Date of Degree

2-2020

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Marc Dolan

Subject Categories

Film and Media Studies | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Screenwriting | Women's Studies

Keywords

screenplay, disabilities studies, CRIP theory, feature film, trauma, disability representation

Abstract

In the year 2019, the film business is undergoing profound change. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have become major distribution outlets, threatening the hegemony of traditional Hollywood studios and altering the kinds of movies that receive a theatrical release. Gone is the middle budget film, replaced by franchises like Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Fast and the Furious and Star Wars based on already popular intellectual property. But that's not all. In the wake of the fallout of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the #MeToo Movement, for the first time serious efforts are being made both outside and inside the industry to ensure Hollywood movies truly reflect the diverse culture which it serves. Diversity is the watchword with more and more films being led by people of color and favorite franchises like Ghostbusters and Ocean's 8 being rebooted via gender swapping the leads. Yet one area where Hollywood has made little progress has been with disability representation with films starring actual disabled actors. This capstone project, Binaural: Trauma and Disability Representation in Cinema, is my bid to remedy the problem as a filmmaker by writing a screenplay that I intend to shoot featuring a lead actress who has a noticeable disability. To that end, I have conducted extensive research into the nature of the character's disability and how trauma has helped shape disability representation in modern cinema, specifically within the superhero genre.

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