2“Suspense, laughter, violence, hope, heart, nudity, sex, happy endings “Suspense, laughter, violence, hope, heart, nudity, sex, happy endings. Mainly happy endings.” Griffin Mill (in Robert Altman’s The Player, on what a movie needs to make money).
3Cinema’s Power to Persuade Movies are a form of entertainmentThey are also a business (show business)they are also a form of persuasionMovies reach large numbers of peoplepotential for mass influenceMovies are told in a narrative formstories possess an aura of believability
4Cinematic influencePeople may not expect to be persuaded during a movie“willing suspension of disbelief”Film may persuade intentionally.Michael Moore’s filmsInconvenient TruthBrokeback MountainFilm may persuade unintentionally.JunoSuperbad
5Movies and social modeling Movie characters model risky behaviors.SmokingSmoking rates in cinema are disproportionately higher than for the public at large (Omidvari, et al., 2005).Alcohol abuseMovies frequently depict underage drinking and driving.Unsafe sex98% of movies with sex scenes make no mention of safe sex (Gunasekera & Chapman, 2005).ViolenceGratuituous violence is commonplace on the Big Screen.
6Social modeling: thank you for smoking Smoking rates in cinema are disproportionately higher than for the public at large (Omidvari, et al 2005).Over the past six years more than half of the movies geared toward children feature characters smoking. In more than a quarter of the movies, actors light up cigars (AMA, 2008).Teenagers are significantly more likely to start smoking if they watch movies featuring stars who smoke cigarettes (Dalton, 2003)89% of smoking is initiated during adolescence (Johnston, O’Malley, & Bachman, 1996).html
7Movies and risky behavior More negative social modelingUnsafe sex:98% of movies with sex scenes make no mention of safe sex (Gunasekera & Chapman, 2005):.Drug and alcohol use:Movies with cannabis (8%) and other non-injected illicit drugs (7%) were less common than those with alcohol intoxication (32%) and tobacco use (68%)Buckling up:seat belt usage in movies is quite low, typically between 10-30% (Jacobsen, Kreuter, Luke, & Caburnay The national average is closer to 70%.
8Positive social modeling occurs too Finding Nemo normalizes disabilitiesNemo has an underdeveloped “lucky” finNemo’s father suffers from post traumatic stress syndromeDory has short-term memory lossBruce the shark is in a 12 step programA squid has incontinence (cannot retain its ink)
9More positive modeling Blindside demonstrated interracial compassion, caringGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner tackled the subject of racial integration.Milk chronicled a leader of the gay rights movement.Tomb Raider, the Terminator films, Resident Evil, and other films portray smart, tough, empowered female protagonists.
10Cinema and social change Films often advance cultural awareness and social changeGuess Who’s Coming to DinnerEasy RiderThelma & LouiseBrokeback Mountain
11Influential Movies It Happened One Night (1934) The Seven Year Itch (1955)Easy Rider (1965)Saturday Night Fever (1977)Annie Hall (1977)American Gigolo (1980)Flashdance (1983)Boyz in the Hood (1991)Pulp Fiction (1994)
12How movies persuade: stealth advertising Product placement- the practice of inserting brand name items into the movie scenes is commonplacebrandchannel.com (lists placements in movies)Types of placementVisualSpokenUsageApple has placed products in more than 1,500 TV shows.Apple is just as popular on the big screen, showing up in hits from "You've Got Mail" to "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.""Films are carefully crafted, detailed works of art
13How movies persuade: Promoting viewer identification Stories in films overlaps with viewers’ own experience, so they can relate to the message in the movieviewers identify closely with characters who face a crisis or adversityexample: Movies like Rudy and Seabiscuit champion the little guy.
14Viewer identification Rocky, Rudy, Slumdog Millionaire championed the underdog.Napolean Dynamite, Pretty in Pink, Superbad, championed social outcasts.
15How movies persuade: exporting American culture and values American movies export Western cultures and values around the globeMovies are one of America’s three leading exportsNegative side- foreign audiences are not too thrilled with the emphasis on materialism, sex, and violence in the movies.Positive side- movies can embrace values such as freedom, equality, and human rights
16Exporting American culture and values Fashions, hairstyles, lifestyles are often imitatedLeg warmersPlatform shoesStirrup pantsDaisy Duke shortsMovies are vehicles for advertising
17Exporting Cultural Values Western movies promote positive values.democracyequalityfreedomjusticeWestern movies promote negative values.materialismpromiscuityviolence
18Movies and violence Movies often serve as guides for social behavior viewers often act out, model, imitate what they see on screenResearch on violence in video games, television, movies, and the Internet found that those exposed to movie violence demonstrated more pro- violence attitudes (Funk, Baldacci, Pasold, & Baumgardner, 2004).26 per cent of adults still have "residual anxiety" many years after viewing horror movies in childhood.
19Movies and violenceHollywood routinely recruits teenagers and children (some as young as nine) to evaluate its story concepts, commercials, theatrical trailers and rough cuts—even for R- rated movies.The FTC studied 44 restricted films meant for adults, and discovered that 80 per cent were targeted to children under 17.
20Cultural and Gender Stereotypes Hollywood frequently typecasts minorities, cultural groups, and women, overweight people, the elderly, and other groups into limited rolesLegally Blonde perpetuates the “dumb blonde” stereotypeShallow Hal gives people permission to make fun of fat peopleJackie Chan fills the image of the martial artist who is sexually/romantically awkwardArab American community refers to the “Three Bs” syndrome. Arabs in movies and on TV are:bombersbelly dancersbillionaires.
21Sexism in cinema? Heavy male actors Heavy female actresses Tom Arnold Jack BlackJason AlexanderTom ArnoldJames GandolfiniRicky GervaisJohn GoodmanJonah HillPhillip Seymour HoffmanKevin JamesSeth Rogan (now slimmer)Steve SchirripaGeorge WendtHeavy female actressesKathy BatesNikki BlonskyJudi DenchKathy KinneyQueen LatifahMo’niqueGabourey SidibeGranted, there may be others, but chubby sidekicks don’t count. The double standard is for leading roles.
22Hollywood blazes a path Oscar winning actor,Morgan Freeman, brings a sense of authority, dignity, and gravitas to the roles he plays.He played the role of president of the United States in the movie Deep Impact (1998) and the role of god in God Almighty (2003).Is it possible he made the idea of an African American president more “thinkable”?Dennis Haysbert and D.B. Woodside also played the Commander in Chief in the Fox TV series 24.Can Obama’s election be seen as a case of “life imitates art”?
23Cultivation TheoryCultivation Theory predicts that heavy exposure to movies and TV may cultivate attitudes more consistent with the media version of reality than with reality itself.“Heavy” viewers have a more distorted view of the world than “Light” viewersHeavy viewers develop a view of a “mean, scary world”Movies and TV provide biased, stereotyped depictions of reality, which can distort the beliefs of heavy viewers
24Based on a true story?Plotlines and details may be “loosely based,” or may be based on false assertionsAmityville Horror: “The truth …was finally revealed when Butch DeFeo's lawyer, William Weber, admitted that he, along with the Lutzes, created this horror story over many bottles of wine.” (www.snopes.com)Texas Chain Saw Massacre: “there was no real family of cannibalistic chainsaw murderers slaughtering people in Texas, nor any actual series of chainsaw-related killings.” (www.snopes.com)
25Documentaries Bowling for Columbine: documentary or “mock-umentary”? Supersize Me: documentary or “shock-umentary”?Beware of docu-dramasTime compressionComposite charactersRe-shot footage (example, reaction shots filmed at a different time)
26Resistance to Cinematic Persuasion Do not let your guard downRealize “it’s only a movie” not real lifeBe aware of product placementsAssume the director will opt for a good narrative over accuracyBe informative and seek knowledge