Two contemporary anime films, Weathering With You, and Penguin Highway, feature strong visual and thematic motifs of water and the weather. I suggest an article that explores how these motifs show similar themes between the two films of hope, youthful abandon, and understanding the unknown (to name a few), and how these themes reflect the cultural associations of water and weather in Japanese society, and perhaps society as a whole. I couldn’t help but notice that the two films both feature water so heavily, as well as an enigmatic female lead with mysterious powers connected to water/weather. Water is a primary element that has the power to both give life and end it. Japan has a long history of devastating typhoons, fearsome weather deities, and folk customs like the teru teru bozu. As a genre, animation enables filmmakers to depict otherworldly places and events that traditional filmmaking just can’t. Water, in particular, is quite challenging to animate well, so both of these films would have been quite challenging to make. I think there are links between the motif of water/the weather as a fearsome but also a crucial element in the world; exploration the unknown as a young person; Japanese animation’s penchant for the otherworldly and existential; and the challenges of animating water.
I'm unfamiliar with these, but I have encountered the weather motifs in Japanese anime before. You could also expand or change this to "element motifs," because while water is definitely important, earth, air, and fire are also crucial to some popular anime. Avatar: The Last Airbender is a great example. – Stephanie M.5 days ago
Being Australian, I am more than aware that Australia gets depicted in certain ways in film, like in Crocodile Dundee, Australia is portrayed as being home to masculine men who fend for themselves in the outback, have ridiculous accents, are laid-back, etc. This has always fascinated me because its a caricature, not at all like the Australians I actually know.
So, my suggestion is an article that looks at your country of choice. Analyse a collection of films pertaining to that country and interpret how it is depicted. Is it truthful? Or is it only partially truthful? Are they creating a caricature, and if so, how are they creating that? Closely analyse the film here, making sure the article discusses the art in depth.
Do the people of that country agree with how they have been portrayed? Has that shaped the perceived national identity of that country? Do people from abroad stereotype them in the way films have? Is it just humorous, or does it have a more serious, political undertone? Are the stereotypes somehow convenient in the process of story telling?
Look at who makes these films, are film makers promoting stereotypes that belong to themselves, or are they made by people who have never experienced life in that country? What kind of statement does this then make? Perhaps, make an assessment as to WHY filmmakers have chosen to represent your country of choice in this way. Is it artistic, political, or a mixture of both?
This is a very fun topic. Also, what countries do you think are portrayed too often? What about those that aren't shown enough? Heck, is there a country that might have popped up on TV but never been portrayed on film? – OkaNaimo08194 weeks ago
A good idea, I would add that the films need to be some small cross-section of positive and negative views of a country. – Joseph Cernik4 weeks ago
You could glean a lot of good information from this. One of the first films I thought of was the musical version of The King and I (1950s). It's heavily romanticized, which plays into a different kind of stereotyping. You might also look at Fiddler on the Roof, which is arguably stereotypical in its portrayal of rural Russia/Ashkenazi Jews. – Stephanie M.4 weeks ago
This is a good topic. I think it would be important to note the intended audience of the film, and how the depiction of the country changes based on audience. – Serena4 weeks ago
One of the most fascinating cultural panels I ever went to was one that discussed the animation industry in North Korea. Since North Korea is a dictatorship, virtually all the entertainment is propaganda of some kind or another, but it was interesting to see the different ways that it played out, and some of the shows that were featured in the panel had genuinely human moments, which reinforced that, ultimately, the people of North Korea are still people. – Debs3 weeks ago
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.
With many countries all over the world experiencing lockdowns and other imposed ways of living – what films have shown this life best? Contagion? 28 Days Later?
It would also be worth considering those films that do not ramp up the fear factor, but instead deal with self-imposed isolation, either by choice, social imposition or an underlying mental of physical debility. For instance, how would this worldwide lockdown affect Japan's hikkomori - those who have become recluses. Also consider closed religious orders and communities that do not generally mix with 'outsiders.' A lockdown is only a lockdown if we choose to view it that way. For some it can act as a release from daily toil and stress at work etc. The only real prison is in the mind. – Amyus3 months ago
I would say the film that best depicts the effects of isolation is It Comes At Night (2017). The film makes fantastic use of Point of View to make the viewer side with the main family since we only see what they see, and their extreme paranoia in the face of this unknown virus comes across as palpable on the screen. It's legitimately hard to watch. – LoganTaylor3 months ago
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an ongoing, expanding film series, the original characters from Phase I remained key characters throughout the past ten years of film. In Avengers: Endgame, some of the major original characters completed their narrative arcs including Iron Man and Captain America. With the departure of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Evan’s Steve Rogers, the MCU will need other characters to play a larger role in the overall narrative. Which new or existing characters will serve as the narrative focus for future phases of Marvel films? This article could discuss potential candidates for new corner stones of the MCU, as well as which characters have the most pressing character arcs that need to be resolved.
This is a really interesting topic to discuss considering the fact that Phase II is still nascent. With MCU being the biggest money churning franchise in history, an exploration of the possible future direction the universe may take and how it copes with audience fatigue while managing to still keep things fresh and interesting would make for an intriguing read. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan1 month ago
I am an enormous fan of this topic, as it is something I wonder and have many thoughts on. There are so many different ways to go, but I think there are some characters that were given just enough potential to represent the MCU. – Abie Dee1 month ago
Discuss the merits of the new streaming platform "Shudder," which is essentially the Netflix of the horror and psychological thriller genre. There are many positive sides to the platform such as custom curated collections put together by famous horror movie buffs. There are also some limitations to the site and unexplored possibilities. This is a topic for the horror movie buff and perhaps the Shudder fan.
Be careful so this doesn't end up being an advert for the streaming service. – Misagh3 years ago
The Shining is a masterpiece horror, but Shelley Duvall, who plays Wendy Torrance had to go through a lot of stress while filming the climactic scene where Jack is attempting to hit her with a baseball bat as she ascends the stairs of the Overlook Hotel. To capture the character’s distress and fear, director Stanley Kubrick retook the scene multiple times, and made the actress feel distressed and isolated on set. Although this lead to capturing a powerful scene, where do we draw the line in our quest for making a masterpiece?
An interesting idea that's worth exploring. A lot of the old classic movies have harsh treatments of their stars, especially the female actors, behind the scenes that would be completely inappropriate and condemned if it were to happen now. – kerrybaps1 month ago
I agree with kerrybaps. Certainly worth exploring, especially as many people have no idea that such treatment is still happening. There are certain directors who attain an almost god-like status and sometimes that power can go to their heads. Although I've never been repeated threatened with a baseball bat on set, I did work as an extra on one particular film during which we 'underlings' we left exposed to the elements for so long that three of us were eventually removed from set, suffering from early stages of hypothermia - and all because a certain director needed us to look exhausted, ragged and frozen. Unfortunately, in the film world even actresses of the same calibre as Shelley Duvall are all too aware that they can be replaced, and so feel pressurised into accepting such treatment. It's a dirty world. – Amyus1 month ago
This feels like a nitpick but was it not Wendy who wielded the baseball bat in that scene? It also wasn't just that one scene either. Shelly Duvall was isloated throughout the entirety of the shoot in Kubric's effort to get her portrayal of a beaten-down, broken woman. The cast was informed to not interact with her and she was also kept from sleeping so that she would be sleep deprived. This extends well beyond the stairwell scene where Jack Torrence tells her he wants to bash her brains in and this topic should be explored in regards to the whole film and Kubrics methods.
l I might consider exploring beyond just The Shining. Alfred Hitchcock was a monstrous creep towards his female cast members as well. Perhaps this topic could evolve into a discussion about the mistreatment of women in the film industry as a whole. – FarPlanet1 month ago
The 2017 film Justice League had a troubled production history, with the film undergoing major changes before and during production. This resulted in the theatrical release being very different from how the film had been envisioned by its original director Zack Snyder. For more than two years many fans (and some of the film’s stars) have campaigned for Snyder (using #ReleaseTheSnyderCut) to create a version of the film that more closely aligned with his original vision which include unused villains like Darkseid. In May 2020, HBO and Warner Bros. announced that "The "Snyder Cut" would be an exclusive to the new HBO Max streaming service and the project will launch sometime in 2021. This version will reportedly cost $20–30 million to complete with special effects, editing, and other revisions. Is the Snyder cut a positive thing, allowing a creator to finally realize his true vision in some way and an admittance that the studio made a mistake with the original. In contrast, could the Snyder Cut demonstrate that movie studios are listening too much to a vocal group of fans about a film that even with significant revisions may not fully satisfy its audience? Lastly, would Warner Bros. have allowed the Snyder Cut to be created in a time period where they didn’t have a massive streaming service (HBO Max) to promote/sell to consumers.