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The American Film Institute


The American Film Institute released a list of what they consider to be the 100 best movies �of all
time.� While this is a debatable (and very controversial) list, it is a valuable document for historians to
use when gauging the cultural, social, and historical impact of American films over the course of the
twentieth century.

For your extra credit assignment, choose one of the movies listed (except for The Graduate � see below,
Forrest Gump, Titanic, or any movie produced after the year 2000) and write a 750-word paper (due IN
CLASS on Nov 2) describing the plot of the movie and explaining its historical context. One important clue
to the latter can be found to the right of each movie: its release date. For instance, The Graduate (one of
Dr. Luckett�s all-time favorite movies) came out in 1967, just as sixties counter-culture was rising in

popularity and the Vietnam War filled the news every night. Although Dustin Hoffman�s character is
barely a baby boomer, his ennui and the conflict between young and old, tradition and freedom
throughout the film represents the angst of an entire generation. What can the movie tell us about young
people in 1967? Why did it resonate so powerfully with that generation? Who (or what) does Mrs.

Robinson represent?

Number 1
I had a sixteen year old cousin watch the news channel on television for thirty minutes. During
that time, I had to keenly watch his behavior as he watched television. The boy had his cell
phone with him as he watched the news. He would frequently look at his phone for a few
seconds, and then continue watching the news without pausing or freezing. However, on a few
accession he had to send back a text and this would take a few minutes. On resuming watching
television, he had to rewind the program to catch the bits of news he had missed when he was on
the phone. He once froze the show and ran to the bathroom for some minutes then returned,
unfroze and continued watching the show.
Number 2
After the news show was over, I asked him to give me a detailed summary of the news stories
that were aired in the show. He gave all but one of the stories that had been aired on the show.
When I asked him about the one he had omitted, he explained that he had watched that entire
piece of story. He continued to give a detailed account of the whole story. However, some of the

details on the other stories were scarce. Other details were also entirely inaccurate as he told
them compared to what was aired during the news show.
Number 3
I usually watch television frequently. However, during the session I find myself doing some
other activity that split my attention from the television show I was watching. I find myself
replying to text messages, returning calls and at times even playing a cell phone game. I can also
find myself eating and I at times fall asleep while watching a television show. I find that
whenever I am distracted while watching television there are bits of the content that I do not
grasp. I find that the accuracy of the information I have on the stories in the show is wanting.
Moreover, I also do not at time get to watch how the show ended and thus, I do not have the
details of the entire show. However, when I have all my attention channeled to the shows I watch
on television, I get to know the full story. I can also narrate the stories accurately and in details.
Number 4
A study on the population of the US showed that about sixty percent of people use a second
screen when watching television. The study called this behavior the second screen paradigm.
People who use the second screen while watching television are usually distracted and therefore,
do not grasp all the content being aired on television. This behavior is in line with the theory of
dual coding. The theory states that, people often remember and process information that is
presented to them both as visual and audio (CCD Conference, 2103). The lack in the content
after watching a show on television while using a second screen or a phone is well explained
from this theory. Whenever my cousin or I looked away from the television to look at our
phones, the flow of information from the show is disrupted. The combination of the sound and

video gets information faster to the brain. However, when is disrupted, this flow of information
to the brain is also disrupted. The theory explained the missing details from the show and the
inaccuracy of the information one has about a show they saw when using a second screen.


CCD (Conference), Rau, P. L. P., & International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction.
(2013). Cross-cultural design: Methods, practice, and case studies : 5th International
Conference, CCD 2013, held as part of HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, NV, USA,
July 21-26, 2013, Proceedings. Berlin: Springer.
European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, In Boulus-Rødje, N., In
Ellingsen, G., In Bratteteig, T., In Aanestad, M., & In Bjørn, P. (2015). ECSCW 2015:
Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative
Work, 19-23 September 2015, Oslo, Norway.

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