Movie 10 Pages

Option A

Provide an auteurist analysis of one film from a filmmaker of your choice. You should argue how this particular film fits (or deviates from) this filmmaker’s typical style. How do the elements of film we’ve studied combine to produce a certain visual and aural style in this film? Are these stylistic effects typical in this filmmaker’s work?


Note that this will not be a comparative essay where you analyze multiple films—instead, you’re focusing deeply on just one film. However, you will need to provide some context for what this filmmaker’s typical style actually is. To do so, you should consult at least two reputable sources to lay the foundation for your argument. These sources may come from academic film studies journals or reputable journals of film criticism (Cinema JournalFilm Quarterly, The Velvet Light Trap, etc.) or scholarly books from the library. You will need to identify a filmmaker who you can find some existing research on, so keep that in mind as you select the film and filmmaker you want to analyze. I’m happy to discuss options with you, help you brainstorm, and guide you as you research your filmmaker.


Option B

Choose one of the films from our syllabus and identify its genre. There are a wide range of different types of film genres: detective, action/adventure, mystery, science fiction, horror, gangster, romance, comedy, musical, comedy, animation, detective, or spy thriller. Often, a movie may contain elements reflecting different genres. In this paper, you should argue how this particular film fits (or deviates from) its genres. How do the elements of film we’ve studied combine to produce a certain visual and aural style in this film? Are these stylistic effects typically used in this genre? How may this film be subverting expected generic traits to produce something new? Bring in outside research as needed to help support or contextualize your claims.


Helpful Tips:

Watch the movie. Then watch it again. Take notes during the first viewing and, if you are analyzing a movie that is available on DVD, be ready with your remote control to pause and rewind. Writing an effective film analysis is best accomplished if you don’t have to rely on your memory of events, dialogue or cinematic techniques.


Critically engage with the movie so that you can effectively produce a strong essay. Focus on a single thematic concept related to the film. Ideas for essays taking this route could include an analysis of how the film is photographed, how the movie relates a historical event in a dramatic way without compromising the facts or how a single sequence within the film relates to larger cinematic concepts, like overlapping dialogue or the utilization of dramatic irony.


Introduce the film and its major participants, such as the actors and director. Include the name of another technician on the film if your analysis will be focusing on that aspect. For instance, cite the name of the cinematographer if you are going to be writing about the importance of shadows to film noir, or include the name of the composer of the movie’s score if you are writing about the importance of background music to the emotional tone of the film.


Provide a brief overview of the story, but avoid the temptation to pad your word count by writing what amounts to a synopsis of the story rather than analysis. Reveal plots twists or the ending of the film only if they relate directly to your analysis.


Familiarize yourself with technical jargon related to the art of filmmaking. Learn the difference between a cut and a dissolve. Write about subjective camera work if the analysis is dealing with a part of the movie shot from the point of view of one of the characters. Properly utilizing filmmaking terms will strengthen the authority of your essay.


Writing Tips:


For any formal essay, you should follow the formatting guidelines of the profession style in the field – in this case MLA style . That means you should have

· a heading (your name, the course, &c.),

· a “header” (your last name & the page number, which you can add using functions under the Insert tab in your word‐processing program), and

· an original, relevant title.


Use italics for the title of any feature‐length film.


Essay Rubric


  Excellent (A) Good (B) Fair (C) Poor (D) Failing (F)
Topic Highly relevant & original. Very relevant w/ personal touches. Marginally impor‐tant or original. Somewhat insig‐ nificant; derivative Not relevant or original.
Thesis Exceptionally complex. Very complex. Some complexity, but fairly straightfwd. Not very complex. Very simplistic.
Body Lots of detail; ex‐ tensive development Good detail, examples, coverage. Some detail and effort on developm. Speaking mainly in generalizations. Too short; no concrete detail.
Logic Airtight reasoning. Sound reasoning; few lapses. Okay, but wavering on a few points. Pattern of faulty logic & emotional appeals. Illogical; off track.
Research Vast effort on finding sources. Good sources; interesting variety. Some sources; lacking in variety. Little effort on sources; sloppy bibliography. Virtually no citations.
Organization Seamless flow of information Good structure; major components in place. Basic structure in place, but bland presentation. Components out of place or transitions hard to follow. Seriously lacking in structure.
Style Vital, original, energetic prose. Good, sound English expression. Somewhat bland. Awkward, incon‐sistent language. No energy.
Grammar, Punctu‐ ation, mechanics Essentially free of errors. Free of major sentence errors, but some minor ones. A smattering of sentence infractions. Significant major sentence errors. Variety of errors.
Manuscript form (or spoken delivery) Following Server documents; con‐ fidently delivered. Most guidelines, followed; good presence. Some lapses in form; good humor. Disregards fomat rules; lackluster performance. No knowledge of required formats; poor attitude.
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