The Evolution and Cultural Influence of American Cinema

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When asked to name some typical characteristics of Asian people, what comes to mind? Chopsticks or a strong belief in cultural heritage? How about American families? Based on many different facets, you probably feel as though you know what ideologies your culture believes. If we look at the media through time, it has evolved through a dependency on the growth of technology. As technology advances, old forms fade while content shifts with the culture. The most popular form of entertainment, that provides an escape from the real world, film has a tremendous amount of influence on the way in which we perceive our world. As these ideas spread, our beliefs become warped and mold into forms that we have been taught to strive for. With rapid expansion comes a fast paced lifestyle in America. As we rely so heavily on the media to keep us up to date on societal norms, the content for which the media decides to display needs to be calculated and thoughtful. We learn from what we observe. That being said, this project focuses on the evolution of film through time and explores the negative cultural influences that film has had on American culture, more specifically on race, gender, and class. Emotion is defined as a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body (Merriam-Webster). By this definition, emotions are subjective to the individual perspective. If this is the case, why is it that certain colors are associated with different emotions? In America, the color red is said to evoke energy, action, desire, and passion (Scott-Kemmis). These are all emotional responses to the visual appeal of the colo... ... middle of paper ... ... 2013, from Stam, R. (2000). Film theory: an introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell. stereotype. 2013. In Retrieved December 1, 2013, from tokenism. 2013. In Retrieved December 1, 2013, from Tonn, T. (2008). Disney's Influence on Females Perception of Gender and Love (Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin). Viruega, I. M. B. Re-presenting Asian Stereotypes in Hollywood Cinema: an Analysis of Race and Gender Representations in Memoirs of a Geisha. Weintrraub, R. Media Influence on Gender Inequality “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”. (n.d.). Goodreads. Retrieved December 3, 2013, from
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