Sociological Movie Review Instructions
You will be selecting a movie from the following list to review from a sociological perspective:
Sorry to Bother You Zootopia
Black Panther Roger & Me
Your first order of business is to search each of these movies to determine which may be of interest to you. Each movie has a plethora of sociological issues and perspectives to discuss, so it is simply a matter of personal preference.
Next, use the criteria listed below to think critically about the movie and answer the questions each question.
1. What was the main idea of the movie?
Provide the general thrust of the movie as well as who the main characters were.
2. How does the movie reflect its social context?
What can we learn about social conditions in a particular time and place from the movie? How and why are the social conditions depicted in the movie different from social conditions in other times and places? For example, James Bond movies from the 1960s and 1970s have much to say about the Cold War, the rise of the United States and the USSR as superpowers, the decline of the UK in world affairs, and men’s attitudes towards women. After the early 1990s, social and political change influenced the way these themes were depicted. It would make a fascinating sociological project to review old and recent James Bond movies with the aim of identifying these changes and the reasons for them. Similarly, Tarzan, Superman, and Disney movies could be analyzed with the aim of identifying change in underlying social conditions as reflected in the movies.
3. To what degree does the movie shed light on common or universal social and human problems?
Movies likes those in the Terminator and Matrix series raise an issue that was first popularized when Marry Shelley wrote Frankenstein during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and that has since become widespread if not universal: human
inventions sometimes threaten their creators. Why is this anxiety so widespread? How do other movies tap into common anxieties or other social and human problems? Sociology’s ability to find the universal in the particular is one of its chief strengths. One way of writing an interesting sociological movie review is by identifying a universal theme in the context of a particular story. Doing so will help the viewer see the movie in a new way.
4. To what degree does the movie connect biography, social structure, and history? The 1962 classic, Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole, tells the story of how British Colonel T. E. Lawrence helped to mobilize the Arab national movement during and after World War I. It brilliantly interweaves several stories: Lawrence’s heroism, delusions, successes and failures; how the British and Arab societies he straddled influenced him; and the way he became an agent and victim of historical forces more powerful than any one man.
Writing Your Review
On your submission, please include your name, class section, and title of the movie you reviewed. The answer to each question should be approximately one paragraph. You may submit a word document in D2L. The document can be in the form of question and answer versus a paper. Last, please include anything sociologically relevant that is not addressed in the questions I provided.
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