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Topic 1

After watching all the films in Week Two’s content (with the exception of The Birth of a Nation) discuss at least 5 storytelling/narrative/plot) devices or editing choices that you have seen in recent films or TV shows.

1) How did these devices or choices help drive the story? 2) Then link those narrative techniques to the films you watched.

Follow this example: In Walk, – You, Walk! (1912) Rose gets the help of friends to teach someone who mistreated her a lesson. This is common plot device in today’s situation comedies. (For more examples see my sample post as well).

Topic 2

The Birth of a Nation (1913) is still seen as a monumental film due to its innovation of filming techniques that are still used today. For example, one of D. W. Griffith’s key contributions was his pioneering use of “cross-cutting” to follow parallel lines of action. An early audience might have been confused by a film that showed first one group of characters, then another, then the first again, But Griffith successfully uses such a technique in a chase scene that is rarely not use in an action movie today. Besides “cross-cutting,” There are at less 16 other ways in which Griffith was an innovator, ranging from his night photography to his use of the iris shot and color tinting. Due to Giffith’s efforts, this is a film of great visual beauty and narractive power.

However, the movie is racist and unapologetic about its attitudes, which are those of a white Southerner, raised in the 19th century, unable to see African-Americans as fellow beings of worth and rights.

With that in mind, answer the following questions:

  • Is it possible to separate the content from the filmcraft? If art should serve beauty and truth, can great art be in the thrall of hateful ideologies? Can we still find beauty in such an ugly past? Is it reasonability “okay” to enjoy viewing such art with such a message?
  • Are there more recent films, TV shows, music, pieces of art that press against the same types of issues? If so, how do we/should we respond to them?
  • Identify at least three specific moments in the film in which film craft is used to either deify the white “heroes” or demonize African American characters.

Use specific vocabulary and concepts we learned to describe what you’re seeing and intended effect on the viewer. Organize your post coherently (separate paragraphs, not a “wall of words”) and use italics or underlining for movie titles.

Topic 3

Watch either a War film made in the last 25 years or a Neo Noir film from the list, Neo Nior Films 1982 – 1999.pdf . (It cannot be your favorite movie.)

If you watched a War film, what does it have in common with the War films in the Week Five content? If you watched a Neo Noir film, what does it have in common with the Film Noir films in the Week Five content (other than being in color).

How does color play a part in the film you watched for this week? Identify and describe at least three places that color stood out in the film.

Does there seem to be a predominant color or does a color seem to be missing from the film? If so, what is that color and do you think it had an impact on the film? If so how, if not why not?

If you did not see a predominant color or a color that seems to be missing from the film describe an addition place in the film where color plays a part.

Organize your post coherently (Paragraphs not a “wall of words”). Fully answer all of the questions and use italics or underlining for titles.

Topic 4

Watch a movie made between 1970 – 1980 that you have not already seen for this class and answer the following questions.

Describe at least three special effects, camera tricks, stunts or camera angles that caught your attention. Why do you think they were important to the story?

How does sound play a part in the film you watched? Identify & describe at least three places that sound stood out in the film. Be specific.

How does color play a part in the film you watched for this week? Identify and describe at least three places that color stood out in the film. Be specific.

Topic 5

Watch a film that won an Oscar associated with its screenplay. Click here to see a list.

Write 3 – 5 paragraphs (e.g. six sentences each) about why you think this film won an Oscar for its screenplay (Do not chose a film that you have already posted on). Reference applicable concepts and vocabulary from this week’s course material. Make sure that the focus is on the screenplay, not the acting or directorial choices.

Here are some things you could focus on, among others:





Plot (Non-linear vs. chronological storytelling)

Social Impact

Topic 6

1. Tell us why it is your favorite film.

2. Talk about the interconnection between the aesthetic and the technical aspects of the film. This should include at least seven of the following: Editing, Film Structure, Cinematography, Lighting, Colors, Screenwriting, Special effects, Sound and Music. (Organize your post clearly – separate paragraphs, not a “wall of words.”

3. After this course, will you see you favorite film in a different light? Why or why not?