Please write an essay of approximately 3 pages (you can write a little more or a little less), typed and double-spaced, in response to one of the topics below. In your essay, it is important that you explain the issues you are writing about clearly and in your own words. When applicable, use technical terms of analysis as far as we have covered them (continuity editing, wide shot, representation, ideology, etc.) and explain them. Make sure to critically evaluate the reasons that are given in support of the views expressed in the sources, as well as the reasons that lead you to your own position. Please do not plagiarize.It is sufficient to indicate the number of the topic you are responding to. You do not need to restate the whole topic in your work.
1.In Genre, Bordwell and Thompson suggest that there are various factors that may play a role in defining a film genre and that there are various conventional elements according to which genres can be analyzed. What are these defining factors and conventional elements? In your view, which of these factors and elements are characteristic of the Science Fiction genre and how do they typically find expression in Science Fiction film? Pick either A Trip to the Moon or Metropolis. Explore to what extent the film of your choice shares or lacks elements commonly associated with Science Fiction film. Also consider other genres to which the film may belong. Discuss whether the film is first and foremost a Science Fiction film or whether it is best categorized as exhibiting some elements of Science Fiction but belonging to a different genre.
2.Suvin suggests in Estrangement and Cognition that Science Fiction is a genre of cognitive estrangement. Explain in detail what he means. In your account, make sure to address how, according to Suvin, Science Fiction shares similarities with and is different from myth, fairy tale, and fantasy. Pick either A Trip to the Moon or Metropolis and explore by what means and to what extent the film of your choice achieves cognitive estrangement, and whether and to what extent it does indeed differ from fantasy. Discuss whether cognitive estrangement is the decisive factor that makes a film such as A Trip to the Moon or Metropolis a Science Fiction film and whether there are other factors that are equally or even more important in qualifying the film as a Science Fiction film.
3.The film medium is often credited with being capable of visual realism. What is visual realism? In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of film that allow for the achievement of visual realism? Focus on the first 45 minutes of Metropolis and discuss whether and to what extent the movie can be called a visually realist movie. In your analysis, make sure to give a detailed analysis of the features of the movie that may promote a tendency towards visual realism and those that work against visual realism, including but not limited to shot and frame selection, editing, mise-en-scène, etc. (Note: This topic is not about other forms of realism, such as social realism. It is not about whether the film realistically represents social realities, such a class divisions.)
4.In Science Fiction Film – The Critical Context, Telotte explains various avenues to the critical analysis and evaluation of Science Fiction film, such as humanist, ideological, psychoanalytical, and feminist approaches. Of these four approaches, pick the one that you think is most rewarding for an analysis of Metropolis (disregard the postmodernist approach for now, we will look at it in some detail later in the course to understand it properly). In your essay, explain the approach of your choice, use it to subject Metropolis to critical analysis and evaluation, and report your results.
Scrolling down, below the instructions, you can find the rubric for this assignment. Don’t be intimidated by the scope of the rubric. Writing is an inherently complex process. The rubric reflects a lot of things that are required for good essay writing that you are likely to intuitively get right. The rubric will help you check whether you have taken care of these aspects.
Some remarks about the rubric’s criteria:
Make sure to divide the body of your essay into an introduction, paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your introduction should tell the reader what your essay is about and what conclusion you will arrive at. Stating the conclusion briefly in the introduction allows your reader to pay attention to important points in your essay that lead up to your conclusion. It is best to first write your essay, see where your work leads you, and write your introduction after you have completed your essay.
2. Main sources mentioned in body of text
Make sure to mention the title(s) of the works that you are focusing on in your introduction, as well as the names of the authors/directors of these works.
3. Accuracy of references to texts (readings and films)
Make sure not to misquote a text or to claim something wrong about a text. For example, it would be inaccurate to say that Metropolis is about an alien longing to go home (that would be E.T.)
4. Demonstrated understanding of texts (readings and films) and the illustration of abstract points with concrete examples
In your essay, make sure to explain things. Whenever you make an abstract point, try to illustrate it with a concrete example. For example, if you claim that Fredersen is a powerful character in Metropolis, make sure to support it by providing an example, such as that he can hire and fire people at will. Keep in mind that quotations are not explanations. Whenever you use a technical term, (such as ‘mise-en-scène,’ or ‘montage’) explain it to the reader.
5. Quality of assessment of discussed material
Make sure to explain the reasons for why you find something plausible or convincing, or why not. For example, if you come to the conclusion that Bordwell and Thompson’s account of genres is not convincing, then you have to explain your reasons for your assessment to the reader.
6. Quality of integration of concepts from various sources
Your assignment asks you to make connections between various sources that we have been covering, in particular films and readings. Make sure to explicitly state these connection and to evaluate them. For example, if you arrive at the conclusion that the relation between A Trip to the Moon and Suvin’s definition of science fiction is problematic, what does that mean? If A Trip to the Moon does not line up with Suvin’s definition of science fiction, does that indicate that there is a problem with Suvin’s theory, or A Trip to the Moon‘s status as science fiction film, or both?
7. List of references
Make sure to provide a complete list of accurate references after the body of your essay. The complete source for each of our readings is given at the top of the reading guides. All ideas that you include in your essay that are not originally yours need to be referenced, even if you do not include word-for-word quotations by their authors in your essay. You may choose any of the accepted forms of referencing, such as MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, etc., but you have to use the style you decide on consistently. Films you refer to in your essay need to be included in your list of references by listing the title, country of production, and year of original release.
Check your essay for spelling errors.
Make sure to check your grammar.
10. Independence of articulation
Make sure to express things in your own words and to not deliver a string of quotations, citations from Canvas pages, and lecture notes.