Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Big Bright Shining Star

As Part Two of my reflection on grad school, I thought I would publicly reveal some of the major papers I wrote for my master's program. A couple of these were for film history class, and one was for my American literature class, but most were for my Film & Lit classes. I have included the paper title and the thesis statement for each so you can get some idea of the tomfoolery in which I have been engaged for the last two years.

You will notice that almost all paper titles follow the same format:
Explanatory phrase or apt quotation - COLON - description of paper

This is the grad school standard, you see. The colon is a must.

Here they are:

Uplift: Oscar Micheaux’s Place in Film History
Though many of his lessons have been forgotten in Hollywood today, for a decade in the silent film era, Oscar Micheaux showed new ways that films could be produced and what films could accomplish.

The Beast of Summer: How Jaws Changed Hollywood
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws permanently changed the way Hollywood markets its movies.

The Mother Lives: Violence and Desecration = Love in Psycho and As I Lay Dying
In Psycho and As I Lay Dying, the psychological power of the dead mother reveals itself in acts of love disguised as acts of violence and desecration.

“Good Lord! What a Country!”: The Desert Landscape in Frank Norris’s McTeague
In McTeague, the desert landscape functions to reveal McTeague’s true nature, which in the end destroys him.

Sing-alongs and Mix Tapes: Diegetic Music in High Fidelity and Magnolia
Diegetic music in High Fidelity and Magnolia unites characters and reveals their emotions.

"This Demi-Paradise, This . . . Los Angeles": L.A. Story and the Post-Metropolitan Condition
In his seemingly lighthearted parody of contemporary life in Los Angeles, Steve Martin presents in L.A. Story a vision of a postmodern metropolis in which economic carceralism maintains social divisions, and in which realness and unrealness blur together.

“Old Brokeback Got Us Good”: Nature and Landscape in Annie Proulx’s and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain
Lee’s film landscapes offer a much more romanticized and beautiful portrait of nature and love than can Proulx’s harsh prose wilderness.

“I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Star. I'm a Big Bright Shining Star”: Alienation and False Consciousness in Boogie Nights
From reification to alienation to the ideology of family, the story of porn star Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights mirrors the effects of capitalism on the consciousness of the worker.

My favorite part about writing papers for my grad program was having the chance to apply complex literary theory to films I really loved. The best paper, by the way, was the L.A. Story paper, which is the best paper I have ever written.


At 10:14 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I have realized that I use the word reveals in many of my thesis statements.
Well, it is a strong verb.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Pammy posited...

all of the high school ap papers hype helped me, as i have discovered.

since arriving at college, i have yet to write a paper with which my instructors aren´t impressed.

in conclusion, thanks. :)

p.s. hola from cuernavaca!
i am keeping some sort of account of my study abroad in mexico on my blog and superblog.
i think.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

I thought the L.A. Story one was gonna be about the Big Lebowski for a second there.

I saw about 2 minutes of L.A. Story once.

Four guys pulled up to a four way stop, waved each other through, then all drove into the intersection for a very nice 4-way t-bone.

At 1:44 AM, Blogger Tay posited...

just going to throw it out there that your first thesis is in the passive voice.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Feel free to throw that out. Especially since you are wrong.

The opening subordinate clause is in passive voice, and the noun clause that functions as the direct object is in passive voice, but the sentence itself (subject = Oscar Micheaux, verb = showed) is active.

I'm not saying it is a great sentence, but the sentence is not passive.


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