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In Realism, the world of the story is represented realistically, as if is (or could be) part of our everyday experience. Expressionistic films represent the world in an unrealistic way, inflected by theatrical or psychological elements, or artistic or metaphorical distortion. Expressionistic works are usually dark.
Realism ties a story to the world we know, and tends to be more literal and objective. Expressionism ties a story to the world as perceived or experienced (especially by a troubled mind), and tends to be more metaphorical and subjective.
Realism tends to use light to showcase sets and locations or reveal the harshness of the world; Expressionism tends toward shadow, suggesting mystery and psychological darkness.
Analytical approach
� Identify expressionistic elements in mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound design, and/or editing (MCSE).
� Describe the way that they contribute to the tone or feel of the piece.

Utilize the general topics provided in the Unit Overview to establish your approach, and analyze the movie Dark City (1998, Proyas).
You will also be utilizing supplemental reading materials in your essay (that is the downloaded file-How to Read a Film: Movies, Media and Beyond by James Monaco, pages 435-468
Essays should employ an exploratory question rather than a thesis statement; that is, you should go into the essay with a clear sense of your approach and method, but be open to a variety of conclusions, which may likely be richer and more complex in nature. In short, strive to discoversomething rather than prove something. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to revise your opening paragraph; just frame it as a question rather than an answer.
Grading will consider the following:
� thorough and thoughtful engagement with the film text(s)
� successful application of the theoretical frame in analyzing the text(s)
� integration of supplementary readings (one more extensively, two or more less so)
� success of exploratory approach
� clear prose, free from grammatical errors and typos, befitting a 400-level class

1300-1500 words, double-spaced


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