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First World Cinema Essay Spring 2014
Choose one of the following topics and develop it into a 1500 word typewritten paper. You must use at least three outside sources taken from Cahiers du Cinema du Monde, articles distributed in class, or documentaries from the Criterion DVD Rome Open City to support your ideas. Make sure you use specific details and examples from the film to develop your paper. Your answer must demonstrate a close familiarity with the film through the use of specific examples as evidence. Your grades depends on this knowledge of the film .
Remember essays have introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions. Your thesis statement located in your introduction should state the point of your essay. The body paragraphs should begin with topic sentences that indicate how you will develop that point. Each body paragraph must include specific evidence from the film to support your topic sentence as well as references to outside sources. Your paper must be formatted using MLA style, include parenthetical citations, and have a Works Cited page.
Consult A Short Guide… for help in structuring this essay and for citing outside sources. I strongly encourage you to develop an outline or rough draft and consult with me before completing your final draft. Do not be tempted to "borrow" an essay and claim it as your own. You will most likely be discovered, and you will not only fail the class but you will also be reported to the Academic Standards Committee.
If you have a different idea for a paper, please see me for approval.
1. State what you consider to be an intention of the filmmaker and use characters to demonstrate that
intention. For example, Rossellini has said in regard to the war that ?we were all its victims.? A
paper could discuss the characters in Rome Open City that represented particular types of victims
such as Marina.
2. Some critics and even Rossellini say that Rome Open City was not ?completely? a neo-realist film,
that much of traditional filmmaking, for example narrative structure, was a part of the film. Write a
paper that demonstrates where the film deviates from the characteristics of Neo-realism.
3. In a quote from the article ?Myth and Manipulation,? Rossellini says ?We were emerging from the
tragedy of the war. We had all taken part in it, for we were all its victims. I sought only to picture
the essence of things. I had absolutely no interest in telling a romanticized tale along the usual lines
of film drama. The actual facts were each more dramatic than any screen clich?.? In an interview he
stated, ?Above all I wanted to give an honest account, to show things exactly as they were. The
important thing was to take a serious look at the things around us.? Discuss techniques used by
Rossellini that were able ?to show things exactly as they were.?
4. Pick a scene or several scenes, state their importance to the film as a whole, and demonstrate how
they represent neo-realism.
5. Satyajit Ray said that the central purpose of filmmaking is ?the revelation of the truth of human
behavior.? In the film, Aparajito what truth about human behavior is revealed? Use acting,
setting, or a particular film technique to support your assertion.
6. Scholars note that Satyajit Ray ?slowly accumulates moments that reveal a character?s feelings.?
Choose a character and demonstrate what he or she is feeling and how Ray expresses this feeling
through ?slowly accumulated moments.?
7. Ray repeats visual motifs. Find one and explain the meaning of this repetition.
8. You may, also, write about La Trema. In this essay, you would discuss how the qualities of
Italian Neo-Realism apply to this film and how they contribute to the success of the film. See
me about finding outside sources to support your ideas.
9. In addition, you may choose to write about Lagaan. In this essay, you would discuss that
although this film has characteristics of a Bollywood film, it still supports the ideas of Swadeshi
and independent Indian films such as celebrating Indian culture and focusing on rural concerns,
oppression, and the cast system. There are characters who seem to represent these concerns.
See me about finding outside sources to support your ideas.
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