Here are the instructions teacher gave, please follow. Do not hesitate to message me with any questions. Before getting started, MESSAGE ME WITH THE FILM YOU ARE USING. I need to approve it before but I will respond within 30 minutes.
GRADING RUBRIC: Each paper should be Double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Your writing will be evaluated on i) How well you state and introduce your THESIS or central point, describing the relevant and specific aspects of your analysis; ii) The clarity and organization of your argument with regard to specific examples and evidence cited from the movie; and iii) The technical quality of your writing, paying attention to the mechanics of good writing: sentence structure, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
– Your thesis, or the main point of your argument/analysis, should be clear by the end of the first paragraph.
– The assignment is to discuss any movie or television program of your choice, describing and analyzing a significant use of one of the designated formal elements (Paper #1, mise-en-scene)
– Describe in some detail how the selected scene uses form in an expressive way; that is, describe and discuss specific aspects of style. How does form create content/meaning/affect? DO NOT critique a film that we screened in class; OR one extensively discussed by Barsam & Monahan. Feel free, however
to refer in your analysis to films we have seen if relevant.
– Don’t spend much time summarizing the plot (a couple of sentences for context should cover it) but be sure to cite specific examples from the film/TV program to support your argument. Also, even though you are concentrating on particular segments, don’t neglect the film/text as a whole. Be sure to discuss enough about the rest of the film to convey a sense of how the sequence you have chosen fits into the film overall, thematically, narratively, etc. Consider, for example, how visual or thematic motifs in this sequence function in other parts of the film
– Take a single scene from a movie or TV show of your choice and analyze it in
terms of how it uses aspects of mise-en-scene to communicate narrative and/or thematic meanings about the story as a whole: sets/locations, décor, props, costumes, placement and blocking of actors, shot composition and lighting, etc.
HERE ARE ADDITIONAL TIPS WHEN WRITING FILM PAPER, GIVEN BY INSTRUCTOR
It’s acceptable occasionally to say “I think,” etc. in a formal critique. However, this should be used sparingly.
Film and book titles should be italicized. Every time. Do not footnote dialog quotes from the movie.
Avoid this phrasing: “In the movie The Wizard of Oz…” We know it’s a movie.
The first time you mention a movie/TV show title, it’s appropriate to indicate when it was released, e.g., Casablanca
To keep the principal characters of the story clear, you might also indicate the actor’s name the first time they are mentioned, e.g., Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). No need to name every actor in the film, however.
Avoid tedious “here I go” statements that just waste space: e.g., “I have chosen to analyze for this assignment the film X,” or “I will now do this,” and “I have just done that,” etc. Just get to it.
In describing a movie adapted from novel, play, or other source, the phrase is “based on,” not “based off of,” which clumsily repeats prepositions.
Avoid awkward uses of common words that have particular meanings in film production and analysis, e.g.,
–“zooms in on” when you really mean “cuts to a close up” or simply “emphasizes.”
The automatic variable focus lens (zoom lens) did not come into general use until the mid-1950s, btw.
–“focuses on” when you really mean “emphasizes” or “concentrates our attention on.” Virtually every shot of every
film “focuses on” something.
–a “dramatic change” when writing about…drama. You really mean “significant” or “sudden” change in the story
These simple things will improve the style of your analysis.
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