This third assignment is a film analysis paper. Choose any of the directors studied in this class, either from the syllabus or the Viewing List. Watch at least three of his or her films, and write a paper about the themes examined in this body of work and how these relate to its visual style. In the case of filmmakers working in more than one national cinema, please note that the films you choose have to be productions from Asia, Africa or Latin America. If you are interested in studying a filmmaker not covered by the syllabus, or included in the Viewing List, please clear your choice with me.
This paper should reflect your understanding of the films. Outside sources are not needed, but if you use them, please cite accordingly.
HANA-BI (Fireworks, Japan,1998) Takeshi Kitano 103’
RASHOMON (Japan, 1950) Akira Kurosawa 88’
OHAYO (Good Morning, Japan, 1959) Yasujiro Ozu 93’
THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI (Japan, 2002) Yoji Yamada 129’
YELLOW EARTH (People’s Republic of China, 1984) Chen Kaige 89’
In terms of what the thesis statement actually says, it should relate particular techniques and aesthetics (e.g. a highly discontinuous use of lighting combined with a long take aesthetic) with the themes they examine (e.g. an investigation or exploration of class hierarchy in traditional Japanese society) through the patterns/effect produced by the techniques (e.g. layered chronotopes). The techniques and aesthetics should not be so specific (e.g. A careful positioning of back lights and key lights; this is too specific) in the thesis statement, but they should also not be overly broad (e.g. the use of miss-en-scene; which is like saying everything!). The theme, on the other hand, can be quite specific. The challenge is to be specific with the themes, and more in-between for the techniques/aesthetics. A sample thesis statement built on the examples above may look like:
Through the construction of layered chronotopes with a highly discontinuous use of lighting and long take aesthetic, Films A, B, C, conduct analysis of class hierarchy in three interrelated aspects of traditional Japanese society
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