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Latest Topics

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Famous Side-Characters in Movie Series

Analyse different movie franchises and their array of characters other than the protagonist, specifically, where these side-characters or villains seem to contribute more to the widespread allure of the movie/series more than the hero. And then, discuss the reasons behind their contribution i.e. quality of acting, depth of character, character popular appeal, etc. There are many examples one could run with, for example, Han Solo in Star Wars, Legolas/Aragorn in LOTR, Joker in The Dark Knight, etc.

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    The Last of Us: A Tale to Remember

    With the announcement of The Last of Us: Part 2, there’s been a spur of excitement in the gaming world. This topic would explore the differences and similarities between The Last of Us and other survival-horror/zombie games, and what aspects made it become such a household title among gamers. What did it do differently, what didn’t it change, and how did the narrative affect audiences and players? In essence, what made The Last of Us so memorable to players, and what new avenues did it open for its genre? (The author who takes this topic may even wait for Part 2 to release and add a comparative section between both games, adding to how Part 2 affected the gaming community as well as its predecessor).

    • The Last of Us is a game that has touched so many people, and can definitely make the case as to why video games should be considered an art form. You should explore why The Last of Us does that, and explain how the second can improve on the first one. – cbo1094 1 day ago
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    (Possible) Depictions of Autism in Anime

    With autism becoming a growing phenomenon, it has become large enough to get official as well as ambiguous depictions in Western fiction. However, the disorder seems to be largely ignored in anime… Or is it? Analyze anime characters who, while not explicitly autistic, exhibit symptoms and behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders.

    • You may want to give some examples for those who don't know anything about autism. – RadosianStar 2 months ago
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    • I wouldn't say autistic, but there are anime characters that show signs attributed to developmental disorders. Speaking inaudibly, trouble grasping simple concepts, being savants in some way, impaired speech, etc. Good topic, especially considering the wide array of characters that make up the anime universe. – MikeySheff 4 hours ago
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    Future Film Movements: How will reflexivity tackle fully-immersive cinema?

    4D movie theaters are known for their immersive qualities including smells, seat vibrations, the simulation of certain weather conditions, etc. to replicate for the viewer what is being experienced in the fictional narrative presented onscreen. So far, 4D movies haven’t exactly dominated the movie-going experience but their existence does raise questions about how reflexivity will be achieved in the future. Self-reflexive films make viewers aware of the fact that they are watching a film, revealing “the artifice” as it were of the narrative and the characters involved. It’s a technique that’s often associated with art house or new wave cinema, though it can be found elsewhere in more palatable and consumer-friendly forms. Moviegoers usually like a fully immersive movie-going experience rather than be reminded that a film is a construct (it provides a nice escape from the tedium of reality for a few hours). With the increasing popularity of virtual reality in gaming nowadays, how will these increasingly more immersive technologies impact future movements in self-aware cinema? Will it undermine it all together? If not, how can reflexive techniques find a loophole around it to engage viewers as participants (not just spectators) again?

    • Cinema is designed to be communal. VR and video games are designed (for the most part) to be experienced alone, or at least in the domestic sphere of the home. Examining the aspects of place would be a critical view into your questions. There have been very few successful cross overs of video games to films (Lara Croft being an exceptIon) primarily because the social geography is different, and filmmakers rarely take that into account. An environment designed for personal consumption has some personal geography that is difficult to translate to a communal experience. So the question becomes, not how the reflexive techniques will find a loophole, but how the social geography can best be brought into the reflexive, because that is where the difference will really be made.Note to self, don't leave the page to look up an author's name... lest your note be deleted! Check out Lynn Spigel's work. – staceysimmons 14 hours ago
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    Pokemon Appliances

    Are pokemon starting to cop-out on there designs i.e. A sword, machines you find in your home, a garbage bag. I kind of think they are. Some of the pokemon I like and I’m not saying they are bad mons, so don’t be offended but are their designs lacking?

    • The first games had pink goo Pokemon, ball Pokemon, upside-down ball Pokemon, mole Pokemon, three mole Pokemon, magnet Pokemon, three magnet Pokemon. Design concept is something that hasn't always been present in every Pokemon species from the first games, and while I do agree that some of the newer Pokemon have poor design choices, that could be said from the beginning as well. They aren't all going to be winners, and with the soon-to-be over 800 species nobody is going to like all of them. I certainly don't, but as with everything it's just a matter of opinion and there's nothing to stop someone from using six Charizards or only legendaries or just the cute ones if they so choose :) – Nayr1230 7 months ago
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    • Very interesting topic - scope for an interesting article here – J.P. Shiel 7 months ago
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    • I disagree with you completely. There are many questionable designs from the first generation. I'm not hating on them or anything because I love Pokemon as a whole but the argument on newer Pokemon being uninspired is pretty unknowledgable. There was a magnet Pokemon, rock Pokemon, goo Pokemon, and even a Pokeball Pokemon. Oh and there's one that's just a reversed Pokeball Pokemon.A lot of Pokemon were probably created and used later. I believe that was stated by the company. Some Pokemon were supposed to be in previous generations such as the second generation Pokemon being in the first. – melvin2898 2 months ago
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    • I agree that the designs are lacking in originality and quality in comparison to the original Pokemon. But there could many different reasons in this decline of design. Could it be due to a running out of ideas because all of the good ones are already used? Could it be that the Pokemon designers feel rushed due to an increased want for their games now that they have a more developed fan-base and standing in the gaming world? Or could it be due to a laziness developed through the awareness that their fan base is developed and going nowhere? Or could it simply be a misplaced sense of nostalgia that regularly comes with video games in that old games are always perceived as better? There are many avenues with which one could take this topic. – mattpellegrino 16 hours ago
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    • There are hundreds of Pokémon now. Shouldn't be that surprising that 20 years later, they are running out of unique ideas lol. Same goes for shows like the Power Rangers as well. Producing unique content for fantasy shows isn't difficult, but keeping that content fresh for years, or even decades is almost impossible. At least the games stayed good and the story still flows well. That is pretty much all you can ask for. – MikeySheff 4 hours ago
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    The Cinematic Space Odyssey

    Movies such as Gravity, Arrival, or the upcoming Passengers and Life films showcase the persistent human curiosity about outer space and who else (if anyone at all) is out there. We’re no longer in the era of little green men coming to invade the Earth in their silver flying saucers to abduct us or otherwise probe our brains. Cinematically speaking, how has the human vision of extraterrestrial life and exploration changed over the years? How have certain historical landmarks in the space program transformed what moviegoers want and expect to see in outer space-themed films? Has the recent media coverage about a possible mission to Mars in the not-too-distant future shifted the cinematic focus away from an interest in aliens to issues of human evolution/multi-planetary colonization? Is there something else at work here?

    • An interesting topic, for sure. Although I don't have the a very eclectic understanding of science fiction in cinema, I wonder if there has been a shift from the foreign/invading extraterrestrial to a interior extraterrestrial. That is to say, I have always perceived a shift from the flying saucer alien to the kind of alien that takes the form of human; an alien that changes our perception of the human body as human. Movies like Alien (where the alien is born from/comes from the human body) and Invasion of the Body snatchers. One might also consider Men in Black and Under the Skin. What we consider to be alien has, in some instances, become remarkably more human, and I think this would be a fascinating angle to take for this topic. – Dethlefs 3 days ago
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    • The movies tend to change with science. The more things science figures out, and by extension, theories it creates, just add to the writer's creativity. One possible reason earlier movies were more about alien invasions is the fact that humans overestimated the planet's resources. Up until somewhat recently, people thought that we had a great thing going here. Now we see that the planet and its resources are finite, and that we are going to have to leave at some point. Which is why more blockbusters are centered more around space exploration rather than invasions from space. – MikeySheff 4 hours ago
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    The Sequel Syndrome

    With most major franchises releasing timelines of sequels, prequels, and spinoffs years in advance, it has become increasingly obvious that sequels are a fast way to create interest and reap box office revenue. However, it has also become increasingly obvious that many movie-goers are tired of this industry tactic, and have called for a return to original content. Discuss the relationship between a sequel being successful, and of it being necessary/wanted by the public.

    • Sequels aren't inherently bad, but they can be abused. It really comes down to loyalty and attachment. Does the Star Wars prequel and sequel trilogies need to exist? No, but because so many people are invested in the universe and the characters, they'll keep making Star Wars movies. The same can be applied to any successful movie franchise. The only ways a sequel won't get made is if the movie does awful or the creative team makes a bold decision not to make another one, even if it means losing out on profits. – MarkSole 2 days ago
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    • This topic would benefit from market analysis, though I imagine your quality of "being necessary/wanted" will be hard to quantify if that's not tied to box office revenue. – Kevin 2 days ago
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    • Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and the list goes on. There is no way that any of these movies would have the same impact without their sequels. I can definitely see your point, that some sequels are just cash tactics, but the great many seem to make sense to the story. – MikeySheff 4 hours ago
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    The Advent of Independent Comics: Why Writers Are Starting To Right Their Own Stories

    It is no secret that Marvel and DC are the top comic book publishers in the industry. But in recent years, many famous writers and artists like Jonathan Hickman and Rick Remender have left the publishers and have started to create comics for Image Comics or other independent publishers. The results are critically acclaimed comic book series that have become very popular among the comic book community. It would be nice to explore the reasons why comic book writers and artists are leaving Marvel or DC to create their own comics with independent publishers like Image Comics. An examination could even be done into what Image Comics and other independent publishers offer writers and artists that Marvel or DC does not.

      Film

      Should Superhero Franchises have a Definite Ending
      Should Superhero Franchises have a Definite Ending
      Forrest Gump: An Undying Flame
      From The Get Down to Moulin Rouge: A Look at Baz Luhrmann’s Writer-Heroes
      His Girl Friday and the Agency of Women Journalists in Hollywood

      TV

      Relationship Entertainment: Navigating the Struggle between Romance and Friendship on TV
      Relationship Entertainment: Navigating the Struggle between Romance and Friendship on TV
      A Hidden Racism in American Horror Story: Roanoke
      Freaks and Geeks: One Season, 17 Years of Cultural Influence
      Objects in Breaking Bad: If Things Could Talk

      Animation

      Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?
      Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?
      The Legend of Korra: Empathizing with Villains
      A Look at ‘Zootopia’: How Its Heroine Plays in the Field of Fellow Disney Women
      Bojack Horseman: Balancing Humor and Dark Themes

      Anime

      Death Parade: Humanity in Yuzuru Tachikawa’s Anime
      Death Parade: Humanity in Yuzuru Tachikawa’s Anime
      An Overview of Anime in the Mecha Body of Japan’s Economy
      The Anime Guide to Spring 2016
      The Fairy Tail Franchise’s Success: Love and War

      Manga

      One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
      One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
      Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
      Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution
      The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

      Comics

      What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
      What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
      Finding the Bridge Between Superhero Comics and Hip-Hop
      Superheroes and Super Villains Who Use Guns
      Disability Bound Superheroes and the Representation of their Struggles

      Literature

      The Brutal Presentation of Modern Society in The Play ‘Shopping and F***ing’
      The Brutal Presentation of Modern Society in The Play ‘Shopping and F***ing’
      Me Before You: How the Movie Changed the Story
      Why Reread Books? The Pros and Cons of Rereading
      Lost in Hyperreality: Entering The Museum of Tolerance

      Arts

      Theatre Beyond the Ground: Staging a Defiance of Gravity from Aeschylus to Živadinov
      Theatre Beyond the Ground: Staging a Defiance of Gravity from Aeschylus to Živadinov
      Lively Objects: Curating ‘Broken’ Electronic Art
      30 Americans
      Are Fossils the New Art? Analyzing the Lords of the Land Gallery

      Writing

      Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
      Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
      Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?
      Using Zen Philosophy to Improve Creativity and Overcome Writer’s Block
      Where Did All the Editors Go?