Before we depart for the next break (are we actually managing to squeeze in a school year here?), you have to do a major paper. The grades for this quarter will be based on: the Psycho paper; a research paper on a film of some critical value; a review and presentation on a film of your choosing, great, not-so-great, or truly objectionable.
Choose a "classic" or critically acclaimed film. (Ebert's book is a good place to look for these.) I'm especially interested in having you choose something you haven't seen. Check with me to make sure it's not a film I'm covering in class. You can choose this film in collaboration with others; watching the film together would be both enjoyable and useful, as you can gain insight from each other's views.
The end result is an approximately five-page paper, a critical overview of the film plus your own view of its value and success as a movie. Use Ebert's comments as a springboard, but also use other critical commentaries on the film. I have several resources myself or can point you to some at the public library or online. At least three resources (one could be Ebert) are required. Knowing something about the history and having behind-the-scenes information about the film can also help flesh out your writing.
We'll talk more about this in class.