Archive for ‘Film and Visual Art’

Mad Men: Cultural Identity in Early 1960s America

by   |  04.21.10  |  Film and Visual Art

Below are links to two, 4-minute recaps of episodes from the AMC tv show Mad Men. These clips present only highlights from these episodes, so the transitions between scenes are abrupt and may be difficult to follow. However, these scenes present a taste of an imagined culture in early 1960s America that should be somewhat coherent. The main characters are men and women who work in a New York advertising firm or are family members of these ad men. While watching, pay attention to the visual rhetoric and language elements that deal with cultural or social identity. After viewing the clips, please work in groups of threes and post responses to the following questions as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Who are the members of your group?
  2. What do you notice about the men in this culture?
  3. What do you notice about the women in this culture?
  4. How would you describe the interactions between men and women in these scenes?
  5. How would you describe employer-employee relationships in this culture?
  6. Do these clips present any elements of racial identity? If so, how? and to what effect?
  7. From a rhetorical perspective, while thinking about cultural or social identity, what might be one of the persuasive goals behind these clips?

Recap Clip #1: “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”

Recap Clip #2: “Wee Small Hours”

Cultural Identity and Non-Literary Texts – THX1138

by   |  04.18.10  |  Film and Visual Art

George Lucas’s student project film titled “Electronic Labyrinth THX1138 4EB” is a strange movie—certainly low-budget—science fiction genre—and it’s often confusing. However, this film efficiently creates a cultural universe that includes some interesting aspects of social identity. As you watch, pay attention to the ways in which the film constructs identity, especially among different classes of people. After viewing, please work in groups of three to discuss and post responses to the following questions as a comment to this blog post:

  1. Who are the members of your group?
  2. How would you describe the cultural universe in this film?
  3. What happens in this film—how do you understand the ending?
  4. What visual elements/data does the film use to construct social identities in this culture?
  5. From a rhetorical perspective, while thinking about cultural or social identity, what might be one of the persuasive goals of this film? In other words, what is the purpose of this film?

Assigned Topics on Viewing the Movie Doubt

by   |  02.24.10  |  Film and Visual Art, In-Class Writing Assignments, Interpretation and Purpose, Rhetoric & Persuasion (Argument)

As a comment to the blog post, please write a paragraph or two in response to the topic you selected to cover when viewing the movie Doubt as follows:

  • Describe your selected topic
  • Explain aspects of your topic another viewer may have missed
  • Explain how your observations help you understand the rhetorical purpose of the film

Freedom to Interpret – Reading for Wednesday

0 Commentsby   |  02.23.10  |  Announcements, Film and Visual Art, Interpretation and Purpose, Nonfiction (Essays), Thesis

For Wednesday, please print a copy of Roland Barthes’s very short (3-page) essay “The Death of the Author” from the Link below and read the essay before class. I encourage you to annotate your copy of the text—underline key lines or phrases, write notes in the margin, and be able to articulate the thesis of the essay.

The Death of the Author

Also, please be prepared in class on Wednesday to discuss the topic you selected for on the viewing guide for the movie Doubt.