Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Research Paper Suggestion

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Research Paper Suggestion

Old 01-13-04, 09:25 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 191
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Research Paper Suggestion

I need to do a research paper for my film class on Gangster Films. The paper can be on a single film or possibly a group of films. Anything from "The Public Enemy" (1931) to the Sopranos. Anybody have an ideas or suggestions for topics/themes etc...?
Old 01-14-04, 12:39 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggested Theme:

Why do people who are raised to stay away from the 'family business' eventually get into it? Do they really want to (ala Jackie Aprile) or do circumstances force it on them (Michael Corleone)? Is there truly a choice or is it inevitable?
Old 01-14-04, 01:24 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Do members of the Mafia ever "win"?
Old 01-14-04, 01:33 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Damfino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 6,650
Received 77 Likes on 63 Posts
Once Upon a Time in America

This movie would give you plenty to write about regarding the politics of what happened to it in the US.
Old 01-14-04, 01:51 PM
  #5  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Media, PA
Posts: 219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How about exploring the appeal of the gangster genre to regular law abiding citizens. Why do folks continue to be fascinated by people who make their living by breaking the law?
Old 01-14-04, 03:25 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,468
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would think that a good topic would be a discussion of the anti-hero. (You would need to select gangster movies where the main character is a gangster, not movies where the hero is a police officer chasing a gangster.)

How are gangsters as protagonists portrayed heroically? In what ways are the audience made to empathize with them?
sympathetic (e.g., Angels with Dirty Faces)
disordered/disabled (e.g., White Heat)
endearing (e.g., The Godfather)
comical (e.g., Analyze This)
moral integrity (e.g., Road to Perdition, Payback)

Does it require a fundamental "cheat" to make the bad guy a good guy? Discuss ways in which accuracy and truthfulness are compromised in order to make the gangster into a likable hero, the proverbial "hooker with a heart of gold." Does the character refuse to kill? Does he refuse to steal? What makes him likable? Oftentimes, this likable quality makes him unrealistic or unbelievable in terms of criminals in real life.

Since the protagonist of the film is a gangster, discuss the treatment of the antagonist. The antagonist is almost always portrayed as being more evil than the protagonist; sometimes he is simply less likable than the protagonist, but it is a rare case where the antagonist is a genuine "good guy" when the protagonist is (relatively) bad.

Are there any cases where the protagonist truly is reprehensible? Did this affect critical reaction to the film or the box office gross? (e.g., Natural Born Killers, although not a gangster film). Might be a good discussion of how audiences find glee in twisted characters, similar to popularity of horror films.

Compare the fate of gangsters who repent with those that do not. There should be a trend showing unrepentant gangsters are fatefully killed or incarcerated, whereas repentant gangsters rise in status or escape death/incarceration.

Last edited by DigIt; 01-14-04 at 03:28 PM.
Old 01-14-04, 03:45 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Damfino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 6,650
Received 77 Likes on 63 Posts
Originally posted by chesola
How about exploring the appeal of the gangster genre to regular law abiding citizens. Why do folks continue to be fascinated by people who make their living by breaking the law?
That's easy. The appeal lies with the fact that people are more inclined to fantasize about things that they can't (or shouldn't) do as opposed to things that they can.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.