Hoop Dreams Analysis

Powerful Essays
Lorenzo de Medici

Film Analysis: Hoop Dreams (1994)

Written by Ann Kelsey
Cinema of the Real: Documentary Films
Paolo Grassini
December 5, 2012

The 1994 Documentary, Hoop Dreams, directed by Steve James, is a masterful display of human drama. The story-line is so captivating and theatrical that it seems crafted from fiction. The Documentary boasts cinematic techniques and private investigating that rivals most film of this time period. The film follows the high school careers of two boys from the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago. The aggressive authenticity of cinema verite does not only peek through in character emotion, but film’s beginning came together naturally. James tells Robert Ebert in 2009, "A talent scout for suburban high schools led us to Arthur. Through Arthur we happen to met William. We kept right on filming from that. We never did get much more, but we kept on filming (Ebert, 1).” Through commendable efforts in precise cinematography, narrative, and continuity editing- the stories of Arthur Agee and William Gates widened the eyes of America. In all my years of studying cinema I have yet to watch a movie, documentary or not, that has touched me this deeply. The superiority of Hoop Dreams goes well beyond the scope of a Film student. Apart from his assessment, Hoop Dreams is decorated with over twelve awards. To name a few; The Sundance Film Festival Audience Aware for Best Documentary in 1994, 1994 Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Documentary, 1994 Chicago Film Critics Award: Best Picture, 1995 Academy Award Nomination: Best Editing and In 2007, the International Documentary Association selected Hoop Dreams as the all-time greatest documentary (IMDb). The fates of Arthur and William began in the hands of Earl Smith, a talent scout for several high schools that recruits impressionable grammar school kids. College-style recruitment at the disturbingly young age of twelve. He recruited Both Arthur



Bibliography: Bellour, Raymond, and Constance Penley. The Analysis of Film. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2000. Print. Ebert, Roger. "Roger Ebert 's Journal." Roger Ebert 's Journal. Chicago Sun-Times, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. . Ellis, Jack C., and Betsy A. McLane. A New History of Documentary Film. New York: Continuum, 2005. Print. Nichols, Bill. Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1991. Print. IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. Saldana, Matt. "Indy Week." Indy Week. N.p., 6 Apr. 2009. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Hoop Dreams Analysis

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The movie Hoop Dreams traced a poor young talented African American named Arthur Agee from grade eight to college. Arthur hoped to play professional basketball in the future to help his family to escape poverty. Despite the fact that his family background and the neighborhood he lived in, disadvantaged him to pursue his goal in many ways. Firstly, Arthur is determined to play professional basketball, in order to help out his family. Secondly, his ability to adapt difficult circumstances played a…

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Hoop Dreams

    • 539 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Running Head: HOOP DREAMS: REFLECTION PAPER In the movie “Hoop Dreams” a film producer followed two African-American boys on their journey to become professional basketball players. Sadly, Arthur and William’s story is too common into today’s lower income areas. Income unquestionably plays a role in this equation; since the parents don’t have the funds to give to their child to go to school this is the child’s only way to college. Many kids at a young age are forced to pick a sport…

    • 539 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The exceptionally engaging film, Hoop Dreams goes deep into the life that surrounds basketball. To make it, a player has to be something more then just a good player. They need to be belligerent, well trained, surpass academically, and unaware of anything that doesn't include basketball. The highly thought out, and heartrending film closely records the lives of two Chicago teenagers as we watch their struggle of basketball, to become the best. For five years, Steve James, Frederick Marx, and Peter…

    • 648 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Robert Deiz AS 201 MW 5:30 – 7:20 4/14/10 The movie I chose for my presentation is Hoop Dreams. This movie was produced in 1994 by Steve James, Fred Marx and Peter Gilbert. Hoop Dreams is an excellent three hour documentary about two black boys growing up in the inner city of Chicago, Illinois with aspirations of playing basketball in the NBA. The movie starts out when William Gates and Arthur Agee are going to enter high school. William and Arthur both are recruited by Earl Smith a talent scout…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    you from trying. Don't let your fears Keep you from dreaming. Don't give up for any reason. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF”. In the novel “Hoop Dreams” there are many characters that have big dreams that they hope to achieve. Although plenty of their dreams were fulfilled and multiple of dreams were gone these three main characters had their dreams meet. Just because people's dreams not meet, doesn’t mean a person should stop dreaming.…

    • 90 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hoop Dreams Themes

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In Hoop Dreams, the lives of two students athletes, William Gates and Arthur Agee, are documented as they both pursue their dream of making it to the NBA one day. The documentary emphasizes many of the themes and concepts about the African American athlete that we have learned in class. One of the themes we talked in class was the exploitation of the student athlete for the benefit of the school. Student athletes are expected to live up to the expectations of the coaches and the school and devote…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Movie Review: Hoop Dreams

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Hoop Dreams Paper The movie Hoop Dreams shows you the difficulties and obstacles that come in the way of dreams. Although it’s said that if you believe in a dream long enough it will come true, but in Hoop Dreams you are shown the harsh realities of the falseness of that statement. Then that the reality of a dream not coming true hits you like a brick wall. This movie shows the conflict perspective view showing how sports can be harmful because they make you believe that if you have a talent it…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hoop Dreams Many authors/film makers realize that sometimes, in order to make a point, an idea is best conveyed through a stirring of the audience’s pathos, or feelings. An audience whose emotions have been affected is more likely to remember a message and take it into consideration. Hoop Dreams, a documentary by Steve James, is an apt example that employs heavy use of pathos in order to present its theme. The documentary follows two boys through their high school years in Chicago as they pursue…

    • 1137 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hoop Dreams When I first arrived at Rotunda D I thought to myself great I get to stand the whole time because there is not one open seat. Dean Nickels started the event off by introducing Scott Naggy, head boys basketball coach. Naggy then talked a little about how they recruit players for South Dakota State University. He then introduced two of his players. The first was from the West side of Chicago, he talked about how he would play basketball to escape from the hardships of growing up in West…

    • 409 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Hula Hoop

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages

    I’m talking about hooping, the modern evolution of the hula hoop. THESIS Today, I’m going to share some information about the hula hoop phenomenon. RTL Knowalil: Most of you might know a lil bit about hula hoops from playing with them as a child. This speech will help shed a new light on an old idea by providing you with new information about different uses for hula hoops. Knowalot: Some of you may have used weighted hula hoops in exercise routines. You can learn some valuable new information…

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays