For the final project each student is required to write a paper of 4 to 6 pages on one of the two questions outlined below.). Please note that if you choose a film not included on this list, you need to consult with me on the appropriateness of your choice. Please refer to the following documents for more details.
For the final project each student is required to write a paper of 4 to 6 pages on one of the two questions outlined below.). Please note that if you choose a film not included on this list, you need to consult with me on the appropriateness of your choice. If you choose to write your essay based on question #2, you MUST base your paper on any of the films from the Films List (attached below).
I will grade your responses based on (1) demonstrated analytical approach to the question; (2) creativity and originality; (3) successful placement of your discussion within cultural, socio-political, and theoretical contexts as presented in this course; (4) appropriate use of film studies terminology as presented in the course.
Question 1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting two of the films you have seen in this course.
Question 2. View and analyze a film from the List of Films below. Offer a comparative analysis of the film from the listwith any other film we have seen in class this semester. If you decide to work on Question III, choose ONE of the sub-topics below:
Question 3 Examine another work of a director whose work we have seen in class (Iñárritu, del Toro, Martel etc.). If you choose to go with this angle, consider the particular director as an auteur: do you see any signature themes throughout several of his / her works? Are there any familiar filming techniques? Themes? Etc.
Format for your final project (for Questions 1,2 or 3).
1. An opening paragraph that briefly names the film and filmmaker, tells when and where the film was made, and briefly explains the particular significance or importance or relevance of this film that your paper will demonstrate.
2. A brief summary of the events in the film(s) (no more than one page or 250 words FOR BOTH FILMS)
3. A comparative analysis of both films’ narrative. Some questions you might consider include (please note that the questions below are meant as a very tentative suggested guide; you do not have to address every single question):
1) What is (are) the main theme (themes) of the films? Does every sequence and image of the films contribute to the theme or does it complicate the theme?
2) Do the films have a singular narrator or multiple narrators? Are the film aligned to any one narrator? Or are the films’perspectives alienated from all the characters? Is anyone given omniscience?
3) Can you relate the films to any particular genre? How and why?
4. Who are the films’ main characters? What is the historical and geographical setting in which they are placed?
1) What kinds of things do we learn about these characters? Between the two films, what do these characters have in common, if anything? What kinds of conflicts between them (or other kinds of conflicts) emerge through the narrative?
2) How do the different events in the film connect in terms of cause-and-effect (or do they)? How are the events connected in time? Does the film use flashforwards or flashbacks?
5. An analysis of particularly noteworthy stylistic features; howdo they connect to the characters and narrative and/or suggest particular themes, motifs meanings? Some things you might consider are:
1) Particular props, settings, images, actions, or uses of sound or music that mark out sharp similarities or comparisons with other scenes in the films you are analyzing
2) Particular uses of camerawork (moving or still, close-up or distant, uses of different angles, the use of color, etc.)
3) Whether the films favor long takes or makes heavy use of editing of individual shots
4) Particular uses of diegetic and extra-diegetic music and/or other sounds, including dialogue and narration
6. Your conclusion should discuss the overall significance of the films as revealed through the details you have discussed. What are the two films expressing or trying to say? If the “meaning” is obscure, why is that?
7. Finally, indicate how—if at all—these films fit within the context of the director’s other works and/or a particular film movement (depending on the sub-topic of your choice).
GENERAL PAPER GUIDELINES.
1. Begin your paper with a title that sums up your argument. Make sure your paper begins with a specific thesis statement that puts forth a particular, focused argument. The remainder of your paper should develop this argument through the use of evidence, citations, and examples from the films.
2. Your paper needs to be 5 – 7 pages long, typed and double-spaced, in a 12-point font with 1-inch margins.
3. The paper needs to be submitted as a Word document ATTACHMENT via Canvas. Formats other than Word WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED and the student will receive a zero (0) for the assignment.
4. You are not required to use secondary sources (although I highly recommend that you use them to strengthen your argument!). If you do cite / consult anything, be sure to give full and proper citation (this also refers to any internet sources, interviews, or reviews).
5. Make sure you abide strictly by the University rules with regard to academic dishonesty.
6. LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED (no exceptions for any reasons) and the student will receive a zero (F) for this assignment.
Film list for those of you who choose to write on Question II.
The Official Story (La historia official), 1985. Dir. Luis Puenzo
Cronos, 1993. Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta), 2004. Dir. Walter Salles
Chinese Take-Away (Un cuento chino) 2011. Dir. Sebastián Borensztein
The Club (El club) 2015. Dir. Pablo Larraín
Neruda, 2016. Dir. Pablo Larraín
Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) 2018. Dir. Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego
Un traductor, 2018. Dir. Sebastián Barriuso & Rodrigo Barriuso
Museum (Museo), 2018. Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios
Roma, 2018. Dir. Alfonso Cuarón