[Solution] Four Years Earlier
this is due tomorrow and there is no extra time.
Watch the following movie: Night of the Living Dead (1968) [Horror] [Mystery] – YouTube
As you watch, consider how the film is a representation of its time. In addition to the historical elements mentioned above, legal segregation had ended in the U.S. just four years earlier–though racial discrimination and oppression continued. The space race (Links to an external site.) was well underway, and Americans were just one year away from landing the first humans on the moon. To say a lot was happening the year this was released is an understatement.
Additionally, you can “read” this film through a 2020 lens. In keeping with our theme about “place,” I see Night of the Living Dead as a sort of pandemic film. For one, though this film never makes it clear what causes the zombies, many zombie films depict a virus as the starting point of the zombie apocalypse.
There’s something else about this film that’s reminiscent of 2020: the characters are unexpectedly stuck indoors, and with other people. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from The Walking Dead, it’s that the zombies are not really the point–it’s the people you should be scared of. And the zombies are just us anyway.
So, as a film about 2020 that was filmed in 1968, Night of the Living Dead offers viewers an opportunity to explore the dynamics of being stuck in place. What do we fear there? How do we manage? How do we interact with each other? What power dynamics present themselves?
A little more about the film before you watch it: It is considered the first modern zombie film, and it sort of sets the parameters for what gets considered a zombie. Its creator, George Romero, did not intend for this to be a zombie film, but that is how people read it and that’s how art works!
As you watch Night of the Living Dead, take note of what stands out to you and your thoughts on it. Keep an MRL as you watch, and feel free to fill in your inferences after watching. Then, submit your MRL to this assignment. (If you’re taking notes by hand, you can take photos of your notes and upload them.) This will serve as strong practice for WP2, in which you’ll analyze a film or other scary story. (You might even choose to analyze this film!) To help guide your note taking, consider the questions asked above, as well as the information provided here. And of course, your MRL should primarily just follow your thoughts and observations as you watch.
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