Write a 600-700 word comparative, interpretative analysis of four films, two by Spike Lee and two by Kathryn Bigelow. One of the Bigelow films must be Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow, 2017, available on Tubi (Links to an external site.) and in our shared Google Drive folder). The other three films will likely be chosen from the films screened for class, but if you would like to watch and analyze non-screened Lee or Bigelow films, some of which are available in the “optional” Google Drive folder, you are encouraged to do so. In this mini-essay, you are going to develop an overarching interpretation of the films and offer an argument about their meaning, focusing on the depiction of one of the themes below. Encapsulate your argument in a thesis statement at the start of your essay and underline it. Choose a theme, or a pair of two closely related themes, from the following: racial injustice justice violence masculinity/gender policing Here are some questions to consider while organizing your thoughts. You don’t necessarily need to answer them all in your analysis. Your analysis should not just be a list of answers to these questions; instead, use these questions to guide you while developing a coherent analysis. What do the films/authors aim to achieve? What unique understanding about the social issue is offered by these films? How is this theme emphasized by significant formal and stylistic techniques? Do you disagree with the depiction of this theme or find it dangerous/problematic? How does the film engage in representation? Expectations: Give specific examples from the films Consider the films in relation to each filmmaker’s larger body of work Use terminology and concepts you’ve learned in class (demonstrate to me what you’ve learned!) Do not evaluate the films and do not do any outside research; instead, use your own analytical skills to interpret the films This is not a review; it is an analysis Grading: You will be graded on the originality and insightfulness of your ideas, the clarity of your writing, your ability to enact meaningful film analysis, and your demonstration of what you’ve learned in class.
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