1. Write an analysis of ONE of the documentaries we watched in either week eight or week nine. While your impressions and opinions of the film are certainly important, you should demonstrate a close engagement with the film that goes beyond summarizing it and listing what you found generally strong or weak about it. How does the film “draw us into a particular perspective on the world and invite us to experience the world in a distinct way?” First, what is the world depicted by the film and what perspective did you experience in watching it? How does the film engage the historical world it takes for its subject? To answer these questions, consider the film’s rhetorical use of at least two formal systems: cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, and sound. (You might keep in mind the importance of sound for documentary). Choose one or two scenes that worked on you, that drew you in, and do a close reading and analysis of how those scenes articulate an appeal to their viewers. Do these scenes establish the film/filmmaker’s credibility, craft a convincing argument, and/or construct a compelling form of presentation or do all of these at once? Make at least one reference to the assigned readings, either Nichols or Lesage. Your essay should have a clear line of argumentation. Do not spend time giving plot summary or listing observations of specific terms you have learned over the quarter. This is a chance to build your own argument about a film using the skill set you have developed over the duration of the course.
For this assignment, you will write a 1500-1750 word essay on ONE of the prompts listed below. The paper should demonstrate your ability to do a critical analysis of a film or films, using specific visual, formal, and/or narrative details as evidence to support a credible and convincing argument. Your essay should demonstrate your knowledge of the conventions of visual culture you have learned throughout the course and in lab assignments. Those lab skills include: precise textual description as the basis for close textual analysis, formal analysis of mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound, and editing, and analysis of specific types of films (e.g. genre). The specific types of film this assignment focuses on include documentary, autobiographical documentary, and independent feature film. The word length for this assignment is short, so make every word count and structure your argument carefully. For each prompt, narrow your discussion of the relevant films to either one or two scenes, or characters, or specific conflicts, or formal structures or endings. This tactic will ensure that your essay will not get lost in unfocused plot summary
Final Essay Outline
Intro/ thesis statement:
As Americans hold on to the belief of full fled freedom and humans have a natural fear of the unknown, these two feelings contradict one another and play on feelings of fear in this movie.
1) Opening scene – how it sets the tone for the movie through the imagery and sound creating a void of unknown questions. It
2) How info validates the fear
3) Built of tension thought the movie causes distress during the fire alarm scene
4) Sound recreating an empty void as – gets ready in the hotel room and listened to news
5) How editing and sound complement each other
PLEASE USE TWO OR THREE SCENES AS EXAMPLES FROM THE MOVIE