Essay 1 – Critical Analysis

Essay 1 – Critical Analysis:

Due: October 21

Length: 1500 words

Format: MLA

Analyze and interpret a scene or sequence from a film made before 1950, using the formal concepts (editing, cinematography, mise-en-scène, sound, etc.) discussed in class, as well as the readings assigned. How does the scene work, and why is it important to the film as a whole?

The goal in this essay is to use what you find in the details of the scene to make a greater statement about the meaning of the film.

You must choose a film that was not shown in class, but so long as the film was made before 1950, your selection is not otherwise limited. I expect you to use selections from Film Art and Film Theory and Criticism (particularly those you have read for class) to back up your claims. You must also include a works cited page with an entry for each essay/text you use as well as appropriate in-text citations.

A half-letter grade of extra credit will be added for papers focusing primarily on a film from before 1930.

If you’re not sure where to look for pre-1950s films, here are some links to get you started:
Time Magazine’s 100 Best Films (about 1/3 are pre-1950)
Most Popular Feature Films Released 1940-1949
Most Popular Feature Films Released 1930-1939
Most Popular Feature Films Released 1920-1929
Most Popular Feature Films Released 1910-1919

If your memory of MLA format is hazy, come to my office hours or try this site:
Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide


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