Runestrand

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The American Context of Conspiracy Thrillers

    ’60s and Mid ’70s films made during the Conspiracy Thriller boom such as Manchurian Candidate (1962), Parallax View (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), and Stepford Wives (1975) seem to coordinate a critique or valorization of specifically American contexts. Manchurian Candidate demonstrates a stunning loss of American wartime innocence and domestic conspiracy in the same year John F. Kennedy was assassinated, resulting in the film being pulled from theatrical release. The Parallax View takes the notion of an American working against his/her own people a step further by enlisting an actual domestic cabal pulling the strings behind a patsy. All the President’s Men brings this fear of local threats home (literally and figuratively) with a very accurate retelling of the Watergate Scandal, a scheme that went right to the Oval Office. The purpose of this essay would be to select two to three of these films and identify what conventions used within these films spoke to an American context, and if possible, find what these films critiqued about American society in greater detail and how these concerns are relevant today. Some of the conventions include themes, characters, locations, symbols, and color coordination.

    • I would strongly encourage whomever decides to write this topic to pick just one or two of these films, maybe three maximum, to discuss in greater detail. The argument could become confused if the writer attempts to cover too much. By narrowing the focus, the writer will have more space to delve deeply. Of course, it is ultimately the writer's prerogative. – Samantha Leersen 3 months ago
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    • Thanks for the suggested revisions. It was my intention to give those films off as a list of possible examples to select from rather than propose to cover them all in one go. I went ahead and corrected it. – Runestrand 3 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Titanfall 2 is a game where the grappling hook works very well. It isn’t an excessive length. It’s only long enough to keep your wall-running momentum going, with fatal applications as well for the creative pilot! That to me is about the level it should be.

    Grappling Hooks: The Integral and Defining Feature of Gaming

    It’s something I never noticed as a kid but going back and reading over Roald Dahl’s work, there’s a lot of elements in them that work to create a macabre atmosphere beneath a shiny gilded surface of childlike wonder. I personally have always shuddered at the idea of living in a world like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — where wanton capitalism and sheer excess of personality aren’t scrutinized, but given a theme-park. Oh wait, that’s Disneyland!

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Capitalist Dystopia

    While there is something about the gameplay of Bioshock: Infinite (and all Bioshock games) that still just doesn’t work for me as it’s probably intended, I always contend that the latter-most sequel has some of the best storytelling I’ve ever seen presented in the medium. Never once was I ever bored and the DLC only made it better as it works with rather incredible concepts and visualizations of a vast multiverse. I admit some of the retcons to the previous games’ stories via Burial At Sea felt a little unnecessary but it didn’t do much to take away my enjoyment of those singular experiences. Great article!

    Examining Elizabeth's Harrowing Journey In Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea