There are three questions below. You must answer 2 of the questions. Please indicate which questions you’ve chosen to answer by labeling them.
You are expected to use ONLY course materials (the films, Fabe’s book, assigned readings, the recommended textbook, lecture slides and notes) to help you answer the questions. These are the only sources that you are permitted to use for your answers. Do not use any other sources, print or online.
You must properly cite your uses of the texts, including but not limited to quotations. Please use either Chicago or MLA style. All exams will be checked for plagiarism. Plagiarism is grounds for failing the exam and disciplinary action. Please work alone and do not confer with your classmates. If you wish to cite the lectures you can mark them in a footnote or parenthetical citation by the video number and time code (eg., Module 4.3, 15:38). If you are doing MLA style citations, you do not need to include the lectures in your works cited list.
Please spend as much time on the questions as you wish. Answers average around 900-1250 words for each question (2 questions in total).
Answer 2 of the 3 questions below.
QUESTION 1 (100 Points)
We watched two examples of Russian cinema this semester: Serge Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002). Despite the filmmakers’ shared geographic origin, Eisenstein’s film differs significantly from Sokurov’s. First and foremost, Battleship Potemkin was shot on film, whereas Sokurov’s Russian Ark was shot with digital video.
Please write an essay comparing Battleship Potemkin with Russian Ark.
In your answer, explain how the filmmaker explores the specific formal, material, and aesthetic qualities of the medium in which he worked (film for Eisenstein, digital video for Sokurov) and how these choices affect the viewer’s experience.
In your essay please explain the differences between film and digital video.
What is possible or necessary in one medium that isn’t in the other?
How does the medium that each director uses help him to make his point?
QUESTION 2 (100 Points)
Despite their great differences, we discussed both Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (USA, 1977) and Nelson Pereira dos Santos’s How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (Brazil, 1971) as postmodern films.
Please write an essay in which you consider how each film is postmodern.
Produce a definition of postmodernism and how it operates in film, and support this definition with specific examples from each film.
What is the effect of the postmodern moves in each film?
How does each film and its particular postmodern gestures speak to the cultural and political context in which it was created?
Please draw upon the course texts and detailed analysis of specific scenes in supporting your answer.
QUESTION 3 (100 points)
One could argue that Rashômon and Rear Window are films about “point of view.” Please write an essay arguing this point, explaining how one of these films uses the concept of point of view to create the narrative structure.
What is “point of view” and how does it function in the film?
Describe how the director constructs point of view through stylistic choices in cinematography and editing.
How does point of view shape the narrative and the viewer’s access to information and truth in the story?
Why can one say that this film is “about” point of view?
Please use examples of specific scenes, sequences, and shots from the film to support your answer. [*You may want to look back to earlier weeks in which we dealt with point of view shots, such as Module 3)
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