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Avoid the Hustle

Discuss Fight Club (Representations of violence/the male body, Secret All-male societieKeep in mind that his is a Film & Gender class (Gender, Sexuality, And Visual Cultures). The paper MUST be 6 pages minimum +1 page for citation. Below are the essay topics to choose from.

Please don't bid unless you have watched and absolutely understand the movies listed below!

*notes from professor: You may add to/subtract from them as you wish [i.e. not all the inner questions within a prompt HAVE to be “answered.” These are all just talking points, really. Write about what actually interests you regarding gender and film (and maybe, mental illness).


1) Discuss Fight Club (Representations of violence/the male body, Secret All-male societies, Homoeroticism, Repression & release, Depression, Mental illness/DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), Reality versus Hallucination, Physical Aggression as Escape, Significance of support groups/relationships (real or imagined), Domestic terrorism, etc.); feel free to compare/contrast the film to any other Texts.

2. Discuss any aspect of Black Swan (ideas: good versus evil [white swan/black swan & the overt usage of black and white clothing as symbol in the film], obsession and self-destructive behavior [Delicate self-cutting/compulsive self-inflicted wounds], BDD [Body Dysmorphic Disorder], perfectionism as insanity, mental illness/DID [Dissociative Identity Disorder], overprotective mothers/uncomfortable mother-daughter relationships, loss of reality/hallucination/transformation, Becoming the Text [Nina’s devolvement into a “real” swan and eventual suicide, mirroring the ending of Swan Lake], compare the film to any other of Aronofsky’s works.

3. Discuss Susan Sontag’s essay “Notes on Camp” in relation to one or more films/TV shows. Has the definition(s) of Camp changed at all since Sontag published her seminal article? Is Camp a strictly gay term of assessment? Be sure to still use 3 or more other research sources as well as Sontag’s.

4. Analyze John Waters’ Female Trouble as another (very DIFFERENT) kind of Drag text. How does Divine compare to more contemporary Drag Queens (not merely his largesse—but what was it about Divine that “worked” and made him one of the most infamous drag performers ever?). What does Female Trouble have to say about issues of standardized beauty/beauty ideals & rituals [salon culture], violence, fame [as Warhol might have defined fame, anyway], and insanity? What is it about Waters’ early films like Female Trouble: low budget, often poorly acted [excepting Divine], shoddily edited, disturbingly graphic, and all, ultimately, comedic that allow him to address some highly serious sociocultural concerns (rape, murder, abuse, etc) through the lens of raunchy humor? Is it only the Drag that lets him “get away with it,” or do you find other things at work in those early Waters’ films like Female Trouble, Pink Flamingoes and Desperate Living?

5. Discuss American Psycho [or compare/contrast it to other films relating to mental
illness and men] as a text about sanity being held together within insanity [or vice versa]. In other words, discuss how the film represents men (in a specific era) who are mentally ill and how they deal with it [either alone, compared to other films about men and mental illness, or other films about women and mental illness and how they are represented as “dealing with it.”).

Discuss Fight Club (Representations of violence/the male body, Secret All-male societieKeep in mind that his is a Film & Gender class (Gender, Sexuality, And Visual Cultures). The paper MUST be 6 pages minimum +1 page for citation. Below are the essay topics to choose from.

Please don't bid unless you have watched and absolutely understand the movies listed below!

*notes from professor: You may add to/subtract from them as you wish [i.e. not all the inner questions within a prompt HAVE to be “answered.” These are all just talking points, really. Write about what actually interests you regarding gender and film (and maybe, mental illness).

1) Discuss Fight Club (Representations of violence/the male body, Secret All-male societies, Homoeroticism, Repression & release, Depression, Mental illness/DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), Reality versus Hallucination, Physical Aggression as Escape, Significance of support groups/relationships (real or imagined), Domestic terrorism, etc.); feel free to compare/contrast the film to any other Texts.

2. Discuss any aspect of Black Swan (ideas: good versus evil [white swan/black swan & the overt usage of black and white clothing as symbol in the film], obsession and self-destructive behavior [Delicate self-cutting/compulsive self-inflicted wounds], BDD [Body Dysmorphic Disorder], perfectionism as insanity, mental illness/DID [Dissociative Identity Disorder], overprotective mothers/uncomfortable mother-daughter relationships, loss of reality/hallucination/transformation, Becoming the Text [Nina’s devolvement into a “real” swan and eventual suicide, mirroring the ending of Swan Lake], compare the film to any other of Aronofsky’s works.

3. Discuss Susan Sontag’s essay “Notes on Camp” in relation to one or more films/TV shows. Has the definition(s) of Camp changed at all since Sontag published her seminal article? Is Camp a strictly gay term of assessment? Be sure to still use 3 or more other research sources as well as Sontag’s.

4. Analyze John Waters’ Female Trouble as another (very DIFFERENT) kind of Drag text. How does Divine compare to more contemporary Drag Queens (not merely his largesse—but what was it about Divine that “worked” and made him one of the most infamous drag performers ever?). What does Female Trouble have to say about issues of standardized beauty/beauty ideals & rituals [salon culture], violence, fame [as Warhol might have defined fame, anyway], and insanity? What is it about Waters’ early films like Female Trouble: low budget, often poorly acted [excepting Divine], shoddily edited, disturbingly graphic, and all, ultimately, comedic that allow him to address some highly serious sociocultural concerns (rape, murder, abuse, etc) through the lens of raunchy humor? Is it only the Drag that lets him “get away with it,” or do you find other things at work in those early Waters’ films like Female Trouble, Pink Flamingoes and Desperate Living?

5. Discuss American Psycho [or compare/contrast it to other films relating to mental
illness and men] as a text about sanity being held together within insanity [or vice versa]. In other words, discuss how the film represents men (in a specific era) who are mentally ill and how they deal with it [either alone, compared to other films about men and mental illness, or other films about women and mental illness and how they are represented as “dealing with it.”).