Over the first half of this semester, we have looked at the introduction of motion pictures and how an entirely new “language” allowed us to translate our visions, both of reality and fantasy, into an art form that spoke to us all as we sat in the dark. Much of what we have explored has naturally brought up aesthetic questions and issues—how could it not? We suddenly have the ability to present moving life, either as it really is or as we may wish it could be. We have been exploring writing film criticism and, to a lesser extent, film reviews (more on that to come). For this assignment, though, we’re going to explore writing film history—an analysis or report on the developments or trends in the art form. (See the attachment on Writing Film History for details, or else check out on Classes under Documents/Writing About Film.) While aesthetics will inevitably creep in as one describes a given trend, the focus here is about the trend and how it developed, lasted, or faded. Why did a style or genre become popular? What did it reflect about audiences? The time period? Choose one of the following topics: Movie musicals Horror films Screwball comedy Animation Film noir Documentaries This should be a fun assignment for you, so choose the area that most appeals to you. Write a 3-page paper on the development of this genre within the movies, its changes and developments, how audiences responded to these developments, and the status of this genre today. To do so, you will need to do some research, read some criticism within this genre, and maybe even examine a few films yourself. Bring this information into your paper (with proper MLA citation) as you explain to your chosen reader how this genre grew, how it functions, and how it survives in film culture today.
Movie: THE ARTIST (2011)
Chapter 5: Sound PowerPoint
1. Is the sound edited down and simplified or
dense and complex? Give an example.
2. Is there any symbolism in the use of the
sound? Give an example.
3. Does the film employ repeated motifs in the
4. How is silence used? Explain and give an
5. What type of musical score does the film
feature? What type of instruments are used? A full orchestra or a small combo?
Movie: DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (2019)
6: Acting PowerPoint
1. Does the film highlight the
stars or does the director encourage ensemble playing?
Is the star(s) in the film highly iconographic? (YOU MIGHT HAVE TO
DO A LITTLE RESEARCH-GOOGLE THE ACTORS/ACTRESSES)
If the star is highly iconographic, what values does he or she
What style of acting predominates?
Why were these actors cast? What do they bring with them to enhance the
characters they are portraying?