Watch one of the movies listed below.
The Big Lebowski (dir. Coen Bros, 1998): comedy, thriller, film noir, musical*
Blade Runner (dir. Scott, 1982): sci-fi, thriller, film noir
Children of Men (dir. Cuaron, 2006): sci-fi, drama
Inglorious Basterds (dir. Tarantino, 2009): war, thriller, comedy
Get Out (dir. Peele, 2017): horror, thriller, comedy
Singing in the Rain (dir. Donen, 1952): musical, romantic comedy
The Shining (dir. Kubrick, 1980): horror, drama
Star Wars (dir. Lucas, 1977): sci-fi, Western
1. (approx.100 words) Provide background on the movie you watched, including the following:
title (remember to italicize movie titles)
names of the director, stars, and any other noteworthy personnel (e.g. screenwriter, photographer)
other noteworthy facts (e.g. awards won, revenue)
where you obtained the movie to watch for this assignment (e.g. streamed with Netflix, DVD purchased from Amazon.com)
2. (approx. 200 words) Freeze the movie after it plays for exactly 70 minutes. Describe the scene, including the following:
What is the setting: time (in history, time of year and day), place (country, particular outdoor or indoor location), social environment.
What is happening at that moment? Where are we in the narrative?
Who are the characters, and what are they doing?
What is one distinctive quality of this moment? Choose a particular element, e.g. prop, sound, lighting)
3. (approx. 300 words) What is the movie’s main genre? Choose a genre listed above next to the movie, or choose another. You will defend your position in this answer. (For example, someone might reasonably argue that Children of Men is predominantly science fiction, while someone else might argue that it is primarily a drama. Nobody could reasonably argue that it is a comedy or a musical.)
Your topic sentence for the paragraph should state your claim about the predominant genre.
Describe that genre, listing specific traits. Consider elements such as theme, narrative, character, settings, and so on.
Then, discuss specific ways in which the movie is typical of the genre. Provide at least one example to illustrate each genre trait you listed. This will constitute the bulk of this paragraph.
Discuss specific ways in which the movie ignores, doesn’t match, or overturns genre traits.
Strengthen your answer by comparing this movie to one or more movies of the same genre.
4. (approx. 300 words) What are one or more secondary genres for this movie? Traits might be almost as prevalent as with the predominant genre, or they might show up occasionally or as influences. (For instance, The Big Lebowski has elements of a musical, but that is not its primary genre.) Here again, use a suggestion on the list above or argue for one or more different genres.
Your topic sentence for this paragraph should state your claim about the secondary genre(s).
Describe the genre(s), listing specific traits. Consider elements such as theme, narrative, character, settings, and so on.
Then, discuss specific ways in which the movie is typical of the genre(s). Provide at least one example to illustrate each genre trait you listed. This will constitute the bulk of this paragraph.
Strengthen your answer by comparing this movie to one or more movies of the same genre(s).
5. (approx. 100 words) This last question is your chance to review the movie and add your personal ideas about the film. (Re-read your responses to the questions above to ensure they provide strictly objective analysis rather than personal commentary.)
Did you enjoy the movie? Why or why not? (Provide specific reasons rather than generalities like “It was boring” or “It held my attention” or “It was funny.”)
Did the genres work well together? Did the combination contribute to or detract from the movie? Did the mash-up produce any surprising effects?
If you watched this movie in the past, what new qualities or innovations did you notice this time, now that you have completed the first part of Intro to Film?
One of the sources being “Looking at Movies, 6th ed.” by Richard Barsam and Dave Monahan
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