Ang lee’s film analysis
Format: Long Essay: 8-10 pages using analytical methods developed during course to write an essay about Chinese films, a director, or genre of your choice.
Subject matter and Constructing larger arguments
For the final paper you will be addressing issues and topics that spans a number of films we have studied in this class. You need to include at least 2 films (at least one of the films needs be what we have studied in this class) and 2 scholarly articles. Try to formulate a thesis that highlights the treatment of certain themes that create a common ground for discussion and dialogue between the films.
Here are some topics for your consideration:
1.) Discuss the complex role of the male hero/protagonist/anti-hero in 2-3 of the films from the course in the narration of political and cultural dilemmas/crises facing Chinese society/ the nation. Include some attention to how those heroes are represented cinematically.
2.) Discuss the ways in which directors, due to political or artistic considerations, creates “secret” or hidden messages in the film by giving contradictory information where the message conveyed by the surface layer of the film seems to be contradicted by sub- layers of information. Use 2-3 films to explore for example the presence of counter-currents evoked through dissonances between music and image, narration and color or lighting, acting/expression and dialogue.
3.) A number of the films dealt with the theme of the national/transnational versus the personal (events and trauma). This narrative frame seems to be popular with Chinese filmmakers and audiences alike. Can you give examples of the inner workings of this narrative structure from 1-2 films to show how the two are linked and presented in the film (positively, negatively, with criticism, with beauty)?
4.) Many of the films from the course deal with love. Use 2-3 films as examples to discuss the different ways in which love and desire is depicted and explored through some of the film techniques used to frame the film’s (psychological, social, perhaps even political) interpretation.
The question you formulate for the final paper, and your response to it, will be much more expansive than in the first two papers, and this may entail your using a greater body of evidence, breaking your thesis down into more sub-arguments, or defending your point against more-developed counter-arguments. What follows here is applicable as well to the shorter papers, but is intended to address the particular problems common to longer papers.
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