Directions: The ONLY source I want you to consult for this paper is the film itself. Don’t tell me what anyone else says about the meaning of this film. Just explore your own response to it. In this case, I care what YOU think, and nobody else.
Reflect on The 400 Blows (1959), the assigned film for this week. What is this movie really about, and how does the director communicate that to you? Discuss how the filmmaker uses technique to produce meaning. Consider choices in…
mise-en-scene (composition, the performances, the lighting, the setting, the production design, the costumes, etc.)
cinematography (how shots are composed, if there is any movement, etc.)
sound (including the music, sound effects, the dialogue, etc.)
editing (how the shots are ordered in any given sequence, montage, continuity, etc.)
OR some other aspects not listed here.
I do not expect you to discuss all elements of film form and style. Instead, focus on one or two aspects that you find most interesting (e.g. the mise-en-scene and the cinematography, OR the editing and the sound). How do these choices in film form and style items contribute to the films meaning? What is the theme of the film, and how do you know? Describe, in detail, examples from more than one scene, to discuss how the parts add up to the overall meaning of the artwork.
The tone of the paper can be informal, but it must go BEYOND THE PLOT. Yes, you may mention story elementsyou will need to, in order to communicate effectivelybut you must do more than summarize the events. AVOID WRITING LIKE THIS: First this happened, then that happened, then this other thing happened.”
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