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Essay Assignment Overview

—  There are SIX options available for you to choose. You should ONLY choose ONE of the options and answer it in your essay. Please read the questions and instructions carefully.


—  This essay is designed to enable you to demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills developed in the module and apply them to the discussion of a film. It is an exercise in combining research, reading, and critical writing. In the essay, you should make every effort to relate what you write to the critical issues/questions/debates we have been looking at in class. You may reach different conclusions in your essay. What you need to do is to critically present and justify your analysis, critique and arguments.

—  The essay is expected to reference a minimum of FIVE academic sources, THREE of which should be from the required readings for the module.

—  You can choose to discuss films that have not been mentioned in the module to analyse in the essay. If the film(s) you chose have been discussed and explored in depth in group presentations and/or lectures, you SHOULD use a different theory to discuss the film(s).

Option 1:

Discuss the different views of Wollen and Sarris on auteur theory. Draw on their theoretical debate to discuss whether and how a film can be understood as an auteur film.

Option 2:

Discuss how Staiger (1997) understands the ‘hybridity thesis’ and ‘the purity thesis’ in film genre studies? Use a film as a case study to explain whether and why you agree/disagree with Staiger’s view.

Option 3:

Discuss Mulvey’s original argument about the male gaze in her 1975 article. How did she respond to the criticism of her gaze theory in her later 1981 article? Using a film as a case study, explain whether and why you agree/disagree with Mulvey’s theory.

Option 4:

Use a film as a case study to answer the following questions: How does Jenkins’s theorization of contemporary media production and consumption complicate the issue of film spectatorship in a digital age? Do you agree/disagree with Jenkins’s perspective, and why?

Option 5:

Discuss how the terms ‘a world cinema gaze’ and ‘a tourist gaze’ (Shaw 2011) can be applied as critical tools to understand Hollywood films? Illustrate your answer with an analysis of one such film.

Option 6:

Discuss the intersectional identity politics of gender, sexual and/or racial representations in a film of your choice. Your analysis should closely draw on the feminist film studies framework proposed by either Modleski (1999) or Butler (1990;1999).

Good essays will have the following features:

– A logical structure with a proper introduction and conclusion

– A sense of purpose and argument and careful attention to the question at hand throughout

– Evidence of in-depth engagement with the relevant critical literature (excellent work will show extensive reading/viewing/research)

– Clear and accurate exposition of the key theoretical/critical terms

– Detailed textual analysis of your chosen cinematic texts

– An understanding of how the film is situated within its particular sociocultural and/or industrial context

– A clear sense of how your film examples relate to the critical literature at hand

– Careful referencing and a complete bibliography

Research Essay Format

The essay must follow the format outlined below:

1. Introduction: Clearly presenting your topic, research subject, focus, and arguments.

2. Main Text: Critically presenting your discussion and analysis, supported by your close reading of cinematic text, context, and/or paratext.

3. Conclusion: Concisely summarizing your findings or critique discussed in the essay

4. Bibliography (including any films discussed)

5. Times New Roman or Arial; 12 Point Font

6. Double spaced

7. Justified alignment

8. Remember to include page numbers

9. APA Referencing System