Between 1895 and 1905, the Lumiere Brothers and Georges Melies
Read each question carefully and make sure that you are answering what is being asked. Some questions
have more than one part.
Each question should be answered in 1-3 paragraphs. All together, the exam should be 600-900 words
(about 2-3 typed pages)
You may refer to your notes and outside sources. If you directly quote an outside source, please
document the source. NOTE: if plagiarism is detected, you will receive a ZERO on the exam.
Please submit your exam as an attachment below (MS Word, Google Docs, or PDF)
The exam MUST be submitted by 11:59pm on Monday, March 11. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Feel free to email me any questions you have.
- Between 1895 and 1905, the Lumiere Brothers and Georges Melies established the two basic directions the
cinema would follow: the Lumieres’ realism (an interest in or concern with the actual or real, a tendency to view
things as they actually are) and Melies’ anti-realism (an interest in or concern with the abstract, speculative, or
fantastic). Although in the following years, a notion evolved that a movie was either realistic or anti-realistic, in
fact movies in general and any movie in particular can be both. Choose one movie we’ve viewed so far this
semester and explain how it mixes both realism and anti-realism. Pay particular attention to the way the films are
constructed, not just the stories being told.
- One theme that links Lady Bird, Persepolis, and Minding the Gap is the sense of captivity and freedom. What
kinds of captivity and freedom are explored in each film? What stifles or prevents these young characters from
being completely free? How do they circumvent and defy the rules imposed on them? Do the films give a visual
sense of either captivity or freedom, or both? Give at least one example from each film.
- As we discussed in class, pioneering films such as The Great Train Robbery
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc7wWOmEGGY) were filmed in single wide-angle shots as though the
filmmakers were shooting a stage play.
A. How did this early way of filming affect performance?
B. In the scene in which the railway agent is shot (1:50-2:44 in the above video), describe how with editing YOU
could create an alternate death scene that is dramatic and interesting but does not rely on an exaggerated
performance. List several shots that you would use to re-create this scene. How would introducing parallel action
to your scene create suspense?
- While the casual movie-goer may think of silent cinema as a primitive stepping stone to the fully mature sound
cinema of today, we know that’s not true. The silent cinema was also its own particular language, which had its
own unique license to transmit meaning and emotion through a direct form of visual expression. What can silent
films do better than sound films? Using specific examples from the Sherlock Jr., draw some conclusions about the
advantages of silent film as a form. (Please note: this question is NOT asking whether or not YOU like watching
silent films- rather it is asking you to look at the concept of silent film vs. sound film)