Tuesday, May 22, 2018

URSP Student Lucas Muratore Conducts A Content Analysis of Tearing Among Male Superheroes in Films

My interest in studying crying superheroes started in my Creative Producing for Film class last semester. The class was the first part of a year-long course which would culminate in the completion of our senior films. As an icebreaker, the class discussed things we hadn’t seen in films to spark new ideas. Serendipitously one of my classmates brought up the idea that superheroes never cry, which I had never really considered. Being a communication major who was also looking for a senior research project I pitched the idea to my professor and she loved it. So here we are today, researching crying superheroes.

Long-term I plan on making movies, in what capacity – I’m not entirely sure yet. But I think this research project will hopefully show potential employers that I’m passionate about the entertainment industry and that I care about the kind of messages we’re sending. Who knows – maybe I even end up doing this kind of research for major studios to make sure they’re creating characters who can be strong role models for our next generation of leaders.

On a weekly basis, I watch superhero movies. I’ve got about 18 superhero films I need to code ranging from Tim Burton’s Batman to more recent films like The Guardians of the Galaxy. In addition to coding I’m working closely with my professor to edit my final research paper, reading more articles about representations of masculinity in mainstream media and thinking about ways to analyze my data that can help me draw some conclusions.

One thing that I discovered this semester other than how bad George Clooney is as Batman is that Superman is a cry baby. So far, my fellow coder and I have managed to get through almost all of the Batman and Superman movies. And Superman is almost always driven by these irrational emotions – he literally spins the earth in reverse to save the life of Lois Lane in the Original Superman. Batman on the other hand is extremely reserved and hardly ever expresses any kind of emotion. So DC comics has two extremes here, either your emotions really take control of all of your actions or you pretend like you don’t have any.