In the preWorld War II period, there were several schools of documentary filmmakers whose primary goal was to foster nationalism. This was especially true throughout the 1930s and 1940s in the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany.
In this writing assignment, discuss how one film weve studied in class articulates a sense of nationalism through its use of one or more of the following stylistic devices: narrative and narration: the process of revealing and concealing story information through the plot. Some key terms include story, plot, causality, and flashbacks. Note that this is different than voiceover narration, which is part of sound design.
mise-en-scne: the process of placing props, costumes, performances, and settings in a scene. Some key terms include profilmic space, location filming, shadows, lighting, aperture framing, and gestures.
cinematography: the process of using a camera and applying optical and chemical effects to create an photographic image. Some key terms include framing, shallow focus, contrast, slow motion, and angle of framing.
editing: the process of selecting, cutting, and stitching together camera footage. Some key terms include cut, fade, flashbacks, elliptical editing, shot-reverse-shot.
sound design: the sonic elements that complement or undermine the image. Some key terms include diegetic sound, voiceover narration, and offscreen sound.
Your analysis should also focus on one or two scenes in the context of the overall film and the motivations of the filmmaker working in the particular national context.
Be sure to describe the sequences youre analyzing in detail. Do not use timecode: it doesnt help me visualize the scene youre discussing in your paper. Feel free to include a few screen captures from the film in your paper to illustrate your description of the sequence. Do not analyze the entire film, and do not summarize the plot. Also, do not use the word successful (or a synonym) anywhere in your essay.
You dont need to do any outside research for this assignment, but if you do use any bibliographic sources, you will need to cite those. Please remember to italicize the title of the filmsdont put the title in quotes.
Your paper should be about 1,200 words in length. Essay 1: Prewar Doc and National Identity.
The list of films is: Manhatta (1921), The fall of the romanov dynasty, Berlin- A symphony of a great city, Man with a movie camera, The general line, The steel road, Taris, Industrial Britain. Please do whichever is easiest for you, in my opinion Man with a movie camera is a brilliant film and would be easy to write about.
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