Tragedy in cinema is a large genre (Forrest Gump, Marriage Story, Steel Magnolias, etc.) but why are we drawn to movies that make us cry? Is there a similarity to listening to sad music? Maybe a big, cathartic cry is just what’s needed to make it through a tough week. But does tragedy in cinema help us to express our emotions or make us feel worse?
Discuss how tragedy relates to the ideas of romanticism, and why these themes are still prevalent in today’s blockbusters.
Traditionally, the intention of tragedy has always been to cause catharsis (pleasure through pain) to the audience. But it has been discussed that many other genres or artistic forms can also produce or invoke catharsis. In the end, it is all a matter of personal or cultural preference. If it is true that some people are attracted to tragic stories, it is also true that many people actively avoid any form of tearjerker, too. – T. Palomino3 months ago
I think this could be examined through a lens of either upward or downward comparison: does seeing depictions of suffering more significant than ours elevate ourselves and make us feel better about our own relatively insignificant problems, or does viewing suffering as adjacent to our own validate our emotions and allow us justification to be upset? – lavenderhatchet3 months ago
The movie Annihilation (2018) has a pretty confusing ending with lots of interpretations. What happened to Lena? What was the significance of the mirroring alien? How does the ending tie in to the themes seen throughout the rest of the movie? Who is the Kane we see at the end of the movie?
500 Days of Summer features Zooey Deschanel as Summer, a quirky, aloof, "perfect" woman who quickly becomes the object of main character Tom’s obsession. Her main purpose is to complement and complete him, rather than embark upon any character arc or self-improving journey of her own. Is this a harmless play on a stock character, or is it offensive on a deeper level– suggestive of women as only objects or commodities to enhance the lives of men? Furthermore, Tom is totally blind to reality or anything else around him when in the presence of Summer. Does this mean her character is manipulative and bitchy, or simply that she is so explicitly designed to be his perfect object of desire that no one else can possibly compare?
I'm not sure the conclusion/narrative arc of the movie backs up this perspective/point of view that Summer is herself a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. In many ways, I feel like the film is a critique to the idea of a manic pixie dream girl. A key part of the film is that Tom does not end up with Summer because she ends up wanting things that are different from him/finds her own path through life. Manic Pixie Dreams girls usually serve to complete the main character. Tom fails to see Summer as a deeply complex person, instead she spends much of the film as the object of his affection or a thorn in his side depending on whether they are seeing each other. The audience almost exclusively sees Summer through Tom's point of view. There is even a scene where a woman Allison asks Tony if Summer lied to him or cheated on him, and this scene helps illustrate that Tom is wrong in many ways about Summer. Tom may see Summer as a Maniac Pixie Dream Girl, but his perspective on her is deeply flawed. – Sean Gadus4 weeks ago
I'd suggest expanding the discussion to other "manic pixe dream girls," such as Ramona Flowers, Margo Roth Spiegelman, and Ruby Sparks. Perhaps compare and contrast them with each other and with other female characters that are portrayed better. – noahspud3 weeks ago
The most recent horror film on Hollywood’s docket is Prey for the Devil, which concerns Sister Ann. This devout nun wants to be an exorcist and would be great at it, but her training school accepts only men. Yet Sister Ann may be the only one who can help the patients in the school’s attached hospital for the possessed, including a ten-year-old girl. The blending of Christianity and horror in this film is by turns respectful to the Church and seems to encourage audiences to explore, if not root for, the demonic.
It’s a conundrum found in many similar films, such as The Exorcist and The Nun. The question is why this blend comes up so often, and especially why the Catholic Church is presented on the front lines in this murky battle between good and evil (they aren’t always on the "good" side). Are these portrayals as balanced as they could and arguably should be? How can or should horror films stay true to their genre, while portraying Christians or perhaps people of other faiths, as those who would protect or save innocents from the demonic? What do these films say about spiritual battle lines in real life? Discuss.
Midnight Mass is a great miniseries to look at. The show expertly uses Christian/Catholic imagery as a backdrop for its story. Faith and religion are key components of the show. Its an exceptional show for this topic, and a great piece of art generally. – Sean Gadus3 months ago
Among the many motifs in Quentin Tarantino’s cinematography, food is one of the most important ones. It has been pointed out that the relation between food and power/domination is key to understanding the functionality of violence in his films. For example, when Jules bites some guy’s hamburger and drinks his soda (“Pulp Fiction”), he does it as a prelude to intimidate and kill. When Hans Landa forces Shosanna Dreyfus to try strudel with a glass of milk (“Inglourious Basterds”), he does it to let her know he knows who she really is. When Beatrix struggles with chopsticks and finally uses her hands to eat (“Kill Bill”), Pai Mei throws her food away and tells her that if she wanted to behave like an animal, she will be treated like an animal. These are just some examples of the many ways food is used to dominate and to impose over someone, and ultimately to exert violence. A study that analyzes this phenomenon in deep using one or two specific examples in Tarantino’s movies is something that has not been done yet. The goal of an article on this subject would be to delve into an aspect of Tarantino’s films that has not been fully explored, but it is evidently important to understand how this director’s mind works.
Tarantino once worked at a video rental store, where he delved into a ton ob obscure and old films. He credits this as a starting point that honed his love for film. In writing this topic, it would likely help to look up some interviews in which Tarantino discusses this. – Ethan Fenwick1 month ago
When writing this, the use of Police Academy is a must to talk about stereotypes and misleading views of police. On the other hand, we shouldn't forget that sometimes stereotypes occur very true-to-life, which in turn can be misleading too. – Christof Claude4 weeks ago
I have been wanting to write an article about the Japanese movie Helter Skelter by referring to the manga that is based upon it. I decided to submit a topic beforehand to see what the Artifice community thinks about it. This movie is unforgettable because it makes the audience realize how ugly it is to go desperately after physical beauty. It is a great lesson about youth, beauty, self-esteem, and ethics. The article is expected to be about the analysis of the main character Ririko, the way the plot evolves, and how other minor but important characters contribute to delivering the message that obsessively seeking outer beauty is a toxic behavior. Since the movie is about models, focusing on the fashion industry as the concerned context would be appropriate. However, this phenomenon of having certain beauty criteria on social media is becoming a lot more common nowadays and it is causing a lot of mental health issues particularly among teenagers and young adults. Connecting the ideas generated in this film to a real contemporary problem would also be interesting to provide interpretation and discussion of the analysis.
Exactly. I would like to write this topic and I didn't know it is for other users only. So what do I do now? – Malak Cherif1 year ago
I think this idea is great and if you write about this you have a lot of material to collect from. – ImaniX4 weeks ago
Especially with the change of villains after the 2000s, the history of cinema has gained many cult characters. Joker, Ozymandias, Magneto, Thanos, Bane, and more. These villains, whose sole purpose is not to destroy the world, as before, all have different motivations. All of them have different purposes. They are far from being an ordinary villain, thanks to their delicately written characters like the main character of the movie. For this reason, they have many viewers who see them right and love them. The best example might be the Vikings. Although they were bloody raiders, we had a great time watching them. So how right is it to enjoy it, to support the Joker, to love these villains who are essentially trying to harm? Or trying to break the society we live in?
Still. Out. Of. The. Scope. Of. The. Artifice. – T. Palomino2 months ago
Many Hallmark holiday movies are considered "bad" because they employ unrealistic, overdone, and exaggerated tropes, characters, plot devices, world-building, and sentimentality. This makes the settings in which they are set in seem like they are trying too hard to look believable. This makes the content fall flat and seem poorly executed. Characters are often underdeveloped as their personalities and histories are not explored much which makes it difficult to be invested in their story. These are just some reasons many consider Hallmark holiday movies to be less successful and impactful.
Explore some of the reasons. Discuss television vs streaming, secularism, commercializations of the holidays, budgets, appeal, genre limitations, reputation, etc.
To quote my mother, "I love watching Hallmark movies because I always know how what's going to happen. They're not stressful." While this may be a pro for my mother, and for many people who enjoy Hallmark movies, it's not considered a pro in the film world. A screenplay should always be surprising but inevitable. Hallmark movies follow a formula down to a tee. The plot points are inevitable, but not surprising. – Abby1 month ago
I would also go into the history of film and television production a bit. I think there's a clear parallel between the way Hallmark movies are viewed today and the way TV movies of the week were viewed by many in the 1970s and '80s — in that networks produced literally hundreds of them every year, and most were not taken too seriously by critics. No different really from the way B-movies were relegated to the bottom half of double bills in the 1930s. Hallmark movies are, in a way, the closest thing there is today to the old Hollywood studio system. – John Wilson2 weeks ago