Song of The Hollywood Gangster: A Look Into James Cagney’s Rebellion From Characters and Contract

This essay investigates the acting style of James Cagney and his relationship with his contracted employers, Warner Brothers Studio. Through filmic analysis and critiques, it argues that, while a contracted actor during the Studio Age of Hollywood, Cagney’s daring walkouts during the Thirties were instrumental in helping his characters evolve from the typical, bootlegging thug of Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931) to the snappy song-and-dance man George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).

Morgan Dean is a cinema and creative writing double major who has won several awards for writing and film, including publication. This essay sprung from her love of the film ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’, the brilliant performances of James Cagney, and her fascination with his desire to break free of the constrictions of the Production Code and control his own destiny. Her areas of cinematic interest primarily include classical Hollywood and feature film animation such as Disney and Pixar, for whom she strives to work for as a story artist. She will continue her research in the following year by analyzing the evolution of the Disney animated woman, and turning her feature length script, ‘Tempus Avenue’, into a novel


Rejected: Animation vs. Commercialization

A brief overview of Rejected, an animated short released in 2000 by animator Don Hertzfeldt. The paper focuses on how Hertzfeldt explores the concept of using animated film as a means of advertising, particularly in the field of commercials. It examines how the short simultaneously condemns the usage of animation for commercial purposes and exalts the possibilities and capabilities of animation as an art medium.

Italian Neorealism and New German Cinema: National Film Movements and their Similarities

This essay demonstrates how Germany’s post-World War II film movement, New German Cinema, borrows from Italy’s post-World War II film movement, Italian Neorealism, despite these occurring twenty years apart from each other. While Italy’s national film movement was an immediate reaction to World War II and its effects, Germany’s national film movement was a much later reaction to the ideologies apparent during Hitler’s regime, specifically racism. New German Cinema also borrows from the narrative, casting, and aesthetic choices found in Italian Neorealism such as showing ordinary life and using non-professional actors in a natural state.

Paris on Film

This paper is about how the directors of the French New Wave were influenced by previous French filmmakers in how they depicted the city of Paris. The paper examines three films, one from the French New Wave and two from before the New Wave, with a focus on the way the city of Paris was presented in each film. The French New Wave was very influential and is oftentimes credited with creating an entirely new style of cinema. The purpose of this essay is to show that they themselves were influenced by some of the French directors who came before them; specifically in the way they used Paris to enhance their stories.

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Twitter vs. Film: A Modern Exploration of Medium Specificity

What exactly the medium specificity film theory states has been a debate for decades. It has meant something a little different to each film theorist since the mid-twentieth century, and with the explosion of varying media forms that the twenty-first century sees now, that debate has become a much more complex one. What does it mean to be “medium specific?” Are there certain elements in storytelling that some mediums can accomplish and others can’t? Should the analysis lie in the constant comparisons between mediums, or should the analyses stay strictly within the bounds of the medium itself? The latter to this question is exactly what this essay argues: that the medium specificity theory means looking at each medium for what it is, not what it is in comparison to another. By using two (seemingly) drastically different media forms, Twitter and film, as examples, I will demonstrate my own take on the medium specificity theory.

Marguerite Wasinski is a third-year student studying English and Cinema Studies at Oakland University. She has held several different leadership positions on campus including the student organization Filmmakers Guild, where students collaborate creatively in order to produce several short films. Marguerite plans to move to California after graduation to pursue her dream of working on film sets for a living. This essay is partly based off her attempt to further hone her essay-writing and critical thinking skills. She lives in small-town Fraser, Michigan just a half hour outside Detroit.