Study Guide for Intro to Popular Movies and TV Shows.docx

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Media and Cinema Studies
MACS 100

Study Guide for Intro to Popular Movies and TV Shows “Better Luck Tomorrow” –filmmaker Justin Lin presents a strikingly unconventional perspective that marks a notable departure from the identity politics that characterized Asian American cinema for 20 years  Lin succeeds in cleverly violating the audience’s expectations about cinematic representations of Asian American cinema  He says it is to simply redefine what Asian American means because of identity issues  A polished, acerbic, seriously skewed coming-of-age drama about a group of suburban high school teens whose extracurricular criminal careers subvert the Asian American model minority myth  College bound Ben Manibang indulges in petty crime with his best friend Virgil lead them to join an exclusive crew that includes the academic decathlon leader and overachiever Daric and sulky bad boy Han, the kids move from hustling hot computer equipment to grinding out exam cheat sheets and mind-altering study aids  Roger Ebert criticizes the film as being empty and amoral for Asian Americans Model Minority  Better Luck Tomorrow caught the attention of filmgoers for its use of Asian American actors and the ways in which the film both relied on and satirized the myth of Asians as “model minorities  Coined in the New York Times magazine by sociologist William Peterson to describe Asian Americans as ethnic minorities who, despite marginalization have achieved success in the United States  “Success Story: Japanese American Style” states that Japanese cultures have strong work ethics and family values and that those values prevent them from becoming a “problem minority”  Traits include hardworking, high-achieving, respectful to elders, not causing any trouble, traditional family values became the dominant stereotype for Asian Americans, while it also constricted African Americans as lacking in such virtues  The popularity of the myth grew in context of the 1960s civil rights movement, during which black political organizing and urban unrest threatened a mainstream, white middle class sensibility “Fast Food Nation”  A narrative film based on an adaptation of the non-fiction 2002 best-seller by jourbalist Eric Schlosser  The director Linklater in better known for his Before Sunrise trilogy and perhaps Slacker  Schlosser is known for a meandering, multiple points of view, dialogue-dependent “indie” style of filmmaking that is particularly evident in his debut feature Slacker  Uses fictional characters from a range of socioeconomic locations to critique “Big Meat” e.g. the high school age restaurant worker, undocumented Latino as workers in meat processing plants, the company advertising executive, the old school rancher  Poor immigrant workers are still injured and the industry still lies  If Upton Sinclair was alive, he’d be amazed by the U.S. meat industry  Issues of food safety, animal welfare, the obesity epidemic, and the ethics of marketing are the issues that are rarely discussed in mainstream media  “Muckraking”: tradition of news journalism that exposes political/corporate corruption th and dates back to the early 20 century in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle  “The Jungle” discusses a Lithuanian immigrant that comes to Chicago during the Industrial Revolution that occurs in the city  The focus of this book is about the
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