An Aesthetic Appreciation

Write an essay of 5 to 6 pages (approximately 1200 to 1500 words) on ONE of the topics listed below. Give the essay both an analytic and historical perspective; that is, demonstrate an aesthetic appreciation relevant to the topic along with an understanding of the film’s historical context.

Notes on Citations
If you choose to include a quotation from a published work, you must cite the source. You may use whichever citation style you feel most comfortable with. Never cite a source which does not indicate the author`s name.

Quoted passages from books, print articles or internet essays should be surrounded by quotation marks.

Quoted passages longer than two lines of text should be indented two inches from both sides of the page and printed single-spaced.

Quotations should be footnoted either at the bottom of each page, or on a separate page following the last page of the essay.

The titles of all movies and books should be italicized. The titles of essays and articles should be enclosed in quotation marks.

Essay format instructions:
The essay should be double-spaced, in 12 point type, Times New Roman font.
All pages except the title page should be numbered, beginning with the first page of your text as page 1. The essay must have a title page with the following information:
-The name of the course
-The course number
-The title of your essay
-The topic # you have chosen
-Your name
-The date of submission.

Essays that do not adhere to the format will have marks deducted. The Essay assignment is worth 50% of the final
Choose one (1) essay topic from the following:

Topic 1- Italian neo-realism
Focusing primarily on Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica (1948), with reference also to either Shoeshine (1946) or Umberto D (1952), discuss the aesthetics of De Sica’s films within the historical traditions of film realism and the stylistic conventions of Italian neo-realism as defined by Cesare Zavattini. Also, in your essay, make reference to the social conditions of post-war Italy. You could also broaden your analysis to include Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan (1946) and Rome: Open City (1952).

Topic 2 – American Film Noir
Do an analysis of The Maltese Falcon by John Huston (1941) and at least two other American Noir films from the classical Noir period, focusing on the aesthetics and stylistic conventions of Film Noir. Research and discuss the literary, filmic and cultural influences on Film Noir. Some suggested films to explore are Double Indemnity (1944), The Killers (1946), This Gun for Hire (1942), Kiss of Death (1947), Murder my Sweet (1944) Gun Crazy (1950).

Topic 3 – American film in the 1950s
Discuss the changing aesthetic of American film in the 1950s focusing on the “social-problem film”. Discuss the various influences on this style of American film and some of the challenges that Hollywood was facing at this time. Within this context, discuss the aesthetics and style of Marty by Delbert Mann (1955) and at least two other “social-problem films” from this period. Some films to consider are The Defiant Ones (1958), On the Waterfront (1954), Twelve Angry Men (1957), Blackboard Jungle (1955) and The Wild One (1953).

Topic 4 – British “Kitchen Sink” films
Define “kitchen sink” as it pertains to a style of post-war British film. Discuss the literary and filmic influences on “kitchen sink” films and how the social conditions of post-war Britain are pertinent to the style and subject matter of “kitchen sink” films. Within this context, discuss how A Taste of Honey by Tony Richardson (1961) exemplifies the “kitchen sink” style of filmmaking, with reference to at least one other “kitchen sink” film from this period in Britain. Some films to explore are Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (1960), The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner (1962) and Look Back in Anger (1959)

Topic 5 – The French “New Wave”
Focusing primarily on Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard (1960), with reference to at least one other French “New Wave” film, analyse the style and aesthetics of the films. Some films to consider are The 400 Blows (1959), Le Beau Serge (1958) and Masculin Féminin (1966). In your analysis discuss the film journal Cahiers du Cinema and its impact on French Cinema. Your discussion should also include a brief analysis of the classical style that was predominant in French cinema at the time.

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