Professor

| November 24, 2015

Critical Review No. 3 (Professor’s Choice: Do the Right Thing, 1989; Directed by Spike Lee or Smoke Signals, 1998; Directed by Chris Eyre)

 

^ requires watching the film and do a critical review. Below is one of the example to how to write them.

 

 

Example 1

Film Title and Director: Gus Van Sant My Own Private Idaho

  1. Develop a thesis pertaining to the assigned film text and whether or not it, the film, in your view has the power to transform one’s political sensibilities. Your argument should express your point of view regarding the politics of difference, political sensibilities, and political transformation(s) as related to the film. Remember, you’re writing (developing) an analytical essay. Submit your thesis statement in the box below:

    1a. I found My Own Private Idaho to be a very complex film and with out any background information the average moviegoer would not see this film as one in which would awaken their sensibilities.

  2. Develop three (3) topic sentences that articulate the major ideas that will comprise the body of your essay. Remember that your topic sentences should clearly state the argument or point to be made in the respective paragraphs. Submit your topic sentences in the box below:

    2a. (1)The average moviegoer is not aware of the Generation X culture/era, male prostitution, nor the plight of someone with a unique illness like narcolepsy as presented by Mike Waters and therefore has difficulty becoming immersed and empathizing with the character’s. challenges. (2) Throughout the film there is no prominent societal involvement, authority figures or anyone opposing the behavior that the Generation X slackers demonstrated. (3) The “cut-up” directors technique made the film hard to follow contributing to the overall difficulty relating to the characters.

  3. Identify three (3) scenes from the film that support your thesis statement. Briefly explain:

    3a. It is difficult to identify three scenes to support my thesis statement because there is not a particular scene in the movie that could do so. It is the technique in which the film was presented and the unique character attributes that leave the average moviegoer confused, lost and walking away saying “what the fuck was that all about?”

  4. Lastly, fully develop your introductory paragraph. Remember that the best possible thesis will answer some specific question about the text. In this case a question related to the film’s power to transform political sensibilities regarding difference:

    4a. My Own Private Idaho, a movie about two young male hustlers, is not a film that has the capability to transform one’s sensibilities. Although one might relate to one of the characters, the film does nothing but leave you confused and or lost, wanting more information about the characters in order to make some conclusions about what the producer/movie is trying to make. I found My Own Private Idaho quite confusing. Only after reading about it in Democracy and Difference did it make some sense to me. I found My Own Private Idaho to be a very complex film and with out any background information the average moviegoer would not see the film as one in which awaken’s their sensibilities.

Review completed by:  Julie Rodin

Example 2

Film Title and Director:   Gus Van Sant,  My Own Private Idaho

  1. Develop a thesis pertaining to the assigned film text and whether or not it, the film, in your view has the power to transform one’s political sensibilities. Your argument should express your point of view regarding the politics of difference, political sensibilities, and political transformation(s) as related to the film. Remember, you’re writing (developing) an analytical essay. Submit your thesis statement in the box below:

    1a. Gus Van Sant’s movie, My Own Private Idaho, has the power to change a person’s political sensibilities by examining the paradigms that exist between sexuality and personal identity as they relate to the social and moral norms of society.

  2. Develop three (3) topic sentences that articulate the major ideas that will comprise the body of your essay. Remember that your topic sentences should clearly state the argument or point to be made in the respective paragraphs. Submit your topic sentences in the box below:

    2a. The character Scott uses his sexuality to create a false identity, though initially intended as a back handed action against his father, in truth, Scott is just as lost as any of the other “street hustlers.” Lacking a cognitive connection between morality and sexuality, Mike falls asleep when faced with “situations of stress,” returning to a time in his life when he feels his personal identity is most stable, his life with his mother; in this way he attempts to understand who he is, through what he has experienced. The accessibility and internal acceptability of this generation of “lost boys” becomes evident during the Café scene, where each tells a horror story of their hustles, laughing, smiling, and shrugging off these encounters as though each was a common experience for those who live hollow lives.

  3. Identify three (3) scenes from the film that support your thesis statement. Briefly explain:

    3a. Café 20:50 In the Cafe the “Hustlers” tell horror stories, often overlapping, of their encounters as though they are normal experiences, and though distasteful, perfectly acceptable amongst our society. Betray Bob 1:25:10 Here Scott turns his back on his former mentor, this shows how while Scott appeared to be the character who is the most “together” he is actually the most lost; by casting off a former lifestyle to take up another without respecting the transition that links the two, Scott, has simply taken off one mask and put another on. Here the audience realizes he is the most profound, yet hollow character. Last Pass-out 1:32:05 Mike’s inability to reconcile his past with his present is the reason he is constantly at a cross roads in the middle of nowhere, and it’s in the realization of this that he becomes so upset that he passes out. Here in the final scene he passes out on a road between a brown dying field and a vibrant green one, lost on a road separated from who he was and who he is, this adds to the depth of his shoes being stolen, and a random person picking him up while he slumbers; he doesn’t know where he is going or how he will get there, but it will be an arduous journey.

  4. Lastly, fully develop your introductory paragraph. Remember that the best possible thesis will answer some specific question about the text. In this case a question related to the film’s power to transform political sensibilities regarding difference:

    4a. Gus Van Sant’s movie, My Own Private Idaho, has the power to change a person’s political sensibilities by examining the paradigms that exist between sexuality and personal identity as they relate to the social and moral norms of society. With main characters Scott Favor, Keanu Reeves, and Mike Waters, River Phoenix, walk the roads of life amongst a subculture that allows them to exploit their bodies to survive, while attempting to create the foundations of an identity they have yet to understand. With Bob as the veritable “psychedelic teacher” of their subculture, a man who hustles and lies to others, as each hustles and lies to themselves; lost in a world without substance, a melancholy of fading youth.

Review completed by:  Mark Lux

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