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film analysis 1 writing assignment 1 paper you need to watch the film

this assignment contains two parts, the first one is answering some related questions for analyzing one firm(choose one from 5), and the second one is an essay

The first part: choose one film from below and answer the writing questions

2.Kenya Boran part 1 David McDougall

3. Reassemblage , Trinh Minh Ha

4.Cannibal Tours, Dennis O’Rourke


Chosen Film: _______________________________________________________

1. What do you find interesting, disturbing or noteworthy? What stands out the

most about this film to you?

2. In terms of film form, what about this film stands out as exemplifying something about film form in a particularly pronounced way?

3. What is a quote from the readings that calls to mind the above-mentioned aspect of film form:

4. Write your thoughts about this quote here. Focus on the ideas in the quote, not on the film.

5. What is the connection between the quote from #3 above and #4 on the one hand, and on the other hand what you wrote in #2 above concerning the film? (i.e. write about the connection of the quote to the film)

6. In the film’s own terms, its intentions and purposes and intended effects, what is this film trying to achieve?

7. If applicable for you, what issues of representational politics does this film raise for you and how is that reflected in the film form?

8. If applicable, copy down one quote from the readings that relates to #7 above.

9. If applicable, write down your thoughts about this quote. Focus on the idea in the quote, not on the film.

10. What is the connection between the quote from #8 above and #9 on the one hand, and on the other hand what you wrote in #7 above concerning the film? (i.e.write about the connection of the quote to the film)

11. If applicable for you, how do you see the representational quality of this film and how is that reflected in the film form?

12. If applicable, copy down one quote from the readings that relates to #11 above.

13. If applicable, write down your thoughts about this quote. Focus on the idea in the quote, not on the film.

14. What is the connection between the quote from #12 above and #13 on the one hand, and on the other hand what you wrote in #11 above concerning the film? (i.e.write about the connection of the quote to the film)

15. Paste in one or more still shots from the film that indicate the formal properties of the film that you discussed in this worksheet.

16. Describe the shots with words that indicate how this part of the film exemplifies certain film form aspects. Note that still shots may be for a reference point for the film only: not everything can be directly indicated with still shots. You can show things like camera angle, contents, but not duration. You can sometimes show shot cutting or montage sequencing. You can never show sound, and many other things. But you can describe those things in words. So if necessary just have the still shots for reference points.

17. Write three evaluative, argumentative statements about the film that link its form to a question of representational politics or quality or both. They can be different wordings of the same question. Your TA may indicate if one looks more promising than the others for your two-film comparative essay later (or they may be equally good). Your TA will also indicate if you need to re-write to include the basic function of linking the film’s form to an evaluative argument in terms of representational politics or quality, or both.

The second part: write a 6 page paper, not including film stills. Double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font, 1”


Paper Assignment:

Write a film analysis comparing and contrasting any two (2) of the following five (4) items, in terms of their “film form” and in your evaluation and judgment of either representational quality, representational politics, or both.

2.Kenya Boran part 1 David McDougall

3. Reassemblage, Trinh Minh Ha

4.Cannibal Tours, Dennis O’Rourke


Here’s the main three things you will do in your paper:

1. You will break down some of the characteristic formal elements of the films

you select and describe how they work to accomplish the director’s purpose

and create the intended effect. You don’t need to cover everything, and in fact

focusing down on particular formal elements or even a single element is

often most effective.

2. You will compare and contrast one film with the other in terms of their form.

Again keep it focused on what serves your argument, not everything is

possible to compare and contrast.

3. The comparison/contrast is in order to create your own an argument that

takes a critical stand, positive, negative, or both, on your chosen films. To the

extent that this paper is a “test,” the test is of your ability to come up with an

argument and to support it with #2 and #3 above. The “test” is not about

whether you can make an argument if you are already told what to say. The

“test” is on whether you can come up with a position yourself. Although it is

your job to come up with an argument, see further advice below.

The following readings concern film form. You should reference one or more.

“The Ontology of the Photographic Image,” Andre Bazin

“Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram,” Sergei Eisenstein

“The Significance of Form in Film,” David Bordwell

“Unprivileged Camera Style,” David MacDougall

“Mechanical Eye, Electronic Ear and the Lure of Authenticity,” Trinh Minh-Ha

Note that you may, in addition to the above, use any course readings at any time in

your essay, but be sure to use at least one from the above list.

Include “film stills” to help illustrate your point and identify specific parts of the film

you are writing about, using the lecture recordings as source material.

If you don’t know how to make and handle screenshots on your computer, look it up on the Google.

Organization and Writing:

Open the essay with some example from one of the films that raises the issue of

representational politics or exemplifies representational quality. Explain why this is

important and interesting. Briefly explain what you will consider as you look into

this, particularly what films you will consider. State what you ultimately have to say

about this (your argument or thesis), which has something to do with film form and

is mostly likely comparative about the two films. Most likely the argument is about

convincing the reader that one of the films is better than the other on the chosen


The body is where you convince the reader to believe your statement of comparison.

It might be best to take your “lesser” film first and describe the film form. Use

description and film stills. Then connect that film form to your critical analysis and

argument. Whenever it seems like a good time, cite one of the readings on film form.

Then, take your “greater” film and do the same. Whenever it seems like a good time,

cite one of the readings on film form.

Finally, re-present your argument now that many things have already been

explained. If you have a tight structure at this point, you might do some focused

“free-writes” with a timer to see what comes up when you reflect on upon your

thesis, almost kind of randomly. Whether that yields anything useful, or just served

as a warm up to get you ready to write, you can then proceed to think through some

meaningful implications about your statement, which may or may not go beyond the

specific films, but would stay on the specific issue or criteria you always had in mind

for this paper.


At the end of a sentence or quote, put in parentheses (Last Name, page #), like: (Eisenstein, page 5) or (Minh-ha, page 2).

For a film citation at end of sentence or under film still put (Title, Director last name) like (Reassemblage, Minh-ha)

You are not allowed to use any outside sources, even if they are very interesting.


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