Assignment: Understanding Movies And Myth In The World

Assignment: Understanding Movies And Myth In The World

Discussions

Understanding Movies

Week 3

Topic 1

Watch a film made in the last 25 years from one of the following genres – Melodrama, Science Fiction/Fantasy, or Horror. It cannot be from the genre that your favorite movie is from (the film you told us was your favorite in week one).

What does it have in common with the films of that genre in the week three content? How is the film different?

How does sound play a part in the film you watched? Identify at least three places that sound stood out in the film.

Topic 2

Censorship in film has played an important role in commercial movie making. Do you think the film you watched for this week’s first discussion question would have been allowed to release with the same exact content under the Hays Code? Why or why not? Be explicit and support your claim with verbiage from the Hays Code itself.

Assignment: Understanding Movies And Myth In The World

Week 4

Watch a Western or a Musical film made in the last 30 years. It cannot be from the same genre as your favorite movie (the film you chose in Week One).

What does it have in common with the films of that genre viewed in Week Four? How is it different?

How does cinematography or special effects play a part in this film? Identify at least three places that one of these stood out.

Week 5

Watch either a War film made in the last 25 years or a Neo Noir film from the list, Neo Nior Films 1982 – 1999.pdf . (It cannot be your favorite movie.)

If you watched a War film, what does it have in common with the War films in the Week Five content? If you watched a Neo Noir film, what does it have in common with the Film Noir films in the Week Five content (other than being in color).

How does color play a part in the film you watched for this week? Identify at least three places that color stood out in the film.

Does there seem to be a predominate color or does a color seem to be missing from the film? If so, what is that color and do you think it had an impact on the film? If so how, if not why not?

If you did not see a predominate color or a color that seems to be missing from the film describe an addition place in the film where color plays a part.

Week 6

Watch a movie made between 1970 – 1980 that you have not already seen for this class and answer the following questions.

Describe at least three special effects, camera tricks, stunts or camera angles that caught your attention. Why do you think they were important to the story?

How does sound play a part in the film you watched for this week? Identify at least three places that sound stood out in the film.

How does color play a part in the film you watched for this week? Identify at least three places that color stood out in the film.

Week 7

Watch a film that won an Oscar associated with its screenplay.  Click here to see a list.

Write 3 – 5 paragraphs about why you think this film won an Oscar for its screenplay (do not choose a film that you have already posted on). Reference applicable concepts and vocabulary from this week’s course material. Make sure that the focus is on the screenplay, not the acting or directorial choices.

Myth in the World

Week 3

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Name a film, work of literature, television show, video game etc. that has an eschatological theme and identify which cosmic catastrophe scenario you think it presents (flood, fire, war), providing a few very brief details to support your choice. 

Part B: Discussion Question

Choose one of the following options. 

Option #1
First, briefly summarize what Witzel claims the Laurasian novel is. Please see more on how to summarize here.

Then, choose two or three flood myths from the Leeming book and use either diffusion, the archetypes, or this idea of the Laurasian novel (or another method, but you must describe it) to compare and contrast the myths and explain their similarities and differences. Please do additional research if needed, and there may be resources in the Supplemental Learning Materials that can help as well.

Option #2
Describe each of the three methods of comparative mythology (diffusion, the archetypes, Laurasian novel). Discuss each of their advantages and disadvantages and choose which method you think is best for discussing flood myths. Explain why you chose the method you did and explain how this method could be applied to discuss and compare two of the flood myths from the Required Learning Materials.

Week 4

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Choose three of the common archetypes (fathers, goddesses of life, wise figures, hero/heroine, the other) in the Learning Resources and identify a character from film, literature, art, television, video games etc., that you think is a good representation of each. Follow these instructions and embed a picture of each into your post and provide a citation for each image. Write a one-sentence caption for each image with a list of 3 adjectives or adjectival phrases that show how they align with the archetype you think they represent.

Part B: Discussion Question

Choose one of the following options.

Option #1
First, identify and briefly describe two divine beings, noting which common archetype (kings & judges, mothers, sons, goddesses of death etc.) with which they most align. You may use examples from this week’s Required Learning Materials, or you may find two examples outside of the course readings in reliable scholarly resources from the UMGC library. At least one of these examples should be a goddess or other mythological female figure. 

Secondly, briefly summarize one myth or scene from a myth for each of these figures. 

Finally, identify which culture(s) each figure comes from and explain what societal roles you think each figure exemplifies, exploring whether there is a relationship between each figure, their myth, and gender roles and/or status in the culture(s) out of which they come.

Option #2
Find three characters from the myths in the Required Learning Materials that you think do not fit neatly into any one particular archetype or that can fit into more than one archetype. For each character, do the following:

  1. Using specifics from the character’s myth, explain why they do not fit into any one archetype or why they can fit into more than one.
  2. Identify which culture(s) the character is from, explain at least one specific value, belief, or practice you think this character represents from this culture and tell us what led you to this conclusion.

Finally, for at least one character, propose a new archetype that you think better fits this character than the ones in our Required Learning Materials. 

Week 5

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Identify a character from film, literature, art, television, video games etc., that you think is a good representation of a hero, a trickster, and the other. Embed a picture of each into your post, using these instructions and provide a citation for each image. Then, for each image, write a one-sentence caption that lists three adjectives that describe the character in terms of the archetype they represent.

Part B: Discussion Question

Choose one of the following options.

Option #1
First, identify and briefly summarize the story of a hero or heroine or the story of a trickster. You may use examples from this week’s Required Learning Materials or find examples outside of the course readings. Be sure to use a reliable resource for your myth and cite it in MLA style in your post

Secondly, explain how this character’s story aligns with the heroic monomyth or displays characteristics of the trickster. 

Finally, explain what qualities, values, beliefs, norms or practices (types of nonmaterial culture) you think someone could learn from the hero or trickster story you choose. Why?

Option #2
Explore the relationship between the hero and the trickster by finding a character from a myth that you can call both a hero and a trickster. 

Provide a specific example from the plot of the myth that demonstrates elements of the hero archetype or monomyth, and provide a specific example from the plot that demonstrates elements of the trickster. 

Finally, explain what qualities, values, beliefs, norms or practices (types of nonmaterial culture) you think someone could learn from a character that embodies both archetypes. Why?

Week 6

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Identify an item of material culture or a symbol that you can specifically relate to a myth from any culture that is appropriate for a general audience. Embed a picture of the item with a citation for the image. Write a one-sentence caption for the image that names the related myth and links to a version of the myth you can find in our Required Learning Materials, UMGC library, or on the internet. 

Part B: Discussion Question 

Choose one of the following options.

Option #1
First, identify an artifact, symbol or form of iconography by conducting research in reliable, scholarly resources from the UMGC library. Include a picture of your choice embedded in your post, if possible. 

Explain the relationship of this artifact, symbol or form of iconography to

  1. the culture that it belongs to and
  2. a specific myth (origin, historical, folktale, from that culture
  3. the specific element(s) of nonmaterial culture you think it represents

Make sure to consider its creation, use and/or location, as well as how this item has evolved or appeared in other cultures in various forms to talk about its significance. Also, be sure to explain how you came to your conclusions. 

For example, in America, Southern Baptist culture uses the purity ring as a symbol of chastity before marriage. This value is derived from Christian beliefs about pre-marital sex that are justified largely through the writings of Paul of Tarsus, as well as other Old Testament passages. 

Note: Please try to find something unique that has not been mentioned in class yet. Items like the Christian crucifix and Jewish Star of David fit this assignment, but please try to find something less common.

Option #2
First, identify an artifact, symbol or form of iconography in your local built environment related to a specific culture or group of people. The built environment is the human-made structures, features, and facilities included in the environment where people live and work. Be sure to include a photograph of your choice. 

Some examples could be:

  • A shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in a park
  • A red cross on a building
  • A Masonic symbol on a gravestone

Second, conduct some research about your choice in local history in reliable, scholarly resources, and explain the relationship of this artifact, symbol or form of iconography to:

  1. the culture or group to which it belongs
  2. the history and/or stories from that culture or group
  3. the specific element(s) of nonmaterial culture you think it represents for that culture or group

Be sure to consider its creation, use and/or location, as well as how it might appear in other localities in your discussion. Also, be sure to explain how you came to your conclusions. 

Week 7

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Identify a secular or sacred place, holiday, or ritual in American culture. Provide a link to the place’s website or a link to a description of the holiday or ritual. In a few sentences, identify the cultural story (or stories if there is more than one group associated with it) connected with this place or ritual. 

Part B: Discussion

Choose one of the following options.

Option #1
Identify and briefly describe a sacred place in a world culture or religion. Use a reliable and credible source from the Required Learning Materials for this week or from the UMGC library. Embed a picture of this place in your post using these instructions.

Then, for this sacred place, please do the following:

  1. Using some of the concepts and methods from the Required Learning Materials for studying sacred place, describe how you think this sacred place developed and what function it serves in its culture.
  2. Explain if it has a strong connection to specific myths from the culture or not.
  3. Discuss if this place has different meanings to different groups and/or if the meanings of this place have evolved over time. 
  4. Identify any relevant material culture at the site and its relationship to nonmaterial culture, if appropriate. 

Option #2
Identify and briefly describe a specific ritual in a world culture or religion. Use a reliable and credible source from the Required Learning Materials for this week or from the UMGC library. Include a picture of this ritual in your post.

Then, for this ritual, please do the following:

  1. Using some of the concepts and methods from the Required Learning Materials for studying ritual, describe how you think this sacred place developed and what function it serves in its culture.
  2. Explain if it has a strong connection to specific myths from the culture or not.
  3. Discuss if this ritual has different meanings to different people who are involved in the ritual, and if the meanings of this ritual have changed over time.
  4. Identify any relevant material culture or symbolic actions that are used in the ritual and their relationship to nonmaterial culture, if appropriate. 

Week 8

Part A: Scavenger Hunt

Identify a foundational myth or important cultural myth from the history of a country other than the United States, provide a citation with a link to the story, and list three national values you think the story is conveying.

Part B: Discussion Question

Choose one of the following options.

Option #1
First, summarize a cultural story or describe a common historical or cultural character from the United States that you think conveys specific national values. 

Secondly, identify three specific values and point to specific parts of elements of the story or character that help reinforce those values. 

Finally, explain something specific that might be lost in history by the story’s mythologization process or character you chose. 

Option #2
Choose one of the myths we have covered this semester from a culture that is not your own and briefly summarize it. 

Secondly, explain two things you think you learned about that culture from this myth. These can be things like societal structures, attitudes towards different genders, the relationship between the human and the divine, moral values, what is considered humor, etc. 

Finally, compare and contrast what you have learned about that culture from the myth to your own culture. Identify some similarities and differences and explain how you drew these conclusions.