Blog #3: Home stretch

Unfortunately, I was unable to complete a whole draft of the essay by the end of winter break. I only completed roughly 50%. However, upon revisiting what I did complete, I realized that I wanted to alter the focus of the paper. In other words, I wanted to make the subject matter more specific. After meeting with Dr. Martin, I had argued that spreading a paper over four films would be too diluted in trying to keep the thesis effective. Rather, what I suggested was to eliminated two of the films from the thesis entirely: Terrence Malick’s Badlands and Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. This was a tremendous relief for me once she gave me her blessing.

The way I approached writing this paper was to work backwards–a suggestion made by Dr. Martin. I wrote four to five pages on Badlands and another four to five pages on Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise. After revisiting them for revision, I found that I had much more to write about for the latter; it was a lot of fun, and the process felt really organic. Perhaps this is because I connected more with Scott’s film (I’m sure of it actually). However, working backwards made finding the connections between T&L and Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde much easier. Do not confuse the means with the quality of a product. The points that are common to both films will be strongly presented, and I feel that this will be more effective versus the original proposal. I have roughly half of the paper left to write; but, as I had said to myself after composing my analysis on T&L, the paper will write itself.

 

Felipe Villalon

Blog #2

Thus far, I have completed extra research assignments for Dr. Martin. Besides researching movie review archives from 1969-1970, I have looked through an additional batch of archives (provided by the mentor) pertaining to Arthur Penn’s film Bonnie and Clyde. Furthermore, at this point in time, of the considered films: Bonnie and ClydeBadlandsThelma and Louise, and Natural Born Killers, the second-in-list has been the most difficult in consideration for analysis in my research. Luckily, Dr. Martin has found some insightful material pertaining to Malick’s film; it appears the film might make the cut after all. She has also compiled a selection of books on all of the above films (mainly on Penn’s) that will prove to be extremely useful.

Other than that, my goals from this point until the beginning of Spring 2016 is to have a complete draft of the paper. The remainder of the semester will focus on revising and editing the content. I hope everybody’s research is going well!

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

This project shared between Dr. Rebecca Martin and I will be about Arthur Penn’s 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. After speaking with Dr. Martin, asking her what her personal interest was, she had told me that the film had elicited a widespread controversy/phenomena/following. From fashion to violence, the film explored a string of concepts that generated a large public and scholarly response. The purpose of our research is to further explore these responses and fit them into a context. More specifically, I will argue that the film and other similar, consequent films (BadlandsThelma and Louise, and Natural Born Killers) showcased progressive, cinematic, feminist themes and how they are cultural indicators of historical shifts (subtle or large) at the time of their release. As of right now, a large stack of scholarly articles sits on my table. I have combed through them to find significant relevant support for my hypothesis. Dr. Martin has also given me the task of looking through databases for existent and non-existent film publications to search where Bonnie and Clyde has been referred to in order to investigate author biases and their perspective of how the film fits into what they believe is its context. Furthermore, this project is part of a larger one to compile a book of essays on the film.

 

Felipe Villalon