English 345 Blog Post #6 (The Butler)

As we’ve discussed, genre cycles emerge based on historically-specific communal needs (and to make $$$).  Lee Daniels’s The Butler (2013) is an Obama-era historical drama that seems out-of-date in 2021.  Can you think of more recent historical dramas that seem closer to our era as it pertains to race and history?  What makes those films products of today?  Have the topics in The Butler instead gone toward other genres?

English 345 (Blog Post #4: The American President)

On this blog, we reflect on Rob Reiner’s The American President (1995).  It is a romantic comedy, DC-style.  We might say that it is a political lovefest about Washington maneuvering (and the triumph of good government) more than it is a story of two people who fall in love, face difficulties, and reunite in the end.  How does it compare to other rom-coms you’ve seen?  In what ways is this “political rom-com” different?

English 245 (Blog Post #2: Auteur)

You’ve now had a chance to consider the auteur theory alongside David Lynch.  Let’s turn to another director.  What director (perhaps a personal favorite) qualifies as an auteur in your view?  What are some basic features (thematic and technical) about his/her art?  What gives this cinema, in the words of Andrew Sarris, “interior meaning”?

English 345 Blog Post #3: All the President’s Men

When discussing The Exorcist (1973) last week, we noted how the anxieties of the 1970s  (institutions we no longer trust, children who no longer obey parents, etc.) created the societal ingredients for a horror possession film.  All the President’s Men (1976) seems worlds apart, yet both movies are about troubled times.  In 100 words, comment on one aspect that connects these Washington, DC based films to each other.  Try to also stress technical issues.  For example you might take up the use of music or close-ups.

English 245 — Blog Post #1: Romantic Comedies

You will need to see a post-1999 romantic comedy to answer these questions.  After doing so, post here on two fronts: how does this film show “static” characteristics of the rom-com genre?  How does it show “dynamic” characteristics of rom-coms?  This distinction should be clear by now based upon the reading and emails from this unit.

*Please limit your post to 100 words.

English 345 Blog #2 (Strangers on a Train)

Let’s consider a sharp contrast in Strangers on a Train (1951).  Miriam Haines as “femme fatale” in opposition to the Senator’s daughter, Anne Morton.  What do you think the opposition says about gender and genre in the 1950s?  Furthermore, what’s implied by the resolution of the story?  Is Hitchcock participating in a type of normative construction of gender, challenging it, simply following genre conventions?  Explain.