Hotel Earle Is a Symbol for Hell

Hotel Earle Is a Symbol for Hell

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1. Several film critics have claimed that the Hotel Earle is a symbol for Hell. Do you agree?

2. What does Charlie mean when he shouts, “I’ll show you the life of the mind”?

3. Audrey cautions that “Empathy requires understanding, Mr. Fink.” Is this the theme of the film?

4. Review the “Film Techniques of Alfred Hitchcock” (Course Library). Is Barton Fink a Hitchcock-style movie?

5. Most interior scenes are darkly lit while most exterior scenes are incredibly bright. How does this lighting style contribute to your understanding of the story?

6. What is in the box that Charlie gives Barton before he goes to New York?

7. This film was rated R. Would you give it an R rating? Why or why not?

8. At least three characters in the film (President Lipnik of Capital Pictures, the writer W.P. Mayhew, and Detective Mastrionotti) are constantly making racist remarks. How would the story change if this dialogue were omitted?

9. In the final scene, Barton meets “The Bathing Beauty” (a real life woman just like the idealized image that hangs over his desk in his hotel room). Is this a happy ending?

10. Many Hollywood clichés are spoofed throughout the film. What are they, and how to they contribute to your understanding of the story?

11. Which genre does this film best fit? Who Dunnit? Horror Film? Film Noir? Dark comedy? Wrestling Picture? Or would you place it in a different genre?

12. How do O.S. (Off Screen) lines contribute to the story? Could the O.S. lines be cut without changing your understanding of the story?

13. Does the film portray 1941 accurately? (Your answer might further focus on clothing, technology, automobiles, or something else).

14. The film has no female lead character. What is the role of women in the story? How does their presence/absence contribute to your understanding of the story?

15. How does the repeated shot of the surf crashing against the rock contribute...

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