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How the Situational Conditions Shape Behavior: Boy eating the bird's food

In contemporary Athens, the protagonist, Yorgos, is a tormented young man on the verge of famine. He’s ostensibly educated and cultured yet separated from family and friends. What sets this topic noteworthy is that it is symbolic of times of crisis, which put many individuals in tough situations. Lyzigos, the film’s director, refers to his work as a psychological case study of the crisis. Though the film’s plot is around a personal story, it has societal implications. Yorgos’ personal history is kept hidden for the duration of the film; we can only see his behavior in unpleasant situations along with his ambiguous motivations. As a result, the film serves as a useful illustration of how situational factors shape people’s behavior regardless of their personal identities, backgrounds, or histories.
After addressing the film in general and numerous key sequences in particular, all in the context of a situation in which humans’ basic needs are being mistreated, the author may mention and discuss some psychological experiments, one of the well-known of which is the Stanford Prison Experiment. It was created to see how situational circumstances affected participants’ reactions and behaviors throughout a prison simulation. Another example is the Milgram Experiment, which deals with a setting in which volunteers are directed to obey authority. Although psychological studies are not essential, they may provide factual evidence for the idea that situational conditions can influence people’s behavior regardless of their identities! Finally, the contributor can ask a serious question about the interplay of personal and situational factors: at what point does the impact of situational factors become dominant? Aren’t there reasons linked to a person’s own characteristics, such as how reasonable or impulsive he is?

  • An interesting psychological analysis of the film. It would be helpful to have a little summary of the film at the start for context, but it would be a great discussion. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 2 weeks ago
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  • It's worth noting that the two experiments listed above have films dedicated to them, specifically Kyle Patrick Alvarez's The Stanford Prison Experiment from 2015 and Michael Almereydaq's Experimenter from 2015. – Samer Darwich 2 weeks ago
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  • If I recall, the Stanford Prison Experiment has had some negative criticism in its methodology. Just something that may be worth keeping in the back of the mind. – J.D. Jankowski 2 weeks ago
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How does misogynoir affect casting choice?

Leah Jeffries was recently cast as Annabeth in the upcoming Percy Jackson series on Disney . Rick Riordan, author of the book series it is based on, approves and endorses Jeffries as embodying the characteristics of Annabeth as he wrote her. Jeffries is a young Black actress and her casting was met with a lot of racist backlash.
Similarly, a few years ago Halle Bailey (also a young Black woman) was cast as Ariel in the live action The Little Mermaid. Her casting was also met with racist backlash.
Discuss the role misogynoir plays in casting choices and why it is important to cast Black women for characters that are not racially or ethnically specific.

  • Something also worth noting is some of the more levelheaded critics did not care about the race of the actors/actress. They questioned if these individuals being chosen for these roles was only because of their race. As many of these studios made a big deal about the race of the actor's, when many felt their ability to act should be the primary factor in them getting the role. Many accused Disney of Tokenism. I think that is a worthwhile angle to explore as well. We can also see something similar with the fans suggesting Micheal B Jordan play superman. While you naturally have those who hate the idea and make racist remarks online. You can also see some fans question why no one is suggesting Micheal B Jordan doesn't get cast as Icon, a black super hero who has yet to get a feature film or solo T.V series. – Blackcat130 2 weeks ago
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  • The thing that occurs to me about this is that there is a need to draw a distinction between people complaining about having Black actresses in particular roles, and people complaining about those who complain about having Black actresses in those roles. This is particularly important in the internet age because anything can receive attention it doesn't deserve as long as it can be packaged as "clickbait." If a tiny minority of less than 100 people is complaining about a Black actress in a given role, but then millions of people broadcast the views of this tiny minority in order to tear them down or make fun of them, then it will look like Black actresses get a lot more hatred than they actually do. – Debs 1 week ago
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  • Refer to examples throughout Hollywood’s history to bolster your argument. (Sorry I tried to update the topic but it posted before I could) – Anna Samson 1 week ago
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Turning Red and the Female Gaze

The recent Disney / Pixar film Turning Red has been widely celebrated not only for being enjoyable, but for showcasing a touching and realistic portrayal of teenage girlhood, with all its joys and sorrows. However, it also sparked an immediate negative response from a wide variety of critics saying they felt the intended audience was "too narrow" or "not relatable enough."

Women and racialized people have had to watch films intended for white men for as long as the medium has existed, and still enjoy movies without being the exact target audience. What is it about movies intended for other audiences that make otherwise enjoyable movies, such as the delightful Turning Red, so uncomfortable for the white male audience?

  • Could also add queer / LGBTQ+ folks to the list of people who rarely have targeted media for them, though queer media has become much more popular in the past few years. – SBee 4 weeks ago
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  • Great topic. Basically, the answer is, "If a film is not intended for a 'majority' audience, it makes them uncomfortable." As SBee said, you could broaden this to include LGBTQ+ audiences, as well as others. I'd also suggest talking about the ways in which majority actors and directors try to make these "uncomfortable" films "acceptable" to the majority. Examples include, not discussing or showing female-centric issues such as periods, defining LGBTQ+ people by sexuality only, using inspiration porn to make disability palatable, etc. – Stephanie M. 4 weeks ago
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  • I spent some time recently on this topic, the oppositional gaze was coined and created by the lack of representation experienced by black women in movies as main characters. Perhaps it is something similar in regards to white men being left out of a movie, although it would be drastically different given the centuries of privilege's and expectancies that have developed. – Mhanley1022 3 weeks ago
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Do historically inaccurate re-telling's perpetuate ignorance

Can authors and auteurs play with the past without perpetuating ignorance and false narratives within our history. Take the lack of political stance in Marie Antoinette (2005) for example and the films dismissal of Marie’s involvement in the French Revolution.

  • This is pretty much already done with the Nasu verse/Type Moon series. Characters in this anime series have their gender changed from what it was historically. This is usually done for entertainment purposes. So, being inaccurate in a retelling does not matter unless you are presenting your information as accurate. If you are trying to be accurate then one should do their research and try and get to as close to the truth as possible. Ultimately it really just comes down the authors intentions. (Which we may not always privy to.) – Blackcat130 1 month ago
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  • I found this topic interesting from the viewpoint of invulnerability and ethical closure of the reader. Although authors and auteurs use a certain amount of truth and fiction when writing history, history should be written from the standpoint of knowledge and responsibility. For example, the author's lack of political stance in Marie Antoinette (2005) doesn't clarify Marie's role in the French Revolution; this leaves the audience vulnerable and perpetuates ignorance by interpreting history inaccurately. I find this extremely important from an epistemic perspective; writers need to work towards truthful narratives. – Richard 4 weeks ago
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  • Or, to think about it the other way, is a story ever retold that is an accurate portrayal? Nostalgia overtakes fact and memory very quickly. It's why we see memes that talk about how great the 80's was compared to today and 20 years from now, we will say how great things were in the '20's (2020's) because as things change, we view change as a loss and that perceived loss leads us to reflecting on that past through rose colored glasses. – Amie709 1 week ago
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Is the “Immersive Experience” in music creating a False Sense of Place?

A musica-ficta? “Immersive Sound” is presenting an artistic creation, an out-of-body and strongly emotional experience, but far from our "sense of place" within reality. How do you feel about this move to “immersive” musical experiences and how does it navigate successfully within traditional 2-channel, and even, surround sound?

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    Does Don't Look Up do it's job as a satire?

    Adam McKay, one of the great modern comedy feature writers (Step Brothers, The Big Short, Anchorman), has stirred up controversy with his latest Oscar nominated feature, Don’t Look Up. In a world that appears to be going more and more insane with each passing day, the premise of Don’t Look Up should be the type of concept that resonates with the majority of the population. And looking at its success with the Oscar nomination and its popularity on Netflix, clearly it did. It narrowly missed the streaming service’s record for the highest watch time of a film in its opening 28 days, at 360 million hours.

    So then, how does a film this so well-perceived by the Academy and popular with the masses manage just 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, 49% on Metacritic, and a relatively underwhelming 7.2 IMDb? The feature isn’t perfect, and perhaps the star-studded cast and wealth of talent behind the scenes had some expecting the impossible. But gripes over story and weren’t what prompted such an adverse response from reviewers. Something else that’s rubbed a portion of viewers the wrong way. In creating this satire, Adam McKay poked the bear and pissed off the very people he’s trying to appeal to: climate change deniers. Negative reviews of this film almost always circle back to the same critique, which is the perception that McKay is attempting to preach true knowledge to his (it’s not exclusive to them, but for simplicity’s sake) conservative audience that they are laughably naïve and easily swayed by politicians that would sacrifice them in a heartbeat to turn a profit.

    To come to a conclusive judgement on whether Don’t Look Up hits or misses the mark of a great satire, we must do an objective deep dive into its character. Does it hit too close to home for people to accept, or is it simply so absurd that we can’t help but laugh at it, and not in the way McKay intended?

    • I would love to read a piece on this, actually. I think it's a conversation worth having, especially in this current climate. No, the film isn't perfect, but it shows a lot of how imperfect we are as humans and how much we depend on each other to survive. Also, let's talk about the elephant in the room - the disgustingly rich, who I'm sure will be on the first spaceship out of here if sh*t hits the fan. So, yeah, it hits too close to home. – Dani CouCou 2 weeks ago
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    Taken by cchaisson (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Marvel and the return to moralistic storytelling

    Why is it that Marvel and other action-based franchises such as DC tend to ascribe at least one distinct social cause to each film? Is it a return to the overly simplistic style of prescriptive storytelling that was popularised in fairytales? Films such as Captain Marvel or series like the Falcon and the Winter soldier directly focus on social issues that are in current discourse (broadly feminism and anti-war sentiments). Though there seems to be more focus upon grey areas between the black and white, good guy bad guy format that originated in the comic series there is still very little complexity given to such large issues. Is it important for films such as Black Panther, which has had a great impact on the Black Lives Matter movement and provided much needed diversity in representation, to be released? Or are they simplifying complex issues, fitting them into a three act structure that has the potential for sequels, to market them to a specific demographic? Though both sides can easily be argued, it remains important to consider how prescriptive binary morality of good and bad can affect social movements, especially when displayed in films that have an immense global reach.

    • This topic has a lot to cover, but it is interesting to think about. – Cetrias 4 weeks ago
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    The Power of Movie Musical Protagonists

    In the world of movie musicals and musical episodes of TV shows, characters process their emotions and make decisions through song-and-dance numbers. The protagonists of these stories often seem to have an uncanny ability to influence people around them and make them break into song and dance.

    In Encanto, Mirabelle’s gift seems to be making her family sing about their feelings, especially when they don’t want to talk about them: she makes Luisa admit she’s nervous about the Pressure, she gets the whole family to sing about Bruno, etc.
    In the High School Musical series, Troy Bolton turns a basketball practice into a song-and-dance number because he can’t stop thinking about musical theatre. Then he convinces all of his friends to work at a country club even though it’s hard.

    In The Greatest Showman, P.T. Barnum uses the power of song-and-dance to turn his group of social outcasts into the greatest show on Earth and to convince Zac Efron’s character to join his team.

    If the songs are diegetic (the characters are aware they are singing and dancing), they are conscious choices by the characters, so they can be considered part of the characters’ development. If the songs are non-diegetic (only the audience is aware of what’s happening), they are mainly plot devices.

    Other examples include Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The Flash/Supergirl crossover "Duet," and The Magicians’ annual musical episodes.

    Analyze the narrative impact of these characters and their musical influence. Does this phenomenon work better as character development, a plot device, or a combination of both?

    • You could also discuss Orpheus in Hadestown, who is both a musician and musical protagonst (with Eurydices). Singing is part of his identity in the show. – Sean Gadus 2 months ago
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