Please select a movie and write the corresponding essay. Be sure to respond accurately to the following questions. Your essay is to be 3 to 4 ½ pages double-spaced.
Death and Dying in Contemporary Cinema
It is often said that Hollywood has a morbid obsession with death and dying. In this assignment you will examine how contemporary cinema addresses end of life issues. You will select one of the following films and respond in an essay to the manner in which the film addressed death. Sometimes death is glamorized through violence, while other times Hollywood demonstrates a more nuanced approach to the topic. When answering the following questions, be sure to incorporate pertain dimensions from class discussion and readings.
Movies to select from: Batman: The Dark Knight, Boondock Saints, Contagion, Dallas Buyers Club, Dead Man Walking, The Descendents, Dying Young, The Fault in our Stars, The Green Mile, Gone Baby Gone, Hotel Rwanda, I am Legend, John Q, Million Dollar Baby, Me Before You, My Life, My Sister’s Keeper, No Country For Old Men, Of God’s and Men, Repo Men, The Passion of the Christ, The Purge, Schindler’s List, Steel Magnolias, Sophie’s Choice, What Dreams Might Come, Warm Bodies, You Don’t Know Jack
The following questions are to help you in developing your thesis. Please note that not all questions will apply to each movie. The essay should not simply be a response to each question, but rather develop your ideas into a thoughtful reflection that has a thesis, argument and conclusion. BE SURE NOT TO SUMMARIZE THE MOVIE
What is the central end of life issue and who is responding to it?
What are the motivations that aid this person in his/her approach towards death (religion, science, culture)?
What is the movie trying to say about death and dying?
What central attitudes or beliefs about death are being advanced or called into question?
Does it make certain assumptions, positive or negative about the dying process?
Does the movie address death in a biological/empirical manner as something to be overcome and/or conquered by science?
According to the film how is the death system being presented, and what roles are being highlighted?
Does the movie glamorize death and violence?
Your goal is to construct a cogent, cohesive essay. Do not just go through and answer the questions one after another as though you were just posting a list. Be sure to engage the film, the readings, critically analyze the issues and topics presented, and construct an theological/ethical analysis. You should clearly state your thesis as one sentence in your introduction. Be sure to make clear which theories you are using, otherwise you will not really have a strong argument. After you write your intro, justify your position in a series of body paragraphs. Do no treat these paragraphs as a list of disconnected points; keep connecting your ideas together using the language and concepts from the film and course readings. Each paragraph you make should build directly on the previous paragraph in a clear, logical manner, and your theological position should be apparent at all times. Finally, your conclusion should demonstrate the broader significance of your position and not simply repeat your argument.
When you discuss the movie you are analyzing, be sure to link its specific language and imagery to the terminology of the theory you are using. Be sure to use specific scenes from the movie to illustrate your major claims.
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