Students in Dr. Scahill's upper division "Film Theory" class presented their original research in a conference-style setting on the theme of "Cinema Paranoia" in the Auraria Library. By presenting their works-in-progress in a public forum, students considering graduate study were able to experience a conference format in a supportive environment.
An abbreviated version of their final paper, the students were asked to take an intersectional approach to the study of film by considering at least three critical lenses (Marxism, feminism, auteur theory, reception studies, etc) in their final paper. Josh Nielsen took on the complicated politics of Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, which simultaneously critiqued Hollywood while conforming to its ideological contours. Christian Hutchins' "Sacrifices on the Pop Idol Altar"analyzed the the Japanese anime film Perfect Blue and its embedded critique of its own otaku fandom. Finally, Aspen Ballas presented on the post-apocalyptic thriller It Comes at Night, examining the film's pessimistic vision of a family in crisis unable to divest themselves of the past. Afterwards, the three presenters held a Q&A with the audience about their films and the study of cinema.