Category Archives: Essays

Movement in “Paprika” and Baudry’s Apparatus Theory

by Kaily Goodro

Jean-Louis Baudry’s apparatus theory suggests that movie viewers experience an immobility that makes watching a film akin to dreaming. Spectators are unable to freely move, unable to affect what they see, and unable to differentiate between self and other as well as the ideologies of a film and their own thoughts. Theorists like Noël Carroll criticize Baudry’s concept, claiming that viewers maintain at least limited movement while watching a film and, therefore, retain ideological autonomy. Director Satoshi Kon’s Paprika (2006) can be used to explore Baudry’s idea of whether or not a spectator blindly accepts the subliminal ideologies of a film through the way three of its characters experience motion.

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Mulholland Thanatos: Noir Theories of Identity in the Work of David Lynch

by Brendan Lund

Thanks to the dream scene which occupies most of the running time of the film, Mulholland Drive, directed by David Lynch, can be read as representing the internal conscious and unconscious states of its protagonist.  In this paper, I will argue that Mulholland Drive characterizes its protagonist using two mirrors of identity, the Jungian way in which she perceives herself in the dream (as opposed to how she really is) and the projection of Rita (an amnesiac stranger in need) that she subconsciously invents in order to try to fill her empty identity with the love of another.

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Alchemy of the Face: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” and Facial Emotion

by Brendan Decicio

This paper utilizes the Japanese anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to evaluate different uses of facial close-up. Drawing heavily from the theoretical works of Bela Belaz and Maya Deren, the examination reveals that the seriously realistic and absurdly impossible are often juxtaposed in anime, yet do not contradict each other. Instead, the combination of realistic close-up and “super- deformed” aesthetic is employed equally to demonstrate a variety of emotional responses in recognizable, stylized ways.

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Speed Racer and the Child Empowered

by Amanda Barwick

The character depictions of Rex, Speed, and Spritle in Speed Racer (2008) demonstrate a range of how children can be empowered within their own environments and understanding. The aesthetic, technology, and depiction of the family in the film allow Speed, the representation of the empowered child, to exert control over his situation and express himself through his own strengths.

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Serial Absurdity: Arrested Development and Wartime Comedy in the United States

by Anne Hart

This essay explores the contrast between American wartime cultures of the 20th and 21st centuries by examining two popular comedy television shows in each century: Larry Gelbart’s MASH and Mitchell Hurwitz’s Arrested Development. While Arrested Development uses many of the comedic devices employed in MASH, it deviates in critical ways that expose the atmosphere shift of a 21st century disillusioned by and removed from its previous century’s traditionally presented attitudes.

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Canceling the Apocalypse: Globalization Processes in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim

by Deidrene Crisanto

Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 science fiction fantasy film, Pacific Rim, is a visually striking narrative that depicts an unconventional alien invasion and humanity’s equally exciting response. A summer blockbuster with high entertainment value, this sci-fi narrative is a colorful exhibition of globalization processes. This essay explores some of the processes of globalization exhibited in this narrative world.

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The Burly Man: Masculinity and Homosociality in Barton Fink

by Sam Reimer

I explore the link between the development of masculinity and homosociality in Barton Fink. Through the titular character and his relationship with Charlie Meadows, I look at Barton’s construction and development of an idiosyncratic form of masculinity and how this is achieved through homosociality and male intimacy, looking at the progressive suggestions made towards gender theory and gender construction.

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The Documentarian as Tourist: Travel and Representation in Documentary

by Merritt Mecham

Documentary film has long been associated with travel and culture. However, some historical examples of documentary have been problematic, leading to a denigration of the documentary ideals with their “outside looking in” sensibility. As film tourism becomes a rising field of interest, this portion of documentary history is in danger of repetition unless documentarians utilize the nobler ideas of documentary in order to cultivate a deeper understanding between people, filmmaker, and audience.

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Race Through Bella’s Eyes: Contending Racial Depictions in New Moon and Eclipse

by Sam Reimer

This paper looks at the racial depiction of Native Americans in the Twilight Saga, exploring the historic representations of Native Americans in Hollywood, construction and reinterpretation of vampire and werewolf lore, the hybridization of the romance and horror genre in the films, the role of Bella’s point of view, and how these factors reduce Native Americans to regressive stereotypes and promote white supremacy.

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