film review of a new theatrical release in other words playing currently in a theater.
Choose ONE of the following:
- FILM REVIEW of a new theatrical release (in other words, playing currently in a theater).
- ANALYSIS OF ONE CINEMATIC ELEMENT (such as theme; dramatic structure; point of view; color; art design; costuming; camerawork; lighting; editing; or sound design) in any film screened outside of class. The feature film can be from any country and time period. This should be your analysis, not information gathered from a DVD commentary track or research.
- ANALYSIS OF AN AMERICAN TELEVISION COMMERCIAL produced for the national market in 2020. Do not analyze a PSA (Public Service Announcement) or movie trailer.
ROUGH DRAFT (optional): Submit a hard copy to me before or on FEBRUARY 28, 2020.
NOTE: Resubmission date determined by instructor to allow for revisions; those who submit rough drafts may have a different final due date than the rest of the class.
FINAL DRAFT: MARCH 6, 2020
Papers submitted after this date will receive a grade penalty: 10 points will be deducted for each class meeting that the assignment is late (for example, papers turned in after MARCH 6 will be docked 10 points; papers submitted after MARCH 13 will be penalized 20 points; papers submitted after MARCH 20 6 will lose 30 points).
- The 4-6-page assignment must be typed and double spaced. Leave 1-inch margins all around the text of your paper.
- Submit TWO copies by the due date:
1. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs or plain text file to Canvas. If you do not submit your file to Canvas, you will receive 0 points.
2. Hard copy directly to me. Email attachments or papers left in my faculty mailbox will not be accepted.
- Use your critical thinking skills. The purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to express your ideas, not to do research and incorporate another personâ€™s ideas about the film or commercial into your paper.
De Anza College defines plagiarism as â€œpresenting the work of others without crediting them.â€ Plagiarism will result in an â€œFâ€ on the assignment.
If you do research, such as listening to a DVD commentary track, endnotes or footnotes and a bibliography of source materials are required. Read â€œWhat is plagiarism?â€: http://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-plagiarism (Links to an external site.)
Also read â€œWhat Is Citation?â€: http://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-citation. Follow the in-text citation style of MLA (Modern Language Association): https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html (Links to an external site.)
Please adhere to the MLA guidelines for the Works Cited page: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_basic_format.html (Links to an external site.)
GRADING: 100 points
Content: 50 points
Writing style: 50 points (thesis, spelling/grammar, sentence structure, paragraph development, supporting evidence)
â€¢ WRITING & READING CENTER (WRC) offers help, inspiration and resources.
WHERE: Advanced Technology Center (ATC), Room 309 (AT309)
DROP-IN HOURS: Check current schedule at www.deanza.edu/studentsuccess/wrc/
DOWNLOAD THREE ANNOTATED, AWARD-WINNING REVIEWS OF VERY DIFFERENT FILMS. The reviews are shorter than yours will be but illustrate that the critic must determine the most important aspects to address for each film:
The review should give the reader key information about the film, as well as make and support a judgment about the movieâ€™s value. Incorporate the following into your review: director and style, genre, theme, screenwriter, cinematographer, cast, among others.
- Select any film playing during its first theatrical run (in other words, playing currently).
- Read professional reviews of films other than the one you are reviewing.
- Take detailed, accurate notes while watching the film. See the film again, if needed.
- Avoid spoilers that give away major plot points or the ending.
- Avoid phrases like â€œI believeâ€ or â€œI think.â€
- Analyze the key thematic and formal elements of the movie, and place the film in a larger context. Does it address controversial issues or profound universal truths? Contribute to the evolution of a genre? Introduce innovative techniques? Break new ground in some way?
ANALYSIS OF ONE CINEMATIC ELEMENTThe analytical paper should concentrate on a single cinematic element, and the paper should cover this aspect of the film in depth. Your focus may be ONE narrative element (theme; point of view; character; dramatic structure; or archetypal patterns), ONE visual element (camerawork; lighting design; mise en sceÌ€ne; set design; or editing) or ONE aural element (musical score; or sound effects). Assume the reader has seen or is at least familiar with the film — from any country and time period — under discussion. Remind the reader of key themes and elements of the plot, but do not provide a lengthy retelling of the story.If you have questions about your focus, please contact me.Recommended texts on reserve at the De Anza College Library:
A Short Guide to Writing About Film. 9th edition. Pearson, 2014.Gocsik, Karen, et al.
Writing About Movies. 5th ed. W. W. Norton & Co., 2018.Moscowitz, John E.
Critical Approaches to Writing About Film. 2nd ed. Pearson Custom Publishing, 2006.TELEVISION COMMERCIAL ANALYSISAdvertisers know very well just how powerful an ad can be. Ad agencies regularly spend millions of dollars on market research of audience preferences and responses to visual images, and companies spend more than $140 billion a year on U.S. advertising campaigns that cater to those preferences. Successful campaigns generate billions in return. Therefore, agencies design print, radio, television and Internet ads to influence their target group to buy a specific product. All effective ads must appeal in some way to a consumerâ€™s personal desires and to his/her response to the myths, values and traditional assumptions of the culture.METHODOLOGY
GRADING: 100 points
- Select an American television commercial produced in 2020 for the national market (no regional or local commercials, public service announcements or movie trailers).
- Cite the URL on the top right corner of your first page.
- Describe the narrative in a paragraph or discuss the mood, if no plot exists. Include running time. Does the commercial have a 3-act structure?
Analysis of the commercialâ€™s content: 50 points (Theme/message/mood: 20 points; Form/technique/language: 15 points; Ideology: 15 points)
Writing style: 50 points (thesis, spelling/grammar, sentence structure, paragraph development, supporting evidence)INCLUDE
- Theme/message/mood: Commercials try to sell a product. Often the dialogue or voice-over narration communicates the message.
Example: â€œCome in from the cold for Cream of Wheat.â€ This commercial promises to change the spectator-buyerâ€™s uncomfortable state (cold; alone; hungry) into a pleasurable one (warm; loved; nurtured and nourished).
- Narrative: Describe the plot in a paragraph or discuss the mood, if no plot exists. Include running time. Does the commercial have a 3-act structure?
- Form/technique/language: How does the commercial convey the content?Consider the narrative elements of character, setting, dialogue, dramatic structure, symbols and archetypes.Consider the image, including camerawork and mise en sceÌ€ne: Hand-held camera to convey honesty or immediacy? Movement for excitement? Stationary camera for realism or stability? Close-up shots for intimacy? High-angle shots for vulnerability? Low-angle shots for significance or power? Slow motion to capture beauty or convey nostalgia? Telephoto lens to flatten the image or extreme wide-angle lens to distort it? Filters to eliminate facial wrinkles or heighten certain colors? Color or B/W? High or low-key lighting? Overexposed, washed-out images?Consider the editing: Continuity editing for realism? MTV-like montage for fast pace or confusion? Slow dissolves for a more languid, lyrical mood? Important juxtapositions?Consider the sound design: Dialogue? Music? Effects? Loud sounds to grab the spectatorâ€™s attention? Dentist drills or â€œpainfulâ€ noises?
Example: The Cream of Wheat commercial uses invisible camerawork and editing techniques that reinforce the realism of the image. The commercial begins with an establishing long shot of a house blanketed in winter snow. The ad intercuts footage of a man walking outdoors in the cold with the cozy interior of the house (with a golden retriever framed in the window and hot cereal cooking on the stove, its steam recalling the manâ€™s breath outdoors and the image of steam rising from a bowl on the productâ€™s package). The music is nostalgic, and the voice-over narration coaxes the spectator to â€œcome out of the cold,â€ repeating the words â€œcoldâ€ and â€œinto the warmth.â€ The color design reinforces the packaging colors of the product: white, blue, red and yellow.â€¢ Ideology: What belief systems or values underlie the ad? Are they personal, cultural and/or political? Refer to the information below based on John Bergerâ€™s Ways of Seeing (BBC television series and Penguin Book), Barsam and Monahanâ€™s Looking at Movies or Kasdan and Tavernettiâ€™s The Critical Eye: An Introduction to Looking at Movies.
Example: The Cream of Wheat commercial proposes to transform the spectator-buyer from â€œcoldâ€ to â€œwarm,â€ if s/he buys and eats the cereal. The ad promises to remove her/him from an uncomfortable, cold situation into a warm, homey one. The outdoor images are romantic and natural: the purity of the snow reinforces the â€œNo Salt or Sugar Addedâ€ purity of the product as indicated on the package. The indoor images evoke a Norman Rockwell painting. This nostalgic and traditional underpinning recalls the sentiment on the package that boasts, â€œHot Cereal since it was first introduced almost 100 years ago.â€ These elements address personal concerns, playing on the personal anxiety of being cold and promising a state of warmth, nice home, and beloved dog and wife awaiting oneâ€™s return. They also reinforce the productâ€™s branding for easy identification in the marketplace.The middle-aged Caucasian man comes home to the Caucasian wife preparing a warm meal for him in a middle-class house. These choices raise issues of gender, ethnicity, class and culture. How does the representation of a woman cooking and waiting for her spouse to return reinforce gender roles? How are cultural issues of middle class, heterosexuality and family-oriented life promoted as the American way? How do the casting and narrative choices reinforce stereotypes and reflect mainstream American values?All commercials are political, supporting our capitalist system. As Berger states in Ways of Seeing (149-155), â€œPublicity adds up to a kind of philosophical system. It explains everything in its own terms. It interprets the world . . . The contrast between publicityâ€™s interpretation of the world and the worldâ€™s actual condition is a very stark one . . . Publicity exerts an enormous influence and is a political phenomenon of great importance. But its offer is as narrow as its references are wide. It recognizes nothing except the power to acquire. All other human faculties or needs are made subsidiary to this power. All hopes are gathered together, made homogeneous, simplified, so that they become the intense yet vague, magical yet repeatable promise offered in every purchase . . .â€Berger explains that publicity â€œproposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more. This more, it proposes, will make us in some way richerâ€”even though we will be poorer by having spent money . . . Publicity is always about the future buyer. It offers him an image of himself made glamorous by the product or opportunity it is trying to sell . . . Its promise is not of pleasure but of happiness: happiness as judged from the outside of othersâ€ (131-132).Berger notes that publicity and painting frequently use the following visual language:Gestures of models and mythological figuresRomantic use of nature (leaves, trees, water) to create a place where innocence can be rediscoveredExotic and nostalgic attraction of the MediterraneanPoses denoting stereotypes in women: serene mother (Madonna), freewheeling secretary (actress, kingâ€™s mistress), perfect hostess (spectator-ownerâ€™s wife), sex object (Venus, nymph surprised), etc.Special sexual emphasis given to womenâ€™s legs
Materials particularly used to indicate luxury: engraved metal, furs, polished leather Gestures and embraces of lovers, arranged frontally for the benefit of the spectator The sea, offering new life
Physical stance of men conveying wealth and virility
Equation of drinking and success
Man as knight (horseman), now depicted as a motoristThe spectator-buyerâ€™s traditional education in history, mythology, poetry and popular culture can be used in the manufacturing of glamour. Moreover, all publicity works upon anxiety and increasingly uses sexuality to sell any product or service.â€œPublicity principally addressed to the working class tends to promise a personal transformation through the function of the particular product it is selling (Cinderella); middle-class publicity promises a transformation of relationships through a general atmosphere created by an ensemble of productsâ€ (Berger 145).