essay should be 3-5 pages long (double spaced)

1. Every shot in a film is constructed through the interaction of five main cinematic techniques:

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Camera work




Choose a scene (from one of the films we worked with in this course) that you find to be rich in significance. Carefully detail how your chosen scene is constructed out of a series of shots structured by way of the 5 main techniques listed above. Your description of the scene should be introduced by a brief description of the scene and the role it plays in the film as a whole.

2. Analyze the impact of these technical choices 1) on the explicit and implicit events that are pictured, 2) on the representation of, and the spectator’s identifications with, the character(s) involved, 3) on one of the film’s main themes.

3. In your description and analysis of this main theme of the film, make use of at least ONE of the concepts you have become familiar with during this course.


–Identity as imitation, mimicry, and conformity

–Identification in the viewing experience (conscious and unconscious), that is, the viewer is unconsciously encouraged to identity with something she is seeing in the film

–Desire in the viewing experience (conscious and unconscious), that is: the viewer is being enticed and partially satisfied by something in the film (as Zizek points out, ideology wants to keep us happy and satisfied, whether this is true happiness or not)

–Mirrors, mirror stage, faces in film

–Oedipus Complex: id, ego, superego, and identity (and how the viewer experiences these processes as well; the viewer’s Unconscious is being addressed by the film somehow); the film may, for example, bolster our superego in some way

–the big Other (the Symbolic order): how does the film represent it?

–Identity categories: race, sexuality, gender, as represented in film

–Identification, Idealization, Violence (represented in and implemented by the film)

–the Gaze: the male gaze, the Gaze as big Other, the experience/phenomenon of being seen (the superego)

–masculinity, femininity as represented in and as implemented by the film

–social relations and ideology (how does the film represent the workings of ideology, OR: how does the film reinforce beliefs and values we hold, whether consciously or unconsciously). You must be sure to focus in one specific ideological beliefs.

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