I picked the Ghost in the shell and behind the sun movies.
Final Response Paper – Instructions
During the semester, we have seen a wide array of films from different continents and cultures. All of them represent not only a vision of a group of filmmakers, but they belong to a particular ethos. They present their unique angle and claim for a voice in a multicultural world.
With the popularity of TV shows and blockbuster movies, most viewers are used to a certain pace and a way to present conflicts. Even though some of the films we have seen are not too far from what most of us are familiar with, others asked us to be open to less conventional ways of narration.
the films have offered diverse cultural frames of reference and alternative perspectives to represent both national and current global themes. For the last paper:
Select one subject from the many issues discussed in this course and examine how it reflected in two or three films (If you use three, you can use one of the movies you used in the first paper).
Among the possible topics are:
• National identities
• Personal identity
• The body, gender, sexuality
• National history, tradition
• Nature of love, family, and affection in cultural contexts
These are not the only possible themes; you can propose one or even take aspects of two different ones. The goal is to reflect upon the ways diverse communities and individuals are represented through cinema in national and global frameworks.
It is crucial to consider in your paper the historical, political or cultural background of each film, not only the personal or interpersonal conflicts. The readings and presentations gave us a framework to help our understanding of the movies. For example:
when you think about family, national history and tradition, you can discuss Behind the Sun and Timbuktu. Those two films present -in their way- an intriguing discussion of family and societal values. These are stories where we can also find a clash between traditions and individual freedom, all within diverse cultural contexts (Brazil and Mali).
If the nature of love, family, and affection and stroke you, you may consider In the Mood for Love, with its allegorical references to a fast-changing Hong Kong and the Chinese Melodrama, and Monsoon Wedding, where traditions, social class, and family bonds are put to stress and tested.
Finally, you are free to propose a different topic that connects the films. It is crucial to consider the topics discussed in the readings and discussions, not only the plot. It would also add to your interpretation of the film a reflection on the cinematography or other aesthetic aspects that make the film unique or interesting.
Week 2: XXY
Body and identity
Week 3: Ghost in the Shell
Body and identity
Mind and memory
Week 4: The Return
Personal identity and National identity
Father and son relationship
National history through family and myth
Week 5: In the Mood for Love
Identity and representation
National history and political context
Traditions and its limitations for individuals (and art)
Relationship between popular culture and life
Traditions through romantic relationships
Week 6: Timbuktu
National history and political context
National history through family traditions
Political and religious limitations for individuals
Relationships within the social life, religion, and private life
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