Friday, September 18, 2015

A Thesis.

Professors who have had me as a student for multiple semesters know that one of my biggest struggles with essays is the clarity of my thesis.

I am SO happy to say that it only took a week or two of major brainstorming,
two idea changes,
and ONE thesis pitch to get my advanced seminar in literature capstone essay (AKA: my senior thesis; AKA: the biggest paper of my academic career thus far; AKA: basically preparation for my masters dissertation??) approved. What's more, she described it as nicely specific -- which made me feel a sense of, ok I've got this!

So, I'm going for it.
And, I'm excited!

One of my professors gave me excellent advice: make it a passion project.

I'm taking that advice and running with it!

For my paper, I will be exploring the idea of grief in film. I am a literature emphasis, but film is considered a form of text, so I don't have to read for this paper -- thank the Lord ;)

When it comes to grief in film, I want to examine how plot, characterization and the overall mise-en-scene of a film tell a visual story. I will be looking at Malick's The Tree of Life, Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, and Mitchell's Rabbit Hole.

Each film holds a special place in my film-loving-heart, which is what really aids in making this paper a passion project.

The Tree of Life is thick with biblical implications and symbolism. It's perspective on grief is told primarily from a brother's perspective, though years later in his life. It's a serious film -- very focused on the overall aspect of life, including pre and post Earth existence.

The Darjeeling Limited focuses on the relationship of three brothers following the death of their father. Each one of them handled his death differently, and their time together allows them to heal old wounds and address big life decisions while on a literal journey through the unknown (Hint: The Darjeeling Limited is a train...). This film is the most lighthearted out of the three, so the approach I take to it will have a distinguished outcome.

Rabbit Hole is a haunting film. I watched the first two films in a film class two years ago, but Rabbit Hole is a film I watched towards the end of high school with someone who was going through a great deal of their own grief. That individual found the film to be an accurate portrayal of the aftermath of the death of a loved on. It is told from a parent's perspective. The film is simple in cinematography and overall scene style, though the storyline is complex and the underlying meanings go much deeper than initially noticed. The protagonist wants nothing to do with God, so--though it is a drama--it is opposite The Tree of Life when it comes to biblical motifs.

Ok, so that was a lot about stuff people don't tend to care about,
but! I want to document this semester/year. This thesis will play a major part in that, so I will probably talk about it again!

Here's to the power of story-telling, and my attempt to better understand how film illustrates one of life's toughest inevitabilities.

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