Presenter Information

Nicole Coates

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Faculty Sponsor

Rebecca Hains

Status

Undergraduate

Publication Date

5-1-2021

Department

Communications

Description

This paper examines the 2012 film Cloud Atlas and how the film portrays certain groups in its unique use of an ensemble cast. It challenges our societal understandings of race, gender, and other differences as a whole. This analysis examines the thematic significance of the appearance changes the actors go through throughout the film as they play characters of different genders, ages, races, classes, etc. and how these changes provide commentary on how contemporary society views these social groups. Central topics of this analysis include the characters portrayed, the time periods in which they live and the connections these characters have to one another. However, it also serves to critique the choices in filmmaking and acknowledge the voices of groups which identify this choice as problematic. Looking at the film itself, this paper will discuss the issues present such as performative diversity and it’s use of yellowface. These issues of the film are prevalent and address concerns which deserve recognition. It is to discuss the paradox of the film’s message versus the problematic use of the ensemble cast. This paper is meant to provide a bridge to connect the film’s embedded message with our understanding of race, gender, etc. and serves to provide an explanation on why the story itself helps to amplify the connections between the movie’s plot and society’s understanding of our many differences. This analysis is meant to connect the key elements and events of the film and provide a possible explanation to the message the film itself attempts to portray.

Presentation Type

Presentation

COinS
 

Race Representation and the Translation from Text to Screen

This paper examines the 2012 film Cloud Atlas and how the film portrays certain groups in its unique use of an ensemble cast. It challenges our societal understandings of race, gender, and other differences as a whole. This analysis examines the thematic significance of the appearance changes the actors go through throughout the film as they play characters of different genders, ages, races, classes, etc. and how these changes provide commentary on how contemporary society views these social groups. Central topics of this analysis include the characters portrayed, the time periods in which they live and the connections these characters have to one another. However, it also serves to critique the choices in filmmaking and acknowledge the voices of groups which identify this choice as problematic. Looking at the film itself, this paper will discuss the issues present such as performative diversity and it’s use of yellowface. These issues of the film are prevalent and address concerns which deserve recognition. It is to discuss the paradox of the film’s message versus the problematic use of the ensemble cast. This paper is meant to provide a bridge to connect the film’s embedded message with our understanding of race, gender, etc. and serves to provide an explanation on why the story itself helps to amplify the connections between the movie’s plot and society’s understanding of our many differences. This analysis is meant to connect the key elements and events of the film and provide a possible explanation to the message the film itself attempts to portray.