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Film: Rebel without a cause ( 1955 ) James Dean / Nick Ray
Write 6 page doubled-spaced essay placing it in its historical context. For example, if you choose " All the President's Men, write about New American Cinema of the late Sixties and Seventies. If you want to consider The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, this givesa you the opportunity to write about John Ford , John Wayne and The American Western. Picking Battleship Potemkin means you will explore Russian cinema of Twenties, and throw in some montage theory. Cleo from 5 to 7 offers an opening into the French New Wave. Do the Right Thing will lead you into the world of independent American film of the Eighties and Nineties.
At all times feel free to throw in your own opinions, but remember: this is NOT a film review of a "reading" of the film (i.e. I don't want a Marxist reading of Eisenstein or a Freudian take on Fellini). I also don't need historical context to the events portrayed in the film (i.e. if you write about All the President's Men, I don't need the background to the Watergate Scandal, and if you pick Lawrence of Arabia I don't want to read a history essay about the British army and the Arabs during the First World War). It might be best to pick something we've watched this semester and write about one of the movements we've studied, e.g. German Expressionism, Italian neo-realism etc.
Remember: this is a FILM HISTORY class. You need to demonstrate some knowledge of where your chosen director or film fits in the century-long history of cinema. Dates and names are always good. Constantly refer to other films and directors.
You'll need to find AT LEAST two relevant books and read them carefully as research. I want to see at least TWO citations to demonstrate that you've done some background reading. The More citations, the better. Rewritten Wikipedia entries will be cast into the trash and you will be awarded an "F" grade. That's "F" for FAIL!