Consider the differences between setting between the computational room for the African American female mathematicians and one for the white male engineers

Watch Hidden Figures, the movie, then address three of the following questions. You may also take the conversation in new directions. Be sure to apply concepts studied in this week’s reading and respond to at least one other student’s original post. Must: Addresses prompts in depth and detail. Points are insightful, objective, and supported by specific, relevant examples from the movie. The post clearly demonstrates careful viewing of the assigned movie. Correctly applies multiple concepts studied, clearly demonstrating careful reading of the assigned chapter(s). The post uses vocabulary and ideas from the reading, and it references specific pages (with in-text citation: the page number in parentheses). The reference does not repeat what another student has already posted. Any borrowed language is in quotation marks, though the post does not over-rely on .

WHEN WRITING ABOUT A MOVIE: • The title of a movie should be in italics: Juno — not

“Juno.” • Discuss events in the film itself in present tense, as if

they are still going on. ◦ correct: “Dorothy clicks her heels together” ◦ incorrect: “Dorothy clicked her heels together.”

• Refer to characters by their names in the movie, e.g. “William Munny” rather than “Clint Eastwood” – unless you are discussing Eastwood’s acting.

• When writing about actors, refer to them by their last name, e.g. “Norris” rather than “Chuck.”

• Provide specific examples from the movies to support your ideas. For example, if you claim that “Benjamin Braddock seems disconnected from members of his generation,” add the reasons you have drawn this conclusion: “Nobody his own age attends his graduation party; all the guests seem to be his parents’ friends. The film never shows him in contact with friends of his own. When Benjamin and Elaine go the hamburger stand, he appears annoyed by the music and behavior of the younger people in the next car, and he raises the roof of his convertible to escape them.”

• The terms “film” and “movie” are interchangeable. • Do not address the reader as “you.” For example, if

someone writes, “You see how Juno changes her mind” – well, maybe the reader didn’t see it! Rephrasing suggestions: ◦ “The film shows us Juno’s attitude when . . .” ◦ “Viewers may observe that . . .” ◦ “We might notice . . .” ◦ “Juno acts differently, starting when she . . .” or,

• Don’t start sentences with or over-used phrases like “I think” or “I feel” or “I believe” or “to me” or “ in my opinion.” Readers assume that your answers represent your thoughts, feelings, and inferences. Write in third person as much as possible.

• Do not refer to film-makers as “they,” as in, “They use a lot of dark lighting” or “They want you to feel the protagonist’s misery.” People have specific jobs in

making a movie, e.g. director, screenwriter, cinematographer, or editor. To refer to the combined efforts of everyone involved, refer to the film as a whole, e.g. “The movie has a lot of dark lighting,” or, “The film us experience the protagonist’s misery through the dark lighting and by showing us events through her point of view.”


1.  Consider the set designs. Consider the differences between setting between the computational room for the African American female mathematicians and one for the white male engineers. How do they differ? Additionally, multiple scenes show Katherine racing to the segregated women’s bathroom. Notice the differences between the Blacks bathroom and that which was originally Whites Only. What does each setting convey and contribute to the underlying theme of racial inequalities?

2. How do costumes, makeup, and hairstyles convey time and place to create authenticity? What is the significance of the pearl necklace? How does this object first convey meanings of racial differences but later acceptance? Why do you think the director chooses to focus on Mary Jackson’s high heels? How does this convey a barrier for women?

3. Lighting plays an important role in mise-en-scene. Notice the differences in lighting, particularly in NASA offices and control rooms. Compare the lightening in the “Colored Computers” workspace and the workspace of the NASA Space Task Force. How does this also signify the differences between the two spaces? Or consider the differences between the workspaces of NASA and the domestic spaces of the homes of the Katherine. How does each compare to the other? How do the differences in lighting convey different moods? 

4. Consider the rule of the thirds as you review the opening scene that is included in the textbook. Now that you have viewed the film, how does the composition of each of the three women in respect to the policeman reflect the personality of each character–Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorthy Vaughn? 

5. Approximately twenty minutes into the film, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) heads to the “Colored” bathroom after she settles into her new position the Space Task Force Office. The image of Katherine can be seen in reflection in the marble walls. Observe this scene and consider kinesis and figure movement–how the character moves in the scene. Notice the reflection of Katherine in the hallway as she runs. How does the director’s consider of kinesis and figure movement along with the choice of

lighting and reflection help to convey the plot and of Katherine at this point in the movie?

Film Vocabulary

Art director Production designer Framing Closed frame Open frame Moving frame On location Set Sound stage Cinematic language Shot Editing Cut Fade in/fade out Cutting on action Implicit meaning Explicit meaning Cultural Invisibility Form Theme Motif Point of view Content

Form Formalism Cinematic language Mediation Verisimilitude Realism Anti-realism Mise-en-scene Narrative Frame Shot Sequence Scene Factual film

Instructional film Persuasive film Propaganda film Direct cinema Stream of consciousness Genre Stanislavsky system method acting typecasting casting screen test major role character role distancing effect or alienation effect improvisation

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