Watching Cinema/Approaches to Looking and Listening

Please turn in a grammar/spell-checked 2-page response paper directly to the Screening Assignment section on Canvas. Please include the scan of the ticket stub or flyer if no ticket is available. Papers are due no later than 1 week after the screening has occurred. Please see the Professor if you don’t understand part of the assignment or need more information.

There is more to film, video and television than plot or storyline; therefore as you watch and listen to cinema, you should consider the work as a text in which the sum of the parts contribute to the whole. Please address each of these six points when viewing and particularly when writing about media:

  1. Who (what group) made this film and why? When did they make it? Was a studio involved? Was this film made independently? What cultural, regional and/or national frameworks might be significant to understanding this?
  1. What is the argument or message being presented by the maker(s)? Are there multiple arguments and various conflicting readings one may do of the text?
  1. How does the filmmaker use composition, lighting, mise-en-scene, audio and/or editing to get across ideas or messages? Be as specific as possible. Since you may only be able to watch the film once, please take notes or write your impressions immediately after the screening.
  1. How does this relate to other documentary examples or genres (styles/types)? Does the documentary work quote, parody or in other ways refer to previously produced media? Why did the media producer choose to make a documentary rather than a fictional work? Or why and how is this a documentary?
  1. If you saw the media work with an audience, please describe the audience. Were they young, old, mixed by gender and race? What was their general response? Did you hear laughter, grunts of approval or dismay, talking back at the screen or people fidgeting because they were uncomfortable? How did the audience responses affect your response to the work?
  1. What were some of the highlights of the question and answer discussion? Did you ask a question? If you did, what was it? If you weren’t able to ask, what would you have asked?