(Ch. 10) Response Post – Due 11.7.16

Due: 11.7.16 (before 11:59 pm)

Read all sections in Chapter 10 and Address any two of the following:

  1.  Watch this video link (or read the transcript) with controversial director Oliver Stone talking about the JFK 50th anniv. and documentary on historical perspectives. In an original post, share something that interested you, intrigued you, or surprised you about Stone – or the interview, and address the topic of bias (or lack of bias) you saw in Oliver Stone.

2. Watch this documentary on James Bond: The True Story. After watching it address these topics: Based on the thoughts shared from the interview subjects, why does James Bond appeal more to males than females? Do you agree with those thoughts? Why or why not. What did you find interesting about either James Bond (the character) or the creator Ian Fleming?

3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

 

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Mallory Moore says:

    2. Watch this documentary on James Bond: The True Story. After watching it address these topics: Based on the thoughts shared from the interview subjects, why does James Bond appeal more to males than females? Do you agree with those thoughts? Why or why not. What did you find interesting about either James Bond (the character) or the creator Ian Fleming?

    James Bond probably appeals more to males than females for the obvious reason that Ian Fleming’s sexist attitude towards women comes out in the novels. The “Bond Girls” are usually not important characters who advance the plot, but only devices used to make Bond seem manly and strong. I think that women typically enjoy romance movies in which a couple sees their relationship through and find a happy ending. Since Bond has a different woman every few movies, females won’t be as interested.
    The documentary also mentioned that Fleming used his writing to explore all the adventures that he didn’t get to have, since his role in the war was intellectual and not physical. I think that males might also enjoy the films because they also want to feel like they are having an adventure and right in the middle of the action. Girls can certainly experience this as well, but I don’t think it happens as often. Plus, as I said before, they are probably unhappy with the sexism.
    I found it interesting that Ian Fleming put so much research into the novels and gave the audience so many sensory details. It was interesting to hear how much people liked the descriptions of food in particular, since many people in Britain at that time could not afford a lot of food or very fancy food. That’s something I didn’t know about the novels.

    3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    One of the genres that we have discussed recently is faith-based films. Amazing Grace (2006) is not as religious as the films made by the Kendrick brothers, but it definitely promotes Christian ideas and belief in God. It is also political because it promotes freedom, anti-slavery, and equality. The film tells the story of William Wilberforce, who spent much of his life trying to make the slave trade illegal in Britain. While the film is historical, its political messages are still relevant today. I have seen churches today promote the film and show it to their congregations as a way to raise awareness to human trafficking in today’s world. It also promotes the idea that politicians can maintain their faith and religiosity in their work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Mallory -Intersting thought about “the food” component of Bond.

      Excellent choice with “Amazing Grace.” Some themes transcend time.

      Like

  2. alicebyrd20 says:

    I’ve never seen Stone’s film about JFK, but I did take Dr. Luedeman’s special topics class on the Kennedy’s last semester so I think I know a little more about Kennedy’s death than most people. What surprised me the most wasn’t Stone’s fascination with the assassination itself or his determination to make the film, but his incredible bias. He practically begins the interview by saying, “I was in Vietnam and have a lot of combat experience and I know JFK’s assassination was a conspiracy based on that.” I think when you go into an investigative situation with a strong belief towards either side, you automatically begin to look at your information through the lens of that strong bias. That seems like exactly what Stone did. The second thing that was most interesting was the connection that Stone draws between Edward Snowden and the WikiLeaks to Oswald’s investigation – he says there are similarities in the way the two men are portrayed in the media because the government needed to convince the public that these were the guys to blame in both situations. Now, I don’t think either one was the result/victim of a giant conspiracy, but I think that Stone absolutely does. He goes on to say that, “What bothers me the most is that these ‘smart people’ in the New York Times, Vanity Fair or the New Yorker write these long pieces and say essentially that history has shown us, the consensus is, that Oswald was in it alone. But they don’t deal with the ballistics,” implying that these guys in the media don’t consider other arguments based on “facts” and “expert analysis.” Well, the thing is, a lot of this “fact” and “evidence” and “expert analysis” is incredibly circumstantial. I think that Stone went into this particular project with a strong bias towards conspiracy, and that is evident in the film. I’m a little disappointed because I think that as an investigator, even in things like JFK’s assassination, you need to approach it as unbiased as possible because there is so much research skewed to one side or another.
    I think that the reading on the politics of film put it very well: “Filmmakers of political cinema are interested in every aspect of what makes a society tick.” Action films and political films often go hand in hand because action films tend to be about someone or something going against society, and a “hero” needed to step in to restore that balance, i.e. James Bond. It’s really easy to marry the two genres because political motivations are incredibly real and pervade almost every aspect of our society – you just make it a little more exciting by adding a clear action element. I think that most audience would find action/political hybrids appealing, but that it definitely skews towards the educated/interested in politics end of the spectrum, but it really depends on how the film is marketed. If it’s marketed to a wide audience as an action/political thriller, with less emphasis on the politics and more emphasis on the action, then it will be more appealing to more people because it comes off as “exciting” or “full of intrigue.” People like spies and espionage, so that tends to be what the “political” element is in a lot of these films. I think action/political movies are what ordinary people imagine the political world is like – full of espionage, intrigue, and a good car chase or explosion every once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Alice – So you really believe that Stone has bias ?? 🙂 For some filmmakers -it will definitely shine through.

      Interesting perspective and take on audience appeal.

      Thanks Alice – NTMII

      Like

  3. jguberman242 says:

    3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    “Braveheart” is a politically-laced film that shares a strong message of standing up against injustice, despite all odds against you. I believe the movie was meant to inspire people to defend their loved ones and livelihoods when governmental oppression stands in their way. The movie tells the story of William Wallace, a Scotsman who lives in a village facing oppression by the English, who enact a law that the Englishmen have the “right” to sleep with any newlywed Scottish woman. For obvious reasons, this makes the Scots incredibly mad, and they risk their lives fighting against the English for the sake of their women/families, and for the sake of future generations. The message strongly promotes ideals of fighting to ensure the safety and comfort of future generations.

    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

    Strictly political films appeal to an incredibly specific group of individuals. Whether a movie is about a specific political figure, a pivotal moment in political history, or a story about a political idea, political films rarely appeal to a mass audience in comparison to other films. However, action films are some of the highest budgeting and highest earning films because they appeal to so many people. What better way to bring in more viewers of political films than intertwine their messages with action films? Both action film junkies and political/historical film lovers find these hybrids appealing because of the way they artfully cater to both genres. On a more general basis, political action films appeal oftentimes more to men, who dominate the field of politics. Plus, men tend to like movies about fist fights, guns, explosions, men surrounded by beautiful women, etc. statistically more than women do, hence why political action films are often geared towards men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Jen- Braveheart is absolutely a perfect choice. Fighting against government oppression is as alive today as it was during the time of Wallace.

      Great points relating to a male-dominated genre.

      Like

  4. 3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    In my opinion, “Zootopia” has one of the strongest messages of any recent film, let alone an animated film. It warns against racial prejudice (portrayed as predator versus prey in the film), but covers both sides of this prejudice, a feat that many films have not managed to accomplish. The “predators” in Zootopia are prejudiced against the “prey” and think of them as unimportant and unequal animals, but then the prey make the very same mistake later in the film by judging and mistreating the predators. Zootopia shows the consequences of such intolerance and encourages viewers to live in harmony with one another. A quote at the end of the film sums this up perfectly: “I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.” This film would resonate with audiences in nearly any time period, but given the recent violence, riots, protests, and turmoil in our country, it couldn’t have been released at a better time.

    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

    I think that the idea of a rebel/hero battling “evil” is one of the core concepts connecting action films and political films. Countless action films have political undertones, but even the most “mindless” action films still share this “good versus evil” quality. Political films are quite similar: the plot still involves a noble hero or accidental hero, and this hero faces evil in all sorts of ways: corruption, inaction, etc. I think that 16-30 year old Americans (particularly men) would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing. This generation loves a good action film with explosions and battles galore, but this generation is also oftentimes politically fervent, outspoken on their beliefs and political views. Action/political films would resonate well with the “rebel heart” of this generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Zootoopie was an excellent choice for your response. The messages are real, and ring true to society’s challenges (even if bunnies and foxes are the ones telling the story).

      I like your “rebel heart” comment – I think you nailed that.

      Like

  5. kmanning2 says:

    3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

    In just about every action film I’ve ever seen, there has always been some sort of underlying political theme (whether I realized it or not). For example, in the action/comedy/adventure/political film Spy, the main character works for the CIA as a – you guessed it – spy. She searches for her partner’s killer, and along the way, is met with many conflicts from different European governmental agencies, as well as her own.
    In the action/adventure/political film Taken, the main character is a former spy, who goes on a mission to find his kidnapped daughter. He meets with different contacts from different governmental agencies and eventually takes matters into his own hands. Within this movie, the political message seems to be that sometimes, you just can’t trust the government or the law. In certain situations, being self-reliable is the best and only thing you can do.
    Regardless of genre format, political themes are everywhere. I think that action movies typically team up with the political theme, because writers and directors realize what a great platform it is. In action movies, you need a foe. What’s easier than the diabolical governmental foe? In action movies, you need a conflict. That’s more conflicting than an individual or group fighting against a huge governmental force?
    In the majority of cases, I think that those who like action films will also like the hybrids. I say that only because you’ll almost always have this hybrid. So, if you like action, you’ve basically set yourself up to say that you like or are at least willing to accept the political themes as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      “Taken” and “Spy” with excellent examples to back up your thoughts.

      Your quote: “In just about every action film I’ve ever seen, there has always been some sort of underlying political theme ” really is true for so many action films. From “Speed” (domestic terrorism), to “Gladiator” (powered govt. leader with a bloodlust), to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (international powers of WWII fighting for control of supernatural advantage in warfare) many action films will have a thread of politics weaving through the theme.

      Thanks Kathryn

      Like

  6. thoyle1 says:

    3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    One political action/drama I’ve seen that comes to mind is V for Vendetta. Politics were extremely evident in this film. It shows a government that has taken total control of its citizens and the journey as one man leads a movement that shows people they have the power to fight back. I’m sure there were more deeper meanings and messages in the film but the main thing I got out of it was that the people of a country are the voice, and therefore the power of the country.

    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

    I think that one reason action films and political films tie in together so much is because there is a larger audience to be reached when you add action to a political film. Movies that are just completely political probably do not attract as much attention as those that also include action. I think these films would mainly attract the adult audiences as most kids would not really find political films interesting, however that is not to say that a political film cannot attract kids. Zootopia for instance was an animated Disney movie with deep political themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      This is a wonderful observation for V: “people of a country are the voice, and therefore the power of the country..”

      You are absolutely right about “ZooTopia.”

      Like

  7. ssevert says:

    3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?

    I think that a lot of films across all genres have political messages. Whether it’s upfront or in your face. For me, I first thought of The Hunger Games series. What I see is a totalitarian government that essentially is only working for the benefit of the wealthy. Anyone below them are pitted against each other, and this case it’s to the death. I see a message of how corrupt government could be and what the consequences of it could be as well.

    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?

    I think first off that action films automatically widen your audience. Specifically political films, in my opinion, have a much smaller and targeted audience. I think people like to have a story that they can immerse themselves in and be able to relate to. I think the action aspect offers some sort of entertainment while also still getting the political message across in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Good job spotting the political themes of the “Hunger Games.”

      Thanks Sierra

      Like

  8. 3. Now that you have an understanding of how politics weaves its way through various genres (action, adventure, comedy, animation, etc.). Think about a politically-laced film you’ve seen in one of those categories, and share what you believe the message or meaning was in that film? Why?
    Some of the politically themed films that come to mind are the Hunger Games movies. On the surface, these films seem dramatized and improbable. However, when the films were released, I remember reading theories that perhaps they hinted at some of the situations that real people face around the world. I think it is certainly possible that the Hunger Games series intends to symbolize countries that do face dictatorships and other dangerous regimes. Especially after the events of the Arab Spring in which the people of some of these oppressed countries began to fight for themselves, these films illustrate the kind of force needed to take down a tyrannical power. In that light, the Hunger Games could serve to suggest to people unaware of those struggles that similar situations are taking place, and those affected are in need of assistance.
    4. Action films and political films can have a strong connection (or marriage) with each other. Based on your understanding of the readings, why do you feel this is so? What audiences would find the action/political hybrid films most appealing? Why do you say that?
    Political and action films seem to be so closely linked because of the interest that each holds for its audience. For example, many action films seem to take place in a world that has become deeply troubled or even dangerous. This setting is caused by corrupt leadership, which brings in the political aspect of these pictures. To effectively set the scene for many action movies, a strong political background is necessary. In some cases, it would also seem that some of these films intend to point to real-life current events. Because of this connection, I think that filmmakers may be attempting to provide their viewers with hope through the eyes and actions of the protagonist. Though the events are dramatized, it gives audiences hope to believe in a team of heroes or vigilantes of some sort that may be able to solve the world’s problems.
    Previously, I might have associated young men with an interest in action movies, perhaps because of a stereotype that they enjoy the explosions and violence similar to what is seen in video games. However, after reading about politically-charged action movies, I think that anyone with an interest in politics could find a movie with that sort of backdrop appealing, especially if they take the time to dissect the movie and find likenesses to things that have taken place in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Comparing the Hunger Games to Arab Spring – excellent.

      Providing “hope through the eyes and actions of the protagonist.” …”that may be able to solve the world’s problems.” = Perfect.

      While Action films usually target a male-dominated audience, that is not the only audience drawn into these films (by any means). One of my wife’s favorite genres is Action.

      Like

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