The third assessment task is a close reading assignment of one of the nominated extracts below in relation to a corresponding analysis prompt. This project will take the form of a presentation submitted via video, and will draw upon skills developed throughout the course.
Choose only one of the extracts and analysis prompts below for the presentation.
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the nominated extract (and referencing the film as a whole), explore how The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) is structured by the idea of “two worlds”. You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concept of genre.
(“Two Worlds”: Extract begins with the shot of Dorothy being struck on the head by the dislodged window frame and finishes with the puff of red smoke and the appearance of the Wicked Witch of the West.)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the nominated extract (and referencing the film as a whole), explore how the multiple stylistic and formal influences evident in The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) contribute to the film’s unique style. You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concept of film style.
(“There’s still the river!”: Extract starts with a long shot of the children fleeing the family home, proceeds to Uncle Berti’s cabin, and finishes with the boat pulling up to a riverside house and barn, and Pearl asking, ‘Are we going home now, John?’)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the above extract (and referencing the film as a whole), consider the relationship between narrative and tone in Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997). You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concepts of film style and/or film genre.
(“This Magic Moment”: Extract begins with shot of Pete under a car at the garage, as we hear Fred’s sax on the radio and ends with shot of Pete leaving his house.)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the above extract (and referencing the film as a whole), explore how Do the Right Thing (dir: Spike Lee, 1989) uses film form and style to articulate its position. You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concepts of film style.
(“Fuck Frank Sinatra”: Extract begins with shot of Mookie hanging up telephone at ‘Sal’s Famous’ after talking to Tina and ends with shot of Mookie going into his house.)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the above extract (and the film as a whole), consider how Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005) explores the complexity of documentary. You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concept of documentary and its various modes as discussed in our reading.
(“Timmy is the boss of all foxes”: Extracts starts with the shot of Timmy talking to camera while petting Timmy the fox and runs until the shot of Timothy sitting on the yellow drums, where he says to camera that “it is so weird though, when it sinks in, how alone you are”.)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the above extract (and referencing the film as a whole), explain how A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014, USA) plays with genre conventions. You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concepts of film genre and/or film style.
(“The Girl Walks Home Alone”: Extract runs from the shot of the girl leaving the store carrying a bag to when she leaves the drug dealer’s apartment and passes Arash outside by the gate.)
Prompt: Using formal analysis of the above extract (and referencing the film as a whole), analyse the character of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (dir: Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). You should consider all aspects of film form we have looked at this semester, as well as the concepts of film genre and/or film style.
(“How big is his room?”: Extract starts with the shot just outside a company office where Daniel Plainview is getting feedback from his work colleague on the circumstances of H.W’s boarding-school accommodation, and finishes with the brief shot of Daniel floating alone in the sea, having left brother Henry resting in a seated position on the sand.)
How to go about it:
1. Choose your extract and prompt. These are all rich extracts about which there is a lot to say; none is better or “easier” than another, but choose the film that was most provocative, challenging or interesting to you (it’s not always the one you liked the most!).
2. Watch the extract (many, many times!) and take notes. The presentation video task requires you to guide your audience (your tutor) through the extract, showing us what you think are important aspects of it and explaining what might be of interest about them. You will need to watch the extract many, many times. Try watching with and without sound, or try just listening to the extract (without image) to really hone into what is happening on the soundtrack.
3. Conduct extra research to support your argument or claim. This is an analysis and research task. Search the library catalogue, read reviews online and consult with the AFI Research Collection staff, who can help you find out more about the film you have chosen to work on. Make sure that you cite the names of writers and theorists you use during the presentation, to showcase the work you’ve done.
4. Plan and decide how you will present the material. The mode of presentation and the approach you take is very much dependent on you as an individual. You should make use of the extract in your presentation via the use of stills or short clips that help you to illustrate your points. It’s like what we do in class, only this time it will be you teaching the audience (your tutor) about the extract and film.
5. Record your presentation. This can be done in a couple of runs using an iPhone or other camera, or in various takes edited together. Or you could make a powerpoint presentation and record your talk over it. It is your choice.
6. Make sure you’ve included a bibliography. This is a video assignment and the only written requirement is a list of references (bibliography). You may include this bibliography at the end of the presentation (on a slide or recorded screen), or you may submit your assignment by uploading a doc, docx or PDF file with a link to your video at the top, followed by your list of references.
How I’ll be marked is as follows
1.) Engagement with film text and analysis of film form
e.g. demonstrated ability to perform systematic analysis of the extract’s composition and structure and relation to the film more broadly, including reflection on meaning and production of particular effects
2.)Engagement with course content and demonstrated understanding of appropriate terminology and theoretical material.(I’ll provide you with course material
e.g. mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound, narrative, style etc.
3.)Research and engagement with relevant secondary sources, including acknowledgement of sources used during presentation
4.)Clarity of presentation, appropriate structure and success of approach
( I’ll do the talking, you just need to make the presentation and write points I’ll need to speak)
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