How it works
Blow a quiz? Want to beef up your quiz average? Once each month, you can by watching a film and writing a short essay or by memorizing a poem. See details below.
An extra-credit essay or poem adds a 100-point quiz to your grades.
See any of the movies pictured below (film technique videos don't count) and compose a short essay, not a plot summary but an essay of about 300-500 words on a theme, a character, an aspect of movie making, such as camera movement, costume, lighting, editing, something you find interesting.
Whatever that is. Think about what you think. And write about it.
Write a true essay, a personal attempt to explore what you think and why. There's little risk here, so be creative. Take chances. Try out your writing and thinking. Some inspiration: Pauline Kael on A Clockwork Orange; an essay about Blanche DuBois's luggage in the film of Streetcar Named Desire.
You can write one extra-credit essay per month unless otherwise posted.
Upload the essay to turnitin.com, assignment XC month. Name the file, last name-movie title-month. Upload by 23:59 of the last day of the month, or, if your essay is to count for the last month of the semester, by 23:59 of the last class day.
If you don't hear from me, then you earned credit.
Netflix offers all of the pictured films, many by instant view.
Be Poet Laureate for a day. Memorize any worthy and appropriate poem of at least ten lines from poets.org or poetryfoundation.org and recite it to the class. Simply raise your hand and say, “I have a poem.” Bring a printout of your chosen poem. Once a poem has been recited, it's off limits. (List of recited poems here.) And since you're filling your head with poetry, make it good poetry. I reserve the right to reject bad poems.
Chinatown, frames and lenses
Alfred Hitchcock on cutting
Geometry of a scene
Buster Keaton's art of the gag
click image for description