Junior: a monument in film making history

Author unknown (commissioned essay)
Concept/brief by Sandy Smith

 

Essay brief as submitted to academic essay writing company www.essaywriter.co.uk, along with payment for a 1500 word essay:

 

Title: Junior: a monument in film making history

This essay must seek to prove my theory that Junior (1994, directed by Ivan Reitman, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito) is the best film ever made, and thus crosses the boundary into becoming a monumental artwork in its own right and should be viewed as such.

The central point in this essay should be the range of subjects that Junior covers, the casting of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an intelligent yet compassionate character within it, and the double irony that is also extremely acute and assumes an equally learned viewer. The essay should examine the film with a positive attitude, and pay close attention to the context of the setting (mid 90's America), the casting, the central plot, and it's potential impact on society (huge).

This essay should reference Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marc Augé and Sigmund Freud.

 

The following text is the final draft of the essay written by the anonymous author.

 

The aim of this essay is to establish that Junior is a direct comment on society, specifically surrounding issues of parenthood and genetic innovation in the mid-1990s. As director and CEO of the American Film Institute Jean Picker states: “Film is an intensely personal experience,” and therefore it is difficult to state specifically if Junior can be termed as a “good” film. Instead, the brief will attempt to establish if Junior fulfils the key criteria that critics often use to determine the successful nature of a film, namely: Plot, Character, Choice of Actors and Visual Appeal. In an attempt to establish this, the semiotic principles of Barthes’ signs and signifiers will be employed within the work. The brief will also address Sartre’s basic views on existentialism.

Junior (Reitman: 1994) centres on the story of two doctors, Alexander Hesse and Larry Arbogast, who are working on a new super-fertility drug, "Expectane", which will reduce the chances of a woman's body rejecting an embryo and thus causing a miscarriage. When the pair request to test the drug on a human, their funding is refused and their project shut down. As a last resort they decide to impregnate Hesse (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with a fertilized embryo, making him pregnant. Although the experiment is intended to be done for the bare minimum in order to ascertain if the drug will work, Hesse becomes attached to the unborn baby and insists on carrying it until birth. Although the film was met with less than critical acclaim on its release – often derided as a “one joke movie” (1994: Time Out) it received three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actor (Schwarzenegger) and Best Actress (Emma Thompson).

The fact that the film was seen as a “one joke” movie yet received praise for it's acting, is the first indication that perhaps a point was missed in the initial rush to review the film. Indeed, with the benefit of retrospect the piece can now be appreciated in it's full extent. Not only is it a piece that analyses the complex relationships between both men and women, but also the relationship between men and their own masculinity. It also illustrates a world where the two main protagonists are willing to go against the natural order in a bid to attain their ultimate goal. It could be argued that misconstruing the piece therefore, is largely due to the fact that these essential attributes were overlooked and undervalued on the film’s release.

Baudrillard argues that this could be down to the fact that America and American exports and culture are often seen as one-dimensional, and taken at this face value. He claims that when it comes to the largest superpower in the world, not only is America valued as bland and over-commercial, this can be seen as an attribute to aspire to, claiming:

“I want to excentre myself, to become eccentric, but I want to do so in a place that is the centre of the world. And, in this sense, the latest fast-food outlet, the most banal suburb, the blandest of giant American cars or the most insignificant cartoon-strip majorette is more at the centre of the world than any of the cultural manifestations of old Europe.”

(1989: 28)

In this vein, it is likely that Junior as a work was largely undervalued on release for the simple fact that America is often seen, in itself as a “one joke” entity, a country full of what Auge terms to be “non-places” - the blandest homes, gardens and shopping malls centred around a measured and bland lifestyle. He argues: “If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place…” (1995: 77) Junior creates this image particularly well. The laboratories, libraries, offices and even the maternity unit where Hesse hides out are all depicted in a cream, beige and bland setting.

This notion of “non-places” is clearly evident today and has often been evident as some form of extra character in films of the past few years. One of the clearest examples of this technique was Gun Van Sant’s Elephant, which won the Cannes’ Film Festival Palme D’or in 2003.  The film centred on a day in the life of a number of pupils at one middle-America High School which climaxed in tragedy, and managed to create a drawn out and measured banality that added an extra dimension to the piece. It should be noted however that this is a relatively recent addition to film-making, and is often seen as a bold and confident step. In the case of Junior, more than 13 years ago, the banality was depicted without this measured tone, and therefore the overall message of the film was overlooked; that America in itself is a banal creation, and the protagonists within the film are revolting against it to change the world. This is another example of Junior's understated yet highly sophisticated  content, that while not forced upon the viewer is definitely there if one takes the time to look for it.

Focusing on the bare bones of the film itself, in terms of plot, Freud argued that: “Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy,” (1900: 31) and indeed, the basic premise of Junior is far from mainstream, as it focused on a largely unheard of phenomena at the time – genetic science. In the film, Dr Hesse is cajoled into making the decision to experiment on himself by Danny de Vito’s character Larry Arbogast. The latter achieves this by reminding Hesse that a number of proven scientists such as Edward Jenner, who tested the smallpox vaccination on himself, met with great success. Here it becomes apparent that the viewer is being treated as an equal in this process, rather than someone to be patronized. It also gives the audience an insight into the inner-psyche of Hesse. He does not react aggressively to the project being stopped, but instead takes a proactive approach. This also alludes to the fact that this could be the way of the future (characterised at the end of the film with Hesse’s suggestion that Arbogast could himself become pregnant) and follows Freud’s theory that: “Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.” (1900: 165) The plot is essentially linear, and manages to transcend the boundaries of both comedy (which focuses on traditional, physical, slap-stick) and romance, (through the central relationship between Schwarzenegger’s Hesse and Emma Thompson’s Reddin) but at the same time breaks the traditional comedy mould by alluding to developments in genetic science and fertility medicine.

Jameson argues that: “you no longer have that great North American notion of the ‘lonely rebel’ who challenges society. There aren’t any lonely rebels anymore because they’re all organized in some way or another.” (1990: Marxism Today: 28) However, this does not appear to be the case with the characters in Junior. Despite the fact Hesse’s character clearly relishes organization, when challenged over his habit of wearing the same shoes, socks and shirts to work, he retorts: “I like order” he is essentially the ultimate rebel, in that he has a strong desire to change the face of fertility medicine by taking the chance to experiment on himself. This in itself is not a new concept - the film references Edward Jenner's work as some form of template for Hesse to work to. He is also, essentially, a rebel against our time in that although he is morally “doing the right thing” throughout the film, he is still carrying out a dangerous experiment that, if successful, could change the face of reproduction forever. This is an aspect that appears to have been largely overlooked when critics received the film, and Hesse was instead dismissed as a one-dimensional character centred on Schwarzenegger's physicality.

It is interesting here that the work never addresses the fact that the character could essentially harm himself by carrying out experiments on his own body. Instead, although the idea is regularly mooted as “crazy” by the various characters who are informed of the experiment, it is covered instead as something that “has to be done” and as some sort of duty. It should also be noted here that at no point does the film debase itself from it's intellectual/scientific viewpoint by debating the core issue in terms of going against nature and ergo God, particularly addressed as “wrong” or “immoral” In taking this route, the film further appeals to the intellectualism of the audience by addressing the existentialist theories displayed by Sartre. Although the theory is not addressed by name, the audience is itself unwittingly drawn into its own existential debate.

Indeed, the fact that Hesse’s impregnation goes against “nature” is alluded to only within the comedy aspect of the film, in that the masculine Schwarzenegger takes on feminine traits. This, Sartre argues, is “at the very heart and centre of existentialism, [it] is the absolute character of the free commitment, by which every man realises himself in realising a type of humanity - and its bearing upon the relativity of the cultural pattern which may result from such absolute commitment.” (1989: Kaufman: 65) Indeed, it is this optimism that lies at the heart of the film, the notion that the characters are essentially doing “the right thing,” that underpins the film’s essential message that everyone should have the right to family. As Sartre goes on to argue: “existentialism is optimistic. It is a doctrine of action.” (Ibid: 70)

The optimism ties in largely with the image of America depicted in the film. At the time of the film’s release the world in was far from a happy place – mass genocide was taking place in both Rwanda and Bosnia and the US had chosen to turn a blind eye – and closer to home one of the America’s best-known stars, former footballer turned actor O.J Simpson, had been arrested for the double murder of his wife and her friend, sparking claims that the Los Angeles Police Department were institutionally racist. Despite all this the setting for Junior is continually sunny, continually bright, and there is little sign of conflict in the enclave of the University campus. This is at huge odds with the post 9/11, paranoid country often depicted today. However, as Baudrillard writes: “When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning.” (1988: Poster: 173) This view follows Baudrillard’s theories regarding simulacra and simulation, where he argues that as a whole we can become so “saturated with imagery,” that signs themselves no longer signify something real, but something “hyperreal: the product of an irradiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.” (Ibid: 166) This could be the case with Junior, in that the film is not viewed through the framework of the aforementioned bland, non-place, and is therefore seen now as an exaggerated interpretation of itself; a sunny, clean, happy environment that is wildly distorted from the America not only of the time, but also the America we know today.

In terms of how the characters are displayed throughout the piece, selection of the actors is key. Indeed, in terms of genre, much of the base comedy appeal in the film relies on physical differences between the actors themselves. For example, many scenes between the towering, bulky, Schwarzenegger and the comparatively diminutive De Vito are shown in long shots to emphasise the huge physical difference and in turn emotional approaches between the two (Hesse is portrayed as shy and a little awkward, whereas Arbogast is brash and bolshy. This is also displayed to great effect when the pair are attempting to promote Expectaine to the US Food and Drug Administration Committee). Also particularly apparent here is the masculine Schwarzenegger displayed within a feminine context. The actor himself is one of the most masculine figures in film and is known for his roles (Commando: 1985, Predator: 1987) in which he exploits this label. Conversely, on a more subliminal level, some of this appeal lies within the fact that the muscular actor – a former Mr. Universe whose first acting role was dubbed over with an American voice (2004: www.bbc.co.uk) – is ultimately the most intelligent character in the piece.

Yet in Junior Schwarzenegger takes on a female part which, while at times used for slapstick effect, arguably has a lot of praise for women and is therefore not strictly a comedic role. Having said this however, the film does flash back to Schwarzenegger’s more traditional comedy roles, (encapsulated in his previous partnership with DeVito and Reitman in Twins: 1988) particularly in the scene where Hesse is in full female guise and is rushed to hospital from the maternity home. When screaming in both pain and fear his face is contorted to the more recognisable role of masculine action man. Yet this is exaggerated to a comedic level,  mimicking his standard role within films while letting the viewer in on the joke.

This may again largely be due to the fact that the film was not viewed within it's full context on its release. Had it been critically received and analysed within the context of a scientific, pioneering framework which focuses on rebellion subtexts and conflicts of masculinity, the film may well have been seen as a carefully crafted artwork, as opposed to a one joke movie.

The film also defies the conventional by casting Emma Thompson - a comedic actor by trade who began her career as a member of the esteemed Cambridge Footlights - as main female role and love interest Diane Reddin. At a time when women were depicted as unintelligent bimbos in blockbusters such as The Mask, (1994: Russell) or as scheming molls in works like Pulp Fiction, (1994: Tarantino) Reddin is the definition of a highly intelligent female character who is equally clumsy, scatty, and disorganized at every turn. Yet she is also seen as an object of desire by the main protagonist, and indeed scripted to be the only desirable female. This, in turn, correlates with another of the key issues within the film – relationships between men and women. Jameson writes that: “what is tiresome about [sexism] is the yuppie mimicry of the various traditional North American forms of male or patriarchal behaviour.” (1990: 24: Science Fiction Studies) and it is clear here that Junior goes against that mimicry to a point. Men are depicted as the ones who desperately want children, Hesse becomes increasingly attached to “my baby”, and Arbogast is reunited with his wife when she becomes pregnant, even though it is to another man.

In terms of visual appeal, while the film is not necessarily “science fiction” in genre, a number of signs and signifiers imply a different dimension of meaning and nod towards the futuristic by way of genetic science. The contemporary, mundane look of the sets jars against the numerous needles and oversized apparatus used to imply the scientific. As Jameson writes, the film-maker can: “turn on the central issue of foretelling the future, a topic which also has two poles or extremes: the historical one, of how this has been done, and the contemporary or ‘future-shock’ version of how we do it now.” (1990: Science Fiction Studies: 17)  The drug itself, which Hesse must continually take, is ingested from a small test-tube like vial, filled with blue liquid. The unnatural appearance, and the constant use of the phrase “drug,” connotes that it is indeed unnatural and in some way futuristic and science-based. It should also be noted that when the doctor chooses to take the drug and take the pregnancy to full-term, the sunny Californian setting turns into a dark and rainy setting reminiscent of Hammer horror. This, in turn is set within a wholly suburban and rather mundane setting in that the houses, laboratories and libraries are displayed as being rather generic. This happy, cosy, suburban setting jars slightly against the science-fiction signifiers, but ultimately boosts the film to give it an extra dimension and lift it from its more generic counterparts.

Perhaps the most culturally significant aspect of the work however is the simple fact that all the characters involved become nuclear families at the end of the film. Although he takes on the mother role by carrying the baby, the character of Hesse also becomes embroiled in portraying a father figure, noted when he becomes emotional at seeing an advertisement on TV depicting a father giving his daughter away on her wedding day. Hesse may have found problems coming to terms with essentially both the maternal and paternal feelings towards the child, but he quickly reverts to the fatherly role, saying to the new baby “Daddy loves you,” and when handing her to Reddin “Here’s your Mommy.”

In experiencing both pregnancy and fatherhood Hesse’s character is displayed as the ultimate father figure. Promoted to a Western audience, where the notion of nuclear family is rapidly deteriorating, this perhaps displays another key moment of optimism. The final shot is of both Arbogast, reunited with his ex-wife and her child, and Hesse and a now pregnant Reddin, celebrating both of their children’s birthdays on the beach. It is an idyll of happy family life, and pushes the fact that the children of the two unlikely couples will  be loved and cared for. With the figures showing an estimated 21.7 million children in the US are part of a single parent family, and only 24% of the population made up of married couples with children, (www.parentswithoutpartners.org) and up to 1.9 million lone parents in the UK (www.oneparentfamilies.org) it could be argued that Junior is making the ultimate social statement by suggesting that extreme measures are sometimes the best way to hold up the traditional notion of family.

In making this kind of effective comment on society, and by transcending a number of genres – from comedy, to romance, to science-fiction, to ultimately a family film - this study would conclude that Junior is lifted from being a simple piece of film-making to a delicately crafted piece of social commentary. By doing so, the film in essence becomes an artwork in it's own right. Critically, the piece also fulfils the original criterion displayed in the introduction by fleshing out rounded characters in unexpected moulds, (for example the intelligent doctor with a body-builder’s physique) by supplying an thought-provoking and boundary-pushing plot, and by displaying different facets to the film through use of signs and signifiers.

In conclusion, this brief would argue that the film is indeed a pioneering work, but has not been termed as such for the simple reason that the piece has not been viewed in the correct context. Instead, the brief argues that Junior is not a “one joke movie”, but is instead a film that, at the time of release, was pioneering new film-making ideals by addressing elements of non-places and banality, without falling into the trap of making the film itself a banal non-entity. This, coupled with the social commentary the film provides on a subject that applies significantly to almost every viewer in some manner or another, makes Junior not only a monumental work, but one which could be termed as one of the greatest films of all time.

 


Bibliography

 

Books

Auge, M. 1995, Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity Trans. John Howe, London: Verso

Barthes, R. 1977, “Elements of Sociology”, New York: Hill & Wang

Poster, M. (ed), 1988, “Selected Writings”, Stanford: Stanford University

Kaufman, W. (ed) 1989, “Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre”, USA: Meridian Publishing Company

Freud, S. 1911, “The Interpretation of Dreams: 3rd edition”, USA: Plain Label Books

 

Articles

Jameson, F. “Critical Agendas”, Science Fiction Studies, No 50, Volume 17, March 1990

Jameson, F. "Clinging to the Wreckage: A Conversation with Stuart Hall", Marxism Today, September 1990

No author, “ Junior film review,” Time Out Magazine, Issue 13, July 1994

 

Websites

 

BBC Profile: Arnold Schwarzenegger

www.parentswithoutpartners.org

www.oneparentfamilies.org

www.imdb.com

www.afi.com

 

Films

 

Commando (1985: Mark Lester)

Predator (1987: John McTiernan)

Twins (1988: Ivan Reitman)

Junior (1994: Ivan Reitman)

The Mask (1994: Chuck Russell)

Pulp Fiction (1994: Quentin Tarantino)

Elephant (2003: Gus Van Sant)

 

 

Appendix  –  Communication with essay writing company

 

Original Essay Request: Monday 20th April

Title:

Junior: A monument in film making history

Description:

This essay must seek to prove my theory that Junior (1994, directed by Ivan Reitman, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito) is the best film ever made, and thus crosses the boundary into becoming a monumental artwork in its own right and should be viewed as such.

The central point in this essay should be the range of subjects that Junior covers, the casting of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an intelligent yet compassionate character within it, and the double irony that is also extremely acute and assumes an equally learned viewer. The essay should examine the film with a positive attitude, and pay close attention to the context of the setting (mid 90's America), the casting, the central plot, and it's potential impact on society (huge).

This essay should reference Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marc Augé and Sigmund Freud.

 

 


Reply: Wednesday 2nd May

 

Dear Sandy,

We are writing to you regarding your order E4974. One of the writers has sent the following email. Please respond accordingly.

I feel prompted to offer some advise regarding order E4974.

 

The above wants to support an absolutist position within an ambiguous context, it states: "This essay must seek to prove my theory that Junior ... is the best film ever made,"

This is an incoherent aim. To support such a theory entails arguing for an unpacking of the film's syntactic, semiotic and semantic possibilities but the latter hermeneutic approach can not allow for the unequivocal outcomes that the theory seeks.

My recommendation is that the client should reword the aspirations of the brief.

We look forward to your reply.

 

Kind regards,

Support

 


Reply: Thursday 3rd May

 

Hi there

Thanks for your comments, and your quick summing up of the task ahead.
Yes, the supplied brief is essentially incoherent. I do, however, want
an essay that proffers an absolute position within this most ambiguous
of contexts.

Some thoughts on how I imagine this - junior is film, the film is
society, society is civilization. Junior perfectly captures 'something'
that underpins film, society and thus civilization. Please remember
context is all of this - Junior was released a mere 13 years ago -
almost exactly the period of the "anti-aphrodisiac of the just past"
(Dan Graham). However it is beautiful in it's naivety, delightful in
it's irrelevance, and overall a profoundly affecting and comment on
film, society, civilization. A monumental work, a work of art. The essay
is Junior - absolutist, flippant, intelligent and yet knowing of it's
faults.

This is a hard task, I know I am not intelligent enough to write it, but
I think it could be a beautiful work. I look forward to talking through
it some more with you as it progresses.

Yours

Sandy Smith

 


Amendments Request: Friday 18th May

There are several points that I would like to request amendments to within my order, titled “Junior: a monument in film-making history.”

Within the original essay description, I stipulated that the essay “must seek to prove my theory that Junior ...  is the best film ever made, and thus crosses the boundary into becoming a monumental artwork in it's own right.” These two key points were made abundantly clear here, and yet I feel this has been disregarded in the given essay. The second point (that the film becomes a monumental artwork) was not even attempted or mentioned in the given essay, and the first and most important point was equally ignored. Indeed, in the second paragraph, the author states that the essay “will not attempt to affirm that Junior is what could be termed critically as a “good” film” As you can see, I have underlined the two key words in these sentences, and there is clearly a large difference between what I requested, and paid for, and what has been supplied.

These two fundamental flaws in the essay are enough to constitute a major re-work, yet I believe there are several other key points I would like to bring to you and the author's attention so that the re-draft will better address these two points, and the other requests made in the essay description.
In the second paragraph of my initial essay description, I also wrote that “This essay should examine the film positively...” This request was again apparently ignored, with references such as “the piece displays a certain naivety” (p4) without explaining why naivety may have been used, and the in the final sentence of the second last paragraph, where the author blows over a key finding in his/her essay, the overly happy ending. In other words, the author has done fine work in uncovering certain elements, but never describes what is actually 'good' or 'intelligent' about them.

As a last request, to be considered during the re-draft that these fundamental flaws demand, I would ask that the author spend less time on explaining the concepts of sign and signifier, simulcra & simulation, and more time applying them. As I said in my second email to the authors initial request for clarification “The essay should be Junior”, and remember, Junior assumes an intelligent viewer. One should feel free to wield these terms as Junior wields it's Irony, and yet always keep a positive approach.

 


Reply: Wednesday 23rd May

Dear Sandy,
The writer who completed your order E4974 wrote the following response to your amendment request.
We would ask you to read it through and then reply with your response.  In addition we also want to advise you that the writer is a university lecturer who has a first class undergraduate degree, a Masters Distinction as well as a PHD.
Writer’s reply:

With regards to order E4974 please allow me to explain my actions.
Firstly, I understand that the brief does not attempt to prove the theory that "Junior is the best film ever made" for the simple reason that as far as I am aware, this is completely impossible to prove.
For an undergraduate dissertation a student has to prove or disprove a hypothesis - for example "a film such as Junior illustrates something about American society in the mid-1990s." If this is the case then the theory can be proved or disproved through primary research and crucially secondary research. It is not based on opinions.
Were this brief to focus on proving or disproving that "Junior is the best film ever made," there is no secondary research to prove that this is the accepted standpoint, neither is there research to prove that it is not (for example several authors saying that it or films like it are the worst ever made.) Therefore, there is no proven basis for the theory, nor the research to back it up. As far as I have always been led to believe, a dissertation cannot be based on the opinions of the writer.
This is why the phrase "this brief will not attempt to affirm that Junior is what could be termed critically as a "good" film," as every critic, author and viewer has their own criterion for the phrase "good." To this end, the theory is impossible to prove or disprove.
This is also the case on calling the film a "momumental work" as the term "monumental" clearly rests on the fact that the film is the "best ever made."
In terms of developing the work to the criteria in the brief however, it was apparent from the client's emails that he/she felt Junior was somehow a comment on society, apparent in the following excerpt:
"Some thoughts on how I imagine this - junior is film, the film is society, society is civilization. Junior perfectly captures 'something' that underpins film, society and thus civilization."
It was in this vein therefore, that the essay was continued.
Although the film was not analysed in glowing terms (again, this could be seen as author bias in terms of dissertation criteria) I do not feel that it has been analysed negatively. It highlights what the client asked to be the central point of the essay, in that it clarifies that Schwarzenegger's character is portrayed as both intelligent and compassionate, by holding ambitions to become like his predecessors (Edward Jenner) and by becoming attached to, and indeed keeping, the baby. It also discusses mid-90s America and what Junior could be saying about society.
I do not believe the ending has been described as "overly happy," but in the most real terms, the brief should at least take into consideration that even if Hesse and Reddin live "happily ever after," the real-life chance that a man would be re-united with his ex-wife after she becomes pregnant with another man's baby and that they too would live "happily ever after" are slim.
Finally, the film is described as naive because the client his/herself described it as such, claiming: "[Junior] is beautiful in it's naivety, delightful in it's irrelevance, and overall a profoundly affecting and comment on film, society, civilization." If the client does not agree, feel free to omit it.
If more examples are required of signs and signifiers and simulcra and simulation as opposed to descriptions this is fine. I was unaware that the client would not want them to be explained within the essay and space constraints meant that unfortunately I could not provide both.
I just felt that a full explanation was needed for the direction the essay took.

Please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards,

Support.

 


Reply: Thursday 24th May

Dear Sir/Madam

Please pass this email on to the author regarding my order E4974, for which amendments have been requested and this is a further clarification.

 

Hi there

Thank you very much for such a full response to my request for amendments, it is good that we are both clear about what I was after originally.

Firstly, the main point about the aim of the essay. I appreciate that it may be impossible to prove that the film is the best ever made, but I wanted an essay that would try to do this. This is why I confirmed in my reply to your initial questions that it should still take an absolutist position in this ambiguous context. If it clears your conscience, this essay is not part of coursework, it is simply for my own consumption. Thus feel free to abandon the balanced approach and go for opinions that cannot be proven, provided that it remains concise, intelligent, and well structured.

As for research to base this on, I imagined that the essay would work through the major successes in the film, examining them in relation to the supplied author's theories, and thus only in the conclusion stating that it is the best film ever made. Clearly this would be phrased much more delicately than this, but this was the principle I commissioned the essay on. See it as an exercise in applying key texts and authors to practically anything if you want, but please try!

Last point to make again – the “overly happy” ending. I mentioned this as I thought it was an excellent piece of research, and full of possibilities for examination. It was overly happy, and it didn't go into depth on his feelings as you so correctly stated, but I felt you could have examined why it skimmed over this with a happy sheen. This examination would obviously have to start from the positive viewpoint I stated before, and take as granted that everything in Junior is completely intentional and well thought through.

I look forward to hearing back from you, and seeing the final essay. It would also be nice if we could talk about this independently of your company, so feel free to email me directly at ----- or on the phone, ------.

Yours

Sandy Smith

 

 


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