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Supersize Me Case Study

Rob Miller | Tuesday November 01, 2011

Categories: A Level, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS A2, FM4, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Super Size Me, Genres & Case Studies, Documentary

Spectatorship and Documentary

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Synopsis and Character Profiles

Supersize Me is a documentary by independent film maker, Morgan Spurlock, about Spurlock himself spending 30 days in sequence, in 2003, eating only McDonalds food, three times a day with the ensuing affect on his health – the title of film reflects his pledge of having to eat a Supersize meal (the largest on the menu) if asked. The film explores the fast food giant’s corporate influence, and lack of nutrition in its products, with the subjective view encoded by the Documentary make that their only priority is profit, and commercial gain, at the expense of the public who consume their burgers.

As the film progresses, Spurlock himself is framed as the central character, with key scenes intercutting between the narrator at a McDonalds restaurant for yet another meal and shots of him being regularly examined by a Doctor. Spurlock consumes at least 5000 calories every day and eventually eats every item on the menu – he gains over 11 kg, has mood swings and even sexual dysfunction as audiences voyeuristically witness gradual deterioration in his psychological, physical, emotional and mental health. The purpose of the documentary is to raise concerns about the levels of obesity in the US, identified by the Surgeon General.

Vox Pops with Spurlock’s girlfriend (and now wife) introduced audiences to a Vegan chef, who struggles with his quest to uncover the truth about the nutritional value of McDonald’s products – before the project commenced a Cardiologist, a Nutritionist, a Gastroenterologist and a GP predicted limited harm would be caused to his body because he was fit, had a good diet before and that the human body can adapt to different situations. As the film unravels, audiences see that this is not the case.

Spurlock gives himself rules that govern his quest, including having to consume every item on the McDonalds menu, at least once in 30 days, with all outside...


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