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Potential Research Topics: FILM AND TELEVISION (COMMUNICATION)

This guide will help with settling on a research topic for class.

FILM AND TELEVISION (COMMUNICATION)

FILM AND TELEVISION: Academy Awards
TOPIC:
The Shape of Water was this year’s big winner at the Oscars (Academy Awards). What
were the qualities of this film that so impressed the critics, what other films and actors won awards
and why? Why were the Oscars scheduled later this year than usual?
SEARCH TERMS: Shape of Water AND (Academy Awards OR Oscars)

FILM AND TELEVISION: British Film Awards
TOPIC:
The Bafta Awards have recently been given out. These British film awards are, for this
year, the last awards in the industry before the Oscars. Was there a large overlap among the
nominees for both sets of awards? Who won the Baftas?
SEARCH TERMS: Bafta Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: Black Panther
TOPIC:
The film Black Panther is based on a popular Marvel Comics superhero. What is the story
of Black Panther and how has it resonated as a social message? What has been the public
response to Black Panther at the box office?
SEARCH TERMS: Black Panther AND (film OR movie)

FILM AND TELEVISION: Golden Globe Awards
TOPIC:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is the film that won the most awards at this
year’s Golden Globe Awards. What are the qualities of this film that impressed the critics? What
other films and actors won and what were the qualities that earned them the award? What political
theme dominated many speeches for the evening and what speculation was inspired by Oprah
Winfrey’s speech?
SEARCH TERMS: Golden Globe* AND film

FILM AND TELEVISION: World War I in Color
TOPIC: Peter Jackson has been working with the Imperial War Museums on a documentary about
World War I. He has been taking archival footage from the collection of the British museum,
cleaning it up, colorizing it and digitizing it. The film will premier next fall at the BFI London Film
Festival. Why was he interested in taking on this project? Who will broadcast this film after its
premiere? What else is planned for this film? What effect does viewing a historical documentary in
color have on an audience?
SEARCH TERMS: Peter Jackson AND World War I

FILM AND TELEVISION: Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards
TOPIC:
The Golden Horse Awards are Taiwan’s version of the Oscars. They were recently given
out. What film won best picture? Who were the best actor and actress? Who won best director?
What film interested you the most and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Golden Horse Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: The Marvelous Miss Maisel
TOPIC:
Amazon Studios has released a new TV series about a female stand-up comic in the late
1950s called The Marvelous Miss Maisel. What are the qualities of this series that has impressed
the critics? How is Amazon Video streaming accessed and what are some other TV programs on
this service?
SEARCH TERMS: Marvelous Miss Maisel

FILM AND TELEVISION: HBO Hack
TOPIC:
Home Box Office (HBO) has had some proprietary information stolen and leaked by
hackers who were holding information for ransom. What was the information that was leaked and
how did it impact the company? Who hacked HBO and why? What other entertainment
companies have been hacked for ransom?
SEARCH TERMS: HBO AND hack*


FILM AND TELEVISION: CBS Goes Abroad
TOPIC:
U.S. broadcaster CBS has reached a deal to buy Australia’s Ten Network. If approved by
the government, this will allow CBS to launch their streaming service in Australia. Who else
seemed poised to purchase the firm? Do CBS’s plans to expand in English-speaking countries
make sense?
SEARCH TERMS: CBS AND Ten Network

FILM AND TELEVISION: Wonder Woman     
TOPIC
:  Director Patty Jenkins became the first female director of a superhero film when her film of the DC comic book hero Wonder Woman was released this year.  How have the reviews been?  How does Wonder Woman’s story tie into the mythology of ancient Greece?
SEARCH TERMS: Patty Jenkins AND Wonder Woman

FILM AND TELEVISION: Retirement Announced
TOPIC: Daniel Day-Lewis has announced his retirement from acting. His final film will be released in December of this year. He hasn’t acted on stage since 1989. What were some of his best film roles? How many awards and honors did he win for his work?  
SEARCH TERMS: Daniel Day-Lewis

FILM AND TELEVISION: Awards Season
TOPIC:
Other countries have their versions of the Academy Awards. Great Britain, Spain, and
France recently held their Bafta, Goya and Cesar awards. What films won best film in each of these
competitions? What actors won awards and what directors were honored?
SEARCH TERMS: headline: (Cesars OR Goya Awards OR Baftas)

FILM AND TELEVISION: Academy Awards
TOPIC:
The film Moonlight has won best picture at the 89th Academy Awards but only after some confusion that caused the film La La Land to be mistakenly announced as the initial winner. What caused this gaffe and how was it resolved? Who were some of the major Oscar winners and why? When was the last time the wrong film was mistakenly announced as winner and what were the circumstances that cause that mistake?
SEARCH TERMS: Academy Awards OR Oscars

FILM AND TELEVISION: Golden Globe Awards
TOPIC:
La La Land was the most successful film at this year’s Golden Globe Awards and also has
tied the record of 14 Academy Award nominations with the 1997 film Titanic and the 1951 film All
About Eve. Who were the other major winners at this year’s Golden Globe Awards and what
impressed the critics about their performance? What political statements were made by Meryl
Streep at the awards ceremony and what other sentiments were expressed that contributed to the
political tone of the evening?
SEARCH TERMS: Golden Globe Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: SAG Awards
TOPIC:
Emma Stone’s performance in La La Land and Denzel Washington’s performance in
Fences won both of them awards at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. Who were the other
big winners and why? What was the political tone of the Awards and why? How were the SAG
awards founded, and what specifically are they designed to recognize?
SEARCH TERMS: Screen Actors Guild Awards OR SAG Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: An Urban Myth
TOPIC:
Sky Arts, a British TV channel, announced that an episode of their series ‘Urban Myths’
would star Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson. The myth in this episode concerns a car ride taken
by Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Jackson in 2001. What is the premise of this show? How
controversial was the casting of white Fiennes as the black superstar? What did Jackson’s
daughter say about it? Was the episode ever shown?
SEARCH TERMS: Michael Jackson AND Joseph Fiennes

FILM AND TELEVISION: La La Land
TOPIC:
La La Land is a romantic musical film that takes its name from an old nickname for Los
Angeles, suggesting it as a place that’s a little out of touch with reality. Who directed La La Land,
what are his other acclaimed films. What strengths does he show as a director that have been
praised by the critics? What nominations or awards has this film won and why?
SEARCH TERMS: La La Land

FILM AND TELEVISION: Cannes Winner Michele Morgan
TOPIC:
Michele Morgan was an actress who won at the initial 1946 Cannes Film Festival. She
appeared in Hollywood films with Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra. What was the role that won
her the award at Cannes? What was her Hollywood career like in the 1940s? What was her
subsequent career like?
SEARCH TERMS: Michele Morgan

FILM AND TELEVISION: Walking Dead Violence
TOPIC:
The popular TV series The Walking Dead has opened its new season with a
breathtakingly violent episode. What realities of The Walking Dead’s bleak dystopian storyline and
its impact on the human nature of its characters can explain the violence as appropriate for
televised entertainment? What can be the negative impact on society of raw violence in the
media?
SEARCH TERMS: Walking Dead AND violen*

FILM AND TELEVISION: London Film Festival
TOPIC:
The London Film Festival took place in October. What stars attended? What films were
premiered there? What are some of the notable themes of this year’s festival? How do these
themes reflect our times?
SEARCH TERMS: London Film Festival

FILM AND TELEVISION: The Force Awakens    
TOPIC:  Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the seventh of the Star Wars series and the first of Disney’s sequel series.  What is the Star Wars Sequel Series and how does it differ in nature from the other installments?  When will The Force Awakens be released and what is the premise that adds to the Star Wars story?  
SEARCH TERMS: Star Wars AND The Force Awakens

FILM AND TELEVISION: Film Festival Season Continues
TOPIC:  At either ends of the world, film festivals happen. This past month festivals happened in London, England, and Busan, South Korea. What films were seen at these festivals? What actors and directors were honored at them? Which films won the top prizes?  
SEARCH TERMS: London Film Festival OR Busan International Film Festival 

FILM AND TELEVISION: Golden Horse Awards
TOPIC:  The Assassin, a film by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, won best feature film at the Golden Horse Awards. Hou won it for best director. What are the Golden Horse Awards and how long have they been given? Where do they take place? What other films and people won these awards this year? Does The Assassin sound like an interesting film? What other films has Hou made in his lengthy career?
SEARCH TERMS: Golden Horse Awards OR The Assassin

FILM AND TELEVISION: Screen Actors Guild Awards       
TOPIC:  Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson were the top winners respectively for their roles in The Revenant and Room at the SAG Awards?   Who were the other big winners and what most impressed the critics about their work?  What comic actress was given a Life Achievement award and what were her major accomplishments?  What aspects of this year’s Academy Award nominations were a focus and how did the ceremony address them?
SEARCH TERMS: (Screen Actors Guild OR SAG) AND awards AND DiCaprio AND Brie Larson

FILM AND TELEVISION: Race and Oscar Nominations      
TOPIC:  The nominating process for this year’s Academy Awards is being criticized for the lack of racial diversity among nominees for the second year in a row.  What performances have been noted for being unfairly overlooked?  What announcement has the Academy issued in response to this controversy?    
SEARCH TERMS: (Academy Awards OR Oscars) AND (nominations OR nominees) AND (race OR ethnicity OR diversity OR black OR African-Americans)

FILM AND TELEVISION: British Broadcaster Shows
TOPIC: A study of major British broadcasters shows that women are underrepresented on TV and that there is endemic ageism in casting and sexism in content. The study looked at 500 hours of primetime shows. Soap operas have the most equal casts in gender terms, sports programming the least. How surprising are the conclusions of this study? Do you thank that studies like this in other countries would yield similar results?  
SEARCH TERMS: television AND women and sexism and (studies or research) and Communication Research Group

FILM AND TELEVISION: Trevor Noah  
TOPIC:  Trevor Noah has replaced Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show on the Comedy Central channel. What qualities does Noah bring to the show and how did critics rate his performance on his first show?  What is his background and what have been some of his successes before getting the job hosting the Daily Show?
SEARCH TERMS: Trevor Noah

FILM AND TELEVISION: Emmy Awards     
TOPIC:  Viola Davis, lead actress in the TV series How to Get Away with Murder, is the first black actress to win an Emmy for a starring role.  What is this show about and what qualities of acting has Davis brought to her leading role of law professor and defense attorney?  Who were the other big winners at the Emmy Awards and what impressed the critics about their work?
SEARCH TERMS:  Emmy Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: Film Festival
TOPIC:  The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has recently concluded. How many films were entered in it? What film personalities attended? Which films won the various prizes on offer? Which film seemed most interesting?
SEARCH TERMS: Toronto International Film Festival OR TIFF

FILM AND TELEVISION: The Force Awakens     
TOPIC:  The latest film in the Star Wars series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens by J.J. Abrams has been well received by both critics and the public.  What records has this film broken?  What are the qualities that the critics and public like about the film?  What are some common themes in the Star Wars films and how does the Force Awakens use them in comparison and contrast to other films in the series?
SEARCH TERMS: Star Wars AND The Force Awakens

FILM AND TELEVISION: Coming Attractions  
TOPIC:  As 2015 came to a close, film critics started looking ahead to 2016 movie releases. Which movies seemed most important to them? Which films seem most interesting to you? Which ones would you avoid, and why?
SEARCH TERMS: 2016 and films and (preview or upcoming)

FILM AND TELEVISION: Academy Awards     
TOPIC:  In the Awards this year, Spotlight won for best picture, Mad Max: Fury Road won the most awards, The Revenant won three Oscars including best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and Bree Larson won best actress for her lead role in The Room. Who were the other big winners, and what were the qualities of the work that impressed the critics?  What was the focus of host Chris Rock’s humor?  Why was there such a focus on diversity?  What were some of the responses to his statements?  What are some other examples of social issues being expressed within artistic expression?  
SEARCH TERMS: Academy Awards OR Oscars

FILM AND TELEVISION: British Academy Film Awards
TOPIC:  The American film The Revenant was the biggest winner at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA). What were some of the other big winners and what were the qualities of this film and the other winners that most impressed the critics?  What is the history of BAFTA and what is its purpose and criteria in judging films?
SEARCH TERMS: British Academy Awards OR BAFTA

FILM AND TELEVISION: The People vs. O.J. Simpson
TOPIC: The first season of the cable television station FX series American Crime Story is The People vs. O.J., a docudrama on the murder trial of former football star O.J. Simpson. What have the critics said about the acting and directing of the show? What are some areas where the show may be different from real events?
SEARCH TERMS:
FX AND The People vs. O.J. Simpson

FILM AND TELEVISION: Jan Nemec
TOPIC: Jan Nemec was a Czech film director. A member of the Czech new wave of filmmakers in the 1960s, his allegorical film "Report on the Party and Guests" ultimately led to his being banned from filmmaking by the Communistic regime. What were some of his other films and how were they received? How did he spend his years of exile? What had he been doing since his return to his homeland?
SEARCH TERMS: Jan Nemec

FILM AND TELEVISION: Mad Men Auction    
TOPIC:  At a time when mid-20th century furnishings are in fashion, producers of the popular TV show Mad Men are auctioning off collectables from the set including jewelry and furnishings from the home and office sets. What are some of the items that are in high demand and how much is being asked for them?  What has been said to be driving the interest in mid-20th century designs that sparks interest in this auction? What is the primary online auction house that works with Hollywood studios to sell collectables from sets and is running this Mad Men auction?
SEARCH TERMS: Mad Men AND auction

FILM AND TELEVISION: Museum Dance Off
TOPIC:  The third annual Museum Dance Off has occurred. Workers, volunteers, visitors or interns at any institution in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) world can submit a dance video to this contest. Many of the videos are filmed within the institution and feature its collection. Who won this year’s contest? Who did they defeat in the finals? What were their routes to the final? Which institution did you like best?
SEARCH TERMS: Museum Dance Off

FILM AND TELEVISION: Cannes International Film Festival
TOPIC:  The Cannes International Film Festival, held in the south of France, has recently concluded. What film won the Palme d’Or? Who won the various acting prizes? What films sounded the most interesting and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Cannes International Film Festival

FILM AND TELEVISION: The Good Wife
TOPIC: Popular television drama The Good Wife is ending after seven years. What are the qualities of the drama that has most impressed the critics and the fans? What awards and nominations have been won by this drama?
SEARCH TERMS: The Good Wife

FILM AND TELEVISION: Marketing Man
TOPIC: Philip Kives created K-Tel International, which used TV commercials to sell such items as the Veg-o-matic and the Miracle Brush. The company also sold compilation albums. He might arguably be called the father of the infomercial. What was his career before he got into TV sales? How did he get into the TV marketing business? What was notable about the records the company sold?
SEARCH TERMS: Philip Kives AND K-Tel

FILM AND TELEVISION: De Palma
TOPIC: A new documentary called De Palma by directors Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach
celebrates the life and work of film director Brian De Palma. What are some of De Palma’s most
famous films and what are some signature characteristics of these films? What are his most
controversial films and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Brian De Palma

FILM AND TELEVISION: Bud Spencer
TOPIC: Italian actor Bud Spencer, born Carlos Pedersoli, was an Italian actor. A competitive
swimmer who represent Italy in three Olympic Games, he was best known for his acting
partnership with Terence Hill (Mario Girotti), with whom he made several spaghetti westerns. What
were some of the films they made together? What were some of the films he made on his own? Do
these films sound like they would be fun to see?
SEARCH TERMS: Bud Spencer

FILM AND TELEVISION: Sesame Street Era Over
TOPIC: Sesame Workshop, the production company behind Sesame Street has released Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Ormanthree, three original actors from the show. What was the reason for their release and what will the relationship of these three iconic stars now be to the program? What characters did these three actors play and what were the traits of these characters that helped educate children?
SEARCH TERMS: Sesame Street AND McGrath AND Delgado AND Ormanthree

FILM AND TELEVISION: Platino Ibero-American Film Awards
TOPIC: Embrace of the Serpent, directed by Colombian Ciro Guerra, won the most awards at the third Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Its awards included best picture and best director. The black and white film shows the travels of two German scientists through the Amazon region and their interactions with indigenous people. What other awards did it win? What other awards were given out at the ceremony?
SEARCH TERMS: Platino Ibero-American Film Awards

FILM AND TELEVISION: Telluride Film Festival
TOPIC: The Telluride Film Festival is currently taking place in Telluride, Colorado. What are some of the films being featured? What are some of the traditions at the Festival? What is its history and influence on filmmaking?
SEARCH TERMS: Telluride Film Festival

FILM AND TELEVISION: Hacksaw Ridge
TOPIC: Mel Gibson’s new film as director is Hacksaw Ridge, a true story about a World War II conscientious objector U.S. Army medic who was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving lives during the Battle of Okinawa. At what recent film festival did the audience give this film a prolonged standing ovation and why? What are the aspects of this film that are impressing the critics? Who wrote the script and what other work are they famous for? What religious organization originally was involved in getting this movie made and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Mell Gibson AND Hacksaw Ridge

FILM AND TELEVISION: Best of the Century
TOPIC: The BBC asked 177 critics to list their favorite ten films of the new millennium and from their responses compiled a list of the 100 best films of this century so far. David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive came in at number one. Does this methodology seem good to you? Do you agree with the top choices of the critics? Are there any surprising omissions on this list?
SEARCH TERMS: BBC and films and 21st Century