Little Stabs at Happiness (Ken Jacobs, 16mm film, 15 min., 1959–63)
Write an analysis of his/her chosen online film/video from the list posted on myCourses around the midterm. The analysis must include the following information at the top of the paper. 11 • Student’s name • The title of the chosen film/video • Filmmaker’s name • Time information of the chosen section (for example “00:10:15 – 00:10:26” as hours: minutes: seconds) The paper should be between 750 and 1000 words and well typed. Do not include any quotations, and do not do any research on the filmmaker and the film/video – we want to hear only your own interpretations. The paper must be submitted to our Grader by email as an attached Microsoft word document (.docx file) and Cc the message to me before the end of the due date. A student should watch the chosen film/video multiple times, encourage to pause it to analyze a still frame, in order to write an analysis not based on memory but from a close viewing experience. This assignment requires immersion with the work. Although a student is supposed to watch the entire film/video, the analysis must focus on one short consecutive section, less than or equal to 15 seconds, which should have at least two shots (the section does not need to start at the beginning of a shot, and it does not need to end at the very end of a shot. In other words, the section should have one editing point that juxtaposes two shots). The section could be only a few seconds, and the time information of the section must be mentioned clearly in the paper as described above. The analysis should be about forms in cinema, analyzing possible decisions made by the filmmaker and how they would work to express possible ideas/concepts. A student should look for what is unusual and distinctive about the way the film/video is made, regarding its formal qualities. How do these formal elements contribute to or interact with our understanding of the film? What are the techniques used to structure the scene/shot? How do the techniques challenge and surprise us? What kinds of strategies are used to express possible concepts? What would be filmmaker’s interests to the audience, viewing experience of the work? Below is a list of elements that a student may want to focus on the analysis. • Visual composition (line, shape, color, contrast, texture, movements, space, etc.) 12 • Camera work (stationary, zoom, pan, dolly shot, handheld, rack focus, use of a scanner, etc.) • Camera position (level, angle, distance from a subject, etc.) • Speed in motion (slow motion, fast motion, time-lapse, frozen frame, etc.) • Perspective relations (subjective/objective, surveillance camera, etc.) • Lens perspective (wide-angle, normal lens, telephoto, fish-eye, zoom lens, etc.) • Lighting (types of lighting, direction of light, and use of shadow, etc.) • Spatial relations (planes of action, perspective, shallow/deep space, and outside of a frame, foreground and background relationship, etc.) • Editing (graphic, rhythmic, spatial, temporal relations, etc.) • Visual effects (superimposition, transition, negative image, optic illusion, etc.) • Filmmaking techniques (re-photography, loop printing, direct animation, handprocessing, etc.) • Sound (music, ambient/environmental sound, sound effects, voice over, electronic sound, etc.) • Relation between sound and visual (diegetic and non-diegetic sound, optical soundtrack, etc.) • Use of different source materials (found footage, still photography, cutout paper, written text, home movie, etc.) • Choice of medium and format (film, analog video, digital video, 8mm, 16mm, interlaced video image, etc.)
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