IDST 390: The Ends of the World
Film Analysis (100 points)
Due by 11:59 PM on Sunday, November 18
This assignment should be in the three page range with standard margins and be double-spaced. That said, it is graded on the quality of the analysis, not word count or some magical length.
The key here is to identify ONE angle or phenomena in the film and FOCUS on that in the analysis. Each student should begin the paper by establishing its importance and its relevance to the course. Feel free to spend a little time summarizing the basic purpose of the film before spending the bulk of the paper focusing an angle or component in the analysis. Students get into trouble in this assignment when they make their analysis a rapid-fire list of “stuff I liked and did not like.” This will not do. This film analysis should be focused on a single angle; that is, one component of the film that connects to the course and/or The End more broadly.
For example, with the film Alien, students often write about Ellen Ripley (the primary character) as a feminine action-hero. While sources directly related to this exist, an article on the “monstrous-feminine in film” more broadly works as well. Themes of motherhood, connections with Eve from the book of Genesis in the bible, feminism in film, and other related themes also work here. Use your interdisciplinary brain!
The nature of the reflections and analysis will vary depending on the film. Feel free to be creative with this assignment, but keep it based on scholarly research and insights as well as connections to course themes, materials, images, and contexts.
IMPORTANT: Cite at least two scholarly sources in the film analysis and include them on a works cited page. These may be from course readings, but students are also encouraged to seek out scholarly sources connected to the film. It should not be terribly difficult to find connecting sources via Google Scholar or WKU Libraries. Do not get hung up searching for sources directly related to the film if they seem scarce. Sources which deal with the context(s) or genre of the chosen film can also work well.
DO NOT ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW, but rather read the following list of questions as “inspirational” regarding the types of questions that might be addressed.
a. Is this film trying to “send a message?” What is it?
b. Can some of the film’s characters be connected to other characters encountered in the course to this point (or religion or history or stories…)?
c. Can some of the film’s characters be connected to other characters encountered elsewhere in other films or literature (or religion or history or stories…)?
d. What ideas in the film connect with “mainstream” thinking about The End? Which do not?
e. Why does this film resonate with people?
f. How does this film connect with course themes?
g. Is there a dominant metaphor that connects deeply with our course work to this point?
Again, do NOT try to answer all of those! Those are meant to get creative and connective thinking rolling on this assignment.
Students may or may not find a potential outline helpful, but here is a sample for those who find freedom through structure. If a vision is already in sight, feel free to ignore this, but some students have found this helpful in guiding their thinking and writing.
POTENTIAL OUTLINE (It is NOT required that students follow this exactly, though this structure may prove helpful to some students.)
I. Introduction (1/2 page)
a. Why was this film selected?
b. Why is this film important?
c. Date filmed, actors, director, location, etc.
d. Historical context: why did the film makers make this film at this time?
e. How does it connect to this course?
II. Brief plot summary (less than one page)
III. Analysis of Film (about two pages): Again, choose ONE aspect or issue within the film on which to concentrate. Choose at least two scholarly sources from which to draw insights about this aspect of the film. Share those in the (approximately) two page analysis.
IV. WORKS CITED PAGE