada hegemónica masculina, el guión también lo es. Debido a que la escritura corresponde a la espina dorsal de una historia, es común encontrar una representación errónea y superficial de personajes femeninos. Una película que no tiene voces femeninas que cuenten historias diferentes, solo propicia la creación de tropes* reductivos y personajes sin forma ni caracterización.

Uno de los tropes más usados, voluntaria o involuntariamente,  en las películas es el de The Smurfette Principle , aquel donde, tal como en la caricatura de The Smurfs, es común encontrar en un filme a un grupo de hombres protagonistas con una gran variedad de historias, y experiencias, masculinas por contar y solo a una mujer que los acompañe. Cuando este personaje tiene un papel principal, usualmente es relegada a ser interés amoroso, cuando no lo es, se reduce a un objeto que ayuda a avanzar la historia a algún lado.

Este trope surgió como respuesta práctica de Hollywood a la falta de personajes femeninos en sus películas. A final de cuentas, para ellos resulta mejor tener una “voz femenina” que funcione como depositario de todas las fantasías masculinas, que ninguna ¿no es así?

A lo largo de la historia ha existido una increíble variedad de Smurfettes que se han catapultado como intereses amorosos o motivaciones de nuestros protagonistas masculinos favoritos: Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts) existía en Ocean’s Eleven solo para fungir como interés amoroso y motivación personal de Danny Ocean, Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) correspondía al avatar de la población femenina que buscaba representar Now You See Me , Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) tomó su lugar en Now You See Me 2 y Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) se convirtió en interés amoroso de Hulk en Avengers 2 de forma tan precipitada que ni siquiera el equipo creativo detrás de la película se molestó en crear una historia de fondo de valor para ella.

Tomando de nuevo el ejemplo de Justice League, Diana Prince también representa a esa Smurfette rodeada por un grupo de hombres, y cuyo fin es reducido en solo una escena cuando pasa de ser la líder del grupo a convertirse en un interés amoroso para Batman. Lois Lane y Martha Kent, por otro lado, son representadas como los objetos de deseo de Superman que lo motivan a ayudar al equipo y, por consecuencia, a avanzar la historia.

Existe también un tipo de escritura que intenta evitar usar a The Smurfette Principle en sus guiones:  agregar a 2 o más personajes femeninos en su historia. A simple vista, esta acción parece apuntar a querer mejorar la representación femenina en las historias, sin embargo, el problema radica en la forma en la que lo hacen.

Bajo el punto de vista masculino hegemónico los personajes femeninos solo pueden convivir en una historia de tres formas diferentes:  a) alejadas unas de las otras,  b) juntas pero discutiendo solo sobre sus contrapartes masculinas o c) siendo enemigas mortales.

Eleven y Max de Stranger Things son el mejor de ejemplo de la conjunción de estas tres variantes. A lo largo de la segunda temporada, los hermanos Duffer colocan a dichos personajes en puntos alejados donde pasan la mayor parte del tiempo sin conocerse y distanciadas la una de la otra. Eventualmente, las dos cruzan caminos, sin embargo, al hacerlo, crece una enemistad fuerte entre ellas debido a un malentendido y una disputa por Mike, el amigo más cercano de la segunda y el amor platónico de la primera.

Por ello, y muchas otras cosas, es que es importante contar con una variedad de perspectivas detrás de las historias que consumimos a diario y nosotros como audiencia podemos hacer mucho para que esto comience a suceder. Como primera instancia, podemos comenzar apoyar los filmes dirigidos y escritos por mujeres y cuestionar los que no.

Mi sugerencia es que, la próxima vez que veas una película, serie, videojuego o producto audiovisual de tus creadores masculinos favoritos, comienza a considerar las siguientes interrogativas: ¿La historia cuenta con más de un personaje femenino? ¿Las tomas se encargan de encuadrarla a ella de frente y enfocándose en su cara no en su cuerpo? ¿Hay más personajes femeninos que la acompañen? ¿Comparten escenas juntas? ¿Hablan entre ellas? ¿Son algo más que enemigas? ¿Discuten sobre algo más que no sean sus contrapartes masculinas?

Con esto en mente comenzaremos a exigir más de nuestros directores masculinos y daremos más espacios para las creadoras femeninas que tanto necesitamos en nuestro contexto actual.

*Atajo de storytelling que ayuda a la audiencia a entender algo instantáneamente.

When fame gets in the way of love: a musical tragedy.

It seems that love and fame are difficult —or even impossible— to get along with. At least that’s what some movies, particularly musicals, have been trying to explain us all along. In their worlds, failed artists are meant to find love only by sacrificing their passions.

Nowadays, films’ stance on the artists’ love life is like this: you either are very lucky to find the love of your life and spend what’s left of your days to devote yourself to his or her hapiness, or you succeed on achieving your dreams by following the path you are always meant to walk. You have to choose, you can’t have both.

There’s no better way to illustrate this than with Jason Robert Brown’s  The Last Five Years, adapted to film by Richard LaGravenese, and Damien Chazelle’s Lala Land. Movies where their protagonists   —all artists, by the way — have to face the tough decision of living a fameless life by staying together or embracing the success that is coming their way, but only by themselves.

In The Last Five Years’ movie adaptation, Cathy (Anna Kendrick) is a musical theater performer who is looking for an opportunity that can finally take her out of her waitress job. Jamie (Jeremy Jordan), on the other hand, is a writer looking for a publishing house who would want his book.

In Lala Land, Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress who is looking for an opportunity that can finally take her out of her barista job. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz lover who wants to open his own club where he can play his own music.

They all have dreams to fullfill and places to be, but life — and love, at some extent— eventually gets in their way.  Both couples fight to stay with each other along the way, but success, as we will learn, is a tricky thing to achieve and it does not wait for anyone or anything.

What’s really enlighting about contrasting these two movies is that we have the possibility to understand how two directors can represent different scenarios, and perspectives, of the same problem: the one with the couple that begin to have problems as soon as one of them becames famous, and the other couple that strengthens themselves by supporting each others dreams but fell off the wagon half way anyway.

Whilst Jamie succesfully manages to sell his first book to a famous publishing house right after he starts dating Cathy, she is not getting callbacks at all. In fact, she is just stuck between her job as a waitress and her summer gig in Ohio. She is happy for him but, as he becomes more and more famous, she starts to feel more like a failure. She doesn’t want to be the one that’s left behind.

There’s more than the eye could see with their relationship’s problems, Jamie’s success in no way feels like a threat to Cathy, but rather a constant reminder of her failure and her impossibility to follow and achieve her dreams. Cathy’s insecurities stems from society’s need to validate women by their hability to carry along with their household activities they’re supposed to do, instead of accomplishing their goals.

Their real problem, though, is their unwilingness to communicate with each other. They are really afraid to let the other down, because they really love each other. And when they actually communicate, their only purpose is to hurt themselves.

Cathy and Jamie, in fact,  sing to express themselves. They use music to express their deepest and inner thoughts, and to reflect their expectations, like a daydreaming blowoff valve.  She wants to be independent, succesful and in love, but, at the same time, he wants to be a good provider, a succesfull writer and a charming womanizer.

Mia and Sebastian’s relationship functions the other way around. Both of them are unsuccessful and very lonely when they actually start dating. What’s really great of their relationship is the support and motivation they have with each other. Neither one of them want to see the other one fail, on the contrary, they want them to be happy and fulfilled people.

It’s really their inhability to feel empathy for one another what pushes them to break up. While Mia is incapable to believe that Sebastian would do anything to follow his dream —even if this means to play on a mainstream band and touring— he is clueless about her weariness and constant disappointment that all her failed auditions make her feel.

In the end, they all are idealists, and it’s really interesting to understand that the one thing these four people share, apart from their desire to be famous, is the way they grapple their lives by putting all their expectations before reality. They want to be in an ideal relationship, one where empathy and communication are something to be expected from your loved one.

As we can see, all of the four characters  are always constrained and forced by themselves to live between two worlds: first and foremost, on a fantasy land where they can have it all, and, later, on the real world, where love and fame can’t get along.

In fact, one of these musicals strenghts is their capability to toy with their narrative in order to show their portagonists’ life expectations by using different formats to evidence the stark constrasts between their titular couples real lives’ and their fantasy worlds.

In these movies, achievement and happiness are related with a fantasy/dream world  were their expectations are fulfilled, whilst failure and disappointment are paired with the real world. Both LaGravenese and Chazelle even depict these particular moments with different colors and shades along their stories; whereas the blue and gray filters are in charge of showing failure, the yellow and white ones are destined to bathe the screen with color when an achievement is made.

There’s certainly something tragic behind this argument. This is a world  where idealists are bound to always be normed and constrained by their expectations if they want to follow their path towards success. Even if this means to sacrifice love in their lives.

Supergirl y la deconstrucción del estereotipo de la madre

Como lo he mencionado anteriormente, la representación de la figura materna en el cine y la televisión ha sido casi siempre relegada, y desplazada, a ser aquella mujer entregada a su familia y que no es capaz de entender su existencia como mujer separada de su posibilidad de ser madre. Para la sociedad que se refleja en estas historias, ser madre es la característica por antonomasia de la mujer.

Actualmente, pocas series han intentado (de)construir esta representación tanto como lo ha hecho Supergirl. Desde sus inicios, este programa ha retratado a sus personajes femeninos como mujeres fuertes, decididas, ambiciosas, libres y seguras de si mismas. Individuos capaces de tener una relación fuerte con otras mujeres sin necesidad de sentirse amenazadas.

En el universo de Supergirl las mujeres son mucho más que simples incubadoras de bebés; son líderes de compañías multinacionales, agentes encubiertos que trabajan para departamentos importantes del gobierno, reporteras incansables que siempre están en busca de la verdad, empresarias exitosas, reinas de civilizaciones, científicas que se preocupan por el medio ambiente y, por supuesto, superheroínas.

Lo que diferencia a estas mujeres del resto de las que existen en los programas de televisión actuales, es que algunas de ellas son también madres.  Las matriarcas de dicha serie no son reducidas ni relegadas debido a  su maternidad, al contrario, la maternidad no hace otra cosa que fortalecerlas. Ésta no se configura como su único rasgo identitario, sino que forma parte, más bien, de una serie de características y atributos que la constituyen como un ser humano completo.

De hecho la segunda temporada nos regala no sólo a una, sino a dos madres que figuran como la mayor amenaza de Supergirl: Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong)  y Rhea (Teri Hatcher). Lillian es una científica, y fundadora del proyecto Cadmus, dispuesta a hacer todo por tratar de frenar la afluente — y a sus ojos, peligrosa—migración de extraterrestres a la tierra; también es la madre de Lex y Lena Luthor. Rhea, por otro lado, es la reina de los Daxamites, una civilización extraterrestre en constante batalla con los Kryptonian (la sociedad de donde proviene Kara ); también es la mamá de Mon-El, la pareja sentimental de Supergirl.

Ambas mujeres son líderes poderosas que están dispuestas a hacer todo para lograr sus metas, incluso manipular y chantajear a sus hijos de ser necesario. Mientras los planes de Lillian siempre involucran métodos peligrosos, y posiblemente terroristas, para deshacerse de los extraterrestres ilegales viviendo en la tierra, Rhea es capaz de cometer asesinatos en nombre de su civilización y con el fin de conquistar el planeta tierra.

Lo más interesante de estas dos figuras femeninas es que representan a la antítesis del estereotipo materno; las dos usan a sus hijos como medios para lograr sus planes y que, en caso de encontrarse en una situación de peligro, son capaces de deshacerse de ellos para salvarse así mismas. Tanto Lillian como Rhea apelan a su lado materno solo cuando necesitan verse más humanas y vulnerables frente a sus enemigos.

Con estos personajes los creadores de la serie logran subvertir por completo el estereotipo desgastado de la madre que hemos visto una y otra vez. Cada una usa su vulnerabilidad como fortaleza y respuesta ante una amenaza,  mientras que la a abnegación y entrega incondicional que se espera de ellas no es más que un obstáculo en medio de su camino.

Esta deconstrucción nos permite enfrentarnos a las ideas preconcebidas del imaginario de madre que reproducimos una y  y otra vez dentro de la sociedad.  Una mujer puede ser madre y una líder capaz de guiar un movimiento.  De la misma forma, también  puede elegir ser madre y dedicarse a ello de tiempo completo, cualquier alternativa es válida mientras exista la opción de tomar la decisión.

Lillian y Rhea no son solo madres, son mujeres poderosas que deciden separarse de la idea de maternidad  que la sociedad se aferra en establecer como aquella característica intrínseca de identidad que, en otra serie o situación, podría describirlas y reducirlas por completo.

Si hay algo que he aprendido de esta serie es que ser madre no es una obligación, es una decisión que cada mujer debería poder tomar con libertad, sin sentirse culpables y  sin necesidad de estar comprometidas a serlo,  solo por el simple hecho de tener un útero.

 

 

Rachel Bloom: musical comedy and spot on feminism

The day I fell in love with Rachel Bloom was actually the first time I ever heard anything from and about her. I was just  in the process of getting over my ex-boyfriend, so, naturally, I was looking for new music for my sad “I’m-over-you-and-I’m-not-sad-at-all” playlist to listen to on an infinite loop. I ran out of options quickly so, as any other lonely guy would do, I searched for songs with the word “dick” on their name and, without realizing, I was rapidly blasting “Pictures Of Your Dick”, by the one and only Rachel Bloom, non-stop. Little did I know that finding this merry tune will be just the tip of the iceberg on my quest to understand and embrace the numerous ways she navigates with her comedy.

For those who hadn’t had the joy of knowing Rachel Bloom, let me break it down for you. She is a comedian who started her career by doing musical comedy on Youtube (Please, don’t miss the opportunity to go to her channel to take a look of what’s she’s capable of) and now she’s the creator, writer and protagonist of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend TV show, which recently was renewed for a third season.

She is a feminist who uses musical comedy to make a point and to take a stand on what she really believes in. So, in order to understand her comedy, you will need to see it as a criticism and a satire of the society’s actual state.

The clever ways she  balances her feminism in perfect unison with her comedy is, actually, her greatest statement of all; in fact, Rachel Bloom’s best asset is her particular way she uses the deconstruction of tropes, and social constructs, as strong arguments against sexism. Traditional gender roles and moral values are just some of the topics she likes to toy with on a daily basis.

Rachel Bloom sees society as a one big musical. A staging where the performers live by the narratives they taught themselves to believe in in order to follow the rules the script has laid upon them. A play where some tropes could be just as harmful as labels, but that can also be subverted in the same way.

You will only need to take one glimpse on her trajectory to find three subverted tropes that are present consistently on all the things she does: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Disney Princess and The Party Girl. Her most famous yet is, and thanks to her TV show, the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

This particular trope is pretty complex by itself, not only because it comes from a blatant sexist background, but because women are often labeled with it. You might have heard about this one before, it stems from the outdated idea that women are just emotional individuals that keep making rushed choices with their heart and not with their minds. So, by acting on it, they will always be reduced to this one-note characters that will probably be obsessed with the dudes they had a relationship with.

Rachel Bloom, on the other hand, makes the most of it by really going along with it. She constantly mocks this particular trope by going the extra mile by granting all these particular characteristics to her main character of the show, Rebecca Bunch (played, obviously, by her): she basically moves to her ex-boyfriend’s hometown in order to get back with him, but she’s convinced that that’s not the reason she changed cities.

Rebecca is obsessive, irrational and stubborn. She’s the best caricature of the trope we can get. That’s what’s really enthralling of the show, her character is so exaggerated and over the top that it becomes really easy to deconstruct it in order to identify the flaws behind it. That’s how Rachel Bloom rolls, by exaggerating the stereotype and waiting for the cracks to show.

Her Crazy Ex-Girlfriends are often saying to themselves, and to others, what men would like to hear in order to get back with them, after all, they are hopelessly in love and  very devoted to the man they love. It’s common that they have a really low self-esteem and their personality, and core identity, varies from man to man. They even upload pictures of their ex-boyfriend’s dick online as a form of personal vendetta.

With only two seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in, we are able to understand, as the audience, that women that are labeled as the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are, in fact, often constrained by all the high and sexist standards that society have placed on them from the very beginning.  In a certain way, they just acts on it.

Women have to be sentimental — and not tough—, because the gender role they have to fulfill demands them to be like that, but only in small doses and without being too loud, because, without any kind of supervision, it could probably transform into an obsession or, even worst, a direct attack against our very fragile masculinity.

The Disney Princess trope comes right from the same place. Society will always tell us that, in order to have a happy life, women have to become wives, not Crazy Ex-Girlfriends,  and the best way to do it is by drawing the attention of a Prince Charming by being feminine, elegant, selfless and sentimental. That’s why Rachel Bloom’s subversion of this trope is so delicious. Her Princesses are everything but what society likes to call “ladylike”. They like to curse while their sing, and they will certainly talk about poop and menstrual cramps without any decorum. They are, at the end of the day, regular human beings, not impossible standards to achieve.

The Party Girl has her origins on the darkest corner of masculine heterosexuality: the fantasies. This stereotype wants women to be sexy, sensual and carefree but without losing any trace of femininity and elegance. This particular trope can be very contradictory by itself. It asks women to be kind of slutty but without losing their pristine image or any respect from the others, especially from herself. You can also find this girl in any party waiting to woo over some random dudes.

In Rachel Bloom’s world, the Party Girl sings at the club about dying from cancer, throwing up a bile, threatening someone’s girlfriend to kill her and use her skin as a dress, or even flying her dirty panties as a kite, all of that whilst using a revealing outfit. As you can see, she’s anything but sexy.

This is what we really need right now, someone who is willing to use her platform to make strong statements about important topics visible,  with creative methods that can help people understand them in a more accesible way. Rachel Bloom is already getting ahead of everybody.