Film & Theater studies

Film & Theater studies

Develop one of my blog essays about a film, making a strong claim and substantively discussing a key idea or claim from at least one reading with author and text citations, and with substantive discussion and citation of an idea or ideas in the reading. The essays I have wrote and the reading sources I will upload to you and you can choose one to develop. The movies you can choose from the following four options: 12 years a slave; Watermelon Woman; Nanook Revisited; History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashiga.

It is imperative to have a STRONG CLAIM. This is NOT your OPINION or TASTE. Opinion is possibly okay, but a strong claim is made with evidence and sound description to back up an ARGUMENT. Avoid claims about TASTE such as “the film is good/bad” or “I like it/dislike the film” are irrelevant to the assignment. We are not asking for your opinion or evaluation of quality. We are asking for a conceptual ARGUMENT about the fim, in dialog with a reading or readings, that grasps the intentions and context of the film and evaluates its use and function and possible impact or effect around matters of transnational identity and culture. Discussion (not just simple citaiton but substantive discussion) of at least one article’s point, argument or idea is required. Do not summarize the film again, and just give an argument. You cannot use outside source, and only you can use the source I gave to you.

The reading sources are the following:
1. Movie: 12 years a slave,Steven McQueen,2013, 134m
*Doug Morris, “‘Under the Floorboards of this Nation’: Trauma Representation and the Stain of History in 12 Years a Slave,” e-reserve.
*Zong!, by M. NourbeSe Philip. This book-length poem, understood as an excavation of legal documents, is about the murder of 150 Africans by drowning in 1781. Listen at
*Soledad Brothers, “Foreword” by George Jackson and “Introduction” by Jean Genet

2.Movie: Watermelon Woman, Cheryl Dunye, 1996,90m
* Mark Winokur, “Body and Soul: Identifying (with) the black female body in Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman. e-reserve.
*Max King Cap and Simone White from The Racial Imaginary, at

3. Movie: Nanook Revisited, Claude Massot, 1994,55m
*Juli Carson, V.A.L.I.S.: Modernity’s Buried present, at
*Lisa E. Bloom, “Polar Fantasies and Aesthetics in the Work of Isaac Julien and Connie Samaras,” Scholar and the Feminist Online 7 (1) Fall 2008, at

4.Movie: History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige, Rea Tajiri, 1991, 32 minutes
Laura U. Marks. 2000. Chapter 1: The Memory of Images. The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses. Duke University Press. 24-76.
Access as e-book at
For examples of solid review writing (though without citations to other authors)
see Leslie Camhi’s review of a 1999 Iranian film for the New York Times at

Or see reviews by Mahola Dargis at

For general guide to review style see this Duke document:

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