FTVMS 101 FILM STUDIES (Semester 2, 2013)
ASSIGNMENT #1: Close Reading Exercise
DEADLINE: MONDAY AUGUST 26 at 4pm
WORD LIMIT: 1000 WORDS
This assignment is designed to:
develop your ability to closely ‘read’ a film text.
develop your use and understanding of technical film language. demonstrate your understanding of narrative and editing techniques. develop your ability to write concise observations about technical aspects of filmmaking. develop your ability to turn such observations into a coherent, well structured essay.
OVERVIEW: This assignment consists of 2 parts: 1) a technical analysis and 2) a short essay. Both parts must refer to the same film.
CHOOSE ONE OF THE SELECTIONS BELOW. These sequences have been preselected for you. They are all available on YouTube/Daily Motion and on a DVD entitled ‘FTVMS 101 Assignment # 1, 2013’ in the AV Library.
(A) The Artist (2011)
(B) Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
(C) Some Like It Hot (1959)
(D) Annie Hall (1977)
Please note that the quality of the sequence on the DVD is likely to be better than the quality of the clips posted online. Since you are doing a close analysis, it is a good idea to use the online material as a guide only and complete the assignment using the assignment DVD in the AV Library.
Links to clips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQraLvsN1js – The Artist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CNnsTcSR6k – Singin’ in the Rain http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkcr2p_ice-conversation_shortfilms – Some Like It Hot http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkcqwg_great-ham_shortfilms - Annie Hall
SECTION I: Technical Analysis (500 words)
This section is an exercise in the technical analysis of a film text focusing on two of the technical elements we have studied so far: sound and editing. It is not a formal essay, but rather an opportunity to make succinct observations in a bullet-point format. There are TWO PARTS to this section, involving a total of TEN BULLET POINTS (five each). You must complete BOTH parts of this section.
– Each part must be written under the separate headings.
– Present each of your observations as a bullet point. Each bullet point should identify your observation, indicate how and why this technique is used, and note the significance of this technique. – Note that you only have approx. 50 words per bullet point, since all ten bullet points are limited to 500 words, so you must be concise. – Each part has a series of terms/concepts which are there to help you think about the points you want to make. You do not have to discuss each of these terms; they are provided as a guideline. – You must write about the SAME film that you choose for your close reading in Section II.
A) Sound (5 marks, or 1/3 of 15%)
Using bullet points, identify five (5) key elements of the way that sound, music, dialogue and/or silence are used in the sequence, and provide concise examples. If relevant, you may also consider filmic elements that stand in for sound, such as silent film titles.
Possible elements you may (but do not have to) consider in your five observations: diegetic and non-diegetic sound
synchronous and asynchronous sound
effect of soundtrack on characterization, etc.
onscreen and offscreen sound
B) Editing (5 marks, or 1/3 of 15%)
Using bullet points, identify five (5) key elements of editing in the sequence and briefly note the significance of the way each is used.
Possible elements you may (but do not have to) consider in your five observations: order of shots
duration of shots
shot transitions (i.e., type of cut)
continuity editing or breaks in continuity
rhythm and pace of the edit
effects of cuts, etc.
SECTION II Short Essay (500 words)
Putting It All Together (5 marks, or 1/3 of 15%)
Write a short essay, with a brief introductory and concluding...
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