Writing Four Paragraphs About Film Assignment
This is the original Godzilla, released in 1954. It is in Japanese with English subtitles. You don’t need to be fluent in English. Just pay attention to what’s happening.
Why do I want you to watch Godzilla? As we progress through the semester, you’ll find that Godzilla movies often center around environmental topics. In the original film, there are numerous environmental and geographic topics, and I’m curious to see which ones you can identify.
When the original film was released in 1954, Japan was still recovering – socially, culturally, and economically – from World War II. While we often think of Godzilla movies as goofy rubber-suited monsters fighting each other, the original film was a human story that was masked as a monster movie.
Godzilla the monster was a metaphor for nature exacting its revenge, a destructive consequence of human folly.
Culturally, the film was also a way for the Japanese to discuss the War and the atomic bombings they endured. The film was cultural catharsis. There was no intention for Godzilla to become the longest-running movie franchise in history – more than 35 films and animations over 65 years.
So, again, I’m curious to see which themes you identify in the movie.
You will write a brief essay – four or more quality paragraphs – detailing the environmental and geographic themes of the film.
What do you see? Are there environmental issues demonstrated in the film that we still see today? Where and how is nature depicted in the film? What role does nature play in the film? What geographical factors do you see?
There are no specific correct answers to this. And, I’m not providing you with specific guidance. I want to know what you take away from the film.
However, that doesn’t mean there are not incorrect answers. Be thorough and thoughtful in how you provide your explanations. You’ll be disappointed with your grade if you cut corners or don’t make a solid effort. Paragraphs should be multiple sentences, and should be well-constructed.
Discuss Mandela movie
Discuss the use of voiceover/narration in the film.
How do cinematic elements (lighting, editing, sound, cinematography) in the film portray class and racial divisions?
Discuss the theme of unity. How did the director convey this theme using cinematic elements?
Do any narrative or visual patterns recur a sufficient number of times (motifs) to suggest a structural element in themselves? How do they help you determine the meaning of the film?
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In the film, Mandela gave the poem “Invictus” to Pienaar as encouragement before the 1995 Rugby World Cup; however, in reality, a passage from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt was given to Pienaar, entitled “The Man in the Arena.” Discuss the meaning/significance of that passage for the two men. Why did the director choose to revise this historical moment?