Film Essay Assignment
Length: 5-7 Pages
A work of art, in this case film, is both a mirror and producer of the surrounding cultures. Critics often argue a distinction between art and history must be maintained; however, these contexts are not mutually exclusive, especially in American culture. They share a common ground, and the interplay between the two must be acknowledged to fully appreciate the richness and significance of the film. Instead of merely resituating a film in a unified cultural context, such as the 1960s or conservatism, the viewer must replace context with contexts. Film, then, is not just a reflection of society, but an active social agent capable of maintaining or challenging the existing social structure.
The Task: Select and watch a film that contains substantial historical, biographical, or factual information. Construct an argumentative essay analyzing a specific aspect(s) of the film and the research information you have gathered about that particular aspect(s). In other words, you are comparing/contrasting the film s presentation of the material with the research material to determine whether or not the film s presentation is accurate or realistic. I am allowing a fair amount of latitude with the assignment as long as the direction selected comprises a number of specific elements. Namely, the argument must involve an analytic comparison/contrast of film and research, must involve argumentation/analysis, and must combine film and research into a workable research analysis. This assignment is under no circumstances a film review. After reading the essay, the reader should not be aware whether or not the writer liked the movie. That is not the point of the assignment. The instructor must approve all films and research topics.
Sources: Minimum of five sources, not including film
Documentation: All incorporated source material must adhere to MLA standards/formats of quotation/paraphrase/summary, parenthetical documentation, and work cited.
Develop a focused and explicit thesis.
The effectiveness of the argument depends upon the ability to clearly explain how the supporting points validate the thesis.
The audience is informed; only a brief film summary is required.
Double-space everything, including block quotations.
Follow the conventions of formal argumentative writing:
1.Paragraph structure (topic/concluding sentences, transitions, full development of points, coherent organization, length);
2.Correct Quotations/Citations/Works Cited Formats(introduce/integrate, fully explain significance);
3.Appropriate Style/Minimal Technical Errors (diction level, avoid wordiness, sentence structure variety, proofread).
Film Research Topics:
The following film list is not exclusive for the research analysis essay. You are free to come up with your own film and topic; however, both film and research direction must be approved by the instructor.
The Right Stuff
Judgment at Nuremberg
All the President s Men
Saving Private Ryan
In Cold Blood
The Killing Fields
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Fat Man and Little Boy
Grapes of Wrath
Gone with the Wind
Boyz in the Hood
Bonnie and Clyde
People vs. Larry Flynt
Full Metal Jacket
As Good as it Gets
Field of Dreams/ Eight Men Out
They Died with Their Boots On
The Buddy Holly Story
A League of Their Own
**Do not select Rainman, Glory, or Apollo 13**