EXPLANATION OF ASSIGNMENTS Essay on Film Analysis Writing a film analysis essay is an assignment that is less likely to terrorize those who fear the idea of writing an essay because it allows them to write about something most people enjoy. Film analysis is not the same thing as writing a movie review, which involves passively watching a movie. An analysis means you must engage on a level beyond that of storytelling. Task: For this assignment, you will produce an interpretive analysis that focuses on one film we have watched or will watch this semester. You must include at least 2 scholarly resources to back up your claims but the main evidence you use to develop your argument should come from details within the film itself. Your essay must be 5-6 typed pages written in 12″ Times New Roman Font, using 1″ margins. It must include MLA in-text citations, as well as an MLA, works cited page. BEAUTY & the BEAST (1999 – animated version) and identify its genre. There is a wide range of different types of film genres: detective, action/adventure, mystery, science fiction, horror, gangster, romance, comedy, musical, comedy, animation, detective, or spy thriller. Often, a movie may contain elements reflecting different genres. In this paper, you should argue how this particular film fits (or deviates from) its genres. How do the elements of the film we’ve studied combine to produce a certain visual and aural style in this film? Are these stylistic effects typically used in this genre? How may this film be subverting expected generic traits to produce something new? Bring in outside research as needed to help support or contextualize your claims. Helpful Tips: Watch the movie. Then watch it again. Take notes during the first viewing and, if you are analyzing a movie that is available on DVD, be ready with your remote control to pause and rewind. Writing an effective film analysis is best accomplished if you don’t have to rely on your memory of events, dialogue or cinematic techniques. Critically engage with the movie so that you can effectively produce a strong essay. Focus on a single thematic concept related to the film. Ideas for essays taking this route could include an analysis of how the film is photographed, how the movie relates a historical event in a dramatic way without compromising the facts or how a single sequence within the film relates to larger cinematic concepts, like overlapping dialogue or the utilization of dramatic irony. Introduce the film and its major participants, such as the actors and director. Include the name of another technician on the film if your analysis will be focusing on that aspect. For instance, cite the name of the cinematographer if you are going to be writing about the importance of shadows to film noir, or include the name of the composer of the movie’s score if you are writing about the importance of background music to the emotional tone of the film Provide a brief overview of the story but avoid the temptation to pad your word count by writing what amounts to a synopsis of the story rather than analysis. Reveal plots twists or the ending of the film only if they relate directly to your analysis. Familiarize yourself with technical jargon related to the art of filmmaking. Learn the difference between a cut and a dissolve. Write about subjective camera work if the analysis is dealing with a part of the movie shot from the point of view of one of the characters. Properly utilizing filmmaking terms will strengthen the authority of your essay. Writing Tips: Mechanics For any formal essay, you should follow the formatting guidelines of the profession style in the field — in this case, ML4 style. That means you should have o a heading (your name, the course, &c.), o a “header ” (your last name & the page number, which you can add using functions under the Insert tab in your word-processing program), and • an original, relevant title. Use italics for the title of any feature-length film. Grammar In discussing any work of art, including a film, you should use the present tense, not the past. As an upper-level English course, this one assumes that you have a general grip on basic organizational concepts (paragraphing, essay structure, &c.), grammatical concepts (sentence structure, agreement, modifier placement, parallelism, &c.), and punctuation.
Instructions This journal assignment corresponds with Chapter 8 (and more specifically sections 8.2 and 8.3) of the textbook, but you may also wish to consult