For my persuasive media analysis, I would like to take a look at Narcos: Mexico. Narcos: Mexico is a series on Netflix that tells the story of the DEA intervention of the Sinaloa drug cartel in the 1980s. We follow Kiki Camarena and his role in the following of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and his cartel. I chose this because it is a historical fiction. Two of the theme that we discussed during class was realism and narrative. Narcos: Mexico heavily relies on the realism of the show that allows the audience to believe what they see, all the meanwhile creating a narrative throughout each episode. This invites the audience to see through the eyes of the DEA agents and their point of view, which invites analysis for the overall theme and rhetoric. As a Mexican-American and my parents being fully Mexican, I am interested in analyzing this media because of the stories I heard from my parents, stating whether the show was valid or not. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoDrQ8JktVg
For my first PMA assignment, I’d like to analyze an episode from the popular anthology series, Black Mirror, specifically the 2nd episode, Fifteen Million Merits. Black Mirror is an anthology series about theoretical situations having to do with technology in the near future, and many of these episodes pose questions or presents a specific view about how far technology can and should go and the effects of said technology on the human psyche. This episode presents an exaggerated setting where all “normal” people are seen as numbers that endlessly consume content and are forced to be advertised to whilst riding these bikes to earn merits in order to buy upgrades and other sorts of things to make their life better. This episode provides satirical views on mass capitalism/advertising as well as providing commentary on social class.One of the main things the episode argues is that most consumers are complacent and will just allow companies to feed them any content or advertise anything to them just enough to please them and make them come back for more.
Bedtime Stories, starring Adam Sandler, is one of the many classic comedy fantasy films that toy into both reality and fiction. Bedtime Stories is a film that I have chosen to discuss because it inhibits several attributes used in film such as mise en scene and realism. The plot revolves around Skeeter (Adam Sandler) and his niece and nephew, when he tells bedtime stories and comes to a surprise when these fairytales come to life. My interpretation of the movie focuses on how the film was put together through the fictional scenes when telling the stories and how the “coming to life” aspect resembled reality. What captured my interest the most is the fact that the bedtime stories Sandler tells reflects the “realism” aspect that we’ve discussed, of representing real-life situations in his life in both a fictional and real way. In this analysis, I’d also like to discuss the way this film compliments mise en scene. As mentioned in class, mise en scene can be reflected in film fiction, where each element in a scene has been carefully placed in each shot. The fairytale scenes in this film present this idea as all aspects such as costumes, characters, and settings play an essential role to make the movie target its key theme and audience. This film encompasses a rhetorical facet being that the fictional and realistic scenes compliment one another and showcasing qualities and situations true to life. Below is a short clip showing an example of the realistic tendency utilized in this film.
For my first Persuasive Media Analysis I am choosing to analyze the show ‘The Circle’, which is a television series based on becoming social media famous. Throughout the series, contestants live in the same building but are not allowed to see each other because of the main concept & idea that “anyone can be anyone in The Circle”. Some other shows that relate or are analogous to The Circle are Big Brother, Catfish, or even the Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” with the concept of ratings. In addition, it stereotypically represents the minorities as well as LGBTQ+ groups (visually) represented within the show. All-in-all The Circle also hegemonically supports the American ideology of becoming social media famous, because after all, that’s the goal of the contestants in the show. I believe that this show is implicitly supporting the items stated above through their contestant choices & curation. The intro is what inspired me to want to dig into the show because it is where a lot of the ideologies and stereotypes really stick out and are obviously placed. I hope to further my research in this show to see if these issues get fixed or if these ideologies continue to show throughout.
*while watching the intro, think about the typical stereotypes placed onto the races & groups represented as well as how the ideology of becoming social media famous is supported*
For my analysis, I would like to talk about the documentary How poor people survive in the USA, made by DW Documentaries. Many things stand out to me about this documentary. First off, it was made by German broadcasters and other international production companies, so it provides a relatively unique viewpoint for an American viewer. It also does something that many other documentaries do, which is picking and choosing angles and clips to show to persuade the viewer. I want to study in greater detail how the information that they gathered comes together to create an argument and a storyline. I’ll be able to use many things we’ve discussed in class, such as cinematography analysis, editing style, as well as rhetorical elements such as looking into what the documentary may exaggerate. I’m drawn to this film in particular because as an American, it is something that I have an opinion on, although as someone who is not in the situation, I still feel that I am open to influence and persuasion that the film may attempt.
For my first Persuasive Media Analysis, I would like to talk about Netflix’s documentary series, Cheer. It reveals the perspective of each member of the Navarro College cheerleading team. For my explicit argument, there are different types of people placed on the same team, whether they came from a troubled home or they wanted to escape from dark pasts. My implicit formation implied that they are all on the same team because of their matching practice attire and uniforms. I want to learn more about the atmosphere of the competitive college cheer squad, while each cheerleader is being interviewed about their personal lives and the team’s progression. This Netflix series is similar to Errol Morris’ documentary film, Thin Blue Line, due its gritty appearance, but with the actual footage of the Navarro College cheerleaders practicing and performing. I also want the audience, including myself, to learn more about the backstories because I had the experience of being a cheerleader back in high school and here at Austin College. This relates to our class discussion on realism and documentary series. The Navarro College documentary series gives a lot of details about how the school’s competitive cheerleading team prepare for games and competitive cheerleading events.
This documentary uses a myriad film techniques and tools to convince us that the food we’re eating is not only artificially created and processed addictive poison, but also that the enormous organizations that produce these foods commit acts that seem inherently evil. Through various film techniques, personal interviews, and the intense imagery of animal cruelty, the argument is presented to us that the food we eat is horrible for us, and everyone involved in the process. It will be hard to stay unbiased as I watch this film, but I hope my biases will help shine a light on theirs.
The artifact that I wish to discuss is a series of YouTube videos that are made by a set of YouTubers that attempt to push political views on those who follow Disney. Most of these videos attempt to persuade you against current media such as movies or comics that practically revolve around Disney properties like Star Wars and Marvel, using terms such as SJW or snowflake in order to discredit styles of writing or representation in these works. This is meant to slander these forms of media in order to claim these creators are overly sensitive, overly political or possibly racist toward white men. There exist other platforms and social media presences that discourage following this viewpoint as itself being racist. I want to study this due to the spread of negativity and gatekeeping that many of these videos show; these videos also use click baiting to gain views and also twist a narrative that further divides fans into realms of politics, rather than critical reviews. These videos fall in line with the persuasion and identification section of class, as the YouTubers attempt to persuade the viewer into agreeing with their negative views about the writers of Disney while identifying themselves as the voices of reason and logic.
For this Persuasive Media Analysis assignment, I would like to take a shot at the Blair witch project. The overall goal of the film, other than the ultimate death of all those filming it, is to make the audience think that the Blair Witch is an actual thing. This Movie tries to blend fiction in with reality, making the movie into more of a documentary gone wrong rather than what is it, an act of fiction. Most shots are framed in the first person and have a shaky feel to the camera to support this.
I would like to study this film in more depth to better understand the sensation around it when it came out, as it did trick a large amount of its viewers into thinking that the cast died and that the Witch is real. Hence why there are several websites explaining now that the characters are in fact, alive and were not killed by the witch
I think this film will be a perfect way of blending in what we have learned in class with a media, as it uses tools such as sound design and ‘Mise en Scene’ that we have been learning about to create a persuasive and true feeling horror.