Each student will write a research essay midterm paper on a specific topic relating to Film & Gender issues. These topics could be on the representations & treatment of gender/women in cinema, issues of gender differences & sexuality, masculinity in cinema. The research can have a domestic film focus or could explore gender in cinema from around the world. It can be contemporary films or could focus on films of the past. The paper should be scholarly research on an area related to class topics. This should not be a movie critique or film review; you need to go beyond that. The idea here is to deconstruct the films, directorial methods, messages of certain genres, etc… to come up with an understanding of the way gender/sexuality has been portrayed through film from the beginning of the medium. You should be looking at several films/films within a genre for your research. The issues/topics are up to the student to decide, but these must be approved in advance. The topics must & should be fully researched and understood by the student and address a certain aspect of gender issues relating to cinema. These areas could also include the issues intersectionality such as connections of not only gender but including race & class; that the textbook also addresses, but again this is not just a film review. The midterm paper could also focus on a particular movie you are interested in that has elements pertaining to this class. Think of ideas that interest you and are worth exploring or that were not touched upon in class for this assignment. The essay must have a Thesis title that encompasses the scope of the topic being addressed. There are countless choices for topics. These suggestions are meant to inspire, not limit, your choices. These are also not the only ones – you can come up with your own idea. Please take some time & consider an issue, theme which you want to research & explore further. The goal of this is to not only educate others on these issues, but for you to explore other areas of the film medium that you are interested in.
TOPIC I PICKED: In my midterm paper I would like to discuss why women are always portrayed as not strong enough, scared, or helpless. I will most likely choose 3-5 movies from the 1980’s and up. I would also like to take this opportunity to find 1-2 movies that show the women defending themselves or someone they love. I would also like to see the how horror movies have progressed since the 80’s. How are they different to the newer movies with better graphics and technology are they better or worse? Why? Men can be victims as well, but why are women presented in a different fashion? What is different with the types of violence inflicted? See if that has changed of has gotten worse?
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