Analysis Paper

Task: First take a look at your textbook, Looking at Movies, and review the chapters on sound, cinematography, and editing. At the end of each chapter there is a “screening checklist” that details key ideas, issues, questions, and tips for thinking about that element of film form (either sound, cinematography, and/or editing). Decide what interests you most & what you’d like to write about: film sound (Question A below–see list) OR cinematography & editing (Question B below–see list). After you make that decision, then choose ONE film from one of the lists.

Watch that film a couple of times, at least. During your first viewing, just watch it through and take notes about either the sound or cinematography & editing; also take notes about the film’s themes. What do you think this film is arguing about society, people, culture, etc.? Begin to formulate an argument about that on your own; whatever that argument is will likely become your “thesis.” Next, watch the film again and start to really make connections between the film’s sound or cinematography & editing and how these elements of film form express whatever it is you’re arguing. Once you’ve got that, you can outline your paper, and work through your ideas, one paragraph at a time.

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Choose ONE of the below essay topics / questions / assignments (i.e. either option A or option B, not both).

A. Considering all of the exercises and questions about sound that Barsam and Monahan list on page 356 in your textbook (“Screening Checklist: Sound”), closely analyze and craft a specific argument about the sound design of ONE of the following, recent films:

Hereditary (dir. Ari Aster, 2018 – Kanopy)
It Comes at Night (dir. Trey Edwards Shults, 2017 – Kanopy)
Drive (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011 — Swank)
Midsommar (dir. Ari Aster, 2019 — Kanopy)
Dunkirk (dir. Christopher Nolan, 2017 – Swank)
B. Considering all of the exercises and questions about cinematography and editing that Barsam and Monahan list on pages 233-234 & 317-318 in your textbook (“Screening Checklists: Cinematography & Editing”), closely analyze and craft a specific argument about the cinematography and editing in ONE of the following, contemporary films:

Ex Machina (dir. Alex Garland, 2014 – Kanopy)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (dir. Joe Talbot, 2019 – Kanopy)
Her (dir. Spike Jonze, 2013 – Swank)
20th Century Women (dir. Mike Mills, 2016 – Kanopy)
The Hurt Locker (dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 2008 – Swank)
Zero Dark Thirty (dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 2013 – Swank)
The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer, 2016 – Kanopy)
American Honey (dir. Andrea Arnold, 2016 – Kanopy)
The Witch (dir. Robert Eggers, 2015 – Kanopy)
BlacKkKlansman (dir. Spike Lee, 2018 – Swank)
Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele, 2017 – Swank)
Midsommar (dir. Ari Aster, 2019 – Kanopy)
It Comes at Night (dir. Trey Edwards Shults, 2017 – Kanopy)
There Will Be Blood (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007 – Swank)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2002 – Kanopy)
La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle, 2016 – Swank)
It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2014 – Swank)
Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater, 2014 – Swank)
The New World (dir. Terrence Malick, 2005 – Swank)

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