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Help with Film EE about Godzilla? (I don't take Film as subject) - Questions about RQ and 'theory of media'?

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Hi guys!

 

Currently, I am working on this research question:

To What Extent is Japanese Media Influenced By the Atomic Bombings of WWII?

and the approach is:

To What Extent are the Japanese Films Godzilla (1954) and Grave of the Fireflies (1988) Influenced By the Atomic Bombings of WWII?

 

Since I do NOT take Film as an IB subject, I have a few questions to ask and maybe you guys can give me some suggestions or directions?

  1. Is the RQ and approach narrow enough? I feel that the research question and the approach are quite similar, so I am not sure if I've phrased it nicely... or not?
  2. I'm starting with some background info on WW2 and statistics etc related to Japan. Would that be suitable and count towards the context, or am I drifting off-topic?
  3. I'm trying to look for some theory relating to media along the lines of "To understand a society, you have to understand the media, as it can highlight the culture"... Any ideas/leads?  :eek:
  4. Are there any good guides out there for writing a Film essay (structure, areas to analyze etc)?  :question: I can only find a few outdated versions...   :hmmm:  (it'll be great if you can give a link to the website or smth)

Thanks,   ^_^

Edited by Greyfaerie4

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Are you sure that you'd be allowed to do your EE in Film although you don't take it as a subject? Or perhaps that rule is only at my school.

 

Woah really? I haven't checked with my school yet, but I've asked the question here and some guy/gal posted that it's fine to do it... I think?

Anyways, help with the questions?

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Some schools allow it, others don't. My school requires that it is an HL topic you're taking, so that's really specific.

 

Anyway, interesting question that you have. But... why are you doing it if you're not in film? Do you really think you have the resources and experience to do something like this well? I mean, at the very least, you know you're going to be graded by an IB film teacher. You even ask for a film essay guide, which is understandable, but just shows that you really might have bitten off more than you can chew. I don't know for sure, but it is just something to seriously think about.

 

Anyway, assuming you do want to do it and that you will actually be allowed to do it, background info on WWII isn't irrelevant unless it is. It should have to do with the atomic bomb and Japan's perception of other nations I imagine. 

 

Lastly, I don't really know how you intend on quantifying influence like this. What is your essay actually going to say? "Bombs have radiation, Godzilla was made by radiation from a bomb, thus WWII inspired Godzilla?" But to what extent? And your two films are decades apart. Is there a reason for that? What would be an interesting EE to me would to accept that WWII influenced Japanese films, but then to show how its influence has changed in some way from right after the war to a later movie. 

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Some schools allow it, others don't. My school requires that it is an HL topic you're taking, so that's really specific.

 

Anyway, interesting question that you have. But... why are you doing it if you're not in film? Do you really think you have the resources and experience to do something like this well? I mean, at the very least, you know you're going to be graded by an IB film teacher. You even ask for a film essay guide, which is understandable, but just shows that you really might have bitten off more than you can chew. I don't know for sure, but it is just something to seriously think about.

 

Anyway, assuming you do want to do it and that you will actually be allowed to do it, background info on WWII isn't irrelevant unless it is. It should have to do with the atomic bomb and Japan's perception of other nations I imagine. 

 

Lastly, I don't really know how you intend on quantifying influence like this. What is your essay actually going to say? "Bombs have radiation, Godzilla was made by radiation from a bomb, thus WWII inspired Godzilla?" But to what extent? And your two films are decades apart. Is there a reason for that? What would be an interesting EE to me would to accept that WWII influenced Japanese films, but then to show how its influence has changed in some way from right after the war to a later movie. 

Thanks so much for your response :D

 

And... Yes, it's true I don't really know how to properly analyze a film "IB style", but I know a lot about anime and Japanese culture etc, and I have a few helpful resources (aka otaku friends etc), I even went to the Studio Ghibli Layout exhibition to get some first-hand data :D

 

Regarding the WW2 info, it's mainly some statistics about the aftermath, death tolls, and importantly - the vast amount of orphans in war (a theme in Grave of Fireflies)

 

And lastly, yes, I deliberately choose 2 films separated so that I could say "in the first film, Japanese people could't digest the fact that they lost WW2 and the effects of atomic bomb, and due to the 'reserved' culture (i.e. conceal, don't feel), Toho puts it in a very abstract way, creating this monster that physically destroyed Japan, a metaphor on how WW2/atomic bombs affected Japan, leaving a huge scar on their society". However, in comparison, "the second film focused on the emotional aftermath of the war, with 2 main characters as orphans of war. there was NOTHING about atomic bombs. the story is a tragedy and although full of grief, there are actually pockets of happiness and peace throughout the film, balancing the emotions. at the end of the film, the camera pans up from the 2 orphans' spirits to a modern-day Osaka, a metaphor suggesting that Japan has finally begun to accept the reality and the wound of war is healing"

 

Something along those lines, in 4000 words...

I also take Art HL, if that helps with anything? 

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You mention that you know a lot about anime and Jap culture, so perhaps its worth pursuing that? Your Arts HL might come handy when considering mediums like anime, as opposed to something that's completely new to you (film). 

 

Not trying to discourage you from doing what you enjoy, but if an EE scores highly, you can bet it was of a very high standard - without experience in the subject, writing a high quality Film EE might be too much of a stretch. An EE is one of those things where I'd suggest people to be moderate in their quest for uniqueness or "following their passion": Choose a comfortable subject and then do a super interesting question within it. 

 

Fair warning though: EEs in arts subjects are usually very time and effort intensive. Its easy to lose marks because you have very few "guaranteed" marks like in more structured subjects (especially sciences). Most importantly, arts EEs tend to be deceptive - after that much work, your EE feels fully finished and solid, but in reality it might not really be "going anywhere", if that makes sense. It's likely to be without solid, noteworthy conclusions or worse, simply be a collection of research material! When doing an art EE, you have to keep these things in mind. 

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