8 Critical Approaches• Star / Performer• Genre• Auteur• Social and political contexts• Gender issues• Ethnicity• Institution• Technology
Star / Performer• You can research an individual or group of individuals, which could lead to something such as a ‘star-study’, historical developments in star status, cultural relationships the notion of star / performer, fandom, issues of performance.
Star / Performer • Area of investigation: The characteristics of Rhys Ifans’ performance across different directors and production contexts • Focus film: Enduring Love • Related films: Twin Town and Notting Hill
Star / Performer • Area of investigation: The meaning brought to a film by Juliette Binoche • Focus film: The Unbearable Lightness of Being • Related films: Les Amants du Pont Neuf and The English Patient
Ross Wood • Area of investigation: a study into the extent to which Tom Hanks solo performances have established him as an auteur
Genre• You could focus your research on a single genre or a range of genres. This area is designed for you to develop investigations that consider film as a structured product that is designed to relate to other similar films. You might investigate the evolution of a genre, consider the idea of national cinema or look at genre as a cultural product.
Genre • Area of investigation: The shaping of the gangster genre by the films of Martin Scorcese • Focus film: Mean Streets • Related films: Goodfellas and Casino
Genre • Area of investigation: The perceived communist threat and the rise of the American science fiction film • Focus film: The Day the Earth Stood Still • Related films: Plan 9 from Outer Space and On the Beach
Hannah Moore • Area of investigation: how musicals present utopian ideologies to provide escape from social zeitgeist
Taylor Bragoli • Critical Approach: Genre • Area of investigation: The Evolution of The Final Girl and the Horror Genre
The Auteur• allows a film or body of films to be seen in the context of an authorial voice. It is intended that this context be as broadly interpreted as possible, and so the traditional view of an auteur as a single person (usually the director) is extended to include any individual who leaves a signature of control (over the production and/or over meaning) on a film, be they the screenwriter, the cinematographer, the composer, or even an actor. Indeed, this is taken further still by considering the collaborative auteur (two or more individuals who when they come together on a project leave an unmistakable signature - Scorsese and DeNiro, for example), and the institutional auteur (where an institution, be it a studio, a government agency or a collective, leaves a signature on a film irrespective of who actually worked on it - the comedies produced at Ealing demonstrate this well).
The Auteur • Area of investigation: Luc Bessons move from French film to Americanised movies and the impact on his cinematic style • Focus film: Leon • Related films: Subway and Nikita
Tara Costello • Area of investigation: a close study into John Waters influences and how this is translated in his construction of female characters
Chelsea Fullbrook • Area of investigation: a close study into Tim Burton exploring the extent to which his childhood experiences are significant in defining his auteur signature
Caroline Gittins • Critical Approach: Auteur Study • Area of investigation: The collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and their construction of protagonists as a defining feature of their auteur signature
Charlie Hopwood • Critical Approach: Auteur Study • Area of investigation: Shane Meadows films and the revival of ‘The Kitchen Sink Drama’
Michael Selby • Critical Approach: Auteur Study • Area of investigation: Quentin Tarantino’s Auteur Signature
Social and political contexts• This could focus on the contexts of the production of the film, or on the commentary offered by films on a particular social or political context (E.G Iraq War – Farenheit 9- 11)
Social and political contexts • Area of investigation: Films dealing with the Vietnam War as a symptom of modern America • Focus film: Platoon • Related films: Forrest Gump and Hamburger Hill
Callum Jackson • Area of investigation: to what extent does Korea’s censorship effect the social, cultural and political representations in Korean cinema
Ross Lusted • Area of investigation: a close analytical study of Chicano cinema between 2000-2009; it’s self reflexive representations and the impact of these perception on national identity
Ruby Purcell • Area of investigation: how cinema has represented an interpreted fashion as a cultural form
Jake Saunders • Area of investigation: a comparative analytical study of the representations of homosexuality in British and Hollywood cinema, exploring the different ways in which these are constructed and presented, as well as their social, cultural and political significance
Nancy Campopiano • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: Representations of corruption in Africa and its social and political effects on Western perceptions of Africa
Harry Mills • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: A comparison of American mainstream and independent films and the social and political commentary these films make pertaining to adolescence
Hayley Morris • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: How 1970’s musicals rebelled against the societal norms on gender and sexuality
Deborah Obeski • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: The social and political implications of the civil rights movement as represented across a body of film
Lawrence Salisbury • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: How films represent American ideologies and societal views of homosexuality within the period that they were set
Lauren Scotcher • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: The social and political commentary offered on 9/11 across a body of films and the effect they have hand on perceptions of America
Nick Storey • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: Ideologies of the Iraq war as depicted across a body films
Charlotte Beaird • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: Representations of women in post 1990s Iranian films
Emily Neil • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: Film construction and the representation of mental illness
Gender• encourages an approach that allows the study of gendered films or gendered filmmaking, but also one that allows the study of gendered spectatorship. Issues of sexuality, of gender, of representation, and of other related contexts can be explored either singly or through a comparative approach (such as comparing male and female directorial approaches to the crime movie genre).
Gender • Area of investigation: American New Queer Cinema and identity • Focus film: Go Fish • Related films: Paris is Burning and All Over Me
Gender • Area of investigation: Kathryn Bigelows approach to the contemporary horror film • Focus film: Near Dark • Related films: From Dusk Till Dawn and The Forsaken
Libby Rowe • Critical Approach: Social & Political • Area of investigation: Feminism and Film from 1950s-1980s
Ethnicity• may be explored through diverse approaches including analysing the representations within a film, and issues around those making a film. It should be viewed as a broad approach that can include more traditional topics (such as Sexploitation movies, or the representation of the American Indian in the Western genre),
Ethnicity • Area of investigation: British-Indian cinema coming of age • Focus film: Bend it Like Beckham • Related films: My Son the Fanatic and Bhaji on the Beach
Ethnicity • Area of investigation: the changing representation of young black men in British film • Focus film: Bullet Boy • Related films: Pressure and Babylon
Institution• engages with issues of industry that may have been stimulated from concepts engaged with in FM2 British and American film. Most obvious will be the industrialised production contexts for film production (the studios ,the production companies, and even the established methods of production), but issues around film finance, producing, law, regulation, distribution, exhi bition and governmental influence over filmmaking are all valuable areas through which to contextualise a research project.
Institution • Area of investigation: the impact of the Hays Code • Focus film: Ecstasy • Related films: Tarzan and His Mate and The Outlaw
Institution • Area of investigation: American Zoetrope - independence and success • Focus film: Apocalypse Now • Related films: The Good Shepherd and Sleepy Hollow
Rebecca Hammond • Area of investigation: a study into what makes Pixar films so distinctive from other animation studio films
Technology• this context is one that encompasses all the constructional devices in cinema, from production through to distribution and exhibition methods. A wide range of investigations can be contextualised by technology from an historic approach dealing with a production development such as the introduction of surround sound, through to the impact of video on the industry, or the implication of digital exhibition (most importantly with the broader areas of investigation is the need to anchor them to a particular focus film).
Technology • Area of investigation: development of CGI in animation and its impact on audiences • Focus film: Toy Story • Related films: Toy Story 2 and Shrek
Technology • Area of investigation: the development of colour film techniques • Focus film: Gone with the Wind • Related films: The Black Pirate and The Sheltering Sky
Alex Flynn • Critical Approach: Institution/ Technology • Area of investigation: The impact of Pixar on the development and reception of contemporary animation feature films
What’s the point?• The primary objective of this component is to develop your research skills and make you aware of the challenges, difficulties and pleasures involved in sifting through a variety of sources for material that will allow you to present an answer to a question that you have posed.• Research skills are widely valued both in higher education and in the world of employment, and the Small Scale Research Project is designed to encourage the development of these skills and of an understanding of how differing research tools may be used to investigate or analyse o topic area.• The Small Scale Research project uses the area of investigation as a means of developing research skills, and as such the research should be to the fore. The approaches to, and techniques, research, the research material, and the application of this research material are of far more significance than any ‘answer’ that ma be offered• It is intended that the research begins with one key film and broadens out from there, taking in at least two other related films, and a variety of sources of material.
What am I expected to produce?• An organised folder full of research• An annotated catalogue (15 marks)• A 1500 word presentation script (25 marks)• Give a 12-18min presentation on research findings• (FM3) Small Scale + Creative Project = 25%• (FM4) Exam Paper – 3 sections = 25%
Should the Research project be quite tightly focused?• It cannot be emphasised too strongly that the Research Project is meant to be small scale and focused. You should resist any temptation toward very generalist encyclopaedia-like surveys.• The focus on a particular film as a starting point should guarantee this. In most cases it will be unnecessary for you to extend beyond the required reference to two further related films• The other focus is on the critical question being posed - which motivates and makes specific the kind of research conducted.
WHERE TO START?
1st Presentation• Possible options of what to research study across the 8 Critical Approaches• What you have decided to do• Focus film and additional films – and why you have chosen them• Initial research – explaining what you have found out, what’s interesting about what you have found out, and how it has helped you (reference sources)• Possible research statements/ questions• A break down of your research statement/ question• Start a blog