Essay 2

I’m posting the Essay 2 description here for you so you won’t need to run back to the syllabus for elucidation.

For your second essay, you will conduct a study of the formal qualities and critical issue associated with a particular film genre.  Your study should elucidate the genre you are studying, explain the formal qualities that identify a film as part of the genre, and discuss two films which exemplify the genre.  Your films must come from two different national cinema traditions. (Note: classic and contemporary “Hollywood” films count as American cinema.).  You must use both primary sources and secondary critiques in this essay.

As I have mentioned in class, there are a number of ways you can approach this essay. Remember, though, that, first and foremost, it is a study of a genre, so – as I noted Friday – you will likely spend about 2/3 of the essay discussing the genre. What are its themes? Is it responding to particular social issues? What techniques do films in this genre typically use? About 1/3 of your essay will likely be devoted to using the two films you have selected to illustrating the points you have made about the genre.

You have a lot of freedom here in terms of structure and approach, so don’t feel hemmed in by this description (one of the reasons I have left this more open-ended than the last). By all means, though, if you are worried about your approach, drop me an email and we can discuss it.


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