Critical Reflection Papers


Choose one of the three prompts below. For guidance on how to write a critical reflection paper, please see the uploaded chapter from A Short Guide to Writing About Film, and in particular the section about the ‘Critical Essay’. 

 (1) Please reflect on the role of memory in relation to the cinematic medium. How are the two, for example, conceptually linked and what are the particularities of cinema’s capacity to inform this link? How does this link, in turn, determine the formal elements of the films? Please cite at least two films and two readings. 

 (2) How do these films push and pull at the boundaries of reality? In doing so, what are the cinematic techniques used (cinematography, mis-en-scene, editing, etc.) and how do these techniques impact the narrative structures of the films and their reception? Please cite at least two films and two readings. 

 (3) These films believe in, in some way or another, cinema’s capacity to present (or re-present) humans and how they relate with one another in a new light. Citing at least two films and two readings, please elaborate on this statement. Some questions to consider include but are certainly not limited to: Do you agree or disagree? How are these beliefs evident in the cinematic/creative decisions of the films? What might the implications be for this kind of cinema? 

 Guidelines for Critical Reflection Papers Papers should be 3-4 pages (12-point font, double-spaced, regular margins) . Although more formal than the weekly reactions papers, you may cite materials somewhat informally and do not need footnotes. We will be assessing your level of engagement with course materials and will be grading your papers based on the following rubric: 

 Check-Plus (15 points) > Proposes and discusses in depth new ideas and connections in relation to the films, readings, and class discussions.* Writing contains very few to no errors, and has an excellent flow. 

 Check (13 points) > Demonstrates a good understanding of ideas and connections encountered in the films, readings, and class discussions. Writing contains some errors.

 Check-Minus (11 points ) > Demonstrates a basic understanding of concepts, works, and texts. Writing contains significant errors and does not read cohesively; writing meets basic requirements for the assignment. 

 *Note that a Check-Plus paper contains new ideas and connections. This is an opportunity to formulate, synthesize and propose your own ideas, analyses, observations and so on. In doing so you may also bring up and cite examples of other films, texts or works of art, but this is just one example among many possibilities. 

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