In the film, A Better Life (2011) by Chris Weitz are the issues presented relevant to what is occurring today in our world today? Does the film challenge the beliefs and assumptions of the audience, question and confront those beliefs, or support them. If so, why? Are the issues presented relavent to our readings in the text, to our culture or society today.
Here are some questions to guide your discussion. You may choose one or two, or create your own to structure your discussion and thesis.
1. What is the Director’s purpose? What is the main point or message the filmmaker wishes to convey? Use an example or two from the film to convey your point.
2. What is the major theme of the film? What philosophy or point is the director trying to convey and prove? Provide examples of how that theme is established.
3. What are the minor themes — do they underscore the major theme. What subsidiary points is the director making along the way? 4. What issues are being addressed: gender, racial, economic, ideology, class? How does the director convey these “realities” and make us aware of our differences and similarities?
4. What particular element of the film’s content relates to culture and societies values? How is this reflected in the film? For example, in the Duco-drama film, Lives of Others what values are being expressed? What sort of an attitude regarding life is being conveyed? Although this is a period piece (1984) set in East Germany before the wall came down, what does it convey about our culture today. Does this film make us aware that what we are viewing is an illusion?
5. What is the Central Metaphor of the film. A Metaphor is a word or phrase applied to an action to which it is not literally applicable: Example: “The moon was a ghostly galleon…” A thing representative or symbolic of something else.
6. Are there Motifs (a visual symbol, musical or structural unit of plot line repeated within the context of a film to support the thematic content). If so, how do they support the thematic content. Does it help us to more clearly understand the theme?
• Be sure to use specifics, scenes, dialogue etc. from the film. In what ways (examples from the film, research, comparison and contrast) are you going to support your opinion?
• Use specific examples (scenes, technology -Lighting, Mise-en-Scene, Camera angles, narrative technique such as POV and/or dialogue to support your points.