Film 3420 H Film studies
Short Visual Analysis: The Crime Film
Short Visual Analysis (25% of Final Grade)
This assignment is designed to test your ability to describe and interpret film narrative. You will be shown a scene from the film, Out of the Past (1947). Your task will be to give a description of the scene by breaking it down into its component parts, and then to speculate on its possible meanings.
The clip entitled, Out of the Past, can be found at this location on YouTube:
The assignment asks you to consider the scene in isolation from the rest of the film. You may watch the entire film if you wish, but you will be graded on the precision with which you are able to describe the sequence and the quality of your ideas about its possible meanings.
Your task, then, is twofold: 1) to describe what you see as clearly as possible (you do not need to use filmic terms); and 2) to explain what it might mean (literally, thematically and symbolically).
You should write the assignment in essay form, but should think of it as having two parts. The first part of the assignment involves a shot-by-shot breakdown of the scene. The second part asks you to provide several possible interpretations of the meaning of the scene. A topic statement is required. A thesis statement is not.
This assignment requires you to analyze the sequence yourself. Using internet or other sources will result in substantial deductions to your grade.
Your assignment should be typed and double-spaced. It should be about 1500 words in length (6 pages). It should be sent to me before 10pm on July 13, 2020.
Late assignments will have 5% deducted for each day late, including weekends.
Required Textbooks and Other Readings
1) Rafter, Nicole. Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society. (Second Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
2) Silver, Alain and Ursini, James. Gangster Film Reader. Pompton Plains, NJ: Limelight Editions, 2007.
Marking Scheme Sequence Analysis (July 13) 25%
Essay (July 27) 50%
Take Home Test (August 10) 25%
This course explores the history of the crime film and its various genres. Emphasis will be placed on its genesis in the American early sound cinema (Pre-Production Code and Post-Code films), and its development in film noir. The second half of the course will examine contemporary developments by looking at a number of foreign crime films and their influence on American crime films and television programs.
Notes: 1. All information in this course outline is tentative and subject to change. Please pay attention in class to for announcements regarding any changes to the course schedule of topics, readings and screenings.
Note: This course is usually offered with classroom instruction and screenings. This is not possible during the COVID-19 crisis. You will be given the written lectures on the dates indicated below. You have the responsibility to find the films online (You Tube, Google video, and York University’s online film collection). Watch the films on or around the dates indicated below and do the required readings for the two course textbooks. Assignment instructions will be provided on the moodle site.
The Crime Film Lecture Schedule Summer 2020
June 29 ….
August 10 TAKE HOME TEST DUE
IMPORTANT COURSE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
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