FILM

We have broken down the language of film into six basic elements: narration, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, acting, and sound. 
For your final exam, choose one of the following two films from the Short Films collection at the Looking at Movies student site (and also located in ): Bartholomews Song or Snapshot. 
I repeat: choose one of them.
Then, for whichever film you choose write a short introductory paragraph that explains the films basic narrative in its first sentence and then for the remainder of the paragraph explains the films central theme.   For example, if I were writing about The Hill, I would write the following:
Deborah Chows The Hill is a re-telling of the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme with the two children, now adults, arguing over what took place after a party.  A central theme of the film is the way that traumatic experience can create multiple interpretations of that event.
Thats enough for the first paragraph: two, three sentences, tops.  But please note that, as I note in , a theme of a film is not its moral.  A moral is a lesson to be learned from watching it.  A theme is a more abstract concept that is represented by the film what the film is about in a general sense, rather than in a narrative, or plot, sense.   Themes are often summed up in a short phrase; the above example from The Hill is a bit long, but it describes that theme in good detail. (A short version might simply read: a central theme of the film is trauma, but the longer phrase is better focused.)
Having provided a succinct introduction, you are now to write four paragraphs one for each of four different elements from the six above in which you fully analyze that element and how it expresses the theme youve identified.   You may write these paragraphs in any order you want, as long as for each paragraph you are analyzing one of four elements.  Thus, were I analyzing The Hill, I would write about the contrasting acting performances given by the two central actors depending on whose memories we are watching that would be one paragraph.  Another paragraph would be about the way that the films mise-en-scene  especially its composition serves to frame the characters differently depending on whose version of events is being represented.  Another paragraph would consider the complex plotting of the film, which re-casts the nursery rhyme as a date-rape.   Another would examine the cinematography and how it expresses these two divergent views.   (Alternatively, I might write a paragraph about the films editing or its use of sound instead of one of the above paragraphs.)  Again: you are only writing about four of the six elements of film as defined by B/M.
Because this is not an essay, you do not need to write a concluding paragraph; you only need to write that very short introduction and then four well-developed paragraphs that analyze the four cinematic elements.  If you like, you can use the element in bold type to start each paragraph.  Thus:
Acting.  The performances by Kristin Dispaltro and Joe Towne, etc. 
Such a style is better than writing: In this paragraph I am going to write about the acting.   (NO ANNOUNCEMENTS, PLEASE! Just analyze!)
In writing your analysis of each of the four elements, you must be sure to demonstrate that you are able to use the terms covered in B/M in an intelligent manner.  You dont have to define any of these terms in your writing.  Rather, you must simply use them, correctly and effectively. 
Some other guidelines:

I always defined a fully-developed paragraph as having at least ten sentences, when I taught remedial composition at the CUNY schools. Its a good rule of thumb here.

Note that this means I have not given you a word-count range. Use your best judgment; be thorough, but do not be unnecessarily wordy.  I wont count how many sentences or words you write in each paragraph; I will assess the quality of your analysis. 

If you are analyzing narration, dont summarize the story events, and dont do a plot-breakdown along the lines of what B/M do in Stagecoach. Focus on explaining how the films narrational style  its plotting, among other aspects contributes to the films theme.

If you write about mise-en-scene, you can decide to focus mainly on either design or composition, but it would be a great analysis if you were able to do a thorough job on both.

The language you use for these paragraphs is analytical; I should see no empty adjectives like amazing. Be very wary of this, especially if you choose to write about the acting.  (As that chapter noted, its hard to analyze its so easy to get caught up in a good, or even really bad, performance.) 
As I’ve noted in , avoid writing about the viewer experience: that means not writing about how much you liked/dislike the film (that’s the language of opinion, not analysis), and it also means not using language such as, “we see…” 
This is another comparatively short assignment: do not quote the textbook definitions of the terms.  That’s wasting your time.

For this exam, writing style will count errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. will be a factor in the grade.

You may certainly use any insights you gained from listening to the director commentary on the film you select. Simply acknowledge it in the text of your paragraph so that you dont have to use a citation.  Thus,

The rear window of Jills car is fogged, obscuring the light from outside, which, according to director Chow in her commentary, is to represent the moonlight, and also gives the scene a spooky mood.
One note of caution, dont over-use the director commentary; I dont want to read too much stuff on how the film was made, or what the intentions were.  Im much more interested in the effects, what we see/hear on the screen.  Basically, I am allowing you to refer to some insight of meaning that the film may have that you would not have grasped had you not listened to the commentary track and again, as this information pertains to the theme you are discussing.

If you quote anything from Barsam/Monahan, just put the citation in parentheses; there is no need to include a list of works cited.  (Also, B/M is an acceptable shorthand in your paragraph for the textbook; you dont have to write out their names, and you dont have to write the full title of the book, etc.) And as I noted above (and in ), you should not simply quote the definitions of the terms from the book.  The point is to apply them. 

You have until Monday December 20 at noon to complete your responses.  This date/time is final.  Failure to submit this exam will result in a zero for the exam. The exam will be scored numerically.
Please feel free to ask me questions about the exam before your submission deadline.
The films are available on in Canvas, and you can watch them with commentary at Norton’s  site, if you purchased access. 
NO PLAGIARISM!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE DO Bartholomews Song.NO PLAGIARISM!!!!!!!!!

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