INSTRUCTIONS Regrettably, The Conversation is not. It is on reserve and likely available through on-line services.) Start by looking at Bordwell and Thompson’s analyses of NORTH BY NORTHWEST (pp. 406-410) and MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (pp.429-433) to sample possible essay forms. Because we have not studied NORTH BY NORTHWEST in class, you should think about how B&T organize their essay rather than what they write about Hitchcock’s film. You are neither Bordwell nor Thompson. Do what you can in light of our work this semester. You might also check on-line or at the UI Main Library for books or articles on the film you choose.
FRIENDLY SUGGESTIONS: Think of yourselves as fledgling film critics. Begin with a title & a clear statement of the problem, issue, or question you want to address. Follow up with a brief statement relating basic facts about the film such as type, genre, and referential meaning. Now you are ready to look in detail at specific qualities of the film you have chosen. One way to proceed is to analyze one or two sequences in order to link form, narrative, and cinematic style.
As in B&T’s examples, create titles or keywords as headings for one, two, or three sections of your essay. These should reconfirm your opening statements. Keep plot summaries to a minimum. Include them only when they are relevant to your analysis. Conclude with: (1) what you see as the film’s explicit and implicit meanings; and (2) what you see as the unique interest of the film. Try to balance analysis of film form and cinematic style with commentary, interpretation, and judgment.
Use this assignment to display the skills of film analysis & interpretation you have been developing. This is a great opportunity for you to raise your final grade by showing improvement over the first two writing assignments. Think about how you want to organize your essay before you draft it.