Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Double Indemnity assignment

Hey there, film fans!

Note that, in my links (to the right), I've put a PDF of the Hays Code for reference for this assignment.

Please do one of the following for the Monday after break; the piece should be approximately 250-300 words:

a. Write a response to seeing Double Indemnity as if you were a reviewer of the time (1944). In this case, you will need to look over the Hays Code, because you'll either be complaining about how the film violates the letter or spirit of the code or how you think the film masterfully avoids crossing the line.

b. Write a personal response to the film, keeping in mind that it's a black-and-white film from another era. What did you like or especially appreciate? What surprised you? How did it compare to modern films? What seemed better than a modern film?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some links of interest

I've added some new links at right (and updated the "film terms" link so that the proper terms are checked off).

Two links are to lists by Jonathan Rosenbaum, a serious critic of film who writes for both popular and more narrow audiences. His "100 greatest American films" was written in response to the American Film Institute's release (and occasional revisiting) of such a list. Especially of interest, I think, is what he objects to in the AFI list. The other Rosenbaum link lists "1,000 essential films" from all over the world. This list proceeds by decade, and you can see there several things we've watched or that you've heard referenced in class. If you really want to see the full history of film, this list provides a tremendous resource.

Another resource I've linked to is the website They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? (It's a reference to the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, based on a 1935 novel.) This site, which I believe is no longer updated, contains a host of informative links, as you'll see.

Finally, here's a link to an interview with the guy who wrote the screenplay for the actual planned science fiction film Argo—the movie at the center of the deception in the Oscar-winning film.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Caligari assignment

Here's what I'm expecting:

First, your recollection of two scenes that especially stood out for you. What was it that struck you about each of them?

Following that, provide a more general response to the film, even following up on some things you said in the first part. What did you like about it? How did you feel about the visual style? Did you find it enjoyable, interesting, disturbing, dull, confusing . . . what? What about the absence of "color"—how did you feel about watching a full film that's in black and white (though tinted)?

Please double space. I'm expecting at least a page in length.

Next week: Comedy.