Project #160575 - film analysis

English Tutors

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/14/2016 11:00 pm


In one sense, ideology is a more subtle and expansive way of saying politics, at least if we think of politics as the ideas of beliefs on which we base our lives and our vision of the world. Ideology might refer to one person’s belief in the sanctity of the family or another person’s sense that civilization is basically progressive. When we see a movie such as Michael Collins or Potemkin, there is little chance of mistaking the different political messages at work in each. The first describes the political ambitions and conflicts in Ireland in the first part of the twentieth century; the second hails the force of a socialist revolution... Less obvious, however, may be the messages about life and society communicated in films such as The Sound of Music (1965), The English Patient (1996), or Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1989). These films present themselves as mainly entertainment, and their makers would probably resent any claim that there are unintended social or political perspectives at work here. Yet most of would probably acknowledge that each of these has rather clear ideological messages about individualism, gender relations, the importance of family life, race, or European history.


In critical writing attuned to ideology, any cultural product or creation carries, implicitly or explicitly, ideas about how the world is or should be seen and how men and women should see each other in it: the clothes you wear express social values just at the films you watch communicate social values. Whether we agree or disagree with the values expressed in a particular movie, the ideological critic maintains that these movies are never innocent visions of the world and that the social and personal values that seem so natural in them need to be analyzed.


With an ideological approach, begin by trying to pinpoint what message the film aims to communicate about its world and, by implication, our world. This message should be one big idea the film put forth. A good film paper should be at least 3-4 pages in length.


Use the following questions as guidelines by which to approach your analysis:


  • What is the film saying explicitly?
  • What is it saying implicitly?
  • What does the film suggest about how people relate or should relate to one another?
  • Is individuality important?
  • Is the family important?
  • Is the film straightforward and direct about those values and what they demand, both gains and losses?
  • Are these values depicted as ‘natural’, and if so why?
  • Does the movie challenge the beliefs of its audience or support them? Why?
  • How do the politics of the film and the way it entertains intertwine?


Film list 





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