Analyze the formal and thematic issues of two films we screen as part of the class and one film of the student’s choosing.
Students will write three 2-3 page film analysis papers over the course of the semester. These papers will analyze the formal and thematic issues of two films we screen as part of the class and one film of the student’s choosing. These papers will be worth 50 points each for a total of 150 points.
Using terminology and concepts from class materials and assigned readings students must examine how some formal element (such as lighting, editing, dialogue, plot, mise- en-Scene, etc.) are utilized within the film and the impact they have on the overall film. It is not necessary to examine every element of the film but rather to narrow your focus in order to discuss how a smaller element or set of elements of the film function toward the whole.
Look for an aspect of the film that you respond to and begin your inquiry by asking yourself why you respond that way. Next analyze how the specific elements are used to elicit that response. Make sure that you support your thesis with clear and specific examples from the film.
Your analysis should be organized around how the elements of the film relate to and contribute to the overall mood, theme, central purpose, or total effect.
It is absolutely acceptable to interject your own voice and subjectivity into the analysis as long as it is logically organized and supported within your paper.
Here is a short (but certainly not exhaustive) list of things to consider:
These papers are due periodically during the semester. See the course calendar for exact due dates. Once past the due date, papers will be accepted up until the final date of the course but only for partial credit (25 points at most.)
All papers should be formatted according to MLA guidelines: 12 point font, double spaced, 1 inch margins, etc. Correct grammar and spelling is essential. Papers should be a minimum of 2 full pages.
All sources (including films) must be cited according to the APA or MLA citation standards. (If you are not familiar with the structure of these citation styles, check at the library, the bookstore, or on the World Wide Web for the latest versions produced by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Modern Languages Association (MLA).)
Style: Is your point of view intelligible, and engaging of the audience’s attention? Is it well organized? Was your writing style lively and clear? Did you use correct grammar and punctuation?
Content: Did you comprehensively explain your central idea or thesis? Are your comments on the film reasonable, well thought out, creative and insightful? Did you correctly cite all sources?
Completeness: Did you thoroughly investigate and explain your thesis? Did you complete all parts of the assignment? Was each part well put together according to the guidelines of the assignment?