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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, and Back Again: Undo-ly Uncharacteristic

Many films have exulted the academic setting to the dismay and delight of old and young. With the advent of online learning environments, how will this transpire in relation to its predecessor? Assuming there is a new trend in the making, it will have to contend with a considerable list of memorable, and possibly unbearable, student experiences. The films that have elevated the story-line being: The Paper Chase, The Social Network, A Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, The Breakfast Club and Grease. The television serials that have captivated the imagination, including: The Facts of Life, Welcome Back Kotter and Room 222. Will any such online vignette bring new challenges to the director, the actor, the setting and the audience; or, will it venture into a boundless territory of possibility and ingenuity? How is the virtual Third Place better or worse than the traditional or customary physical site?

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    To War is Human, To Relinquish Unlikely

    The film cache of War World I, World War II, and Vietnam dramatizations are continual fodder for the curious and critic alike. The ancient battles of Europe and Asia have had their turn in front of the camera lens and the recent terrorism and rogue posturing leave no doubt that the theaters will draw revelers back in droves for the foreseeable future. Does the war formula of the past persist in terms of viewer expectation and recent innovation such as night vision? How does the ever changing geopolitical agenda and the socioeconomic appetite influence the confrontational depiction on the silver screen or the plasma screen? Does CGI enhance or devalue the tendency to transcend the dilemma physically, ideological or existentially? Consider the early stop motion techniques of Jason and the Argonauts (skeleton sword attack), War Games (teen hacker), The Hunt for Red October (espionage), or Terminator 2 (apocalyptic dream) for analysis of realism and suspension of disbelief in new battle fronts. Are psychological warfare or cyber-attacks in virtual space the future of wars, drone missions and stealth raids a nascent ploy, or is there still a place for the dog fights and tank ambushes of early combat?

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      Sonic the Hedgehog/Bird of Prey: The Entitlement of Film Audiences

      This February a slew of both bad and good movies came out. However, two of them have been talked the most and those films being Sonic the Hedgehog and Bird of Prey.

      What should have been a feminist success turned out to a downright misogynistic disaster at the box office. While the other that gain a truckload of backlash for the C.G.I abomination that supposed to represent the beloved Sega video game character Sonic, turned out to be a box office success, beating Detective Pikachu as the newest adorable, expressive C.G.I character to date.

      These two films are where they are now because one decided to listen to the fans, while the other kicked them to the curb, thinking their message was far more important than actually adapting the source material.

      At the end of the day, one wonders should fans have a say in terms of the creative process in films when it comes to adapting a popular product or should fans leave it to the paid artists to take liberties with it?

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        Does diversity out of obligation temporarily or genuinly liberate minority groups?

        I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when a headline caught my eye regarding something about Disney casting a black actress to portray Ariel in the live-action remake. Although many people did comment some praise and lauded Disney for trying so hard to be more inclusive and represent minorities that have largely been left out of their platform, historically speaking, many other users commented on their distaste about the PR decision. Many people were commenting on how diversity should never be made out of "pity" or "obligation". What do you guys think? I think this topic has definitely been introduced before but I’d like to read an in-depth article about it. Do we have to feel the need to replace media/popular culture figures with minorities or do we just need more figures that represent those groups?

        • Instead of genuinely diversifying the Disney brand by creating new original black characters, they take an existing white one and that black character then becomes tokenized. This has happened before with the beloved classic Annie with the remake in 2015, in the comics, Ironman is replaced with a black girl Ironheart. Of course they make money regardless, the question then becomes: is it ethical or morally right to initallly replace a white chracter in hopes to make them equal, even if the new chracter has no sense of individuality and has a pressure to be like the chracter they replaced? – Amelia Arrows 4 days ago
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        • I totally agree with your point about individuality- It questions whether the replacement even really identifies with the character they're replacing. Superficial diversity maybe is a good name for this lol. – hilalbahcetepe 4 days ago
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        Media Literacy and the Meta-Narrative

        Discuss the rise of self-referential, "meta" narratives in contemporary film and television, and the links to the rising media literacy of consumers. Considering the introduction of media education in schools, particularly on English syllabuses, how has the audience’s understanding of media conventions and tropes affected the writing of media?
        In the UK in particular, English education in schools now has mandatory coverage of media writing. People are growing up with a knowledge of story structure, tropes, and genre conventions. This is leading to a rise in films and television which make deliberate nods to these conventions. Some examples: Community (TV series), Deadpool (Film), Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Film), Black Mirror (TV Series), Spaced (TV Series).

        • It's a little vague, maybe through some definitions to help clarify? – Andi 7 months ago
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        • This is a really fascinating topic! You make a good point that "meta" narratives assume that the audience is knowledgeable about that form of media, including the tropes that constitute it. But this topic is a little broad. I would suggest picking one form of media (tv, film, books, etc.) and finding examples of meta narratives and then compare their critical and popular reception. Then, the audience's understanding of meta conventions and tropes could be more acutely analyzed. I would really like to read an article about this! – Eden 6 months ago
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        • The central idea is an excellent one, but defining forms of media will help give structure and clarity to your central aim. For instance, how do you specifically define “meta-narrative?” Does it refer to specific tropes and story-telling conventions, or is there something more to mention? Highlighting the odds and ends of these terms will help flesh out the article. Consider also the effects of online fan activity in pushing creators to cater to those interests, even to the point of altering story threads to avoid being predictable. – James Polk 2 months ago
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        • What this article needs is specifics. Giving examples of the so called "meta" narratives and literacy might give some context to what you are talking about instead of simply generalizing. – thestorydude7 1 day ago
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        How a Husband Helped and Hindered Jo March's Development as a Woman in Little Women (2020)

        Analysing Jo March’s character development in the movie Little Women (or the book) and how her beliefs about women changed through falling in love with a man. Contrasting her initial beliefs that women should not have to be married for society, and should be allowed to work for themselves even if married, Jo’s ideas change when she discovers loneliness and love. How does meeting her husband alter her overarching beliefs?

        • This is an interesting one, I'd suggest looking into Louisa May Alcott's story as a woman author herself during that time to better understand why Jo ends up with a man in the end in the first place. I think Jo marrying in the end might say more about the time period and the obstacles women faced than it does about her actual character. There's a pithy little scene in the movie where we see Jo debate the romantic fate of her heroine with her publisher which might help. – MaeveM 2 days ago
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        Plot Driven Stories or Character Driven stories-Which one is better?

        Films tend to fall into one or two categories: they are either smart or they are dumb blockbusters. But If one were too realy look at the core difference between the two, it comes down to how the story is written. Either the plot forces the character through a lot of hell, or the character go through hell because they decide to. My question is which one is better?

        • To me this sounds like a question that depends on your psychology. If your focus is on people, character-driven plots seem more attractive; if objects/things, then plot driven. One thing that seems clear to me is that you need elements of both in order to get the best final product. – J.D. Jankowski 2 weeks ago
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        • Great topic! However, I don't think that this topic should focus on the fact that plot driven or character driven is ultimately "better" than the other. Some readers/viewers are content with plot driven stories (like fans of YA novels) and others are content with character driven stories (like fans of the literary genre). This also doesn't mean that someone who would enjoy character driven stories won't enjoy a plot driven story and vice versa. To make such a statement, I think, is actually quite bias.What I suggest in approaching this topic is weighing the pros and cons of both, their similarities and differences, and how they affect the story being told. Maybe even consider how if a character focused novel was rewritten as a plot focused novel, how this would affect its narrative structure, pacing and audience reception. – SpookyDuet 2 weeks ago
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        • This sounds like it would be very much an opinionated idea, and would not really provide insight into the analysis of how a story is written as proving which is better. I think rather than stating which is "better", a better idea would be to compare and contrast them, so as not to make such an opinionated statement, therefore leaving the reader open to considering both ideas, without having an opinion thrown at them. – Alyshabuck 2 weeks ago
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        Memory as a Narrative Device and form of Expression

        With films such as Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Marjorie Prime exploring the concept of memory and how they seemingly define us. I’d like to suggest a further investigation into the use of memory in film as a narrative tool. How have writers/directors effectively used this device to engage viewers. Are there consistencies within the more successful examples? How could we look to utilise memory as a concept in future films, or even other forms of media.