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Midterm Located on Course Webpage – – And WebCampus Due Wed. 10am,

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Presentation on theme: "Midterm Located on Course Webpage – – And WebCampus Due Wed. 10am,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Midterm Located on Course Webpage – – And WebCampus Due Wed. 10am, March 2 nd. Hard copy (double spaced, 12 font) Electronic copy (place your last name in file title, e.g. fernandez_midterm.doc)

2 Film Criticism What makes a good movie and what makes a bad movie? Horror films, slasher movies highly popular and profitable But critics love to praise small, independent films: Lost in Translation; The Cook, The Thief and Her Lover (Franklin dislikes both)

3 What are the Standards? Artistic/aesthetic Technical merit “the thought put into a film.” (Franklin, 98) – Liberal arts education important – Production is outsourced (financiers, writers, directors, editors) – lack of authorship – Plagiarism – Gimmicks (shocking scenes – Special effects – Bad message

4 What are Good Movies? Aesthetics: Triumph of the Will, Battleship Potemkin Auteurs: Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan), Woody Allen, Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Pedro Almodovar, Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog Batman (1989) – “a work of art”

5 Examples of Bad Movies Batman (1989) – Fascist Gabriel Over the White House (1933) - Fascist Gangs of New York (2002)– incomprehensible The Jackal (1997) – plagiarism Mystic River – holes in plot Star Wars Episode II – Special Effects Untouchables – Contradiction

6 Working Girl (1988) Good actors: Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver; Melanie Griffith Respected Director: Mike Nichols (The Graduate, 1967) Large budget, $28 million; Grossing $64 Million in the US. Is this a good movie or bad movie? Thumbs up, Thumbs down? Gene Siskel – top 10 movie of the year

7 The Passion of the Christ (2004) Roger Ebert – depth of feeling, powerful performances, awesome technique Secular conservative - Religion can be a dangerous thing, used to foment hate Catholic theologian – unchecked religious emotionalism New Republic – classically anti-Semitic BET - Whitewashed

8 They Don’t Make Them Like They Use To What does Franklin mean by this? Are the films better in “back in the day”? Why or why not? How are the films different? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) – Critical view of U.S. political institutions is still relevant, but might not go over well with modern audiences


10 Lonely are the Brave (1962) The rugged individualist Don’t fence me in Police represents government – Some good guys – Some bad – But generally infringing on our liberties What other movies provide a positive image of the rugged individualist and a negative portrayal of government?


12 Rambo: First Blood (1982) A modern day “Lonely are the Brave” Man walks/rides into a small town to visit a friend/brother he hasn’t seen for a while Gets arrested & beaten for a no reason Although sentence is minor (30-90days), man escapes jail and heads into the mountains on horse/motorcycle Cops (good and bad), helicopters, military, chase man into the mountains Cops capture man

13 Why remake “Lonely are the Brave”? The theme is still relevant or popular American political culture hasn’t changed much But styles and tastes have Rambo is much more violent Police, government depicted in a more negative light Resolution different (run away vs. fight) Both are captured

14 The End

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