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Latest Topics

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Race and Film

Analysis of films as they relate centrally to race as a primary lens.

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    Shakespeare in Films

    Select a few of Shakespeare plays that have been adapted in films and analyse them. What can film techniques bring to the plays? How does it change our relationships to characters? The story? Are there elements that can only be efficient on stage? What do actors who do both (David Tennant, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen etc…) say about the difference between performing Shakespeare on stage and in front of a camera?

    • Wow, there's a lot here to talk about! I love this topic and am excited to see it. Paring this down into specifics would be easier to write about. For example, Branagh is probably the most prolific in bringing Shakespeare to film, so it might be interesting to choose just one of his film adaptations and write at length about what it brings to (or detracts from) the play. Most directors these days set Shakespeare in different time periods; how does Branagh's version of Hamlet, for example, set a tone that may be different from a displaced staged version? – Katheryn 3 months ago
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    • A very interesting concept and will make a great article. There are certainly many things you propose to be discussed here. I think first of all the title should reflect that you are trying to do a comparison or discuss both Film and on stage plays. In addition, it will be beneficial to narrow down the discussion to a degree as it might result in a very long article that would not have coherency and a good flow. Compare and contrast topics are very interesting read and fun to do, but if there are too many elements, the article becomes difficult to follow. – Arazoo Ferozan 3 months ago
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    • BBC's Hollow Crown trilogy would be a good adaptation to explore (even though it's a mini-series) as many of the actors in it also did stage work. The recent Macbeth (2015) film would interesting as well given how pared down it was--mostly striking visuals and score, but very little of the play's actual lines. A question, maybe, of conveying atmosphere and tone vs. faithfully sticking to the original. – Tiffany 3 months ago
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    • As others have noted, there is a lot to explore/discuss here. There are numerous adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that can lend important insight to your piece - especially if you're thinking about it in a global context. How do adaptations outside of the English language come closer to or further from the original? How do certain cultural or community specific values (i.e. arranged marriages in certain cultures) impact an adaptation's depiction or love, duty, remorse, etc. Maqbool (2004) is an awesome example of some of these questions and issues. If you're thinking of expanding to a more global context that is a great place to start! – GemMarr 20 hours ago
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    • This is a very broad topic, maybe stick to one popular and well adapted Shakespeare play. Also keep in mind the historical context of live action plays: they were supposed to engage the audience to get involved, for example the well known fact that audiences used to throw tomatoes at actors. But the audience could also contribute real time opinions and feelings to a play, even help improvise lines. Audience participation is something film adaptations lack. I'm not sure if you have studied more modern plays, like Beckett or Susan Lori-Parks, but the trend of post modern plays is to implicate the audience and make us feel culpable. I know this might be going off track, but it would be an interesting research. Good luck! – Rayna 12 hours ago
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    Bollywood in the United States

    Hindi cinema, or "Bollywood," is one of the world’s largest and widely viewed film industries, churning out over 1,000 films every year. However, despite its wide reach and highly commercial appeal, Bollywood has yet to crack the American popular market. Why might this be? What facets of Hindi cinema might turn away an American audience? How might a Bollywood film market itself to an American audience?

    • You read my mind in suggesting this topic. Crossovers and adaptations to new markets are always interesting. I want to write this topic! Munjeera – Munjeera 4 months ago
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    • Thank you for your note, Munjeera! I can't wait to see what you write! – sophiacatherine 4 months ago
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    Taken by Munjeera (PM) 3 days ago.
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    Films about travelling abroad

    What storytelling techniques are used to invoke the feeling of wanderlust in film?

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      Eragon: Movie Adaptation Failure

      Look at the differences between the movie Eragon and the book by Paolini. Explore why the book was a relative success but the movie was such a cinematic flop. Areas to explore might include character development, major battles, what was changed and perhaps why (such as trying to keep the rating they wanted).

      • Adaptation Theory can help immensely with this essay. Linda Hutcheon has a seminal text on the topic. – WALSTIB 4 days ago
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      • It could also be interesting to do a general article about where book-to-movie transitions often fail, and use Eragon as a framing device, since it sadly falls victim to many of the pitfalls. I would personally attribute many of the problems in Eragon specifically to an attempt to condense the entirety of a very long and complex book into a single movie; the entire thing felt incredibly rushed. – Connor Gregorich-Trevor 3 days ago
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      Can Musicals Transfer to the Screen Effectively?

      Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, Les Miserables, Rent: in the past few years alone, there have been multiple movie musicals released, often with mixed receptions. Is it possible for musicals to move from the stage to the screen and still retain their magic? What might some challenges be? (i.e. target audience; musical fans perhaps disliking casting when people who are not traditionally "singers" are cast – think Hollywood actors rather than Broadway, cutting songs for the sake of time, sound editing causing the magic of a live performance to be lost, etc.)

      • Sweeney Todd could also be discussed, since Johnny Depp isn't traditionally a singer, and his delivery is different and not as robust than, say, George Hearn, though arguably the vibrato may not be as necessary on film than it is on a stage. – Emily Deibler 5 days ago
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      • It is definitely difficult for musicals to transfer to film. Often times I would agree that it is a failure and mainly because the people that are heavily critiquing the film may have seem the Broadway version and it is impossible to emote the same feelings that are created when watching a musical live onto the screen. However, when I first saw Chicago the film, I think they did a phenomenal job with it and it may be because they kept some of the songs to maintain that live theater feeling in the way it was choreographed and presented. – Naomster7 2 days ago
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      • The struggle with musicals being transferred to film is that the excitement and raw talent that is present in live theater has been cut. It is just another film with singing and dancing in it and the awe of the story being performed live has died. However, the film Chicago, did a fantastic job of recreating the scenes and musical numbers as they would have appeared while viewing them in Broadway. The film was able to portray all of the talent that goes in to live theater. I think another to consider as well with this topic, is the concept of if musicals designed for film can be transferred to Broadway? – Naomster7 2 days ago
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      Race Lifting in Adaptations and Differing Responses

      Look at how a character’s race/ethnicity changing in adaptations affects the story (if at all). Also look at how responses vary from between demographics and from which characters are changed and what this reveals about how audiences think about the races of characters. I.e. Human Torch/Johnny Storm (white) becoming black in Fantastic Four (2015) causes a social media firestorm, but Ra’s Al-Ghul (Arab) and Talia Al-Ghul (Arab/Chinese) becoming white in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy draws no response, etc.

      • The Bond franchise's Felix Leiter is another interesting example - the writer could look at what the portrayal of Bond's American counterpart as black says about the modern American identity, and just how much this has changed since the inception of the franchise. – IRBurnett 5 days ago
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      • Interesting idea. Cold Mountain had a character that changed from Black to White, resulting in a loss of impact to the story. – WALSTIB 4 days ago
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      How is Japanese Horror (J-Horror) Distinct from Other Horror Genres?

      Analyze and discuss how j-horror is distinct from other genres of horror, particularly its defining characteristics and notable directors or narratives (i.e. What makes them notable, to you as a viewer and the overall field?) Discuss its historical and recent developments. Have there been any emergent prominent themes? Compare it to remakes.

      • I believe that Japanese Horror is the most scariest horror there can be. I think the gruesome detail and illogical scare factor (i.e. monster, spirit, ...) is what characterizes the way horror is brought in Japanese Horror. – naturalbeautyqueen 6 days ago
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