Cinema and Experience

Cinema and Experience

Assessment 2: Close textual analysis of a film scene and critical discussion: 40%
This assignment is made up of two parts: four short answer questions and a longer essay.
There are certain key terms and standard abbreviations you are expected to use and these have been given in class. However, you are not expected to know more detailed technical terms.
You must follow the guidelines carefully to pass this assignment.

All the clips for Assignment 2 are available in the Clips for assignment 2 folder under the Assignments tab in vUWS.

Part 1: four short answer questions (250 words each): 20%
Description
Part 1 consists of four questions. You must answer all four questions (250 words each). These questions require you to explain and apply key concepts from the set readings in weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6.
In each question in part 1 you will be required to view a short film clip and then apply a key concept from the set reading to a close analysis of the clip. In order to do this you will need to be familiar with the key concepts developed in set readings and explained further in lectures and tutorials. You will need to view the clip several times until you understand how it works and, drawing on a close analysis of the clip to back up your argument, write a 250-word response to each question. This is an exercise in close viewing and analysis: it is not a research task. You will need to draw on key concepts from the set reading but you must not rely on other sources on the film, such as reviews, to develop your analysis and you will be penalised for doing so. We will practise how to apply key concepts to a close film analysis in tutorials and a sample will be available on vUWS.
Make sure you read the guidelines and questions carefully before you begin.

Questions
Question 1: 250 words
Watch Clip 1 from Avatar (dir. James Cameron, 2009). How does THIS SCENE integrate elements of spectacle with the conventions of mainstream narrative that Speidel (in Nelmes) describes? Give specific examples from the scene to support your argument.

Reference: Speidel in Nelmes, Jill. 2012. Introduction to Film Studies. 5th ed.
London and New York: Routledge, pp. 84-85:  ‘Hollywood and mainstream narratives’ and pp. 97-100: ‘Editing’.
Note: The two Gunning readings discuss spectacle.

You can find a plot summary of the film here, if you want to look at it (not compulsory).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/

Question 2: 250 words
Watch Clip 2 from Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, 2002) or the clip from  Hero (dir. Zhang Yimou, 2002) posted in part 2. How does THIS SCENE ‘put melos into drama’, as Elsaesser describes it. Give specific examples from the scene to support your argument.

Reference: Elsaesser, Thomas 1972. ‘Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama’. Monogram no. 4, pp. 174-179: ‘Putting melos into drama’.
Note: the Readings and Resources version of this part of the article has different page numbers, but is the same.

You can find a plot summary of the film here, if you want to look at it (not compulsory).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217505/

Question 3: 250 words
Watch Clip 3 from The Great Gatsby (dir. Baz Luhrmann 2013). How does THIS SCENE use narrative as a ‘scaffold, matrix or web that allows for a wide range of aesthetic effects and experiences’, as Hansen writes (quoted in Rutherford). Give specific examples from the scene to support your argument.

Reference: Rutherford, Anne. 2011. What Makes a Film Tick? : Cinematic Affect, Materiality And Mimetic Innervation. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, pp. 37-43: ‘A paradigm shift in film studies’.

You can find a plot summary of the film here, if you want to look at it (not compulsory).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343092/

Question 4: 250 words
Watch Clip 4 from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (dir. Ang Lee 2000). How does THIS SCENE work to enhance the kind of embodied spectatorship that Hiltunen discusses. Give specific examples from the scene to support your argument.

Reference: Hiltunen, Kaisa. ‘Closeness in Film Experience: At the Intersection of Cinematic and Human Skin.’

You can find a plot summary of the film here, if you want to look at it (not compulsory).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0190332/

Part 2: critical discussion (1000 words) 20%
Description
Part 2 is a 1000-word critical discussion of how a scene works, with reference to key concepts introduced in the first seven weeks of the unit. You will be given a choice of a number of scenes to analyse. To prepare for this, you should allow plenty of time to view the scene several times and to develop a concrete understanding of what the scene does and how it does it. You will be given a number of questions which you must answer in your critical discussion.
Question
Watch the clips listed below and select ONE of them to answer this question.
In the article, ‘Delirious Enchantment’, Adrian Martin writes of the ‘inseparable fusion’ of form and content, describing them as ‘equal partners’. He says that, in the best films, ‘everything has got to move and mutate in concert’.
Drawing on key concepts raised in Martin’s article, discuss how the specific elements he refers to as ‘representational’ and ‘non-representational’ work together to produce the scene in the clip you have selected. How does everything in this scene ‘move and mutate in concert’? How do you think this effects the way we as viewers experience the scene?
Use specific examples from the clip to illustrate your argument.
Clip 1: The Man From London (dir. Béla Tarr, 2007).
Clip 2: Hero (dir. Zhang Yimou, 2002).
Clip 3: City of Men #1 (dir. Paulo Morelli, 2007). Note: this clip contains strong language.
Clip 4: City of Men #1 (dir. Paulo Morelli, 2007). Note: this clip contains strong language.
Clip 5: Happy Feet Two (dir. George Miller, et al, 2011).
Clip 6: Morvern Callar (dir. Lynn Ramsay, 2002).
Clip 7: The Big Lebowski (dir Joel Coen and Ethan Cohen, 1998). Note: this clip contains some nudity.
Note: you can use the clip from Gangs of New York if you already began work on this, as it was listed here in error.

How to approach Part 2
This question requires you to do three things. Make sure you do all three:
1.    Explain how you understand the concepts
2.    Apply the concepts to a close analysis of the scene
3.    Use what you discover in your analysis of the scene to answer the three questions above
This question is asking you to synthesise what we have discussed so far in the unit into your own application of the ideas. To prepare for this question, review the way Martin explains these terms. Think about how we have developed our understanding of these ideas through lectures, screenings and tutorial activities. Watch the clip several times and think about how the concepts might apply to this scene. You do not need to refer to technical terms that have not been covered in lectures or set readings. This is not a research task. You are asked to think about the concepts, think about how they can help you to understand how the scene works and apply them to your own analysis. You must not draw on reviews of the film from other sources. Your examples should refer only to this scene, not to other parts of the film.

250 WORDS EACH CLIP
Avatar chase scene WHOLE CLIP

Gangs of New York WHOLE CLIP

Crouching tiger hidden dragon FROM 2:33 TO END OF SCENE

Great Gatsby FROM 3:01 TO 4:20
http://vodlocker.com/85l671aaow2b

PART 2 1000 WORDS Hero (2002)
FRIST 3 MINUTES

Assignment 2 sample 250 words
Part 1 Question X
NOTE: this is an imaginary question–it is not one of the questions for your assignment and it refers to a different part of the text, which you do not need to read  (not the set reading).
Watch the clip from Elephant screened in the lecture (available on the Clips for Online Lectures tab). How does THIS SCENE work with the conventions of art cinema that Speidel (in Nelmes) describes as quite different to the conventions of mainstream narrative?
Give specific examples from the scene to support your argument.

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