How are you able to use film theory and criticism to find and interpret meaning in movies

Throughout this course, you have been writing essays and  participating in discussion forums that analyze various elements of film  such as theme, cinematic techniques, and genre. It is now time to  combine those elements into a comprehensive analysis of one movie.

You will be completing this assignment in two stages. For the first  stage (1500 to 1800 words), you will analyze an entire movie. In the  second stage (300 to 600 words), you will reflect on how you analyzed  the movie as well as how your ability to analyze film in general has  evolved.

You are encouraged to incorporate writing from your Week Two and Week  Three assignments if (a) you have reflected on the instructor’s  feedback, (b) you have revised the relevant parts of the essays  accordingly, and (c) the essays discuss the same film that you discuss  here.

Stage 1: Analysis

For this stage, you will be analyzing a movie selected from the AFI’s 10 Top 10 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  list. The film you choose can be one that you have previously analyzed  in this course. While you are allowed to choose a film that does not  come from the AFI lists, you are strongly encouraged to email your  professor to receive approval before doing so.

The analysis portion of your paper should be 1500 to 1800 words in  length. You should analyze the film through the lens of one of the broad  theories you have learned about in class (auteur theory, genre theory,  formalist theory). Your analysis must address four main areas  (contextual information, story/plot, aesthetic choices, and  social/personal impact) and how these areas work together to develop the  theme of the movie. As you construct your analysis, assume that your  reader is not familiar with this film. Use your analysis to explain to  your reader why they should watch this film.

In addition to the film you are analyzing, you must use three scholarly sources to support your arguments. Refer to the ENG225 Research Guide in  the Ashford University Library for guidance and to locate your sources.  Cite your sources (including the feature-length film) within the text  of your paper and on the reference page. Cite your sources according to  APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

Your analysis must address the following components (noted in bold below):

  • Contextual Information – In this area, you will provide some of the basic identifying information of the film. This includes:
    • Title
    • Director, cinematographer, major actors/actresses. Be sure to describe their roles in the overall design process.
    • Year of release
    • Type of film (blockbuster, indie, documentary, etc.)
    • Genre
  • Story/Plot – In this area, you should offer a brief  summary of the film, and then show how it was deployed in the narrative  structure of the film. Explain the difference between the film’s story  and its plot. This area can be addressed as a separate paragraph, or can  be threaded throughout your analysis of the film.
  • Aesthetic Choices – In this area, you will assess the  efficacy of specific techniques and design elements employed in the film  as they apply to the overarching narrative and theme of the film. These  elements include:
    • Mise en scène (e.g., lighting, sound, composition of frame, costuming, etc.)
    • Editing (e.g., cuts and transitions, shots used, angles, etc.)
    • Technology (i.e., analyze the impact of any notable technological  effects: film stock, targeted release venue, special effects, etc.)
  • Social/Personal Impact – In this area, you will critically address the following questions:
    • What impact did this film have on society (i.e., politically or  culturally, positive or negative)? The impact can be as major as  inspiring political or social changes or as minor as inspiring the  production of toys or lunchboxes.
    • How did society affect this film (i.e., what currents in society led to the creation of the film)?
    • If you are unable to find any information about the social impact of the film, explain the personal impact it has had on you.

Note: Not every bullet point under the four listed components will  necessarily apply to your movie. However, you will still need to discuss  each of the four main components thoroughly, which means that you may  need to explain a concept even if it can’t be directly applied to your  movie.

Your paper should be organized around a thesis statement that  clarifies what you will attempt to accomplish in your paper, and how you  will proceed. Additionally, you must conclude with a restatement of the  thesis and a conclusion paragraph. Review the Final Film Critique sample, which provides an example of a well-developed analysis as well as insight on composition.

Stage 2: Reflection

After completing your movie analysis, you will reflect on the  analysis process and how you have learned to more thoroughly analyze  film as well as how rigorous study of film enhances your development as a  student and thinker. In this 300- to 600-word reflection, review your  initial post from the “Post Your Introduction” discussion in Week One,  and consider how your ability to analyze movies has changed or grown.  Append your reflection to the analysis portion of your paper and submit  as one document. Your reflection should be personal and exploratory in  nature.

Address the following questions in your reflection:

  • What can be gained through analyzing film?
  • How has this changed the way you view movies?
  • How are you able to use film theory and criticism to find and interpret meaning in movies?
  • In what ways has this course changed your understanding of how movies are related to society?
  • What skills have you developed during this course, and how might those skills be applied to your major, profession, and/or life?

The Final Film Critique

  • Must be one document that is 1800 to 2400 words in length, comprised  of a 1500- to 1800-word film analysis and a 300- to 600-word  reflection.
  • Must include a separate title and reference page, and be formatted according to APA style as outlined in Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  • Must use at least three scholarly sources (reviews, articles, or  book chapters) other than the textbook to support your points. Refer to  the ENG225 Research Guide for guidance.
  • Must document all sources in APA style,

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