Project #87945 - Politics and Cinema

First Essay

 

    Write a movie review based on The Maltese Falcon, and one other neo-noir and/or detective film, either comparing (as with L.A. Confidential or Chinatown) or contrasting (as with Silence of the Lambs or Blade Runner) the values and social realities of America which are reflected in the different times in which the films are situated. 


    For instance, consider what are the characteristics of the hero that represent typically American values or anti-values? What are the features of the society portrayed in its ethos, mobility, and assumptions about success and failure which are reflected in the movies? What is the attitude towards police, government authorities and authority in general?


    Note finally what characteristics of film noir style you see most prominently displayed. The chapter 10 in the Belton text as well as the documentary we saw in class should help you define these.

 

You are not limited in choice of movies to those mentioned above, but any of these are particularly useful.

 

 

Second Essay

 

Write a 3-4 page typed paper on Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (l939) and a recent "political" movie, e.g., The Contender, The American President, Bullworth, Bob Roberts, Dave, Distinguished Gentleman, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, The Candidate, The Ides of March, “V,” or Campaign. In this paper discuss the following:

 

 

 

How are professional politicians and the political system portrayed? How are businessmen, politically influential individuals (bosses), women, the press, members of the Senate, and the Vice‑President (presiding officer of the Senate) portrayed? To what extent does the proper functioning of the political system depend on good men vs. the need to reform the political system itself? Is the viewpoint of the film optimistic or cynical, that is, what can "the people" do to change the way politics works in America?

 

Your objective in this paper is to assess how politicians and politics are shown in an immensely popular "classic" American film, and then compare this view in 1939 to a view from a more recent film, and thus illuminate the differences in assumptions and treatment of politics over a roughly 75 year period.

 

2 pages both

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 10/20/2015 11:00 am
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