Saturday, 5 January 2013

Week 10 (Tues 11 Dec)

Today seminar was focused on analysis/essays and how to write them properly. First, we ran through some guidelines and tips on how to write good, interesting essays:
  • Double spaced and the standar font is 12
  • Italicise the titles of films and television shows
  • Include the director and year when you first mention a title. Additionally, mention the actors the first time you mention their characters.
  • Don't make the arguments overly personal (I like/don't like).
  • Spellcheck/proof-read.utilise correct and approriate terminology.
Similarly, we then discussed analysis and how to write those correctly, which utilised very similar rules (checking, be objective, bring up evidence and don't assume anything, be structured but not a checklist etc.) and with that, we then took a look at the essay we had to write over the christmas break and what questions we had available to make the core of it:
  1. Are there problems with a texturlist (specifics i.e. genre) approach to film and TV?
  2. Does the camra offers window into the world (Realism)?
  3. Is fantasy purely escapist?
  4. Choose a piece and discuss how it shows (any 2 of) gender, sex, class, race etc.
  5. In what ways have film makers sought to challenge conventional represnetations?

Then, in the lecture, we saw the French drama La Haine (1995), centering on three French youths who lives on a council estate and the troubled lives they all lead, the film commenting on social and racial issues and divides, and how the different classes are treated by society. Following on from this, we returned to the topic of representation (how something is shown i.e. race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, ideology etc.), but this time we looked at more specific eras and styles (such as Latin Third Cinema, which shows the harsh reality and poverty prevalent in South American life, New Queer Cinema, which began around the early 90s and challenged the conventional portrayal of homosexuals in film) and even pioneers (such as Spike Lee and Todd Haynes) and their films (City of God (2002), Jean Luc Goddard's Weekend (1962) and the acclaimed 1970s miniseries Roots, which centered on several generations of black slaves.)

To conclude, I felt the lecture was more compelling than the seminar, mainly becuase a lot of film history and theory was thrown up and discussed in a decent amount of detail, as opposed to the latter where it was more like, ironically, just a checklist of what to do and what not to do. Additionally, it was interesting to see how many aspects of a film and its world can eb analysed and dissected when discussing all the different types of representation, as mentioned before.

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