Posted: February 3rd, 2023
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1. Settings. Chose a film and make an argument about the significance of its settings. For this topic you
will need to identify the film’s different settings and then analyze their meanings. You may want to focus
on particular settings such as interiors, parties or celebrations, urban settings, and landscapes. How do
different settings frame characters and anchor them in different meanings? How do settings convey
information about class, race, gender, sexuality? Does the constructed world or worlds of the film
comment on the limits and possibilities of our actual world?
2. Narrative. Rowe suggests that we can begin to analyze many film narratives in terms of an initial
equilibrium, then the disruption of that equilibrium, and finally, the establishment of a new equilibrium,
different from the equilibrium at the film’s start. Does your chosen film conform to or depart from that
narrative structure? How might that narrative structure help us understand the significance of the film’s
story? In particular, you may want to focus on the ending. Each film’s ending is relatively open ended.
The film endings suggest possible futures for their characters but their subsequent stories aren’t told and
we don’t definitively know their fates. What is the meaning of such open-ended conclusions?
3. Respectability Politics. Historically, models of respectability have celebrated heterosexual marriage
and reproduction; “normal” gender roles; and respect for and deference to authority. On the one hand, by
identifying with such forms of “respectability,” BIPOC communities have countered forms of racism
based in ideas about their deviancy and immorality. On the other hand, identifying with respectability has
reinforced the very definitions of deviancy and immorality that have been used to depict BIPOC
communities as dangerous and disposable. Choose a film and construct an argument about how it
represents such contradictions. To what extent does the film challenge respectability politics? How do the
filmmakers use the tools discussed by Rowe to represent and comment on “respectability”?
4. Sound. Chose a film and make an argument about its use of sound. According to Rowe, sound can
reinforce the continuity of action and link different scenes. Music, in particular, can establish or enhance
emotion, or help lead an audience to a particular understanding of a scene. While you could focus on all
sorts of sounds, you may want to focus in particular on music. Music can identify characters and attach
particular meanings to them (Rowe cites as an example The Godfather, where different kinds of music
mark differences of class and nationality between different characters). How is sound used in one of the
three films and to what effect? Be sure to draw on not only Rowe but one other assigned reading.
You must cite Alan Rowe’s article (from week 1), and at least one other in-class reading. (W2&W3)
Film : https://vimeo.com/795068992/aee369a99d
Please do the citation
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