Briefly summarize the film in which you apply your knowledge of the difference between the film’s story and its plot.

The American Dream in Rocky (1979)

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read Chapters 9 and 10 from your course textbook

Throughout this course, you have written essays and participated in discussion forums in an effort to analyze various elements of film, using different theoretical lenses. This Final Film Analysis is your opportunity to combine those elements into a comprehensive analysis of one movie.

Please choose a film from this list of approved choices. List of the movies are listed below.

Courtroom drama

AFI defines “courtroom drama” as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film’s narrative.

Film Year
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
12 Angry Men 1957
Kramer vs. Kramer 1979
The Verdict 1982
A Few Good Men 1992
Witness for the Prosecution 1957
Anatomy of a Murder 1959
In Cold Blood 1967
A Cry in the Dark (Evil Angels) 1988
Judgment at Nuremberg 1961

Epic

AFI defines “epic” as a genre of large-scale films set in a cinematic interpretation of the past.

Film Year
Lawrence of Arabia 1962
Ben-Hur 1959
Schindler’s List 1993
Gone with the Wind 1939
Spartacus 1960
Titanic 1997
All Quiet on the Western Front 1930
Saving Private Ryan 1998
Reds 1981
The Ten Commandments 1956

Fantasy

AFI defines “fantasy” as a genre in which live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.

Film Year
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001
It’s a Wonderful Life 1946
King Kong 1933
Miracle on 34th Street 1947
Field of Dreams 1989
Harvey 1950
Groundhog Day 1993
The Thief of Bagdad 1924
Big 1988

Gangster

AFI defines the “Gangster film” as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a modern setting.

Film Year
The Godfather 1972
Goodfellas 1990
The Godfather Part II 1974
White Heat 1949
Bonnie and Clyde 1967
Scarface 1932
Pulp Fiction 1994
The Public Enemy 1931
Little Caesar 1931
Scarface 1983

Mystery

AFI defines “mystery” as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime.

Film Year
Vertigo 1958
Chinatown 1974
Rear Window 1954
Laura 1944
The Third Man 1949
The Maltese Falcon 1941
North by Northwest 1959
Blue Velvet 1986
Dial M for Murder 1954
The Usual Suspects 1995

Romantic comedy

AFI defines “romantic comedy” as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.

Film Year
City Lights 1931
Annie Hall 1977
It Happened One Night 1934
Roman Holiday 1953
The Philadelphia Story 1940
When Harry Met Sally… 1989
Adam’s Rib 1949
Moonstruck 1987
Harold and Maude 1971
Sleepless in Seattle 1993

Science fiction

AFI defines “science fiction” as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.

Film Year
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
Star Wars 1977
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982
A Clockwork Orange 1971
The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
Blade Runner 1982
Alien 1979
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956
Back to the Future 1985

Sports

AFI defines “sports” as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.

Film Year
Raging Bull 1980
Rocky 1976
The Pride of the Yankees 1942
Hoosiers 1986
Bull Durham 1988
The Hustler 1961
Caddyshack 1980
Breaking Away 1979
National Velvet 1944
Jerry Maguire 1996

Western

AFI defines “western” as a genre of films set in the American West that embodies the spirit, the struggle, and the demise of the new frontier.

Film Year
The Searchers 1956
High Noon 1952
Shane 1953
Unforgiven 1992
Red River 1948
The Wild Bunch 1969
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969
McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971
Stagecoach 1939
Cat Ballou 1965

Note: You should watch your chosen film twice—once to ensure that you have grasped the storytelling and once to take more specific notes on aspects of the film you wish to discuss.

In your paper,

  • Identify your selected film, including writer, director, year of release, and genre.
  • Briefly summarize the film in which you apply your knowledge of the difference between the film’s story and its plot.
  • Describe one of the broad theories you have learned about in class (auteur theory, genre theory, formalist theory) and analyze your selected film through that lens.
  • Evaluate the use of three specific techniques and design elements employed in the film as they contribute to the overarching narrative and theme of the film. This can include elements of mise-en-scène (e.g., lighting, sound, composition of frame, costuming, etc.) and editing (e.g., cuts and transitions, shots used, angles, etc.).
  • Describe the connection between this film and society (i.e., politically or culturally, positive or negative) and draw conclusions about its impact.

The Final Film Analysis paper

  • Must be five to six double-spaced pages (1500 to 1800 words) in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
  • Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
  • Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined

 

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