Student Work

Featured Essays

Coming to Terms

by Isaiah Speller
The Gunfighter (1950) film encapsulates one’s deviation from being good and facing fatal consequences. Cowboys in earlier Westerns were portrayed as heroes who followed an honorable code, while this Cold War Western challenges the protagonist and the American audience. From both the movie and the events happening offscreen, it is easy to compare the tense environment of Cayenne to the United States emerging as a superpower following World War II.

Meta-Media Cinema Series

Research shows that mass media has a significant impact on the career aspirations of college students, and in particular, the aspirations of minority students. (Cooper, 2013) While television, newspapers and social media outlets are frequently used to seek or obtain...

Nostalgia and Social Justice: The Cinema of Orson Welles

by Veronica Boscia — During a 1938 radio broadcast, Orson Welles stated “Almost all serious stories in the world are stories of a failure with a death in it. There is more lost paradise in them than defeat.” Welles tells these stories brilliantly with both his narrative and innovative cinematic film techniques such as use of shadows, deep focus wide screen lens, story within a story flashbacks and more, while at the same time using his progressive political views in regard to the cultural and historical context of that time in effort to expose corruption and to bring forth social justice.

Student Screenwriting Competition 2021 Winners

Winners of the first-ever Mercy CATA Student Screenwriting Competition have been selected! Winning Screenplay Reginald Agossa – The Incredibly Overwhelmingly Taxing Love Life of a 20 Something Superhero Runners-Up Tommie Cruz – Pillside Pharmacy Jenny Fabrizio – 12...

Blood and Chains, New and Old

by Gordon Ward — There are several reasons to class Django Unchained as a revisionist western, but perhaps the most obvious is the fact that the eponymous main character is African-American. Despite what some classic westerns would have you believe, a large number of people in the west at the time were black. There were black outlaws, black cowboys, and even some black lawmen like Django.

Bela Lugosi

by Johane Nozier — It was a grim period for America during 1931 (Matthews, 2009, pg. 5). The Great Depression, the biggest economic crisis in the country’s history, had negative effects throughout the land. Dracula was a perfect metaphor for the Depression and it inaugurated the classic horror cycle in Hollywood. Frankenstein (1931) also had the same effect. These movies, during a dark time, introduced a new monster and god’s world to movie audiences, entirely revolutionizing the horror film in Hollywood. Universal Studios, prior to the Great Depression falling upon America, had been cultivating the genre “horror” as it conformed to the studio’s assets and strengths. Among the Golden Age movie stars was Bela Lugosi.

Rediscovering The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

by Cecilie Stenak — In Tobe Hooper’s horror film, the viewer follows a group of friends who are on their way to visit an old homestead in Texas. What they thought was going to be a fun road trip ends up being a bloody, macabre and ungracious journey to their death. They fall victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths who lives in a white country house. The five teenagers are forced in to a never-ending nightmare when they meet the cannibals. One at a time, they are murdered in horrifying ways.

Bridesmaids and the Elements of Comic Stories

by Alyssa Rodriguez — The most successful comedies follow a formula known as THREES. These 6 essential ingredients for humor include a Target, Hostility, Realism, Exaggeration, Emotion, and Surprise. Paul Feig’s 2011 romantic comedy Bridesmaids successfully utilizes each element, making it one of the most popular films of the year and earning 2 Oscar nods.

Thematic Elements and Tone in The Gods Must Be Crazy and Dust Devil

by Michael Dunnings — A central theme of both The Gods Must Be Crazy and Dust Devil is the nexus of African mythology, culture, and politics. Uys taps into traditional African tribal culture to humorous effect with Xi and his belief that the Gods were responsible for sending his tribe an empty glass Coke bottle thrown from a plane. The film’s humor comes through the counterpoint between modern African society in Africa and traditional tribal culture that hasn’t yet been touched by modernity.

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