The film for this term’s Three Essays

The film for this term’s Three Essays

PARASITE (2020) Director: Bong Joon-ho

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After viewing, consider the film PARASITE. Select three (3) different analytical methodologies from the list we have been using in class discussions (see Section A). Write three separate short essays about an observation, opinion or insight about the film utilizing a different selected methodology for each. For each of your three short essays you will be evaluated by these criteria:

  1. demonstrate you understand the selected methodology as defined and used in class;
  2. make a point (thesis statement) about the film based on the methodology;
  3. give at least one specific example from the film to back up your idea;
  4. reach a conclusion about the broader interest or significance of your observation.

The total of all three essays should typically be around 4-6 type-written pages

All three essays in one document file. No title page. A sample of a perfectly formatted assignment is at the bottom of this page.

 

Each of your three essays should repeat this same outline below. Label each outline section of each essay A, B, C & D along with the titles in bold.

A. Methodology: ___________________________ (state the methodology in CAPITAL letters)

Pick from this list: LANGUAGE, PRODUCTION, HISTORY, DRAMATIC, POLITICAL, AUTEUR, & GENRE

In a few sentences define the generic kinds of issues that are examined with this selected methodology as defined in class. DON’T say anything in this section about this film. Save that for the next three sections. For this section I just want to make you understand what this category is concerned about when analyzing any film in general.

B. Thesis Statement:

In one to a few sentences state one specific original explanation or insight about the film based on your selected methodology. A thesis is not a factual objective observation. It is your personal opinion backed by reason and evidence, not just a feeling. A good thesis is one about which reasonable people can disagree

C. Reasoning:

In several paragraphs to several pages, explain why in your opinion your thesis statement is true. Be sure to give at least one specific example from the film that supports your thesis. Don’t drift off topic. Stay focused on defending your thesis statement. Feel free to conduct outside research, but while formal citation is not necessary, failure to acknowledge the words or ideas of others is plagiarism. “Copy and paste” is a useful skill but it is easily detected and will not be tolerated in this class. Same goes for ripping off “ending explained” videos.

D. Summation:

Answer the question “So what?” Why is your thesis a matter worth consideration? Perhaps your insight has implications for the future of global civilization or it can be as simple as helping an audience to better understand the specific film in question, or maybe it is just important to you. The main thing is to justify why your point is beyond mere trivia.

.

: (These are outcomes I will be evaluating)

  • recognize, articulate, and explore how various humanists/artists have responded to the human condition;
  • use relevant critical, analytic, creative, speculative and/or reflective methods

Do notwrite your paper about BABY DRIVER. You will watch and write about PARASITE.

A. Methodology: Language

Explaining what elements (audio, visual, editing, dialogue, etc.) are used on-screen or on the sound track to convey meaning and get the intended meanings in your mind.

B. Thesis statement

Baby Driver sways from normal cinematic dialogue and reveals more character traits and goes more in-depth through the presence or absence of music, revealing that Baby is a highly emotional person, and carries his past trauma and emotions silently. The presence of music successfully draws the audience in more than with normal dialogue.

C. Reasoning

In the opening scene of Baby Driver, we are introduced to a few of the characters, including the protagonist, Baby. During that opening scene, dialogue is non-existent. We listen to the sounds of the car approaching the bank, the sounds of Baby turning his iPod to the song he listens to during the robbery, the characters in the back seat getting out of the car, reaching into the trunk to grab their gear, and then the slam of the trunk closing. No language is present in the opening scene to introduce the story, just music.

Throughout the opening scene of the film, the music takes over and drowns out dialogue, which is minimal. The only dialogue that is really noticeable toward the end of the opening scene, is the voice over the CB radio, which is still part of the sound track, not conversation between the characters.

During the opening credits of the film, Baby is walking to get coffee and the music that is playing through his ear buds, as well as the sounds of the city, are at the forefront. The music creates a certain flow as he moves through the streets. Even as the coffee shop cashier is talking with him, it wouldn’t necessarily be considered dialogue, as more of an environmental sound because it seamlessly blends in the with rhythms and beats of the song.

Later on, when Baby is at his apartment with his foster parent, the plot of the story becomes more evident, when he takes off the ear buds and we hear the hum in his ear after the accident that kills his parents. As he grabs for the tape in his room, the music drowns out and the sound of the hum starts as we see flashbacks of his life with his parents.

The music is an integral part of this film, because as we examine it closer, the music seems to create the flow and the pace during the entirety of the film. During the moments of high action and violence, the music (the tracks that are playing in Baby’s ear buds) mimics what is going on around him. At the points where the pace slows down and the film gets more in-depth into Baby’s past, the music seems to fade away, leaving us with the buzzing sound that Baby hears when he is not listening to music at all. In a way, it’s like Edgar Wright is wanting the film viewers to crave more of the music that Baby clings to.

D. Summation

Where a lot of mainstream film conveys meaning behind dialogue between a set of characters, Edgar Wright instead uses a different theory, the sound track, as a way to get his message across to the viewer. Films don’t require an asinine amount of speaking back and forth to understand the plot, but mainly sitting back and enjoying the sounds around you, or lack thereof, to fully grasp it.

A. Methodology: Dramatic

How Edgar Wright used the tools of drama and literature, such as plot, structure, conflict, personalities, etc.) to entertain or move us. How the characters or the main story conveyed meaning during the film.

B. Thesis statement:

Edgar Wright overlaps both Baby’s past life and the trauma that Baby has endured over time as a method to create a structured and solid plot for the film. The flashbacks do not affect the outcome of the story, but the flashbacks are a critical piece in understanding Baby’s current moral dilemma.

C. Reasoning

The viewer gets a look at Baby’s past during the first 20 minutes of the film, as it shows that he lost his parents and is now living with his foster parent, Joseph. Edgar Wright uses this event as the epicenter for his plot in the film.

Baby’s listening to music during each robbery that he drives in serves as a way to drown out the hum that is in his ear as a result of the car accident that film viewers will see numerous times throughout the film. Baby’s flashbacks of the accident reveal more in detail as the movie progresses, which Wright does to reveal more of Baby’s depth of character.

Doc, played by Kevin Spacey, seems to create another set of challenges for Baby, as Doc is blackmailing him to continue driving and immersing him in violence and crime. There is an internal conflict that Baby needs to solve in order to leave the life of crime that he is no longer interested in. However, the deal that he and Doc have is something that seems to go unsolved throughout the film. Doc makes vague and clandestine comments to Baby about his past, which makes the film viewer believe that Doc somehow could be related to his parents’ death and why Joseph is in a wheelchair. The connection that Doc has to Baby’s past remains a a mystery, leaving the film viewer wanting to know more.

The tapes that Baby collects throughout the movie, that are eventually played back during the climax, are a subtle, but critical piece of the film. The tapes are moments in Baby’s life that have been recorded, which induce the flashbacks of certain events in Baby’s life. The tapes reveal a lot about who Baby is, such as the tape labeled ‘Is He Slow’, or ‘Mom,’ a tape of his mom singing. The tapes are not involved in the film for very long, but they are introduced in scenes that make the biggest impact on the overall plot. When Baby is held captive by Bats and Doc and they are listening to the tapes, the drama reaches a pivotal point, as they attempt to use the tapes against Baby.

D. Summation

Baby is the obvious focal point of this story, but it is how Edgar Wright uses the protagonist throughout the story that what makes the film so interesting. Baby’s tragic past, with his “contract” with Doc weaving together to invoke flashbacks, propel the movie forward, slowly piecing the movie together. With this movie, the plot does not seem to focus on the present, or the future. The plot focuses more on Baby’s past, which helps shape the rest of the story.

A. Methodology: Genre

Instead of making a case about the film being in the correct genre, how Edgar Wright used criteria from the specific genre he was intended to use, or not used, to ultimately manipulate or affect us.

B. Thesis statement:

Baby Driver uncharacteristically steps out of its thriller realm by inserting musical and rhythmic tones, changing the overall perception of the film by making it more of a musical than a thriller.

C. Reasoning

The film Baby Driver gives the viewer a glimpse of different genres that it could be categorized as. The film displays genres such as musical, thriller, and action.

What’s really intriguing about the film is Edgar Wright’s ability to not stick to one specific genre. He branched out of one genre, and inserted certain shots that are only a few seconds in length, giving the movie and entirely different tone.
In one scene, Baby and his love interest, Debora, begin a budding romance during the middle of Baby’s driving, which gives off a thriller feel. Then, Wright cuts away from the chaos and inserts a black and white vintage scene; Baby is approaching an old classic car, while Debora leans against it, dressed in 1950’s attire. ‘Doo-wap’ music softly plays in the background and Deborah seductively sways her hips to the melody. Wright uses this scene as a method to escape the typical composition of the thriller genre, softening the frenzied composition that the movie maintains throughout its entirety.

The cinematography that is used in those specific scenes gives off a romantic, nostalgic feel, which could completely change the way that a film viewer could categorize this film. As the thrilling car chases, gun fire, explosions, and loud music give it a suspenseful and action-packed feel, the mellow escape of those scenes show that this film breaks from its thriller predecessors.

D. Summation

Films that are categorized in the thriller genre, typically do not sway from the traditional characteristics of that category. With Baby Driver, Edgar Wright steps out of the box, taking a genre, and adding surprising and exciting elements, and therefore taking the film viewer on an unexpected, but adventurous ride.

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