Research Essay Submission

Choose one of the topics below or make up your own. Develop a thesis statement: i.e. a statement about what you think the answer to the question is. Write an essay of at least 3000 words. Choose specific scenes, characters, events, shots, etc, from your chosen film(s) to ‘prove’ your thesis. Also use scholarly research found through library resources or in your textbook to support your claims or help you develop your thesis.  1. Persona: Ingmar Bergman’s most unusual film is also notorious for being difficult to understand. There is a wide range of possible ways of describing the plot. However, you should focus on the question of identity. How does this film explore the concept of identity in a modern world? Is it still applicable today? 2. Mulholland Drive: What is the relationship between the ‘dream’ that is mainstream cinema (i.e. Hollywood) and the ‘dream’ that is Diane’s representations of her perfect world? 3.Mulholland Drive: Analyze sexuality and repression in the film. 4. The White Ribbon: What are the thematic elements of violence intended to say about repression? 5. The White Ribbon: The film uses some of the techniques of horror and suspense; however, what is the monstrous in the film? In other words, what represents the monster/ghost/evil other? 6. Alien: Obviously there is a general theme of the relationship between the natural (man) and the artificial (machine) that is prominent in much scifi and certainly this film. This film uses the ‘machine as traitor’ trope from 2001: A Space Odyssey and matches it with a type of ‘living machine’ in the form of the ‘xenomorph’ (alien). What does the film say about the relationship between man and his creations? 7. Compare Alien’s representation of the monstrous with The White Ribbon.

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