Finals Can Be Fun
For the final research project, we were supposed to choose a play, director, or movement that we’ve learned about and expand upon it. I had already written little essays about my favorite plays we’d read (especially Ibsen’s A Doll’s House), so I didn’t want to pick a play and couldn’t think of directors that stood out to me from 1500-1900 in Europe. I remembered we had talked about Melodrama and how popular it still is today (we had a whole class discussion on Harry Potter/Star Wars in relation to Melodrama).
Let me start by saying I had a lot of fun writing this paper. I rewatched the first Hunger Games movie to remember all the details, because I wanted to write about the movie rather than the book, since it’s more performance-related. Then I constructed an argument about how The Hunger Games can be classified as Melodrama because it has simple characters and is driven by the plot, has distinctive music that tells the audience how to feel, and is set in a futuristic society with cool technology. Then, I talked about why Melodrama is still popular today (it allows for audiences to escape, which is especially important in today’s fast-paced culture) and the legitimacy of the genre.
I love melodramatic works because they’re entertaining and usually have a good message–they’re not totally mindless but they let me escape my own head for a bit. It annoys me so much when people hate on Melodrama because “it’s not deep enough” or they don’t think they should like it. Needless to say, it was great to finally voice my opinion on the matter in a fun way, by talking about a beloved film of today’s generation.
For the actual presentation, I had to read my paper aloud and create a powerpoint. I also got to play clips from the movie and an interview with the director, Gary Ross. I think my class enjoyed the presentation and I know it was my favorite final of the week!