Essays are to be 4 double-spaced pages with 1-inch margins and 12 point Times New Roman font. Please include a title, your name and page numbers. As we have discussed in class, the goal of the final paper assignment is to have you analyze passages from two texts we have read this term. As in the past, please formulate an argument and demonstrate your claims through specific evidence drawn directly from the close analysis of cited passages.
Final Essay Topics: The following topics (from which you choose one) are meant to prompt your formulation of an argumentâ€”please note that they do not offer you the argument.
1. Deep Focus/Montage: Bazin and Eisenstein Where authors such as Benjamin and Eisenstein deal with the signifying properties of film and the manipulation of the spectator (through montage), Bazin focuses on the capacity of the film to reveal the ambiguity of reality through the use of deep focus (35-7). Looking at Bazinâ€™s â€œEvolution of the Language of Cinema,â€ how do you understand the differences between Eisensteinâ€™s theory of montage and Bazinâ€™s theory of realism? In your essay, be sure to note what Bazinâ€™s critique of montage is, but also pay attention to the competing conceptions of the relationship between film and reality at play in the works of the two authors.
2. Pleasure: Barthes and Mulvey When Mulvey writes that â€œthe unconscious of patriarchal society has structured film form,â€ she describes psychological and social conditions that inform the spectatorâ€™s relationship to the image onscreen (833). When Barthes discusses photography, he notes that a general theory of Photography makes him furious: â€œEach time I would read something about Photography, I would think of some photograph I loved, and this made me furiousâ€ (7). How do you understand the differing relationships to pleasure in these two essaysâ€”Mulvey, on the one hand, who seeks to destroy the patriarchal pleasure of looking at women in cinema, and Barthes, on the other, who undertakes a study to understand his pleasure at looking? Is Barthes naÃ¯ve in overlooking the social conditions of his pleasure? Or is Mulvey overlooking the possibility of a personal relationship to the image?
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