Sunday, 7 November 2010

Generic feedback for Lock Stock essay

Generic Feedback on Lock Stock essay:

Strong introductions discussed the problems with trying to connect a media product with notions of male identity. They brought in the argument that the film could be used to study male identity in the 1990s but it would have to be considered against the historical representation of males in film and what was happening in other forms of media at the time. They also brought in the argument that the film was accused of influencing male identity but argued that the power of the media over the formation of identity is more likely to be very limited.

BIG problems:
➢ General statements with no evidence or professional opinion to back the statement up i.e. “Lock Stock tells us a massive amount about male identity in the 1990s” Does it really? What exactly? Did men in London generally behave like this at the time? Did Ritchie say he’d had enough of feminism in any of his interviews?
➢ No reference to the question at all
➢ No sense of argument for or against the idea that the film could tell us anything about male identity at the time
➢ No sense of argument for or against the idea that the film could influence male identity at the time

Essay Structure:
The best answers kept answering the question with every point they made. Simple. They thought about how the point they were making related to the essay question before they started to write the paragraph. There weren’t any answers that had an excellent essay structure and that is most probably because all of you started to write before you planned out the argument. Correct me if I’m wrong.

➢ Not working out what the question was asking you to do
➢ Not working out the possible answer to the question
➢ Not planning how you would structure that answer

I can’t remember reading a good one. This is probably because they had all the same problems as the introductions. Too generalised, not summarising your arguments and no reference to theory. This problem stems from not understanding the question and your argument before you start, When you get to the end you don’t know what you have argued, and neither will the examiner.

Using professional opinion:
The best essays introduced the opinion of the professional at the start of the paragraph, then they explained it in relation to MALE IDENTITY. They then either backed this opinion up or challenged it. Again, they finished the paragraph with reference back to what the film tells us about male identity in the 1990s.

➢ used the professional opinion as their own without referencing it
➢ got the name of the professional wrong or the job of the professional wrong or just didn’t bother to name them or give them a title at all
➢ didn’t give the year the comment was published
➢ didn’t name where the comment was published in the paragraph or in the notes at the end
➢ didn’t use any professional opinion at all because (obviously) their opinion is the only one that counts.

Using theory:
The best essays used the theories to explain how much power the media actually have on the formation of identity.

Laura Mulvey was used early on in the essay to explain the significance of gender roles in the film. The film represented a male dominated world where women didn’t feature as important characters. In fact, they barely featured at all. The better essays explained how Mulvey argued that cinema was set up for a male audience and that women predominantly featured as passive characters while the men had the important, active roles. They were able to link Mulvey’s ‘Male Gaze’ theory with the male dominated Lock Stock and how it seems to support her theory. They linked Mulvey’s theory with the idea that the film was a ‘blacklash against feminism’.

Steve Chibnall’s theory of Gangster Heavy and Gangster Light was used to explain how the film is different in style from traditional gangster films. This was linked with criticisms of Ritchie and the film in the press in which Ritchie was accused of polluting the British film industry.

They used the Media Power debate (Adorno and Fiske) to explain the film in terms of the CULTURE INDUSTRY churning out more of the same to make a profit. How the film was part of the Gangster Cycle (1997-2001) and released in a decade when ‘laddish’ behaviour was evident in many media forms (bring in Loaded and FHM here). Adorno would see the messages about masculinity as a harmful and would argue that male identity was being influenced without them even knowing it. They made the point that Fiske would say the film was a product of its time, reflecting the tastes of the audience at the time. The audience would enjoy it because they could identity with the characters from old gangster films and stories in the press at the time. He would also argue that this is what was influencing Ritchie, along with the films being produced in America, which also seemed to centre on the theme of masculinity. He would argue that the film was not something that the industry was not sending powerful ideological messages, but that the producers were being influenced by what was happening in the world around them.

They also used the NATURE Vs NURTURE debate to explain that while some believe males and females are born with certain gender traits, others believe behaviour is learned from the people and the world around us. They recognised that the media industry is therefore often held responsible for influencing behaviour, especially in vulnerable people who are still forming their identities like children and young men and women. They tied this in with Lock Stock and the claim that the film is responsible for communicating messages about masculinity and for a rise in violent crime.

They used David Gauntlett’s comments on the PROBLEMS with MEDIA EFFECTS theories and tied this in with the point that no matter what the critics write, there is not strong enough evidence to suggest that any media product can affect male behaviour or identity.

BIG problems:
➢ The biggest one was using the theories incorrectly, so it looks as though researching and checking the facts of the theory did not take place. BiG mistake.
➢ Not referencing the theory correctly with details of where it was published and when
➢ Using Nature Vs Nature to talk about characters in the film rather than the effect of the film on male identity
➢ Not using the theories to answer the question, just randomly including them

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