AMH 2020—United States History Since 1877 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT “FILM ANALYSI

This paper is worth 10% of your overall grade for the course. It should be no less than seven hundred fifty (750) words in length and should be written in accordance with accepted rules of grammar and in an appropriate academic style. In other words, they should be well written. This assignment is due by February 16 (points will be deducted for papers turned in late).

Please review a film that you have not seen before

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First, cite the film you’re analyzing in the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. You should use “hanging indention” paragraph style and start with the title of the film underlined and follow it with a period. Then cite the director (abbreviated Dir.), followed by a period, then the performers (abbreviated Perf. and separated by commas) followed by a period. Finally, the production company or studio followed by a comma, then the release date. Close the citation off with a period. You can use the following example (taken right out of the MLA handbook) as a model:

It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, 1946.

Next, address each of the following questions:

Describe the setting of the film (including historical, geographical, and cultural features)? How does the film tie in to our overall study of American history?
Briefly describe some of the major characters portrayed in the film.
What is the dramatic conflict that drives the narrative forward?
How is that dramatic conflict finally resolved (or not) at the conclusion of the film?
Choose one particular scene from the film and briefly describe it in narrative terms.
Discuss any possible bias or “point-of-view” the director is making with the film. For instance, do you feel this is an accurate and balanced portrayal, or one that is particularly pro or anti-American in tone? Explain your analysis.
Select one cinematic element (music, cinematography, production design, etc.) and briefly describe how the use of this element contributed to the overall “style” of the film.

In addition to your required film review, you may do an additional review using the same format for extra credit worth up to 5 points.

Options for films are below. If you have another you would like me to consider, please let me know:

Birth of a Nation (1915) D.W. Griffith

The Grapes of Wrath (1940) John Ford

Fort Apache (1948) John Ford

High Noon (1952) Fred Zinnemann

Pork Chop Hill (1959) Lewis Milestone

Inherit the Wind (1960) Stanley Kramer

The Longest Day (1962) Ken Annakin

Fail-Safe (1964) Sidney Lumet

All the President’s Men (1976) Alan Pakula

Midway (1976) Jack Smight

MacArthur (1997) Joseph Sargent

Apocalypse Now (1979) Francis Ford Coppola

Full Metal Jacket (1987) Stanley Kubrick

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1991) John Korty

Malcolm X (1992) Spike Lee

Apollo 13 (1995) Ron Howard

Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) Rob Reiner

The Tuskegee Airmen (1996) Robert Markowitz

Miss Evers’ Boys (1997) Joseph Sargent

Rosewood (1997) John Singleton

Thirteen Days (2000) Roger Donaldson

Iron Jawed Angels (2004) Katja von Garnier

Warm Springs (2005) Joseph Sargent

Milk (2008) Gus Van Sant

W. (2008) Oliver Stone

The Conspirator (2010) Robert Redford

The Help (2011) Tate Taylor

Lincoln (2012) Steven Spielberg

42 (2013) Brian Helgeland

The Big Short (2015) Adam McKay

Hidden Figures (2016) Theodore Melfi

Marshall (2017) Reginald Hudlin

Harriet (2019) Kasi Lemmons

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