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Fun With The Film School Thesis Statement Generator

Fun With The Film School Thesis Statement Generator (photo)

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The women of CineBoobs found a really fun website. Not to mention a useful one, too, if you’re a film student — I know I would have milked this thing dry if it had been around back when I was in grad school. It’s the Film School Thesis Statement Generator and it couldn’t be any simpler. Type in the name of a film like, say, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and the FSTSG spits out a paper topic:


I picked “Plan 9” because I actually did write a grad school paper about “Plan 9” in which I interrogated the meaning and underpinnings of camp viewership. It was a good essay but I like the FSTSG’s version even better. The narrative is completely masked in “Plan 9” but what little remains is almost entirely about the loss of utopia that Ed Wood predicts as the ultimate result of the Cold War arms race.

Just how good is this Film School Thesis Statement Generator? I decided to test it. Obviously it’s just randomly assigning various preset theses to whatever film you type in. But no matter what movie I tried to stump it with, its suggestions were spot-on. Like this one for “Crank: High Voltage:”


I see. “Crank”‘s Chev Chelios is the ultimate immigrant laborer lost in the deadly post-war (not to mention post-consumerist) world of modern-day Los Angeles. His inability to find electricity to fuel his artificial heart is both a brilliant satire of the debate over immigration and work in this country and an obvious representation of peak oil and the impending world energy crisis. And the images by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are nothing if not poetic; their tableaux of strippers, racetracks, and industrial worksites exposes the brutality of bourgeois urban sprawl.

You can’t slip anything past the generator. Look at its suggestion for “Anaconda:”


Interesting. So the giant snake is really a giant phallic symbol, and the casting of Jon Voight an obvious critique of his landmark role in “Midnight Cowboy.” And, of course, Voight and his crew’s journey deep into the Amazon River evokes Conradian identification with those nativist urges. The subversion comes when the phallus devours the snakelike Voight in a powerful moment of Ouroborosian dread.

This thing is uncanny. All right, let’s go for broke. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”


Fascinating! So “Revenge of the Fallen”‘s infantile obsession with female anatomy and caricatured racist stereotypes are all intended as critique! Michael Bay’s nonsensical imagery underscores the fanciful imagination of the pre-Oedipal youth, represented onscreen by boyish leading man Shia LaBeouf. Meanwhile, the principle antagonist of the film, The Fallen, is a metaphor for all pre-Oedipal youths’ eventual loss of innocence. Ultimately, we the viewers are the true Fallen.

There you have it. The Film School Thesis Statement Generator: it works. I really could have used this thing in grad school.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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