Paper #2 Topics Instructions: You will compare and contrast 2 films. You may switch out a film if it is not listed in the topics below with another…

Paper #2 Topics

Instructions: You will compare and contrast 2 films. You may switch out a film if it is not

listed in the topics below with another of the 3 films that you have to choose from. You

must write on 2 of the following films: “Jungle Fever,” “West Side Story,” “The Wedding






1. Visual segregation and visual pleasure. Define these terms and explain their relation.

“Jungle Fever” and “West Side Story” visually maintain the segregation of ethnic groups

even though the films are overtly about interracial romance. As Ed Guerrero reminds

us, we must pay attention to the story that a film relays visually. What does this visual

segregation say about the possibilities within interracial romance to overcome racial

stereotypes and inter-ethnic conflict? Is this visual segregation at odds with the overt

message of ethnic harmony? How might this segregation be related to Laura Mulveys

concept of “visual pleasure”? Focus on specific scenes in which you see the possibly

exoticization or objectification of race for visual pleasure and/or scenes in which visual

segregation is at work in both films.

2. The Oppositional Gaze. Define this term and how it can be applied. Both Spike Lee’s

“Jungle Fever” and Ang Lee’s “The Wedding Banquet” are directed by members of the

ethnic group they represent in their films. In this sense, one can argue that the film itself

represents the oppositional gaze of the director. bell hooks argues that the oppositional

gaze resists the predominantly white viewing audience’s desire to objectify, possess and

dominate. How do Spike Lee and Ang Lee “resist the dominant ways of seeing and

knowing.” Focus on how scenes are created, what point of view, camera angle and

knowledge is being revealed. What might be some limits to their techniques and

strategies of representing oppositionality?

3. Racial Performativity. Define this term and explain how it applies differently. We have

discussed in our analysis of Passing how race might be seen as being similar to gender in

the sense that both depend on the repeated performance of subjects. Flipper in “Jungle

Fever” insists that even though his wife and daughter are mixed, they “act black” and are

therefore black. It is ironic that Flipper insists that race is a performance, yet he fails to

accept the fluidity of race, that his mixed daughter could possibly identify as both black

and white. How do you see Puerto Ricans acting “Latino” in “West Side Story”? How is

this similar to or different from the idea of racial performativity in “Jungle Fever”? Focus on specific scenes and analyze the different aspects of racial performance that each filmhighlights.4. Diegesis and Interracial Romance. We have begun to discuss how the form of thefilm’s overall its style, its aesthetics, and construction or diegesis contributes to thefilm’s representation of interracial relationships. For Spike Lee, he uses a “postmodern”style of pastiche—juxtaposed images, music, and people. In contrast, Ang Lee uses amore traditional or “modern” storytelling form where the story is fairly straightforwardand takes precedence over other stylistic elements like music, imagery, visual effects oflightness and darkness (what Spike Lee’s film is known for). How do Spike Lee’s and AngLee’s respective styles contribute to the ultimate message that each director is trying torelay about interracial romance?5. Repeat of question #4 but with “West Side Story” as one of the films beingcompared. Look at the form of the musical—the reliance on dancing and singing toportray key information. How are dances/songs choreographed? How are theyrepresented visually? What does this style say about interracial relationships andinterracial romance?6. Racialized sexuality and Queer Romance. As noted throughout the course, racialthemes often mute queer ones. Compare and contrast how “West Side Story” and“The Wedding Banquet” address queerness as it intersects with racialized identities? Forexample, “West Side Story” focuses overtly on the racialized dispute between the Jetsand the Sharks, yet does not discuss overtly discuss queerness (in the films style or in itsminor characters like Anybodys). How does attention to queer themes and styleschange the “racial” message of the film? How successful are these films at addressingwhat Chito Childs calls racialized sexuality. Define your key terms, close read specificscenes to support your ideas.

Guidelines: 4-5 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced.

Surname 1 NameInstructorCourseDateSegregation is highly Detrimental to a SocietyVisual segregation refers to the act of discrimination based on the sense of sight. Thisimplies that it…