Friday, May 29, 2009

American Graffiti

American Graffiti was a movie that was loaded with popular music as it followed a group of high school students hanging out (which has been endlessly copied). How did the music play a role in helping the viewer understand the film? Compare and comtrast the 4 different main characters and how their stories anchor the structure of the film.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Graduate

Write a two page critique the film The Graduate and explore its major themes. State the themes and how well you feel they were addressed in the film using examples from the film to prove your point. Make sure to answer all the additional questions below and conclude the critique with a summation of the cinematic elements and their effect in this film. This essay should be at least two and one half complete pages.

• How did Benjamin evolve throughout the film?
• What type of mental state is Ben in the beginning of the film?
• Why does Ben stagnate and how does it change? What is he like at the end of the film?
• What effect did his affair have on his mental state?
• Can you relate to the characters? Are they realistic?
• Was the affair a positive or negative influence on his life?
• What was his and Mrs.Robinson’s motivation for having an affair?
• What was the attraction to Elaine based on? Does he really love Elaine?

• What type of camera work did the director use in the film?
• How did the editing help tell the story and let you know how the characters were feeling?
• How does the director use darkness and shadow in this film?
• Why was sound so important in this film?
• How was the dialogue in the film different than other films we have seen so far?
• What different techniques did the director use with the actor’s dialogue?
• How well does Nichol’s use of sound vs. visuals help the film and tell the story?
• What effect did the soundtrack have on the film?

Monday, May 4, 2009

All About Eve

Paper due: Monday 5.11.2009 (Typed, double-spaced, and fantastic)

It began as a story in Cosmo and went on to take the record for the most Academy Award nominations ever with 14, All About Eve was a phenomenon. In this paper you should critique the film All About Eve. Pay special attention to the development of the characters and the dialogue, writing, and plot. Compare the film and it's writing to the previous films along with the acting- how did it advance the medium at all? Use the information you know from class about critiquing films and discuss each of the different elements. In order to support your criticism you must site scenes from the films.

If you base any of your information on outside sources you must include a bibliography. You may also use films that you have seen previously in class to help discuss these works.

Here's a cover of "Bette Davis Eyes" by Gwyneth Paltrow from the film "Duets". (Bette was nominated for 10 Oscars in her career and won 2).