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Bus Ride to Liberation: a Historical Video Documentary of the Acres Homes Transit Company in Houston, Texas
Description: The Acres Homes Transit Company in Houston, Texas is Texas' first African American owned and operated bus company. Some say it is the first in the South. The company was developed during the height of the civil rights period. It serves as an establishment of economic empowerment during the oppressive civil rights era. The video is a historical visual documentation of the bus company from its beginning to its end. An accompanying written profile describes the research process, the pre-production, production and post-production stages, as well as future proposals for the documentary.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Childress, Doris (Doris Elaine)
Contemporary Pirates: An Examination of the Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the Technology, Progression, and Battles that Surround Modern Day Music Piracy in Colleges and Universities.
Description: The pilot study used in this thesis examined the attitudes and perceptions of a small group of students at the University of North Texas. The participants in this pilot study (n=22) were administered an online music file sharing survey, a Defining Issues Test (DIT), and participated in a small focus group. This thesis also outlined the history and progression of online music piracy in the United States, and addressed four research questions which aimed to determine why individuals choose to engage in the file sharing of copyrighted music online.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Latson, Christopher Craig
Description: This thesis investigates how hegemonic white masculinity adopts a new mode of material accumulation by entering into an ambivalent existence as a historical agent and metahistory at the same time and continues to function as a performative identity that offers a point of identification for the working class white man suggesting that bourgeois identity is obtainable through the performance of bourgeois ethics. The thesis postulates that the phenomenal transitions brought on by industrialization and deindustrialization of 50's through 90's coincide with the representational changes of white masculinity from paradigmatic cowboy incarnations to the postmodern action heroes, specifically as embodied by Bruce Willis. The thesis also examines how postmodern heroes' "intero-alterity" is further problematized by antiheroes in Tim Burton's films.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Murphree, Hyon Joo Yoo
Description: The thesis examines the relationship between Martha Stewart's rendition of domesticity and a broader cultural trend of the late 1990s U.S. domestic retreatism. It argues that the mode of construction and representation of the "domestic dream" in Stewart's programs cannot be examined outside of such concepts as class and ethnicity, whose understanding depends on the cultural, social, and political context of a given era, a context, in which they become transparent as aspects of the Western (white, patriarchal) status quo. Performing a deconstructive reading of these categories as employed by Stewart in the process of creation of her media persona, the thesis examines what the negative as well as positive reactions to "Martha Stewart" convey about the condition of American society of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Chmielewska, Katarzyna
Description: Gestalt Work for the Actor is a documentary about Dr. Renee Vincent's Gestalt acting exercise. Students are trained to recall powerful emotions and then employ the conjured passions into performance. This documentary examines the Gestalt acting exercise and what benefits it affords actors. The accompanying production book explains the production processes: preproduction, production, and postproduction, as well as the theoretical approaches used in the documentary.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Massey, Hugh Richard
Room 2046: A Political Reading of Wong Kar-Wai's Chow-Mo Wan Trilogy through Narrative Elements and Mise-en-scene
Description: As ownership of Hong Kong changed hands from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China in 1997, citizens and filmmakers of the city became highly aware of the political environment. Film director Wong Kar-Wai creates visually stimulating films that express the anxieties and frustrations of the citizens of Hong Kong during this period. This study provides a political reading of Days of Being Wild (1991), In the Mood for Love (2000), and 2046 (2004) through analyzing various story elements and details within the mise-en-scene. Story elements include setting, dialogue, character relationships, character identities, thematic motifs, musical references, numerology, and genre manipulation. Wong also uses details within the films' mise-en-scene, such as props and color, to express political frustrations. To provide color interpretations, various traditional aesthetic guidelines, such as those prescribed by Taoism, Cantonese and Beijing opera, and feng shui, are used to read the films' negative comments on the handover process and the governments involved. When studied together the three films illustrate how Wong Kar-Wai creates narrative and visual references to the time and atmosphere in which he works, namely pre-and-post handover Hong Kong.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Baldwin, Jillian
Reality Television: Using Para-Social Relationship Theory and Economic Theory to Define the Success of Network Reality Programming
Description: This study seeks to use a dual-theoretical approach, through the use of para-social relationship theory and economic data analysis, to explain the success of reality television since the early 2000s. This study uses both qualitative and quantitative components to understand the growth of reality television. This study includes a literature analysis of both methodologies used. Focus groups were used to seek to find a strong level of para-social interaction in viewers of reality television. Two focus groups were conducted with participants 18-35. There were a total of 16 participants who attended the focus group sessions. The information collected suggested that viewers of reality television formed para-social relationships. It appeared that female viewers were more likely to form para-social relationships than male viewers.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Dyer, Caitlin Elizabeth
On Objects and Affections: Contemporary Representations of the Gay Man/Straight Woman Dyad in Popular Film and Television
Description: This project explores the representational strategies used to depict a gay male/straight female dyad across a variety of popular media. The study problematizes and critically evaluates how the narrativization of the dyad both challenges and reinforces stereotypes of gay men and at the same time circulates a troubling image of femininity in the figure of the straight woman. This line of argument is extended to the context of "Lifestyle Television" to demonstrate how the dyad implicitly structures two particular programs. It is suggested that the prevalence of the dyad is in part indicative of an assimilation of a particular gay identity into mainstream culture. The ideological implications of the dyad are discussed throughout this thesis.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Pillion, Owen L.
Description: Beginning with mother/daughter film classics such as Stella Dallas (1937) and Mildred Pierce (1945), and moving to consider recent mother/daughter texts, Anywhere But Here (1999) and "Gilmore Girls" (2000 -), this thesis, in both its written and visual components, examines the multiple and often contradictory ways in which mothers and daughters have been represented in popular culture. Challenging the discourses that singularly stress struggle and separation, this research highlights representations that emphasize mother/daughter connection, and examines how such identification empowers mothers and daughters. This project is guided by cultural studies and feminist film theories. The first two chapters outline past and present paradigms of mothers and daughters respectively; the third chapter examines the goals and findings of the visual component.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Holzgraefe, Sandi
Description: As the written accompaniment for The Luxury of Tears, a twelve-minute documentary video exploring the emotional impact of sexual assault on male survivors and their partners, this document examines the visual texts of both the fiction and nonfiction genres. Specifically, I contend that fiction film manufactures male survivorship with regard to rape events in such manner which contributes to the thematization of social silence. Such silence perpetuates the feminization of rape as a social problem, and dissolves the development of male survivor resources. A discussion of production processes, challenges, and resolutions is included.
Date: December 1999
Creator: McKinney, Kelli
Description: This thesis begins by examining the factors that have resulted in the dependent nature of Canada's political and economic structure, and proceeds to examine how this has contributed to the cultural amorphousness of English Canadian identity. The hegemonic authority of American and trans-national interests, established and maintained in the cultural sphere through the extensive monopoly of the distribution of cultural and media products, perpetuates the amorphousness of English Canadian culture through the appropriation of Canadian space by the international image industry. Such categorization of Canadian space reflects and perpetuates the imaginary representation of Canada within the dominant ideology as an indistinct and amorphous entity, and comes to usurp the materiality that constructs the lived identities of English Canadians.
Date: August 1999
Creator: McIntosh, Andrew
Description: This project is an interrogation of three examples from recent popular culture of girlculture, specifically texts that target young female consumers: the Spice Girls, Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These examples are fundamentally different than texts from earlier female targeted generic models because they not only reflect the influence of the feminist movement, they work on feminism's behalf. The project's methodology grows out of feminist film theories and cultural studies theories. One chapter is dedicated to each text, and each reading works to reappropriate girlculture texts for a counter-hegemonic agenda by highlighting the moments when each text manages to subvert its mass mediated conservative biases.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Smith, Ashley Lorrain
Description: This written thesis accompanies a sixteen-minute documentary video, Harbor, in which the filmmaker explores her relationship with her father who has suffered a stroke. Detailed accounts of the pre-production, production and post-production of the video allow the reader to understand the challenging and rewarding process of making an autobiographical documentary. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including the validity, criticisms, artistic nature and ethical concerns of autobiographical filmmaking. The filmmaker stresses the universality of her story, and how, despite the film's very personal nature, it is applicable for anyone who has dealt with the illness and/or disability of a parent.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Doeren, Catherine Wallace
Description: This study sought to determine if and how television texts produced since September 11, 2001, reflect and address cultural concerns by analyzing patterns in their theme and narrative style. Three American television serials were examined as case studies. Each text addressed a common cluster of contemporary issues such as trauma, death, and loss.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Anderson, Tonya
Description: In a small room in Austin, Texas, a group of 15 people are single-handedly deciding what is taught to the next generation of American children. The highly politicized 15 member Texas Board of Education is currently going through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. Texas is also unbelievably influential on the standards that textbook publishers use as a basis for their textbooks nationwide. Over the last 10 years, the textbooks adopted by this board found their way in upwards of 65% of American classrooms. My goal is to shed light on this important issue and the key players in this process - I explain their goals, explore the scope of their influence, and delve into the personal motivations behind their actions, which will affect public education throughout the country.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Thurman, Scott
Description: This thesis examines the differences between teen romantic comedy films marketed to Generation X teenagers in the 1980s and Generation Y teenagers in the 1990s, focusing on the presentation of gender roles, consumptive behavior, and family. The 1980s films are discussed within the social context of the Reagan era and the conservatism of the New Right. The 1990s films are examined as continuing a conservative sensibility, but they additionally posit consumption as instrumental to achieving an idealized romance. Romantic comedy is traditionally a conservative genre, but these films illustrate female liberation through consumption. The source of difference between the cycles of teen romantic comedy is attributed to the media's attempt to position Generation Y teenagers as ideal consumers.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Murphy, Caryn E.
Description: It's a Wonderful Business: The Art of Production Sound is a documentary film that offers an inside look at what it takes to record the dialog of actors and diegetic sounds on a movie set. This is the job of the production sound crew, in charge of recording the voices of some of the most talented and prominent performers in the motion picture industry. The documentary features interviews with former and current production sound mixers and boom operators from some of the most acclaimed films in the history of cinema. The film also explores the personal demands, the working conditions, and the sacrifices sound crews have endured to succeed in the always challenging, but very exciting, world of film making.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Milano, Omar
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.
Description: This written thesis accompanies three television public service announcement spots. Two of the spots are 60 seconds and one of the spots is 45 seconds in length. I produced this public service television advertising campaign to highlight the issue of child illiteracy in Pakistan and to encourage expatriate and resident Pakistani's to donate to educational charities. A Website created by the filmmaker is promoted in the campaign. This Website provides information about various charities that educate children in Pakistan. Detailed accounts of pre-production, production and post-production of the campaign allow the viewer to comprehend the challenges in producing television campaigns for social causes. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including the causes of illiteracy, the importance and role of social campaigns, the history and uses of propaganda as well as the aesthetic concerns of a public service campaign producer. I discuss the importance of creating the culture of public service campaigns in a third world country like Pakistan, and states that the Pakistani community needs to look inwards to overcome the challenge of illiteracy.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Mumtaz, Danish Kasim
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
Description: Though the remnants of a stereotype created over two millennia ago still thrive in American popular culture today, redheaded women are enjoying a more positive role in society than they have ever seen before. Women in Red explores the experience of the redheaded woman in America today by examining how the stereotypes have affected a small group of them, how these women relate to the stereotypes, and why, given the verisimilitude of the stereotype, a non-redheaded woman would embrace such an identity with the simple act of dying her hair red. This is the story behind the experience that is Women in Red.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Horst, Jennifer Lynne
Description: This written thesis examines the process of producing Herb and Life: a Chinese Medical Family, a thirty-minute documentary video that explores the producer's family members' relationship with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This documentary uses interviews, narration, music, and observational sequences to display documentary subjects' career choices and their experiences with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This written thesis reveals the development of this documentary, from the pre-production to production and post-production stages. It also incorporates theoretical analysis and self-evaluation of this documentary video.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Yang, Hongyi
Dangerous, Desperate, and Homosexual: Cinematic Representations of the Male Prostitute as Fallen Angels
Description: The purpose of this study is to frame the cinematic male prostitute as a "fallen angel" to demonstrate that the evolution of the cinematic hustler has paralleled historicized ideological definitions of male homosexuality. Because cultural understandings of male homosexuality frequently reflect Judeo-Christian ideological significations of sin and corruption, the term "fallen angel" is utilized to describe the hustler as a figure who has also succumbed to sin due to his sexual involvement with other men. This study constructs an epochal analysis of eight films that explores the confluence of the social understanding of homosexuality with the cinematic image of the hustler from the mid 1960s through the present. In doing so, this study shows that the image of the cinematic hustler is intricately tied to the image of the male homosexual in material cultures and eras that produce them. A filmography is included.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Lay, John Phillip
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