Ethnic Studies: Film Analysis

E‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‌‌THN 101 Professor Curtis Marez Five Page Paper Papers should be double spaced, in 12-point font, and approximately 5 pages long. Each prompt requires you to use Alan Rowe’s essay “Film Form and Narrative” as well as one additional course reading. You will construct an argument about one of these films: Mosquita y Mari, Pariah, or Drunktown’s Finest. The best papers will likely be those where the author has seen the film more than once. I want you to work on the film:Mosquita Y Mari for this assignment because the movie is on NetFlix. In other words, you can not watch the others on NetFlix so Papers are Due to Canvas by midnight on February10. 1. Settings. Chose a film and make an argument about the significance of its settings. For this topic you will need to identify the film’s different settings and then analyze their meanings. You may want to focus on particular settings such as interiors, parties or celebrations, urban settings, and landscapes. How do different settings frame characters and anchor them in different meanings? How do settings convey information about class, race, gender, sexuality? Does the constructed world or worlds of the film comment on the limits and possibilities of our actual world? 2. Narrative. Rowe suggests that we can begin to analyze many film narratives in terms of an initial equilibrium, then the disruption of that equilibrium, and finally, the establishment of a new equilibrium, different from the equilibrium at the film’s start. Does your chosen film conform to or depart from that narrative structure? How might that narrative structure help us understand the significance of the film’s story? In particular, you may want to focus on the ending. Each film’s ending is relatively open ended. The film endings suggest possible futures for their characters but their sub‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‌‌sequent stories aren’t told and we don’t definitively know their fates. What is the meaning of such open-ended conclusions? 3. Respectability Politics. Historically, models of respectability have celebrated heterosexual marriage and reproduction; “normal” gender roles; and respect for and deference to authority. On the one hand, by identifying with such forms of “respectability,” BIPOC communities have countered forms of racism based in ideas about their deviancy and immorality. On the other hand, identifying with respectability has reinforced the very definitions of deviancy and immorality that have been used to depict BIPOC communities as dangerous and disposable. Choose a film and construct an argument about how it represents such contradictions. To what extent does the film challenge respectability politics? How do the filmmakers use the tools discussed by Rowe to represent and comment on “respectability”? 4. Sound. Chose a film and make an argument about its use of sound. According to Rowe, sound can reinforce the continuity of action and link different scenes. Music, in particular, can establish or enhance emotion, or help lead an audience to a particular understanding of a scene. While you could focus on all sorts of sounds, you may want to focus in particular on music. Music can identify characters and attach particular meanings to them (Rowe cites as an example The Godfather, where different kinds of music mark differences of class and nationality between different characters). How is sound used in one of the three films and to what effect? Be sure to draw on not only Rowe but one other assigned reading. Here is the link where I put all required readings and documents for this order such as Alan Rowe’s essay “Film Form and Narrative” and lecture slides

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