The second blog post is on the politics of film. In the forward of Augusto Boal's book Theatre of the Oppressed, he puts forth the following thesis: "This book attempts to show that all theatre (film) is necessarily political, because all the activities of man are political and theatre (film) is one of them."
In light of Boal's statement, do a reading of one of the films that we have viewed in class (Modern Times, M, or Caligari... not Fargo.) Explain how this film can be thought of in a political context: what ideas about political relationships can you read into the film?
Below are some questions that you may want to consider, which can serve as starting points. You do not need to specifically address all of them in your response. Respond to the issues that you find interesting, ignore the others.
- What political context does this film exist in?
- How does the film respond to this context on the level of narrative? Is there a political aspect to the structure of the story, the relationships between characters, or other thematic elements of the plot?
- How does the film respond on the level of form? Can we read a political message in elements such as lighting, camera angles, costumes, set design, or other elements of mise en scène?
- Does film allow us to approach politics in a different way from other forms of art (like novels or TV shows) or from other kinds of information (like newspapers or political debates)?
- Do you agree with Boal's claim that all film is political, or do you think that the primary function of the film is, in fact, apolitical?
- Are there any class readings or discussions that support your response? How?
(350 words is about right)