Film Analysis: Two Weddings and a Funeral

Use 750 words or less to concisely convey what you think and only what you think. Unlike other writing assignments that require reading and summarizing what other people have said about a topic, film analyses ask you to carefully examine an issue and concisely articulate your understanding of it. To this end, I restrict the number of words to 750(excluding your official name, an encapsulating title with the name of the film, integrity statement, and citations), which amounts to approximately three
pages of double-spaced text in 12-pointfont.
What a Film Analysis is (And is Not) You will not be writing synopsis-style movie reviews in this class. Rather, you will be practicing your skills at film analysis, writing critical essays that evaluate different issues in twentieth-century Korea through historical cinematography. The aim of writing suchanalyses is to demonstrate engaged thinking about the films you watch. Like responses to textual arguments, you will be writing an articulate analysis of films. How to Write an Effective Film AnalysisThink of a film analysis as a series of short,well-organized paragraphs,eachrepresenting a specific part of your overall assessment.Above all, you must place the film in terms of historical context and argument. To this end, begin by organizing your thoughts about and responding tosome of the following questions: (1) Howdoes the film engage with the larger topic of domination and defiance in twentieth-century Korea in terms of subject matter? (2) Does the director accept, reject, or reframe academic interpretations about the topic, as presented in class lectures andweekly readings? (3) Does the film offer new evidence, examine the topic from a different angle, or provide a new interpretation of the topic? How does the film narrative make you feel as a viewer?and (4)Are the director’s assumptions about history reasonable and/or persuasive to you? Why or why not?
In thinking about these questions, try to evaluate the relationships amongcharacters, the nature of the filmmaking, and/or the effectiveness of the film as a historical medium. In this regard, you may choose to discuss some of the following questions: (1) What is the film maker seeking to accomplish by presenting different characters, especiallyin their interactions with one another? (2) How does the story of the film develop (i.e., how do the beginning, middle, and end relate to one another in creating a “narrative arc”)?(3) How do camera angles or other visual techniquescontribute to what you would consider the film’s primary message? and (4) How do these cinematic techniques compare with those of textual arguments?
It will be tempting for you to use the internet to find what others have said about the assigned films. However, doing so will impede the exploration of your own thoughts, thus limiting your learning potential and the development of critical thinking and persuasive writing skills. I, therefore, recommend that, after carefully watching and taking notes on a given film, you draft and then revise your analysis without searching for movie reviews. If, during the writing process, you decide that you must search online (or offline) and read something that you decide is essential to include in your analysis (such references should be brief and overuse of outside sources will negatively affect your grade), you must acknowledge that you have done so. Your film analyses are independent assignments (group discussion work, by contrast, requires that you engage in collective work). However, if you watch afilm and/or discuss it with others before writing your own analysis, provide acknowledgement to that/those person(s). In both instances, a footnote will suffice to recognize your indebtedness to others.However, remember that the point of these assignments is for you to develop your own thoughts about Korean history and to communicate those ideas to others. Doing so requires that your assignments have integrity.

 

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