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My Criteria for Film Evaluation Essay

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My Criteria for Film Evaluation
There are three major standards through which I decide whether or not I will watch a film: reputation, and genre. Reputation is inclusive of friends and ratings of the film. Usually my friends and I have similar tastes and we are aroused or repulsed by the same films. Reputation is a strong and stable standard for deciding which film to go to, because with such a large population of movie watchers, major biases don't affect the reputation and ratings are fair and accurate. Also, people are inclined to give high ratings to movies that touch them or really make them think regardless…show more content…

I have also noticed the exact opposite pattern with people who watch feel good movies. It gives them motivation to strive for a life such as the ones they have seen, a goal perhaps. Indeed, the feel good movies may be oppressive in a sense people strive for unrealistic living, something that may not ever happen, but it is always comparatively better to strive for something and never reach it, than to never strive at all. That is why I love feel good movies.
I recently watched The Pursuit of Happyness. It was a feel good movie about a man who had nothing and how even his nothing declined to just himself and his son. His apartment got taken away, his wife left him, and even after he started to live in a motel, it got taken away also, all because of a lack of money. He worked hard selling useless pieces of equipment that a very small population of buyers would want. He walked countless miles to each buyer each day at a potential shot at buying his merchandise. He made bare minimum and sometimes couldn't give enough food to his son. But through all the change, one thing stayed constant, the pursuit of happiness. He strove learning and soon got a job at an extremely and severe

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Film Critique

There are many powerful aspects to the film Psycho and Night of the Living Dead which focus on social issues of the time. There are social messages portrayed in this film which were breakthroughs at the time in the film industry. These include the idea that psychotic people were living among us, that anyone was vulnerable to becoming like them, and that the hero did not always win. The sexuality and violence the two films offered viewers accompanied these notions, breaking the traditional American values.

The film Psycho received a good portion of its criticism based upon the fact that it had openly portrayed sexuality and violence in a manner which was unheard of at the time (Milne). Prior to the 1960’s, America had immersed itself in “traditional family values” which upheld the American Dream, in an attempt to ward off the violent aftermath of the Second World War. Families clung to public religious values and as such, sought only wholesome films which did not start with a scene showing an unmarried couple in bed, partially clothed (Psycho).

The director was particular clever in his creation of the viewing process. People were allowed to watch the film from beginning to end only so that they would not become desensitized to the psychology behind the film. The main theme is multiple identities. This is portrayed through the main character, Norman Bates and his split personalities (Psycho). This was a shocking social message because it demonstrated that psychopathic killers could be living amongst us.

The film played off of the fear which had accompanied World War II propaganda: spies were living among us. Even more terrifying was the light shed on traditional roles. The characters encompassed multiple roles the same as the psychotic main character, bringing the reality that people portrayed in the film were the same as one of the audience members closer to home (Elshtain 7).

The film shows Marion Crane who appears to be a humble and wholesome secretary. However, she fulfills another role which opposes traditional religious and family values as she meets with her lover to have sex outside of marriage. Even more upsetting to standard social roles was the transition Marion played, as she eventually shows viewers that she has a double-sided relationship to her mother, and at the end, adopts a new identity when she trades in her car and signs the name Marie Samuels on the motel register (Psycho). This reflected upon the idea that even the most respectable men and women were capable of such drastic changes immediately. It was terrifying to many to see that American traditional values and morals could be so easily permeated.

This was a particularly shocking component of the film in that it played upon the fears that many had of secularism. It was thought after the Second World War that secularism would eventually replace religion and any upstanding morals. This theory was discussed in many forums through politically minded people, published in books, and now shown in this film. Bringing live tape of what could happen was shocking to viewers. Possibly one of the most terrifying aspects for audience members was learning that the film Psycho was adapted from the story of a real-life serial killer.

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