Motifs in Cinema

A Background

I like writing about movies. That much is probably no unusual fact, why start a movie blog if  didn't? But, I especially love writing about movies and their themes. Movie writing s still in this weird place where film tends not really be regarded as art and studied on aesthetic and theoretic which you'd find novels, drama, visual arts being discussed. This tiny blogging event in the online-film writing stratosphere is a drop in the ocean to change that.

At the beginning of 2012 while preparing to recap 2011 in film I found myself asking myself a question, why, with so much critical film writing on the internet, is comparative analysis of films based on themes so rare? Oftentimes comparison across genre, director or even subject persists but thematic comparison and analysis? Maybe I was looking in the wrong places, but it seemed to happen only occasionally. So, that year, with the help of ten other bloggers I launched a closed-blogathon. Eleven major motifs of 2011 cinema discussed across eleven blogs, filling the space. Last year, the idea grew to include 9 more and 20 writers looked at 12 themes of 2012 cinema.

This year, Motifs in Cinema is back. No longer as a closed writing event but an open blogathon for anyone to participate. This past year I've read some interesting thematic discussions of 2013 films Gravity against All Is Lost, American Hustle against The Wolf of Wall Street, some more convincing than others but even if I don't always love the articles I love the idea behind them. Film, like literature, is a work of art. Any cursory literature student is forced to analyse and assess literary works against each other and in the same vein, film - as an artform - provides so much material for critical comparative analysis. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of disillusionment or the dynamics of failure?

With the help of some fellow bloggers a list of 20+ potential themes for discussing 2013 films has been whittled down to 13. The idea is for any blogger to choose a motif/theme and discuss its treatment using at least four films from 2013 in an article of whatever length or form they choose. How effectively was the theme represented? What does it suggest about the year in film? Which films made you consider a prosaic motif with new eyes? How?

Care to join in on this celebration of 2013 in film? I'll continue updating as entrants join. The list of eligible motifs is below.

Collection of the pieces can be found HERE.

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