Film Paper

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Film Writing Assignment: Interpreting a Film of Your Choice

According to the textbook authors, when we watch a film, our participation is generally in two different ways:

Fantasy, in which we can imagine ourselves in the action

Acute awareness of the details presented in the film, and their relationships. This second type is centered on detail, structure, form.

Select a dramatic film that you like or are drawn to (**see note at the end of the assignment sheet for explanation of what a “dramatic” film is) Watch it, and participate with it, interpret it, using the following bullet points as guidelines:

Introduce the film. Tell me the title, who made it, who stars in it, and (BRIEFLY) what it’s about.

What do you notice/what stands out about the way the film is shot? Use the terminology from the text to make and support your answer.

What do you notice/what stands out about the way the film is edited (that is, how the narrative is edited together)? Again, use the terminology form the text to make and support your answer.

Does the way the film is shot/edited (the technique) supplement the story being told, or does it override the story/get in the way? Explain.

How does sound (including any music or score) function in the film? Explain.

If, as the textbook authors suggest, art “reveals values,” what values are being revealed by this film? To think about this another way, what is the central message being presented in the film? What are we supposed to take away from that message? How do you know? (Support your answer, fully). What social or historical context has given rise to the film that might help you answer this question? Explain.

What about your own experiences has drawn you to this film, and/or how have these experiences informed/affected how you see/experience the film? Explain.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Paper must be at least 750 words (roughly 3 double-spaced pages). Use 1-inch margins and a reasonably sized 12-pt. font. Please attempt to use proper MLA citations in your use of the textbook, in quoting the film, etc., and please provide a “works cited” page at the end which lists all the information for the film and any outside source material you use (this is not required, but it’s fine if you want to bring in some outside material). MAKE SURE YOU CITE THE FILM ITSELF. This is primarily YOUR response/interpretation of the film, however, so do NOT let outside material drown you out or make up the majority of your paper.

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