THE ART OF FILM
write a research paper, it should be written exclusively in the third-person voice, double-spaced, 12-point font, and be five pages minimum. All papers MUST have a title page spelling out exactly which topic you are addressing.
RESEARCH is required and MUST BE DOCUMENTED WITH IN-TEXT CITATIONS and a WORK CITED PAGE in MLA format. If your paper is absent of in-text citations that means you are not giving credit to your research and are, therefore, plagiarizing which will earn you a “zero” for the assignment and an “F” for the course. None of you are freshmen so you should be more than familiar with MLA and source documentation.
Some of the topics below are very general and need to be narrowed down with a specific focus when writing. AVOID ALL PLOT SUMMARIES (do not tell me the film’s storyline) and be sure to use the terminology we have employed throughout the course when analyzing one of the topics below.
Topics include the following suggestions:
- Select ONE genre or sub-genre (other than the Western) and take it through the complete evolutionary cycle – Primitive, Classical, Revisionist, Parodic – illustrating with examples of films, film technique, mise en scène, etc.
- Take a more in-depth look at ONE of the “types” of film we discussed in class: Classicism, Formalism, Realism (and/or Neo-Realism) and write a retrospective, illustrating with specific examples of both directors and movies.
- Research, explore and expound on how Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994) is a “witty send-up of the GENRE, parodying many of its conventions.”
- Research ‘myth’ and delineate the myriad ways that Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus explores myth in this film and analyze the director’s use of figurative imagery and its social implications.
- Select one legendary and influential filmmaker (not already presented in class) who was instrumental in pushing the envelope. Describe his or her techniques and unique contributions to the industry. Go to http://www.filmsite.org/directors.html to review a list of AMC’s 50 greatest filmmakers.
- Select two distinctly different “auteur” directors and illustrate his or her personal vision, style and thematic obsessions in their films. Compare and contrast one to the other.
- Compare and contrast examples of “film noir” from the 1940s with contemporary “film noir.”
- Compare and Contrast a documentary with a feature film (on the same subject, i.e. “The Life and Times of Harvey Milk” to “Milk,”) identifying the similar and/or different use of narrative, characterization, ideologies, etc.
- Conduct an in-depth analysis of one award-winning film, examining how the film visually develops its theme through the use of one of the elements of film. An example might be a critique of American culture or the rebirth of a character. Please support your observations with specific examples from the text.
- Research one “avant-garde” filmmaker, illustrating their personal daring and controversial approach to film as well as the “highly personal ideas” they sought to characterize in their film(s).
- Explore how Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge is homage to early silent films, vaudeville, 19-century photography, etc.
- It’s been said that American Westerns are the Greek Tragedies of our time. How is that so? Give specific examples; get into the nitty-gritty of what makes that statement a truism.
- Take an in-depth look at George Lucas’s Star Wars and birth of the Digital Revolution. How has this changed movie making in the 21st century? What might the future hold?
- Fully explore Hollywood’s Golden Era (1910 to 1960s) and illustrate with specific examples how this era created a unique visual and sound style for making motion pictures and a mode of production that defined movies for decades and address if and how it influences films today.
- Profile an “Expressionistic” filmmaker illustrating his or her use of mise en scène, technique, and use of contemporary cinema to conjure a magical world for the moviegoer.
- Fully explore Mise en Scène, discussing the Frame, Composition & Design, Territorial Space, Proxemic Patterns and Open and Closed Forms, illustrating with examples/scenes from well-known films.
- Select an award-winning FILM EDITOR and discuss his or her techniques and contributions to the film industry.
- Select ONE specific genre and write an historical retrospective of that genre, delineating its significant contributions.
- Further explore ‘cinema verité, bringing it from its roots with Robert Wiseman to today’s verité filmmakers, illustrating the evolution and effectiveness of this documentary style.
- Analyze one film in the context of the characteristics of realistic narratives.
- Analyze one film and its use of ideology, illustrating the filmmaker’s ideas, attitudes, values and perceptions about the world and/or society.