For this assignment you must use a film by Steven Spielberg between 1940-1970.
For each of the two papers, you will be responsible for watching a film, writing a 3 to 5 page essay in which you respond to prompts (see below), and then providing a list of “My Criteria for Quality in Film.”
Make Time to Complete the Assignment: Each paper requires you to watch a film IN ADDITION to the ones you will be watching for the week’s discussion, so be sure to leave yourself enough time to: watch the film, think, write a first draft, edit and revise.
These assignments are reaction papers, not plot summaries or research papers. Write what you have to say about the film, not what others have said, but know how the film was made.
The papers will be graded based on:
a) Evidence that you are reading and viewing the course content, comparisons to other relevant films you have seen (in class and as a movie watcher); use of the film vocabulary introduced in class and college-level writing skills (spelling, punctuation, and grammar).
b) Clear presentation of your opinions and reasonable explanations and justifications to support those opinions: In a 100-level course, you would perhaps be asked to write about what you watched on the screen. In a 200-level course, you are being asked to say what you think about what you watched. In this 300-level course, you should explain why you think the way you do about the film, and then justify your opinions with explanations (using references found in the weekly content in the LEO classroom).
Be sure to correctly spell the names listed in the credits of directors, actors, screenwriters, and other people (to avoid “points” being taken off the final grade for that paper).
These papers are about your observations, insights, and evaluations not only what you can learn by reading up on the film or the filmmaker. Do not just repeat what you find online. Think carefully before you write, be creative and apply what you have been learning in this course.
First Paper Assignment: Film One (F1)
Part 1: View a feature film made between 1940 – 1970 directed by Steven Spielberg you have not seen before (or will see later in this class. Many directors were active both before and after 1970 so make sure you see a pre-1970 FEATURE fiction film.
Part 2: Draw some general conclusions about the work of the director and one of the main actors or actresses. For example, let us say you watched the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. Did you like David Lean as a filmmaker? Explain your answer. Did you like Peter O’Toole in the role of Lawrence? Why, or why not?
End with your overall impression of the film, including how you see it as an example of its genre and time period.
PARTS ONE AND TWO SHOULD BE PRESENTED AS A SINGLE ESSAY!
Part 3: On a separate page, insert the heading “My Criteria for Quality in Film.” Under that heading, propose four general statements indicative of your personal taste in movies. These statements should be numbered (1) through (4), and they should be written as complete sentences or a short paragraph. For example, if you commented in your essay that you liked the acting because it was realistic and you liked the script because it had a happy ending, you could propose these two statements as criteria for quality: “(1) Excellent movies feature realistic acting. (2) A movie is more likely to be good if it ends happily.” Think about and then explain what words such as good, excellent, and effective actually mean. Be sure to save your “My Criteria” page to your hard drive—you will be resubmitting an expanded version of it with for the second paper later in this course.
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