Between 1895 and 1905, the Lumiere Brothers and Georges Melies

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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)

Sample Solution

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