Coastal Georgia Community College A Better Tomorrow Film Discussion 1. Review the materials above; then select a film of your own choosing. Before you view the film, you must find, read, and cite at least one research source beyond your textbook about the film (try Google Scholar or the SPC Library). If you cannot find a single research source or independent review of the film to use as a reference with citations, then you MUST select another film. In other words, the film must be one that has been written about. If it is a brand new film, check with your instructor first.
Your selection can be a full length feature film or a documentary of your own choosing. It must be at least 30 minutes in length. Be sure to watch the film immediately before writing this essay and consider jotting notes as you watch the film. Do not rely on your memory of a film you have previously seen. If you do, it will be obvious because this review requires close examination of the technical aspects of film.
2. After finding and reading a research source for integration in your essay (and carefully viewing the film), write a new thread using the following instructions:
In the FIRST paragraph (at least 150 words):
What is the title of your selected film?
Who is the director and what year was it released?
Is it considered a “classic”?
Identify any technical features of the film.
What is the genre of the film (e.g. western, romantic comedy, film noir, documentary, etc.)?
In the SECOND paragraph (at least 150 words):
Summarize the main plot and/or conflict in the film. Be sure to identify the main character(s) here.
Using the themes and concepts noted in Section 9.7 in your textbook (in the section A Word on Critical Viewing), identify at least three of these themes and explain how they apply to your selected film.
Indicate any “social issue,” if any, that is addressed in the film.
Identify at least one “camera technique” or “use of sound” in the film, and explain how it affects the viewer.
In the THIRD paragraph (at least 150 words):
Evaluate its “craft.” Is this a good example of this type of art? Is it well presented? What are its points of value? Does it have a message? Did we learn something from the characters and/or theme of this film? In what ways did the film resemble literature, theater, or art?
What types of reviews did this film receive based on your research of other reviews or scholarly commentaries?
In the end, what type of aesthetic experience did you have? Was it mostly an Apollonian or Dionysian experience?
Would you recommend this work of art to others? If so (or not), why?
Here’s the vocab words used in this chapter: https://quizlet.com/40774894/humanities-chapter-9-cinema-flash-cards/
I haven’t picked a film so feel free to choose whatever you think fits this assignment. I attached the section 9.7 from the chapter since it’s needed in the second paragraph. A Word on
9.7 Why is critical thinking important to the experience of viewing
and evaluating film or video?
Throughout this book so far we have stressed the primacy of critical thinking in your life
and the role played by the humanities in helping you to develop the skill. The critical
viewing of films is a way to bring the pleasure of movie-going to a new and higher level.
Recognizing the choices made by filmmakers and showrunners is akin to learning more
about the craft of a poem or a painting. Screen performance comes in a variety of
themes and styles. Here are some questions to pose in evaluating the merit of a film or
a television show.
● Is the style used unique to the art of video? No other medium can so
skillfully show quick cuts, overlapping dialog, and sweeping visuals to tell a
story. The Bourne films use rapid-fire editing to keep us on the edge of our
seats. The Game of Thrones producers film in far-flung locales to emulate
the exotic world they are portraying. Does what you’re watching use the
available techniques artfully?
● Do the characters have complex inner lives? The best films and television
programs, like the best novels and plays, reward close attention of viewers
willing to listen carefully and concentrate. Rick Blaine in Casablanca is both
the hard-boiled realist of film noir and a tender-hearted romantic who would
like the world to be a better place; Don Draper of Mad Men is haunted by a
chaotic and abusive childhood. Are the characters you are watching
authentic? Do they have complex histories and visions?
Are the actions on the screen relevant to the times? Both documentary
and fictional films and videos are sometimes responses to social conditions
in need of reform. Chaplin’s Modern Times illustrates the dehumanization of
the working class during the Depression; The Wire explores the dysfunction
of contemporary social communities. Does what you’re watching feel
relevant? Does it move you?
Is the integrity of the audience respected? Films that present serious
problems should respect their audiences enough not to hand them
unbelievable solutions. Tony Soprano should not live happily ever after.
Michael Corleone, who initially wants no part of his father’s “business,” must
succumb to the pull of family in The Godfather. Does the show you’re
watching assume your intelligence as a viewer?
Does the action follow the rules of probability—or at least
possibility—within the context it has set up? Biographical pictures
(biopics) often distort the events of the subject’s life for dramatic effect, and
we accept that. But results should be justified; endings should seem
reasonable within the context of the film. Even Game of Thrones must live by
the rules it creates. Once upon a time, we always expected—and Hollywood
almost always gave us—a happy ending. That changed dramatically with
Roman Polanski’s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, which insistently demands
our sympathy for an ever more terrified heroine who is trapped into carrying
the devil’s baby. When the baby is born, we anticipate the heroine’s victory
(finally) over the forces of darkness—and then watch in horror as her
maternal instinct instead kicks in. The “happy ending” is her agreement to
care for her satanic child, a twist that we did not expect from a Hollywood
film, although such surprises have become more commonplace since then.
Are depictions of gender roles realistic and equal? The graphic novelist
Alison Bechdel created a now widely-cited “gender test” for movies in her
comic panel “The Rule,” part of her cartoon strip Dykes to Watch Out For:
“One, [the movie] has to have at least two women in it who, two, talk to each
other about, three, something besides a man.”7 Use it the next time you
watch a movie or television show.
This chapter has discussed many works on both large and small screens. If you have
viewed the ones we singled out for praise, you may disagree with our assessments.
Nothing could be more harmonious with the spirit of the humanities than disputes
among critical thinkers giving serious consideration to a work that aspires to be art.
Often the dispute itself is more important than the work.
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