Films as Expressions of a Society's Values Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Culture

Films as Expressions of a Society's Values

Criminals are glamorous and so are the people who follow them.

The countries to be compared are the United States and Italy.

Each American film has an Italian counterpart that is similar in premise, characters, and sometimes time period.

The films that will be referenced are: Angel of Evil (Italy) -- Blow (USA); Giallo (Italy) -- Se7en (USA); The Girl with the Pistol (Italy) -- I Shot Andy Warhol. (USA)

How is the criminal lifestyle glamorized? How is the criminal lifestyle glorified? The paper will locate and explain examples as well as counterexamples.

The comparison will elucidate which culture glorifies criminals as well as the people who follow them, such as detectives, the media, or people who are fans of their work.

Narrative & Production

A. There must be some initial exposition and/or summary of the plot of each film (brief), as well as some information regarding the context of the films.

B. There will be technical information regarding how the film was made, including the scale of the budget, the other resources used to produce the film, and any relevant information regarding the technique of filmmaking for the films

III. Close Analysis

A. There will be presentation of key themes in each film. A primary theme among all of the films is the connection among ethics, morals, and laws. There will also be presentation and analysis of the themes with specific reference to scenes that demonstrate those themes through lighting, costuming, direction, and any other film elements that work together to convey the message.

B. The analysis will pay close attention to elements such as sound, cinematography, writing, editing and more for each film as a method to communicate the messages of the film. Italian film is known for techniques of photography and editing. American films are known for special effects, direction, and violence, for example.

C. The specific comparisons in this section will depend on the director's vision and overall piece because every film has elements that work better than others. The paper aims to locate similarities and differences in production and thematically as there may be moments within each film where the film contradicts or disproves its own logic, which would make for a more intriguing analysis.

IV. What the production says about the societal values

A. The paper will identify the values of each pair of films regarding topics such as criminality and justice.

B. The paper will then identify the values of the culture.

C. Next the values of the society.

D. There should be room to speculate and understand how the films also reflect the values of the time period in each film in the country, continent, and/or the world.

E. Much of the reading and interpretation of the films will be performed in this section.

F. The films should also be discussed within the context of films from that country, during that time and overall. Readers should have a sense of where each film fits in within the culture and within the canon of film, especially as films about criminals are quite popular.

V. Conclusion

A. By reading the films semiotically, readers and viewers have insight as to what the messages of each of the films are.

B. We determine the meaning of films through close analysis of the content and production.

C. We also determine meaning from films by including an awareness of the greater contexts within which the films are made and consumed.

D. There is a reason why films about criminals are compelling and are produced by nearly every country in the world with a film industry: because criminals are glamorous and so are the people who follow them.

Introductory paragraph:

For the purposes of this paper, the values of two countries will be studied and compared through interpretation of some of each country's films. Those two countries are the United States and Italy. Both are countries with proud and well deserved reputations for producing amazing films that impact and stay with viewers long after the viewing. The values that will be compared will be with respect to the criminal lifestyle. Criminal activities are a favorite of many countries, especially the United States, where a great deal of the films and television content from this country showcases criminals, and often criminals getting away with breaking the law. Through techniques of media analysis, the paper will determine the message of a series of films that will be compared in pairs, with an American counterpart to every Italian film. The paper will unearth some of the values from each country regarding the glamorization of the criminal lifestyle, including those who pursue them such as police, the media, and fans.

Topic 2 -- Outline

Topic 2 - Love comes in many forms, a great number of which are accepted.

I. Introduction

A. The countries to be compared are the United States and Italy.

B. Each American film has an Italian counterpart that is similar in premise, characters, and sometimes time period.

C. The films that will be referenced are: Story of a Love Affair (Italy) -- Vertigo (USA);*David's Birthday (Italy) -- The Crying Game (USA);*His Secret Life (Italy) -- Death at a Funeral (USA); Malena (Italy) -- Harold & Maude. (USA)

D. What is the abnormality in each film's primary romantic relationship? How is the abnormality of the romantic relationship accepted/denied by individuals (the other characters), and by the greater society?

E. Through deconstruction and analysis, the paper will find the messages about non-normative romantic relationships and what the values of each respective culture are regarding sexuality that falls outside of the norm.

II. Close Analysis

A. There will be presentation of key themes in each film. Topics and themes across all of the films include the power of love, how love changes a person, and how love tests or gauges a person's principles. There will also be presentation and analysis of the themes with specific reference to scenes that demonstrate those themes through lighting, costuming, direction, and any other film elements that work together to convey the message.

B. The analysis will pay close attention to elements such as sound, cinematography, writing, editing and more for each film as a method to communicate the messages of the film. Italian film has a long reputation for innovative cinematography and very stylistic, often romantic filmmaking. American films are known for their superstar actors and fancy soundtracks, for example.

C. The specific comparisons in this section will depend on the director's vision and overall piece because every film has elements that work better than others. The paper aims to locate similarities and differences in production and thematically as there may be moments within each film where the film contradicts or disproves its own logic, which would make for a more intriguing analysis.

III. Reading the messages of the films through production

A. How a film is made provides a great deal of insight as to the values of the country, the director, and really of all of the crew members who came together to produce it.

B. There are strong yet emerging fields such as Media Psychology that solidly demonstrate the power of film to influence the values and perceptions of viewers, as well as to be vehicles that demonstrate the values of the production company, crew, distributor, country, culture, etc. that produced the film. This proof that films influence our values and they reflect our values at the same time.

C. The best filmmakers are those who are layering and combining many production elements together to not only construct a visual language, but also to communication densely packed messages in the form of images.

D. There will be some reference back to specific plots or scenes from the films as a way to directly connect how the techniques of production serve to communicate the messages of the films, whatever they may be. In this case, many of the messages will be concerned with love, perception, and the public vs. private.

IV. What the production says about the societal values

A. The paper will identify the values of each pair of films regarding topics such as sexuality, love, lust, attitudes, personal values, and personal risk.

B. The paper will then identify the values of the culture.

C. Next the values of the society.

D. There should be room to speculate and understand how the films also reflect the values of the time period in each film in the country, continent, and/or the world.

E. Much of the reading and interpretation of the films will be performed in this section.

F. The films should also be discussed within the context of films from that country, during that time and overall. Readers should have a sense of where each film fits in within the culture and within the canon of film, especially as films about criminals are quite popular.

V. Conclusion

A. By reading the films semiotically, readers and viewers have insight as to what the messages of each…

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