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7

Healthy Relationships in Romantic Comedies

Romcoms are an incredibly popular genre, and some of the relationships – from the perfect meet-cute to the inevitable dramatic finale – are truly dream-worthy. But a lot of romantic comedies also feature clearly unhealthy relationships. Consider The Wedding Planner, where the male lead is engaged for the majority of the film, or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, where both sides of the couple are trying to trick one another. There are countless other examples.

It would be interesting to explore why this is. Does a relationship need to be unhealthy (or, commonly, founded upon lies) to be "funny"? Why can we set aside critical judgement of blatantly unhealthy behaviours when we’re watching these movies?

  • Add screwball comedies to that and it would improve it greatly. – leitercary 4 months ago
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  • The questions you pose here are very interesting. How would we define “unhealthy” in this inquiry? You seem to imply dishonesty or deception as informing that qualifier, which I think is right, but also, what of other problematics like sexist gender roles set as expectations via swoon-worthy rom com get-togethers? Perhaps this is where some of the unhealthy humor of this genre comes into play, where we laugh at the blunders the characters commit as they themselves attempt to fit the expectations of idealized heteronormative relationships— ‘boys will be boys, girls will be girls.’ – duronen 4 months ago
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The History of Chinese Painting

The Artifice is a magazine about visual arts so it would be interesting to read an article about how art in China has been evolving since ancient times. The author is invited to focus on the history of painting in this specific cultural context and make it into a story that helps the reader explore different times through the lens of Chiense painters. Using a chronological order would be helpful to follow and making the tone narrative instead of informative would also be more engaging. As an oil painter, I would be intrigued to read something related to the origins of this particular painting type.

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    Biographical truth or the real heart of the story?

    ‘Dickinson’ is the Apple TV series 2019-2021 about American poet Emily Dickinson. The premise (taken from Anreeva & Pelski 2018) is that Dickinson takes place "during Emily Dickinson’s era with a modern sensibility and tone. It takes viewers into the world of Emily, audaciously exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit in to her own time through her imaginative point of view. Dickinson is Emily’s coming-of-age story – one woman’s fight to get her voice heard."

    The best word there is audaciously – the series makes direct use of Dickinson’s actual poetry throughout the series to theme the episodes and to add to a story about a complex poet. Biographies on Dickinson indicate she was an isolated, eccentric and (reading between the lines) anxious woman in a period of relatively large gender, race and class oppression. Little of her poetry was actually published through her life, and most information about her is based on her prolific letter writing. It is easy to see through the series that they have taken great liberties with both her character and her life…but is this a problem? The show itself heavily highlights the oppressive period she lived during and her struggles as a poet and a woman. Many of the themes and topics are ones that resonate with young women today – about finding self, about morality, about understanding life and love and friendship.

    It would be interesting to explore this topic in more depth: is there value in taking liberties with a real person’s life and works if it still serves the message or purpose of their story? Can a fictional biography be as meaningful to the contemporary viewer as a real biography? Or is this a betrayal of a woman who suffered enough during her own time?

    • This definitely has the potential to be an interesting article. On thing that I think whoever writes this article should consider is the degree of centrality that Dickinson in particular would bear to the article as a whole. In other words, is this an article principally about the series that asks question about its onus to its historical protagonist, or is it a general inquiry about how fictionalized media should handle the representation of historical figures (using Dickinson as a case study)? Your choice of title implies the latter, but everything else you've written here points more so to the former. There are a lot of interesting films and series right now taking similar approaches to filtering period settings/characters through contemporary sensibilities: e.g. The Great (2020-) and The Death of Stalin (2017) both immediately come to mind, but we could arguably also expand this question into literary adaptations like The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019), Little Women (2019), Emma (2020), Cyrano (2021), and the entire filmography of Baz Luhrmann, since fidelity to a source-text can often be a similar argument to fidelity to the "real" life of a biographical subject. I wonder if the single-case study approach would necessarily do justice to the phenomenon as a whole, especially if that broader analytical goal were framed as the main intent of the article. Just my two cents. – ProtoCanon 7 days ago
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    YA Books vs Their Movie Adaptations

    Is it worthwhile to adapt YA books into TV or film? What determines if it is done well? Is it wise to change a lot when carrying over to a different medium? Compare popular examples like the Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, etc.

    • This is a bit of a loose topic, but could then be left open to the person who selects it. There are a few interesting approaches that could be looked at here. Obviously there is always the element of debate around adaptations of any book to film, what to keep, what to change etc. and with this the value in such changes and the complexity of allowing the new version to speak for itself. However, when considering YA specifically this is interesting as it has become a financially viable field, and as always where there is money there is usually an agenda. What I find interesting is the wealth of "queer" and non-binary YA that is present in today's marketplace but have much more limited discussions about their application to the big screen. Is YA being used to perpetrate socialised stereotypes in a repressive manner? Another discussion is often scope, most YA are serialised (again that is where the money is), how do you successfully guarantee the transition to film will ensure the full series is made, some are very successful such as HP and HG, but others such as Vampire Academy struggled to make a mark in an over saturated marketplace. Finally, there is also the question of canon - if significant changes are made, characterwise and narrative, how does this impact the canon of an ongoing series and the fan experience, especially when considering much YA has a huge fanfiction following that values their own interpretations - so is that a can not worth opening? Indeed the fascination with YA is an interesting development rather specific to this century. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 1 week ago
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    The Portrayal of PhDs in the MCU

    In Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Bruce Banner declares he has seven PhD degrees. In episode 7 of What If…? (2021), Jane Foster says she is “an astrophysicist with multiple PhDs.” With such statements, both characters try to assert their worth as scientists in contrast to superheroes with superpowers. However, holding multiple PhDs would be more of an educational disorder rather than a sign of academic achievement. PhD degrees are not medals or trophies that can be accumulated to show high intellect (the logic of “the more you have, the smarter you are” does not apply here). In a way, these films portray main characters whose value resides either in their intellectual capacity or their physical strength –climatically, in Avengers: Endgame (2019), we can see how Dr. Banner is able “to put the brains and brawn together.” Clearly, the MCU does not understand how academia and higher education work because imagining a scientist with seven PhDs is a more ridiculous idea than a super soldier or a man who can fly. What does this tell us about the concept of heroism that the MCU tries to sell? Is intelligence, in the form of a PhD degree, really another gimmick (like a suit of armor or a magic hammer) that can give proof of one’s value in the realm of superhero films? Why, in summation, are PhD holders so badly represented in superhero movies?

    • A good point. I remember that statement about seven PhDs. How? That would take an incredible amount of time. When I heard that I assumed less-than-credible programs considering the amount of effort that goes into a PhD--particularly the dissertation. I was thinking of the seventeen courses for my MA and PhD, then two foreign languages (I used Statistics for one), followed by written and oral comprehensive exams, then a dissertation just under 500 pages, followed by an oral defense of it. Sure, superheroes can do it all. – Joseph Cernik 1 week ago
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    • Interesting topic. We may have to be a little bit prudent when writing this issue... I mean not to go to another extreme denying every positive indication about the person who has many Ph.D.s. For instance, this may inform us a lot of things about him: About the knowledge that that person can deal with - About the potential that he has; every Ph.D. takes a lot of effort and time - About his state of mind; he may be someone who adores learning new things and not to learn things only passively but rather with an active contribution because a Ph.D. is not just about learning what is already there but contributing somehow in revealing new things in the domain - about his ability to change and adapt and that his status was never for him the end of the story - let's consider that we are more and more in an age that needs multidisciplinary talents, in terms of problem-solving, creativity, etc... – Samer Darwich 1 week ago
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    Social and television topic changes over time as seen through the lens of Star Trek

    Star Trek the television series first debuted in 1966 as what is dubbed ‘The Original Series’ during which the costuming, role allocation and even ethical storytelling both reflected the socio-cultural context of USA, but also challenged and invited complex discussions about morality, ethics and rights. It, and the following original series, walked a fine line of being commercial enough to appeal to audiences as well as being true to the Science-Fiction genre in that it needed to engage in deep discussions about what it means to "be." ‘Enterprise’ was the last of the original broadcasts ending in 2005 before the success of the film "reboot" in 2009. The 2009 film ‘Star Trek’ reinforced a number of stereotypes and cliches that were disappointingly lacking in the nuance of the original series, and for a moment it seemed it was finished with again.

    Then came the new television revival with ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ that not only again reflected the excitement and challenges of space exploration, but also touched on the same socio-cultural concerns current in contemporary society. It was a show that began to speak about issues we face in our own world. From here spanned out a range of new shows from ‘Picard’ to ‘Lower Decks’ that each began to broaden the world of Star Trek, but also found new ways to engage in important conversations.

    An article looking at the different discussions, topics and socio-cultural confirmations and challenges across the timeline of Star Trek would be fascinating. It is one of very few shows to have spanned such a large period of time on television that has not simply reflected back social norms. I would be interested to see a deeper analysis of this topic.

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      How Does Disney Owning Star Wars Affect The Series?

      Disney recently bought the rights to Star Wars. Discuss how that impacts the series? Does it limit them in any way? Does it have a positive or negative effect? For instance, it has given fans new favourite characters like Grogu from “The Mandalorian”, but also “The Rise of Skywalker” and the romance between Rey and Kylo which received mixed reviews. Explore Disney’s role and impact on the success and popularity of the beloved Star Wars world and characters. Discuss upcoming projects such as the Ashoka series, Obi-Wan series, Andor, Lando, and more.

      • One major discussion point should be the amount of content being put out during the Disney Era. From 2015 to 2019, 5 Star Wars films were released compared to 3 films in 6 years for the two previous trilogies. Multiple streaming/televisions shows have been production/filming at the same time since the pause in making films. The level of film and streaming content has expanded beyond anything previously seen. – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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      • My thought for the early Disney/Lucasfilm era, is that the companies tried to treat the Star Wars brand like Marvel/MCU by putting out movies annually and it did not turn out great critically, and made the films feel like much less of "an event" compared to the previous two trilogies. – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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      • The animated content during the Disney era has been excellent (Star Wars Rebels, The Final Season of The Clone Wars, and The Bad Batch). – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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      • For the person who writes this I think it would be worth looking at actors or writers who used to work for Disney, who have left, and what their views are. – Jordan 2 weeks ago
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      Exploring Murphy's law through "Interstellar"

      The film "Interstellar" raises the idea of murphy’s law. But should we consider this as merely an idea that shows up in the film – like lots of ideas we may raise in films – or is there more? Can the daughter’s name be considered as a sign that that law has a deeper role in the film? Many questions can be addressed about the law and how it is related to the film and more.
      1. What is the initial form of Murphy’s law? How has it changed historically? How does the movie "Interstellar" show this change?
      2. Discuss the meaning of the law. Does the movie use and apply this law somehow? Then how?
      3. Moreover, can it be related to more than the film’s content, more precisely, the style of science fiction that Nolan makes? How such a law is used behind the scenes by Nolan to present his other stories (the Dark Night, Inception, etc.)? How did Nolan draw a line between what "we can imagine" and what "is possible by itself" or "scientifically possible"?
      4. Considering what preceded, to which level the science fiction in Nolan’s work can be considered "fiction"?

      • I think there could definitely be something worth unpacking here, especially as we get a little further down your numerical list. I'll admit that I'm getting slightly hung up on point #1, since it seems pretty indisputable that Murphy's Law is invoked directly by the film, as opposed to being a subtle way of reading into the significance of a certain character's proper name. In an early scene, Murph asks Cooper, "Why did you and mom name me after something that's bad?" to which he replies, "Murphy's Law doesn't mean that something bad will happen. It means that whatever can happen, will happen. And that sounded just fine to us." It's not exactly subtext … it's just text. There's definitely something to be said about how Coop's response reframes the law from its more popular "anything that can go wrong will go wrong" connotation. While this revision speaks directly to the thematic optimism of the film at large, it might also be worth asking if the film is really about Murphy's Law if the law needs to be twisted to accommodate the thesis that Nolan ultimately wanted to propagate. Even if Coop's remark is a valid interpretation of the law (and I'm certainly not well-read enough in the history of Murphy's Law to know one way or another), it feels just as valid to say that Interstellar is a film about "probability," rather than about "the high probability of undesirable outcomes" that most people (including young Murph) would associate with that particular phrase. Aside from all of that, I'm not really sure how we make the leap from point #3 to #4, or even what #4 is even trying to say. It seems to me that we're losing the thread of the film's themes, and replacing that discussion with a misunderstanding of how genres work and/or the narratological meaning of the word "fiction." (I'm not going to reject the topic on those grounds, nor demand edits; I just really wish that everyone on earth would read Dorrit Cohn's The Distinction of Fiction, so I can stop being pedantic about this kind of thing and move on with my life.) – ProtoCanon 3 weeks ago
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      • To be more precise about what I mean concerning the fourth point. Sometimes, the imagination plays the role of inventing possibilities concerning: What things exist? What they are? And what relations between them exist? etc... Sometimes, we may rely on science, for instance, which would provide us with such possibilities. Now, when does the role of imagination come in this second case? After choosing one scientific possibility concerned with the aforementioned questions, we can imagine "how this possibility may be expressed actually". In other words, imagination will play the role of actualizing such scientific possibilities, not in the world, but in the piece of art (Novel, Film, Game...), and that is different from inventing them in the first place. And as there is a difference between these two processes, we may talk then about different types or levels of "fiction". Or in another way of expression, we may talk about levels of "rationalizing the fiction". – Samer Darwich 3 weeks ago
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      How Will the Current Culture Affect Classic Novels?

      Most of us grew up with some form of the classic novel. Whether we read abridged, illustrated versions for kids, encountered them in school, or watched TV or movie versions (e.g., Wishbone, Disney adaptations), most of us know at least some of the traditional "classics" of the Western canon. These include but are not limited to works by Dickens, Steinbeck, Morrison, Lee, Shakespeare, Austen, and Wells.

      As our culture becomes more aware of concepts like marginalized experience and cultural appropriation though, our relationships with classic literature may change. We now critique certain examples of classics because of what they imply about non-Western, non-white cultures, or what they leave out. We critique them based on the roles women do or don’t play, or how characters of color are treated, or whether characters coded LGBT are sympathetic. As a disabled woman, I find myself being harsher with books like Of Mice and Men or The Color Purple because of how they treat members of my groups.

      How does this heightened critique and awareness mean we should treat the classics? That is, can we still learn valuable things from these books even if they are cringe-worthy in their rhetoric or character portrayals? How can we engage with these books, without spending all our time on the problematic parts? Some of these classics have been retold because of heightened critique; was this a good or bad idea? And, are these critiques even valid, or should we simply say, "This was written in another time and we should simply accept that?" Discuss.

      • The critiques are valid, in my opinion. It is important to understand the contexts these stories were written in as they allow us to realize how much things have changed and, more importantly, what has not changed. To simply admit that these novels were written in a different time suggests that the problems that existed back then are solved now. We know that this is not the case, that people are still marginalized and cultures are still being appropriated. Learning about these issues when they were more apparent allow us to understand the injustices that are still ongoing today. – Kennedy 2 weeks ago
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      Analyzing The Concept of Unforgiveness in Hell Girl

      Jigoku Shojo or Hell Girl is an anime that deeply explores anecdotes of people holding grudges against each other and sending the perpetrator to hell for multiple reasons, sometimes even for what seems like trivial reasons. For instance, a school girl chooses to send her bullies to hell thanks to the website from which Hell Girl appears and invites her to pull the string off a Voodoo doll. Hell Girl gives all her clients the free will to decide whether to pull that string or not, i.e. the choice to send them to hell or not. As such, this is a depiction of how humans carry emotions like hate and resentment within their heart when they go through some kind of unfairness. The show does not only include victims choosing to send their enemies to hell though. It also involves characters misunderstanding situations and misjudging someone as causing some sort of disturbance and they send them to hell while they are innocent. This entails how humans’ sense of justice can be distorted due to many factors. This anime is thought-provoking in that occultic elements and events can be analyzed to investigate how they work towards the representation of human unforgiving tendencies against the ones who they feel have wronged them. An interpretation can also be made to invoke spiritual beliefs on the theme of forgiveness as in how not forgiving someone eventually leads the victim to hell as well. From this, a discussion can be developed about the meaning of real forgiveness beyond the anime.

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        How Contagion Predicted the Covid-19 Pandemic

        A film analysis of the 2011 movie Contagion and how it accurately represented the hit of the Corona virus. This can be done by intricately comparing and contrasting the plot to reality. For example, how the outbreak of the virus started in China and the theory of it originating from the bat. Other similarities can be mentioned like the way it spread in the world, mass hysteria, the war on vaccines, and fake news about a so-called medicine that can cure the virus. One can refer back to website articles and videos discussing this topic. An interpretation of why and how this film anticipated such a worldwide disaster can be intriguing to evoke at the end of the article.

        • I like this! Would also be interesting to talk about what it got wrong. What was included for dramatic effect that didn't happen in real life? What happens when media portrays services like government and public health in highly dramatized scenarios? – SBee 1 month ago
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        • Indeed, similarities and differences should both be approached. It can be a good source to know how expectations of a disaster differ from reality. – Malak Cherif 1 month ago
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        Disney's Live Action Remakes: Who are they for?

        Many of the live-action remakes and reimaginings of classic Disney cartoons add elements that are not in the source material. Often these elements further develop characters, especially secondary ones, in meaningful ways. Jasmine is made to be more independent, Maleficent is sympathetic, as is Cruella, the Beast finally has his own ballad to express his love for Belle. But who are these remakes aimed toward? Adults who were children during the Disney renaissance? Do these reimaginings intend to capitalize the millennials’ nostalgia? Or are they opening the door for children to access older films that Disney fears the kids will be unable to appreciate otherwise?

        • Disney is likely just milking its IP as much as possible without needing to create a unique story while capitalizing on star power and shorter conception to final product turnover with a fleshed-out live-action remake. The remakes are for-profit and fill out the limited Disney+ content as it cannot compete directly with big brands like Netflix or Amazon for serialized content but the remakes can be something to advertise for months and keep subscribers on board between the fewer and further between original animations that they are famous for but take a decade to create. – AislynS 1 month ago
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        • I think the major issue is that they're trying to both honour the past and create something new. And they should probably lean more toward the latter. They're going to make money regardless. But at the same time, they shouldn't aim towards making something more relevant or political. They should go back to the core story and how it can be reinterpreted, not restated, both subtly and drastically. Don't try to sell the message, try to sell the spin. – JSJames 1 week ago
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        Queer Representation in Literature

        The classics read in most English classes have little to know queer representation within them. Although LGBTQ literature is on the rise, it is still not something that is taught in schools across America. Why is that? What can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen going forward?

        • This sounds like a really good idea to explore. It is also important to discuss how queer characters may have been changed to appeal to heteronormativity (think "historians say they were best friends"). – annasamson 2 months ago
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        • We can also argue that the current literature and compulsory reading is pretty much anti-queer, talking about people in gender-specific roles more often than not, and how that impacts us. – rosewinters 1 month ago
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        • I like this topic and I think this is the reason why most people are still homophobic. I am not only referring to the American society but the entire world. If we introduce works of literature and visual media about LGBTQ issues in schools, I am sure people will start changing their minds about it and be more willing to accept sexual minority groups. Education is always the key to enlightenment and tolerance. I like how you are inviting the author to explore the reason behind the fact it is not getting implemented in schools. I recommend that you develop more questions as what novels should be introduced in the classroom that may have the potential to change their minds. – Malak Cherif 1 month ago
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        • One of the main wide-spread literature that we read, not only in high schools but in Literature degrees to is Shakespeare, and SO much can be said of queerness in the plays. There exists a plethora of resources to make this topic accessible, and many contemporary theorists work on it too. You can check out 'Shakesqueer' which can be a good companion. – Dash 1 month ago
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        • There's a bunch of YA and romance novels that write queer representation really well. I can offer ideas if you need somewhere to start. – Jordan 2 weeks ago
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        The role of fillers in anime: Is there a way around them?

        Analyse the role fillers play in anime to protect long running anime series from running out of source material. Fillers in anime are used to prolong a certain stage of the anime without affecting character relationships or the main plot line. Typically, they are used when an anime series catches up to the manga it is based on, and seeks to give the manga time to "catch up". For example, Naruto Shippuden is a popular anime series that ran from 2007 to 2016. In that time 500 episodes were aired with 205 or 41% of them being considered filler. There are many examples of this (One Piece, Bleach, etc), which have led viewers skipping fillers in their pursuit of the rich storylines these series have to offer. Whether or not a viewer likes or dislikes filler episodes, skips or pushes through them, they are clearly a significant flaw in the process of anime series adapted from manga. Perhaps, it is better now? Or perhaps it is the same? What alternatives are there for writers when the adaptive material overtakes the original? Since in essence it is an adaptation, should it expand on its own? Or should producers of these large anime series go on hiatus to allow the manga to catch up?

        • This is super interesting! "Filler" happens in a lot of TV shows, mostly animated ones but not exclusively anime (though anime is certainly the most extreme filler to content ratio!). Would love to read an analysis of what it says about shows that need to insert fluff to fill out episode counts. Is it an industry problem? Do shows need to run longer than their stories are capable of carrying them? Or should everything be like the mini-series that are a few hours long and all plot all the time? Great topic :) – SBee 2 months ago
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        • I think this is changing with the internet. Now, that everything comes out instantly in seasons, it is hard to have filler. When i think of filler i think of Dragon Ball and Naruto. I wonder how long it will take until anime's start poking fun at fillers and self-aware that no one wants them. A satirical look on fillers if you will. lmaoo – Ninety-Nine 2 months ago
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        • A problem in a majority of anime. I first got fed up with Naruto because of the unnecessary fillers (but more importantly the flashbacks - do they count as fillers when done purely to increase episode length?). This topic should definitely be written soon. – rosewinters 1 month ago
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        Squid Game: a Digestible Dystopia

        Considering the recent success of Squid Game, what factors led to its popularity? The plot itself is one that – while unique, is perhaps not as haunting as less popular films and TV Shows. Is its more simplistic plot the cause of its international success?

        • I'd argue that, while the battle royale format is relatively simple, Squid Game is actually trying to make a fairly complex point about class and privilege. The contrast of simple surface/deeper content could be explored here. You can see online how often people misinterpret the point of the show (ex. "it's about having a go-getter mindset!"). Is it digestible because people are taking something from it without having to dig too deep? And are they taking the right thing? – SBee 2 months ago
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        • I agree with the above comment. Squid Game may seem simple, but it's underlying commentary on class and wealth cannot be overlooked. However, the gore, the bright colours, the flashiness of the game and the characters are attractive to viewers without having to dig too much deeper. – oliviatrenorden 2 months ago
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        • I agree with SeeB. I’d also like to see a consideration of how the national context also influences its popularity. There’s a transnational consumption of Korean culture as mainstream. I think there’s something there to explore. Is S Korea the canary in the coalmine? – ProfRichards 2 months ago
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        • This is a very interesting question indeed. I would say that the suspense also played a role in its success. Plus, there is an interesting presentation of the characters who are different in their intentions in the game. You get to see those who make you feel uncomfortable or angry and those who make you feel like there is still hope in humanity. The emotional responses these characters have on the audience is what I believe made the show an international success. – Malak Cherif 1 month ago
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        The Psychological Impact of Othering and Marginalizing the Social Minorities in the Modern Fiction

        Analyze the psychological and traumatic effect that marginalizing can have on the minority groups portrayed in the modern fiction. As it happens, othering and subordinating certain groups of people can traumatize them on a daily, which may give rise to a specific behavior and neurosis in such social others.

        • I think specifying what type of psychology should be applied to this would be a helpful start for whoever wishes to write this. As a psychology major, I would suggest writing through the lens of social psychology. – darbyallen 2 months ago
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        • Maybe look into disability studies as there are a lot of great pieces about disability representation in literature. – ProfRichards 2 months ago
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        • As a linguist, I can see this topic being analyzed from a discourse analysis perspective particularly in regard to the narrative. Such analysis can properly justify the dehumanizing language of some social groups that exists in modern fiction. – Malak Cherif 1 month ago
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        What We Can Learn from Survival Game Shows

        There are multiple manga with similar themes or genres related to survival games, i.e. games in which characters are playing to save their own lives. These manga include titles like Judge, Doubt, Gantz, Alice in Borderland, Online: the Comic, Youkai Ningen, and the list goes on and on. The mere fact that these types of manga are pervasive and common shows that Japanese artists are expressing a phenomenon, whether consciously or unconsciously, that is deeply rooted in their society or culture. Since these games are morbid and involve deadly rules, they are most likely critiquing a negative aspect of their socio-cultural upbringing. This is most probably connected to the pressure that they have to conform to their community’s rules and if they choose to be different, they have to endure the judgemental reactions of others. The fact that more death game shows are being adapted to live-action movies and series like Squide Game, Alice in Borderland, and Escape room demonstrates that this is a hot topic that is worthy of attention and consideration. Escape Room being an American movie shows that this is becoming a worldwide issue. The world is now becoming aware of how people must accept differences and how this is putting some people’s life on the line when, say, they commit suicide or live a life full of struggles and battles because of simply choosing to be different. Another issue to consider in these shows is that they depict the controlling nature of humans who would dare to commit these massacres if they had this technological power of designing death games. Another point to analyze is that relationships can become like a game with some people. Some choose to unite and fight together, others betray and manipulate to get to where they want, others fight alone and do not trust anyone. This is exactly how life works and how people treat each other in a realistic way. However, when people are at their worst, in this case enduring a survival situation, the real self of each individual is manifested. Whether they choose to betray, sacrifice themselves out of love, work alone, or build a community are all acts of survival and depict the true nature of humans who make different decisions in a survival situation. This is a universal matter and all humans from any culture are unpredictable in these types of situations, which makes it fascinating to explore how they react when they are at their worst.

        • Good topic, I suggest tightening up your points a bit more. This topic could be made into several different articles otherwise you risk it becoming muddled. I.e. an article could be "What we learn about suicide from Survival Game shows". – scampbell 2 months ago
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        • I agree with the above statement and I think it could go even more specific. A lot of survival games media is targeted and stars young adults or teenagers eg. Btoooom!, Hunger Games. I think exploring how survival games are marketed towards youth would be a great topic. – MichaelOlive 2 months ago
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        What is in an anime opening?

        This topic involves an examination of the animated opening/ending credits sequences that bookend most popular modern anime. In anime, an opening credits sequence often highlights main characters, hints at plot arcs, and features the names of studio staff, all while synchronized to music. Analyze how an opening may influence the "tone" of a show, and how that may correlate to sub-genre. What does a "good" opening sequence do for an anime? What does it do or provide for audiences? Perhaps look into the history of opening/ending credits sequences in anime to compare how fans view & share these openings today online. (I had some trouble coming up with a catchy title, so any and all suggestions are welcome!)

        • Hmm, for title suggestions, maybe something like "How an Anime's Opening Affects Its Audience's Expectations" or something in that vein, since the focus seems to be on how the opening sets the mood and expectations for those watching. – Emily Deibler 2 years ago
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        • ^Agreed with the title suggestion. It will also be interesting to analyze how a great anime opening/ending has furthered the career of singers/musicians/artists. For instance, I am automatically attracted to any songs from Asian Kung-Fu Generation used for an Op or Ed. I have discovered this band thanks for anime but now, I find myself "liking" shows thanks to their contribution. – kpfong83 2 years ago
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        • Interesting! I think openings are a really good set up to anime series and some are surely better than others. I think the soundtrack/opening song may also be a big factor here as well, not to mention the art work or the showing of the stories. For example "Yona of the Dawn's" opening is one of the few animes that uses just instrumental as opposed to a song with lyrics. In addition, it recaps a bit of the story. Other theme songs have lyrics that are written in the character's point of view, introducing you to their world. Carole and Tuesday is a newer anime that used beautiful art to captive its audiences. Older animes like Sailor Moon were also very creative and used different elements to get the audience captivated. For a title you could do: The impact of the Opening: How the opening sequence of an anime has evolved and impacts its viewers. – birdienumnum17 2 years ago
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        • I think this would make an interesting topic! anime openings haven't been gaining much attention from reviewers and scholars even though they represent a significant part of the theme, tone and mood, characters, and even the story as a whole. They are charged with semiotic features that deliver predictable messages pertaining to the anime in question. – Malak Cherif 2 months ago
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        • I really love this topic because, with Netflix's skip intro button, intro's and outro's can become obsolete. Are they even necessary anymore. It is sad to think that they will go away but it could be inevitable. – Ninety-Nine 2 months ago
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        10

        Black, White, & Colour in Star Wars Visions

        "The Duel" is the first episode of Disney ‘s new of Star Wars-anime series. In this short 15-minute story, most of the world (including the village, characters, most objects) are animated in black and white. Lightsabers, blaster shots, and a few other "light" technologies are the only pops of color on the screen. This aesthetic decision is worth further analysis. An article could dig into this use of color more deeply by considering "The Duel" within the history of black-and-white Samurai movies and/or discussing how this episode’s use of color supports or challenges color-coding in previous Star Wars stories. For example, red lightsabers have always represented the Sith and the dark side, while blue and green usually indicate the presence of a Jedi. Thus, colors play a role in telling the audience who is "good" or "bad," and it could be argued that this reinforces a moral binary. How does "The Duel" challenge, complicate, or draw attention to this binary through its use of color?

        • If I were to write this topic, I would definitely focus on the Star Wars Universe, and I've included a few more sentences in the prompt to suggest how someone might approach the topic from that angle. That said, when I first watched the episode, I was with a friend who was much more familiar with the history of Japanese cinema and animation than I am, and he had a lot to say about Samurai movies. It might be an option for someone who knows that history. – JaniceElaine 3 months ago
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        • This sounds like an exciting topic. Star Wars Visions was an incredible project. – Sean Gadus 3 months ago
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        • You could also mention how the binary of using black and white reflects the two sides of those in the Star Wars Universe with Jedi being the light and the with being referred to as the dark side. – Maddie872 2 months ago
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        8

        Squid Game: Refreshing the Battle Royale Genre

        As Squid Game becomes one of Netflix’s most-watched shows of all time and holds audiences attention far beyond the cultural scope of South Korea, it begs the question as to why this show resonated with people on an international scale? By no means is the concept of forcing individuals into a life-or-death game original, so what does Squid Game do differently?

        In so many ways, Squid Game subverts the expectations of a typical Battle Royale story and refreshes a genre that had largely stagnated. In order to highlight these subversions, engagement with predecessors in the genre is a must; the original novel Battle Royale by Koushun Takami and its numerous adaptations (lending the death game genre the ‘Battle Royale’ namesake as a cultural phenomenon), the Hunger Games series by Susanne Collins, As the Gods Will by Takashi Miike, and other TV series like Liar Game and Alice in the Borderlands. The director takes inspiration from manga but the scope of intersectional engagement may become too wide if one crosses over mediums into manga, anime, and video games with death game narratives.

        By comparing these predecessors with Squid Game, a number of distinct differences and focus can be found. These include but are not limited to: game structure and rules, consent and human rights, the role of debt and desperation, spectacle and dehumanization, and cultural specificity. While the director Hwang Dong-hyuk is cited as saying he wanted to create a series that was distinctly Korean, the international reception begs a closer look at what Squid Game is doing differently.