our viewing of the film Nomadland, write an essay that answers the following question: What is one aspect of the movie that stands out to you as distinctive or powerful?

Viewing the Movie We will watch the movie in class with some discussion and writing activities to work on how to write about a film. But you should also have a version of the movie to rewatch or refer to outside of class. Nomadland is available on Hulu (Links to an external site.). You can sign up for the one month free trail for Hulu in now and then cancel it before the month is up. It’s also available to buy or rent on Amazon (Links to an external site.), Google Play (Links to an external site.), and Apple (Links to an external site.).) Essay Guidelines You are not writing a review of the movie. You are writing an analytical essay that makes some point about the movie. What to write about (“one aspect”?) To write about one aspect of the movie you have to pick something general about the movie that you can give a few examples of. So you could focus on: some feature of how the movie is made (some visuals or images, the organization and editing, etc.) a trait of one of the subjects (or relationship between subjects of the movie) the way some theme or issue is portrayed Your thesis (or main idea) Remember that your thesis should be your answer to the question above, which means it should make some point about some feature of the movie. The thesis could use wording like this: “In the movie, it is interesting how…” “…what is most powerful about the movie is…” “…what really stands out in this film is…” Dos and Don’ts for this essay Do… think about artistic decisions and what’s going on behind the camera make connections between different parts of the movie focus on the movie’s impact on the viewer Don’t… worry about big themes or issues in society focus on connections to other movies or literature focus on movie’s message Filmmaking Elements The body of your essay will analyze a few scenes from the movie that support your thesis and illustrate the aspect of the movie you are writing about. When you analyze the movie you should discuss it by referring to these filmmaking elements: Words (dialogue, interactions between characters, actors’ performances) Images (photography, composition, setting, style) How are are shots framed? When are close-ups used? When are distant shots used? What is in the center? What is to one side? What is in the foreground or background? Is the camera still or moving? Is an image in shadow or brightly lit? Sounds (music, speech, background) How is the score or other music used? What effect does it create? Is quiet or silence used for an effect? Organization (structure, editing, transition, emphasis) Do scenes cut back and forth between different locations? Does a scene stay focused on one location or shot? This movie, like any movie, causes us to think and feel certain things when we watch it. Your goal in writing an analysis is to explain how you think the movie causes those thoughts and feelings. How do the words, sounds, images, and organization of a scene shape our thoughts and feelings? You do not need to write about all these elements. Usually people combine them and discuss more than one. But you can just write about the ones makes sense for your point and your interests. Suggested Organization Title Introduction Start with an engaging/creative opening (a “hook” or “lead”). In the first sentence or two, make a statement or ask a question that will get some reaction from the reader: shock, surprise, curiosity, strong agreement or disagreement, etc. Give some background on the movie and what it’s about. Lead to thesis: your statement on what stood out in the movie. Body Paragraphs. Background (optional). If you need to provide more background or context before getting into the details of the movie, you could do that in the first body paragraph. Discussion and analysis of scenes from the movie (3 or 4 paragraphs). Write about scenes that illustrate your main point. Conclusion Back to main idea. Significance or relevance of what you have discussed. You could take different approaches to the conclusion. You could relate your main idea to the impact of the movie overall or you could connect it to your own personal response or to society in general. Works Cited Page (see below) MLA Works Cited for a Movie The basic works cited entry for a movie follows the same guidelines as all other sources (you just list what MLA calls the core elements (Links to an external site.)): Zhao, Chloé, director. Nomadland. Searchlight Pictures, 2020. This citation uses these elements from MLA’s list: Author. Title of Source. Publisher, Publication date. Format: the essay should be in the standard MLA format for academic essays double-spaced standard heading: Your name professor’s name (Prof. Egan) class (101) date should have an original title, centered after the heading I need the essay to be finished on Wednesday and plagiarism report

 

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