Screening Report

Final Project: Part TwoWriting Assignment No.2 – Response and Interpretive PaperMUS 242, Fall 2020Due date: Tuesday, 10 November 2020For this assignment, you will write a screening report on one of the following films: Star Wars: A New Hope; Nuovo Cinema Paradiso; West Side Story; or Do The Right Thing. These films are on reserve in the Music Library and/or available for online streaming through YouTube/Amazon/Netflix, etc.This assignment requires a different form of synthesis, combining the skills you used in Writing Assignment No.1 and with film analysis skills developed throughout the semester. The previous writing assignment asked for a brief synopsis, contextual responses, and a detailed timeline of music/sound effects cues. This assignment builds on the previous ones in terms of skill sets — it asks you to respond and most importantly, to interpret what you see/hear in your film selection. An interpretation requires an original argument, one that is based in observations and critical reading of a film and its score. The focus is on argumentation, that is, making a case for reading an aspect of a film a certain way.We have already been reading films together in class, usually with a brief section of film, so you already have experience with it. This paper will allow you to go into greater detail through creating and supporting your own argument.There are several ways you can read a film and its score, and your textbook outlines two ways of doing so: 1) creating a thesis relating to the larger, more obvious themes of the film; or 2) creating a thesis that reads against the obvious themes, looking at subversive themes; often these involve sociological, political, or other kinds of reading. Your book calls them “overt and covert readings”— overt being obvious and covert being hidden. You may take either approach to reading a film; just make sure it is your own.As you know already from our class discussions, there several kinds of “themes” you can read in a film. Take for the example, the theme of ethnicity in West Side Story — how does music and image treat certain characters? How does music control narrative of an ethnicity, catering to the perceived views of a Western (or more specifically, a white middle-class American) audience? Or you could look at gender/sexuality, class, exoticism; or more overt themes, such as the theme of nostalgia/memory in Nuovo Cinema Paradiso or those of racial injustice and police brutality in Do The Right Thing. There’s plenty to see/hear in a film; be creative in your choices.Also be sure to look up any secondary research that could support your thesis; I don’t want a “book report” of the sources out there on your topic, but some sources may provide a method or framework, or background information that could help support your thesis. If you do consult any external sources, be sure to cite all of them (outlined below).The length of the assignment will be approximately 4-5 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman font, 12-point, 1-inch margins. Make sure that you have a strong thesis, that is, a central argument; and that you have sufficient support for your thesis in the form of several examples from the film you choose. This is an argument-based paper in expository prose, so make sure that it has a thesis and is formally written.If you need a refresher on how to write a paper such as this, please refer to the 7th edition Turabian (Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Paper, Theses, and Dissertations. Seventh Edition. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).

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