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The Host was released in Korea in 2006 and became the highest grossing film in the nation’s history at the time, as well as the highest grossing Korean film in the United States, marking a new high point in the growing Korean wave of cinema on the international stage. It was also highly praised by critics worldwide. What does this crowd pleasing monster movie do to achieve such success? What is it about Korean film that seems to resonate so strongly with modern audiences? Cite examples from The Host and/or other Korean films in your answer.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is a Mexican film produced by Netflix. Set in the 1960’s, it intertwines the story of a society experiencing major social upheaval with an autobiographical story of a wealthy family and their live-in housekeeper. How does the issue of social class and wealth seem to drive and connect the stories found in the film? Cite examples from Roma in your answer.
All of the films that we have watched over the course of the semester come from different cultures at different times. Some were considered to be great successes in their time, while others have seen their acclaim grow over the years, but all are considered important examples of films from their respective cultures. Despite their many differences, do you see any throughlines connecting the various films in terms of story, structure, style, or themes? Cite examples from three or more films in your answer.
One of the arguments made in World on Film is that as the 20th century progressed, the general thrust of film moved from being a national artform to a more international one. Based on our discussions and the films that we viewed, do you agree with that argument? Cite examples from some of the films that we watched over the course of the semester, along with other international films to support your point.
At the beginning of the semester, we explored the factors that keep Americans away from foreign film (subtitles being number one on that list). Now, at the end of the semester, how would you compare yourself to the average American when it comes to your interest in and enjoyment of foreign film? Has that changed since the beginning of the semester? Do you see this as something that is likely to change on a broader level? Cite examples from some of the films we