So here goes: 15 page film paper due in a little over two months, and the time to start is now. And I will be writing about...I don't know. Since becoming a film major I've always wanted to write about my favorite film, Repo! The Genetic Opera. (Okay, it's not the best but I still love it). My first idea was to write about cult films and masculinity, but I think this had been done before, particularly in the case of Rocky Horror (which I actually wrote about for a class while abroad). I'm not throwing this idea out yet, but I would need to come up with a very original thesis.
Idea number two: I'm interested in the relationship between masculinity and monstrosity present in many films, like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, and so on. (It's also no coincidence that each of these began as novels and have been adapted on film again and again). Certainly this topic could be examined in Repo! as well; there is after all a song titled "Let the Monster Rise." But like my first idea, I think masculinity and monstrosity has been well covered by other theorists. So here is my addition to the topic: What is the relationship between monstrosity, masculinity, and fatherhood as presented in films? In Repo!, the protagonist (or antagonist?) Nathan is conflicted by his role as father and his occupation as repo man, which makes him a monster, particularly in the view of his daughter. I think there's an essay here, but maybe not a CUE paper. If I decide to write about monstrosity/masculinity/fatherhood, I think I will need to expand and explore this relationship in other films as well, perhaps cult films in particular.
So I start with a Google search of "monstronsity, masculinity, and fatherhood," just to get a vague idea of what's been written on the topic. Interestingly, without adding "in film" much of what comes up One of the first things I find is an article titled "The Projected Man: The B-Movie and the Monstrous-Masculine" by E. Anna Claydon. There's also "Father Knows Beast: Patriarchal Rage and the Horror of Personality Film" by Francis Shor. Perhaps not bad places to start.
Finally, there's one other potential topic I've been thinking of. Father figures appear very often in film and television as the "stupid dad" (shows like The Simpsons in particular but also sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond or comedies like the National Lampoon films). This comes up so often in popular media that I think there's a lot to discover in it.
Or, maybe I'll wake up tomorrow with a brilliant, brand new thesis that doesn't have anything to do with what I've thought about so far. In the mean time, I'm going to focus on beginning research for the monster/man/father topic.