Movie Posters

FIL2400 - History of the American Cinema line

Written Assignment #1


Study Guide - Page 61, Assignment 3

You can also use any of the films from the Additional Screenings list, Study Guide, pages 56-58.


Assignment #1 isn't hard, but it does require you to actually watch a Romantic Comedy mentioned in the video or listed in the Study Guide, pages 56-58. If you don't have a video store nearby and AMC isn't showing one that week, go to your local library. Even if they don't carry videos, you should be able to request one from Interlibrary loan. GO NOW! It will take a few days.

Let me start by explaining "sequence," used in the Assignment. It's the same thing as a "scene." Here's one definition, "A complete unit of film narration. A series of shots (or a single shot) that take place in a single location and that deal with a single action." There is an equally vague definition of scene on page 352 of the text.

So what do you do? You have two options.

1) Do a "visual analysis" of a "sequence." Watch the scene in real time. Watch the scene again in slow motion. Number and describe every shot in the scene. Then look at the relationship between the shots (this will be much clearer to those who made the Saturday classes). Is there a pattern? Finally, does the technique (NOT the dialog) make the scene funny or funnier?

2) Do a "narrative segmentation" of the film (page 28 of the text). Do an outline of the major elements of the story. Briefly describe each of the elements and describe the pattern that you find. How does the end of the film relate to the beginning? Has anything changed? Has anything remained the same? What (if anything) does this add to the humor?

Assignment due Friday, October 24.
You can bring it to class, fax, E-mail, or bring it to HU 79 to be put in my mail box. But it must be typed!


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