UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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Stage and Scream: The Influence of Traditional Japanese Theater, Culture, and Aesthetics on Japan's Cinema of the Fantastic

Description: Although widely viewed in the West, Japanese films are often misunderstood, as they are built on cultural, theatrical, and aesthetic traditions entirely foreign to Western audiences. Particularly in regards to Japan's "fantastic" cinema - including giant monster pictures, ghost stories, and "J-Horror" films - what is often perceived as "cheap" or "cheesy" is merely an expression of these unique cultural roots. By observing and exploring such cultural artifacts as kabuki, noh, and bunraku - the traditional theatrical forms of Japan - long-standing literary traditions, deeply embedded philosophical beliefs, and even more recent developments such as the controversial dance form butoh, these films, including Gojira (1954), Daimajin (1966), Kwaidan (1964), Onibaba (1964), Testuo the Iron Man (1989), and Ju-On (2002), can be placed in their proper perspective, leading to a reevaluation of their worth not merely as commercial products, but as uniquely Japanese expressions of that society's unique place in world culture.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Petty, John E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Street Chords and the Truth: A Street Level View of Country Music

Description: Singers and songwriters come to Nashville, Tennessee because they consider it the center of the country music universe and the best place to perform their songs as they try and break into the music business. Though few ever experience success in this competitive field, artists continue to arrive in Nashville and many don't have the commercial potential that would allow them the opportunity to perform anywhere but on the city's streets. The film, Street Chords and the Truth: A Street Level View of Country Music, focuses on these interesting performers and their music. Country music has been examined by a handful of ethnomusicologists and is often called the music of everyday life. Many recognize its dependence on ordinary singing styles, common phrasings, southern accents and traditional costuming as central to its identity and critical source of its value as a commodity. While many studies have been conducted focusing commercially popular country music singers and the music industry, few studies been conducted on singers who meet all the critical criteria for country music except commercial viability. This documentary examines country music more as a critical element of cultural identity and less as a commodity.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Bevins, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tactile Media: Factors Affecting the Adoption of Touchscreen Smartphones Among Consumers with Vision Loss

Description: Touchscreen technology is on the rise as the new standard in smartphone design. But, the usability of touchscreen is hindered for consumers that lack the physical ability to navigate such devices. Two focus groups were conducted in order to identify specific uses and gratifications that people with visual impairments had when using mobile phones. Additional questions were presented to the participants to determine if touchscreen technology limited access to communication and entertainment. The responses revealed an upward trend in touchscreen smartphone adoption among the participants. These users chose to adopt touchscreen smartphones that had built-in and downloadable assistive features which contributed to user-friendly designs.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Bradley, Sapora L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures

Description: Advancements in media technologies have resulted in increased student usage causing teachers to struggle to be able to engage and hold student’s interest in a typical classroom. As students’ needs change, the field of education changes. One strategy that is gaining in popularity among teachers is the implementation of the “flipped classroom” also known as the “inverted classroom” or “reverse instruction” - a method incorporates technology to “flip” or “reverse” what is typically done in class with what is typically done as homework. Through teacher interviews of eight core teachers, this study attempts to discover teacher perceptions of the use of this method. Results of the study reveal that perceptions of the method are more positive among teachers who typically use lecture as a primary mode of information dissemination.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Snowden, Kelly E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Textual Analysis of the Closer and Saving Grace: Feminist and Genre Theory in 21St Century Television

Description: Television is a universally popular medium that offers a myriad of choices to viewers around the world. American programs both reflect and influence the culture of the times. Two dramatic series, The Closer and Saving Grace, were presented on the same cable network and shared genre and design. Both featured female police detectives and demonstrated an acute awareness of postmodern feminism. The Closer was very successful, yet Saving Grace, was cancelled midway through the third season. A close study of plot lines and character development in the shows will elucidate their fundamental differences that serve to explain their widely disparate reception by the viewing public.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Stone, Lelia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Theoretical and Practical Record of the Making of the Documentary Film, A Native American Dream

Description: This textual record of the making of the social issue documentary film A Native American Dream examines theoretical and practical considerations of the filmmaker during the pre-production, production, and post-production stages. It also examines the disciplines of anthropology and ethnography in terms of modern documentary filmmaking and evaluates the film within these contexts.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Daggett, Liz
Partner: UNT Libraries

"There's A Man With A Gun Over There": Cops And The Counterculture

Description: By 1960, television advertisers recognized the economic potential of American youth, and producers were expected to develop programs to attract them, while still maintaining appeal for the older audience members. This task was to prove difficult as the decade wore on. While continuing to link the nation's cold war concerns to the portrayal of good and evil, some shows, like 77 Sunset Strip, and The Mod Squad, explored alternative lifestyles, but still accepted American values. As the 1960s developed, crime programs continued to promote American hegemony but became increasingly more open to alternative reading strategies. This study examines the strategies developed to draw a youth audience to 1960s crime programs, while also supporting the dominant ideology of American society.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Moellinger, Terry
Partner: UNT Libraries

"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

Description: The purpose of this work is to illuminate how white male hegemony over women and minorities is inscribed through the process of film representation. A critical interrogation of six film texts produced over the last decade yields pertinent examples of how the process of hegemonic negotiation works to maintain power for the ever changing modes of postindustrial masculinity. Through the process of crisis and recuperation the central male characters in these films forge new, more acceptable attributes of masculinity that allow them to retain their centrality in the narrative.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Schneider, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Time for Teletubbies": Childhood, Child Participation, and the Struggle for Meaning

Description: The children's television program Teletubbies and its concomitant controversies are analyzed along with the media attention surrounding the program. A textual analysis is presented, including the methodologies of narrative theory, semiotics/structuralism, and poststructuralism. The context is also analyzed, using a cultural studies and historical reception approach, in order to chronicle and analyze the show's controversies and elucidate how these arguments have affected reception and interpretation of the show. Following textual and contextual analysis, a social science approach is utilized, reviewing literature and research that supports or refutes the arguments at hand. Finally, the results of a qualitative, ethnographical study are presented in order to include the child's perspectives on the show and inform the larger, cultural issues of childhood.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Cowart, Agatha
Partner: UNT Libraries

True Bromance: Representation of Masculinity and Heteronormative Dominance in the Bromantic Comedy

Description: This project explores the representation of white, American masculinity within the Hollywood bromantic comedy cycle. By analyzing three interrelated components (close homosociality, infantilization, and relationship to patriarchy) of the model of masculinity perpetuated by this cycle of films, this study reveals the hegemonic motives therein. Despite the representation of a masculinity nervously questioning its position within the romantic comedy narrative and the broader patriarchal structure, the results of this representation are, ultimately, regressive and reactionary. Cultural gains made concerning gender, sexuality, and race are doubled back upon in a cycle of films that appeal to regressive modes of misogyny, homophobia, and racism still present in Hollywood filmmaking, and the hegemony of white, patriarchal heteronormativity is rigorously maintained.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Hartwell, David B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

True Tales of the Atom

Description: True Tales of the Atom documents the creative process in the making of the film of the same name. It describes the intent and result of each step in the filmmaking process, including esthetic, budget and technical decisions. How the inclusion of animation increased the complexity and technical demands on the postproduction. It shows the problems encountered and overcome working on a production alone. Finally, it details the successful completion primarily due to extensive preplanning. The film on which the paper is based is a non-traditional look at several little-known aspects of civilian nuclear power, with a look at the media that could have helped to shape current attitudes in the United States about the technology.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Westergaard, Jerry
Partner: UNT Libraries

Twinmates

Description: Twinmates is an inside look at the unique and unusual appeal of border politics in Laredo, Texas through the point of view of identical twin brothers-- A. Jaime Mendoza and B. Javier Mendoza. The documentary chronicles the Mendoza twins for a period of six years as they switch political parties, in order to get elected (Republicans turn Democrats), and use that political exposure to expand their janitorial company to the metropolitan cities of Dallas and Austin. In addition to the Mendoza twins' business and politics, the documentary also captures entertaining interactions with family and friends.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Salinas, Patricio José
Partner: UNT Libraries

Two Fingers: Michael's Struggle

Description: This written thesis gives an account of the creative production of Two Fingers: Michael's Struggle, a twenty-nine minute documentary video that explores the life of Michael Alan Rasch who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It explains in detail the process of pre-production, production, and post-production of the documentary. It also discuses the integration of theories applied in the documentary. Two Fingers shows that although Michael has lived with the disease almost his entire life, his perspective and attitude are more about living and enjoying life. Through it, the filmmaker intends the viewer to gain a tremendously important lesson about the human spirit.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Youm, Mi-jung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Vieques: Island of Conflict and Dreams

Description: This written thesis is a companion to a 30-minute documentary video of the same title. The documentary is a presentation of the historical conflict between the United States Navy and the people of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. For over 60 years the island was used by the United States Navy as a military training facility. The documentary attempts to present an analysis of the struggle between citizens of the island and the Navy. This written component presents a summarized history of Puerto Rico, Vieques and the conflict with the United States Navy. In addition, the preproduction, production and post-production process of the documentary are discussed. A theoretical analysis of the filmmaker's approach and technique are addressed and analyzed as well. The thesis's goal is to provide a clear understanding of the Vieques conflict to United States audiences who do not a familiarity with the topic. The thesis is presented from the perspective of a person who grew up in Puerto Rico.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Borges, Cristóbal A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wine & Beer

Description: Wine & Beer tells the story of childhood friends Brian and Vic who, after spending some time apart, deal with the tensions of sexual orientation after they attempt to renew their friendship. At the beginning it seems that Vic's sexuality will not be a problem, but after the two friends hang out in a local bar, Brian realizes his hometown is not as tolerant as he is. The couple is faced with family and social concerns, which goes from the argumentative to the violent. As the main characters try to mingle with the conservative town, they soon find themselves looked upon by a small town resistant to change. This 35-minute film explores homophobia and violence in small town USA.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Maysonet, Joel R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Wonder Whose Origin is not Known: The Importance of the Orphan Hero in Otherworldly Film

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the importance of the orphan hero in film and his resonance with the American people. It explores the orphan and the American identities, the archetypes found in myths, and the hero in American culture. The three heroes (Batman, Anakin Skywalker, and Harry Potter) represent certain aspects of orphan heroes: the capacity for sacrifice and the need to resist focusing on oneself. The type of hero each becomes has its source in the response he takes to his orphanhood. These young men suffered great loss early in their lives, but found the strength to sacrifice themselves for others, the ultimate sign of a hero.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Callahan, Sarah Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries