Cinema assignemnt


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Fall 2018

Professor: Ken Windrum



Due in class on November 28 (hard copy) and through Vericite (on Canvas) by midnight of the night before—i.e. November 27. You will have an 8-hour grace period. All papers received through Vericite after 8:00 AM on November 28 will be marked down one grade and considered as late. Canvas will submit the paper through Vericite to check for plagiarism. You are agreeing to this by submitting the paper through Canvas. Plagiarized papers receive 0 points and the student is reported to the Dean of Discipline.

Worth 15% of your grade.

Make sure your name and the class (Cinema 107) and Section (10727) AND a TITLE are on both versions of your paper.

This exercise should be typed, double-spaced and 900-1,200 words. Use Verdana Font.

This written assignment gives you an opportunity to develop your skills as an analyst of a director’s body of work and major themes.

You are to discuss ONE major theme/repeating story element/idea and ONE stylistic signature (i.e. use of mise-en-scene or cinematography) of a filmmaker of your choice. Make sure you discuss at least 3 of their films.

Some directors you might pick (but you can choose ANYONE)—Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Wes Anderson. Do NOT pick Nicole Holofcener who we have discussed in class.

The more precise, the better. For instance, if you discuss camera angles that’s better than just cinematography (a broad category). Similarly, if you say the filmmaker makes movies about “action” or “love” that’s pretty broad. If instead, you state a more particular theme such as “the director deals with the guilt people feel after trauma” for example, that would be better.

Less is More! Take a small topic and do it justice! Entire books have been written about some of these directors. You are only writing 3-4 pages.

Use several specific examples from the director’s films to support your analysis.

Grammar, spelling and style are considered while grading. Read your paper out loud to yourself or others. This is an amazingly effective way of removing obviously wrong stylistic choices.

I am impressed by creativity and original insight.

You don’t need to cite or quote but if you do, you must provide a citation saying what you’re quoting so any reader could look it up.


14-15 Points: Clear, Well-written (near-perfect style/grammar), coherent argument of a thesis AND with some original ideas.

13 ½-14 Points: Does the job as well as a 9 ½-10 point paper but with less original insight.

12 ½ -13 ½ Points: Has a problem with either clarity, style, or a coherently argued thesis.

12-12 ½ Points: Has problems with 2 of these areas (clarity, style, coherent argument)

10 ½ – 12 Points: Has major problems in all 3 areas but is still tackling the question at hand.

9-10 ½ Points: Your intention is unclear and confusingly expressed yet you are discussing a film and attempting to make some analysis.

Less than 9 Points—You are writing a completely different paper than requested.