Assignments

Class Presentations:  Choose one Feature film to do a 10-15 min. group presentation on.  Your presentation should include: background information on the film and its director/writer, the technical elements, and the themes.

Essay- Due Wednesday week two of classes: 1-2 (typed, 12-point font, double spaced) page essay on one scene from one film that we have watched in class thus far.  Analyze the technical aspects of the film and how they relate to the director’s intention.

FINAL PAPER: Due Last Day Of Class

Write a 5  page critical essay (typed, 12-point font, double spaced) on a film previously viewed in class, mentioned in class, or one of the readings. If you feel very strongly about writing on a particular film that was not mentioned in class, you must get my approval first.  Analyze this film in terms of its film craft and social significance.  YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT THE ENTIRE FILM, NOT JUST A SCENE.  In this paper, you must site at least three references aside from the film.

Films to choose from:  You may choose from  films viewed in class, mentioned in class, or one of the readings.   If you feel very strongly about writing on a particular film that was not mentioned in class, you must get my approval first.  The film you choose must relate to the themes we are discussing in class.

The Paper:

1) Introduction. State a thesis that gives your interpretation of the film’s meaning.  Briefly connect the film’s formal and stylistic components to that meaning. Be clear about your argument and how you will support it in the body of your paper.

2) The Body of the Paper. Discuss the film’s meaning and techniques  in order to best convey your interpretations.
Choose from the film techniques we discussed at the beginning of the semester, mise-en-scène, camerawork, editing, and sound.  Assume that all the individual elements in the film are there for a reason and that they logically contribute both to the structures and meaning you find in the film.  Give concrete examples of how these techniques are used in your film and how they contribute to the larger meaning.  Show me that you are thinking about how the film you chose relates to the social themes discussed in class- gender sexuality, race, class,religion etc.  Think about these ideas in a critical way, as they relate to your scene, and come up with an original hypothesis that you support in the body of your paper.  As you are writing about the whole film, it is encouraged to discuss character and recurring themes, especially as they relate to the themes mentioned above.
Things to watch out  for in this section of your paper:

Plot summary: Little plot summary is necessary for this assignment. You do not need to summarize the entire film.  If you do, it should not take more than one sentence.    I will make a point to watch all the films you are writing about before reading your papers, so I will know what the film is about.  Get right to your analysis and your interpretation of the film, referring to plot elements only to illustrate and/or situate your examples within the film.
Film Terms: You should  demonstrate your sensitivity to visual and aural techniques as they relate to the film’s overall form and meaning and your mastery of the material by thoroughly employing the terms we’ve learned.
Citations:  You are required to include three citations in this paper.  These references can support your critical thinking in terms of film style and/or social/historical analysis.  Your citations can come from three different readings used in class or readings that you find outside of class.  Regardless, please use proper MLA standards.

3) Conclusion:  Use your final paragraph to bring your analysis of the film to a close. However, do not simply repeat your introduction. Rather, restate your thesis in a conclusive manner and discuss its broader implications.

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