Using this clip https://youtu.be/1y8aYd9uqFY
A close reading requires that a student choose one scene (usually no longer than 5 minutes) from a film. This scene is then analyzed for film techniques, dialogue, and meaning. Finally, a close reading of a film ends with a discussion of the significance of the scene.
The film choices are listed and described on Canvas. You can choose any film from this list; if you want to analyze a film that is not on the list, you are welcome to ask me about it as a choice.
The organization of a close reading can follow this general outline. Note that not every question in the outline needs to be answered; this is just a guideline:
The first paragraph is an introduction. This may include a brief summary of the entire film
(no more than four sentences). The introduction also highlights the focus of the close reading.
The second paragraph provides a context for the scene. For example, the context might
briefly explain the setting, introduce which characters are involved, or describe the event
that has just happened before the scene.
The third paragraph is a summarization of what happens in the scene. This should not be more
than three or four sentences.
The rest of the paper is analysis. The analysis should begin on the second page of the paper.
If it does not, you have spent too much time on the introduction, context, and summary. You
will want to closely examine any film techniques (background music, lighting, camera angles,
close-ups, movements of the actors, dialogue.)
After you have exhausted your analysis of the techniques of the scene, move on to what is
interesting about these techniques. What do you learn about a character(s)? What images are
revealed and what do they mean?
As a conclusion, discuss the significance of the scene. Why is it important? What does this
scene suggest about the message of the entire film? How does this relate to issues raised
in class? Do not discuss whether you liked or disliked the film.
Secondary sources are NOT to be used for this paper.
The close reading of a film paper will be evaluated for content, insightfulness, grammar, and organization.
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