Why can the movie “8 Mile” be considered a local color story?

Pre-University Paper, 2010

17 Pages, Grade: -1


Table of contents

1 Definition: Local color

2 Why can the movie “8 Mile” be considered a local color story?
2.1 Important information about the movie
2.1.1 Summary of the movie “8 MILE”
2.1.2 Biography of the director and producer Curtis Hanson
2.1.3 Biography of Eminem
2.1.4 Central figures of the movie.
2.2 Music of 8 Mile
2.2.1 Interpretation of the song “Lose Yourself’
2.2.2 Interpretation of the song “Juicy”
2.2.3 Interpretation of the song “Get Money”
2.3 Examination of local color characteristics
2.3.1 The movie “8 MILE”

3 Local color in Bavaria

1 Definition: Local color

Local color or regional literature is fiction and poetry that focuses on the characters, dialect, customs, topography, and other features particular to a specific region. Influenced by Southwestern and Down East humor, between the Civil War and the end of the nineteenth century this mode of writing became dominant in American literature.[1]

Especially Representatives of the United States were for example Mark Twain and Mary Austin, Zone Gale, Hamlin Garland and - probably the most famous one - Bret Hart.

“The short story “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” is a superb example of local color fiction ” because it has the following characteristics: a) it is written for popular fiction, b) it contains accurate dialect, c) it shows realistic representations of local customs, dress, mannerisms, and habits of thought, d) it contains sentimentality, e) it contains humor, f) it contains the subject of life, friendship, and love, g) it came from personal experience of the author, and h) it contains eccentric characters.[2]

“Local Color” has not only played a big role in the past but can be also found in the present. In the following we are going to find out if the movie “8 Mile” is a typical “Local Color” story. To begin with we will be looking at the most important information of the movie which includes a summary, a biography of the Producer and Director Curtis Hanson, a biography of Eminem and the most important figures. After that we are going to talk about three songs of the movie and finally we are going to see that the movie “8 Mile” has a lot of local color characteristics.

2. Why can the movie “8 Mile” be considered a local color story?

2.1 Important information about the movie

2.1.1 Summary of the movie “8 Mile”

Right after Jimmy (“B Rabbit”) Smith (Eminem, Picture 1,2) and his girlfriend Janeane (Taryn Manning, Picture 3) had split up in 1995, the 23-old has to move back to his alcoholic, unemployed mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger, Picture 4). She lives with her little daughter Lily (Chloe Greenfield, also Picture 4) and her lover Greg Buehl (Michael Shannon, Picture 5) - a former school friend of her son - in a trailer easterly of a Road called 8 Mile in Detroit. The money, B Rabbit earns as an unskilled worker at an automobile factory is not even enough for the rent but his mother doesn’t want to bother Greg being scared of losing this man. However, Stephanie’s boyfriend finds the eviction proceedings on accident and leaves her.

Although B Rabbit is white, his Afro-American friend David (’’Future”) Porter (Mekhi Phifer, Picture 6) forces him to take part in Hip-Hop-Battles, which are presented by him in the eyesore “The Shelter”. In every round two competitors meet and they both have 45 seconds time to make an off-cuff Rap song to insult each other. The participant who more enthusiastically the audience claps at moves up one round. Because of his stage fright B Rabbit vomits backstage before the rap battle. On his turn he is not able to say a word and the crowed boos him off the stage.

In spite of his fail Future does not give up on him and Eminem gets to know a new friend Alex (Brittany Murphy, Picture 7) who also believes in his exceptional gift as a Rapper. Alex dreams about a career as a model.

B Rabbit is scared off getting sneered at in “The Shelter” again and he is not sure if he should listen to Wink (Eugene Byrd, Picture 8), a guy who offers to record a demo with him boasting about popularizing him. Jealously B Rabbit is watching when Wink promises Alex to help her start a career as a model. After a fight with Future, B. Rabbit is left with no other choice than taking Wink’s offer. But then he catches Alex and Wink having sex. Angrily he beats him up, however, later that day Wink comes back with his gang and beats up B Rabbit as payback.

After Alex reconciled with B Rabbit, she decides to move to New York for a better future.

B Rabbit also reconciled with Future and reports in “The Shelter again”. Round to Round he works himself to the final of the rap battle where he meets the favorite “Papa Doc” (Anthony Mackie, Picture 9). As a result B Rabbit beats him and as a result he gains respect in the Detroit Hip-Hop-Scene which is mainly controlled by black people.[3] [4]

2.1.2 Biography of the director and producer Curtis Hanson

Curtis Lee Hanson (Picture 10), born in Reno Nevada 1945, grew up in Los Angeles. When Hanson dropped out of high school he started to work as a photographer for “Cinema magazine” which his uncle owned. “After years of editing and taking photographs for Cinema magazine, Hanson turned to screenwriting and directing.”[5] His career started with the movie “Sweet Kill” in 1973. The movie was not only written by Hanson but also directed and produced by him together with Roger Corman. After that he directed many other movies like “Losin’ It” (1983), “The Children Of Times Square” (1986), “The Bedroom Window” (1987), “Bad Influence” (1990), “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” (1992), “The River Wild” (1994), “L.A. Confidential” 1997, “Wonder Boys” (2000), “8 Mile” (2002), “In Her Shoes” (2005) and “Lucky You” (2007).[6] “After receiving Best Screenplay Oscar from Walter Matthau and ‘Jack Lemmon’”[7] Hanson said: “Being given this Award by two actors I will always associate with Billy Wilder makes it all the sweeter. ” [7] His philosophy about movies is that he wants:

"to allow people to think about the movie the way I always thought about movies I watched and admired. [...] When they're watching the movie I want them to watch the movie, not be distracted listening to me or other people. "[3]

2.1.3 Biography of Eminem

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Picture 11) was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1972. The Rapper and Producer grew up in a predominant Afro-American residential area in Detroit. His dad left Eminem when he was only three months together with his mother who was 17 years old. She was addicted to drugs and violent. His only model, father substitute and friend was his uncle Ronnie who shot himself while a crime in 1991. In the year 1987 he recorded his first Demo tape which he used to be able to participate in the Detroit rap scene. Seven years later his girlfriend Kimberly Ann Scott who he married in 1999 gave birth to his daughter Hailie Jade Scott. While his first performances he called himself “M&M” (his initials) which he changed within the 1990s to “Eminem” spoken as “em „n em”. His first album “Infinite” turned out in 1996 and was not very popular. 1998 Dr. Dre ( Andre Romell Young):

Singed Eminem to his Aftermath label after hearing the rapper free styling on a Los Angeles radio station. The Slim Shady LP was released on Feb. 23, 1999 and hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts within weeks. The Slim Shady LP was 3 times platinum.

The album “The Marshall Mathers LP” won 3 Grammies and “was the first rap album ever to be nominated ‘Album of the Year ’, selling more than 8 million records in the United States alone. ”8 Although Eminem was going through difficult times with his mother and with his wife - she sued him for ten million dollars compensation in each case - Eminem is with more than 65 Million sold albums considered as the most successful white Rapper worldwide.[8]

2.1.4 Central figures of the movie “8 Mile'

The white rapper Jimmy Smith Jr. (B. Rabbit, Picture 1 and Picture 2) played by Eminem (Picture 11) himself lives on the crime, unemployment and corruption side of the road “8 Mile” which separates the city center of Detroit. He works in a car factory but the money just lasts for his living. After breaking up with his pregnant girlfriend (Picture 3), he has to move back to his drug-addicted mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger, Picture 4), her boyfriend, a former school friend of Jimmy and his little sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield, also Picture 4) into a trailer. Becoming a professional rapper one day is his dream and his friend Future (Mekhi Phifer, Picture 6) who moderates freestyle battles in a club called “The Shelter”, promotes B. Rabbit by giving him the chance to participate in rap battles but Jimmy blows his first opportunity because of stage fright. The talented Rapper finds Alex (Brittany Murphy, Picture 7), some kind of fellow sufferer who also wants to escape the ghettos of Detroit through artistic success. Alex believes in Jimmy but cheats on him to help herself starting a career as a model. B. Rabbit works hard to get his live straight and his friend future gives him another chance to battle in “The Shelter”. Eminem is not afraid anymore and works his way up to the final where he beats his biggest opponent and wins the competition.


[1]Campbell, Donna M. “Regionalism and Local Color Fiction.” 1865-1895. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1997. Web. 1 Nov. 2010 <http://wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/lcolor.html>.

[2]"Local Color Fiction." Example Essays. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2010. <http://www.exampleessays.com/viewpaper/66953.html>.

[3] "8 Mile (film)." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_Mile_(film)#Plot>.

[4] Davis, Nicholas. "8 Mile." Nick's Flick Picks. Ed. Davis Nick. N.p., Nov. 2002. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. <http://www.nicksflickpicks.com/8mile.html>.

[5] "Curtis Hanson biography." tribute.ca. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2010. <http://www.tribute.ca/people/curtis-hanson/1739/>.

[6] "Curtis Hanson." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Hanson>.

[7]"Curtis Hanson." IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000436/bio>.

[8]"Biography of Eminem." IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2010. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004896/bio>.

Excerpt out of 17 pages


Why can the movie “8 Mile” be considered a local color story?
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ISBN (Book)
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Local Color, Eminem, Curtis Hanson, 8 Mile
Quote paper
Tim Nowak (Author), 2010, Why can the movie “8 Mile” be considered a local color story?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/165699


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