For your academic essay assignment, you will investigate in depth the formal elements of a film, examining the chosen film’s visual technique and narrative style. You must choose a film from the list provided below and explore the style and narrative of the film in two representative sequences: the opening sequence and a scene of your choosing that you feel encapsulates the film’s overall approach to aesthetics. It is imperative that you consider all of the elements listed below and relate them to the narrative, characters and story. You may choose to concentrate upon one component of the narrative or visuals; however, your paper will not be comprehensive, and you will not have fulfilled the assignment, if you ignore form and examine only content or vice versa. The purpose of this assignment is for you to examine how film form and content work together to produce specific effects and communicate the ‘meaning’ of the narrative. After you have chosen your film and sequence, please address the following:
1. How have the filmmakers arranged and constructed the elements of mise-enscène? How are they utilized to reveal story and character information? What tone or effect does the organization of mise-en-scène produce? What role is played by the production design?
2. How have the filmmakers organized space and plot information through editing? What characterizes the editing and how does it contribute to the narrative?How does editing serve to influence our perception of the main character(s) and the scenario? What is the role of pacing and the duration of the shots? How does editing encourage us to identify with the characters?
3. Consider the role of sound. What role does the score play in enhancing characterization and mood and how might it convey theme? How is the soundtrack, including both diegetic and non-diegetic sound, utilized and to what effect? Please discuss the score (the music), the dialogue and the sound effects.
4. How is framing utilized? What is the role of camera movement in the sequence? How are camera height, level, distance and angle utilized?
5. Reflect upon the role of narrative structure and genre for this film. What expectations do we have as a result? How do genre and narrative provide a framework for our understanding of the story as it unfolds?Please support your opinions with specific examples but do not provide a synopsis of the action of the scene except where necessary to elucidate your point(s). In your response, it is critical that you utilize proper essay format with an introduction, conclusion, explicitly stated thesis and logically developed argument. Please make sure to have a coherent argument and relate each of the parts of the essay to one another. The essay should be at least 7, but no more than 10 pages in length, double spaced. Please do not do any research of any kind, especially Internet searches; you may refer to the Bordwell, Thompson and Smith textbook if you so desire