MID-TERM EXAM, February 24, 2010

#1 Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.

#2 ______________had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_____(explain)_______.

#3 Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.

(An example would be Brian dePalma ripping off the run-away baby carriage scene from Battleship Potemkin.)

#4 What was the first movie you remember seeing IN A THEATER (TV doesn't count) as a child (or teenager)? Provide a description of that memory?

#5 Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.


Two highest scores with notes:

Put your name in the name of the Word document title (for easier reference) and italicize movie titles like Citizen Kane.  Use of quotation marks are only acceptable in e-mail  or  social network postings. Single space between lines.  Double space between paragraphs.  You also need to put YOUR NAME on the document itself.

RTV3033 Midterm Exam 95-A

1.      - Allusion – A reference through an image or dialogue to the Bible, a classic, a person, a place, another film, or well-known cultural idea.
The factory in Chaplin’s “Modern Times” was an allusion to Henry Ford’s Model T plant. Ford’s invention of the assembly line fueled the industrialization that is the focus in the earlier parts of the film.
 - Roman a clef – “Novel in a key,” refers to a film in which actual people or events are disguised as fictional characters.
A prime example of this would be Citizen Kane, based on the life of William Randolph Hearst.
 - Doppelganger – A reference to the fact that a shadow-self, duplicate, or double accompanies everyone.
In Fritz Lang’s  “Metropolis,” the character Maria has a doppelganger that acts as a “shadow-self.”

2.     Technology had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because the limitations forced filmmakers to be more creative with their shots and special effects. Seeing these older films in this class has made me appreciate the ingenuity of early directors. Films like Melies’  “Voyage to the Moon” still impress me with the level of creativity on a new format.

3.     There is a scene in “Hot Shots” that makes a reference to the “kissing on the beach” scene in “From Here to Eternity.” It is a parody that involves the characters getting pummeled by the waves and spitting out salt water and seaweed.

4.     The first movie I can remember seeing in the theater was the original 101 Dalmations when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I’m not sure now why it was being shown in Paragould’s old twin cinema, which normally ran new movies, but at the time I didn’t know the difference. I remember being very excited and making my family sit on the front row. After the movie, my neck was so sore from looking up at the screen, I could barely move it. I have not sat on the front row since.

Inglourious Basterds will hopefully be discussed in future History of Moving Images classes, as all of Tarantino’s work should be. The look and feel of the film is a mix of fun and violence that only QT himself can pull off with class. The alternate history aspect and gunning down of Hitler could make for some interesting discussions among future students. Also, the latest Star Trek film should hold its place in the film history books as it is not only an example of science fiction at it’s finest, but it shows that a long running and tired franchise can be revived under all the right circumstances. It satisfied hardcore fans and brought in many new ones, which is no easy task.


RTV 3303 MidTerm Exam  95=A


Question 1

Adaptation – Adaptation is the presentation of a work from another medium in the form of film.  Common examples of this include adapting plays, novels, short stories and other works of literature into a script and subsequently, into a film.  An early example of adaptation can be seen in F.Y. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), which adapts Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

Deep-Focus Shot – Deep-Focus Shots are shots that manage to keep foreground, middleground, and background all in sharp focus.  A great example of this comes in the form of 1941’s Citizen Kane, which used the technique in several scenes.

Silent Film – Silent Films are films that do not feature spoken word performances, but may feature sound effects or orchestration.  One example of this genre is The Birth of a Nation (1915).  Another interesting example is Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, which is devoid of speech except when transmitted over television or a recording.  

Question 2

D.W. Griffith had an important influence on American Films in the first two decades of the 20th Century because his film The Birth of a Nation popularized the idea of feature-length films in Hollywood.  With the financial success and popularity of The Birth of a Nation, film became less a novelty and more an art form.  People now had the option to sit and watch more than a five-minute short in the theatres.  In addition to the length of his film, Griffith also set up many conventions of shot composition still used to this day.  The use of long shots and various ranges of shots within each scene provided a unique visual continuity that seems standard today.  While audiences today are used to epic battle scenes fought by mostly CG armies, Griffith’s Civil War battles were truly huge in scope for the time.  It is clear that without D.W. Griffith’s work, American film would be very different than it is today.

A bit too bold of a statement.  D.W. Griffith was first in the U.S. to explore some narrative techniques and the first to have such a successful narrative film, but other geniuses were lurking in Hollywood and in Europe.  American film would probably look the same today with or without Griffith.

Question 3

                  One contemporary film that is absolutely full of references to earlier films is Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.  Tarantino’s famous scene in which Samuel L. Jackson kills a man named Brett mirrors a similar scene in the 1946 film The Killers.  In Tarantino’s film, Jackson and his partner, John Travolta, are hired by to kill a man who has double-crossed their boss.  Similar to the scene in The Killers, the victim is already resigned to his fate once the hit men show up.  Another throwback to the 1946 film is the shot of Travolta and Jackson firing at the camera/victim.

Question 4

                  The first movie I remember seeing in theatres was Toy Story in 1995.  I’m pretty sure I’d been to the movies before then, but this is the film that really stands out to me as one of my firsts.  I remember being really excited to see the movie since I was five and this was a Disney movie about toys…the perfect combination for any child and what should be any parent’s worst nightmare.  I really loved the movie, but I remember being genuinely scared by the “deformed” toys that showed up in the second half.  To this day, the baby-doll head on spider legs still kind of makes my skin crawl. 

I think the best thing about the movie is that as soon as it was over, I was ready to see it again.  I didn’t know at the time that Toy Story would be a critical or box office success, but I knew it was an instant favorite of mine.  To this day, I can easily say it is one of my top ten favorite films even 14 years later.  (NW)

Question 5

                  One film I’ve seen in the past year that I think will be discussed 50 years from now is District 9.  Everything about this film is great, from the cinematography to the effects work; everything works to transport the audience into an alien refugee camp in South Africa.  The film begins in a sort of mockumentary handheld style as the audience is introduced to the main character, a middle management kind of guy who happens to be responsible for moving the refugees into what is basically a concentration camp.  Through a series of accidents and misunderstandings, he is exposed to something that causes him to change into one of the aliens the government is trying to get rid of.  It is at this point that the camera work becomes more traditionally cinematic as we follow this man through his attempts to retain his humanity. 

                  While the premise sounds like standard science fiction, I was surprised at how much the film had to say.  Set in South Africa and starring and (sic) entirely unknown cast, this film denouncing apartheid isn’t what most would consider a blockbuster formula.  The events of the film were partially based on government attempts to forcibly remove blacks from areas of Johannesburg during the apartheid era.  The fact that this film managed to show the emotional trauma of such things while still being full of action really struck me. 

                  I think 50 years from now, people can look at this film and see some of the common aspects of current cinematic culture as well as some uncommon aspects.  The use of handheld “shaky-cam” for action movies has become a huge trend of late, and was used very well in this film.  Some directors tend to overuse the effect, but I felt this film used it in enough moderation and at the right times so as to avoid becoming a distraction.  One uncommon aspect of this film is that it was made and filmed entirely in South Africa with unknown cast members and a relatively modest budget, but still managed to be a huge success.  This is uncommon in Hollywood, but I think this movie may be the first of many more to come.

                  Another film I saw this year that I think might be discussed in future film classes was The Road.  This film may well be one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen.  But that’s what makes the film work.  Based on a post-apocalyptic novel by Cormac McCarthy, The Road follows a man and his son through a desolate wasteland of what used to be the United States as they try to stay alive.  The production design for this film fit the mood of the film so well, portraying a world with almost no color.  Everything seen on the screen is some variation of gray or brown. 

                  After watching this film, I felt emotionally drained.  I can’t say I enjoyed that feeling, but it was so nice to watch a film that had that much of an impact on me.  There is no light at the end of this film’s tunnel, but the ride through the tunnel is something so intense and interesting, you can’t look away.  There are several times in the film when the man and his son must escape from groups of cannibals patrolling the roads, and each of these scenes had me on the edge of my seat.  The way this film is shot and edited builds so much tension in every scene.  This is probably one of the few films I’ve watched where I have felt genuine concern for the characters.  

                  One might think that a film that only focuses on two characters might get dull, but The Road proves that with the right actors, anything is possible.  The film is anchored by a powerful performance from Viggo Mortensen, who does a great job portraying a man who is alternately optimistic, desperate, and paranoid.  I never once doubted the sincerity of his character and truly felt the weight of his burden.  Over all, I think that is what future audiences will take away from this film:  weight.  This film’s direction, production design and cinematography all create a perfectly somber atmosphere.  Many films today refuse to make an unrelentingly downcast production and I think the successful execution of this film stands out. (BC)


1)  A pan is a shot in which a stationary camera turns horizontally, revealing new areas. This was used in The Great Train Robbery scene when the robbers hopped off the train and ran down the hill. A vignette is a film image with no definite border, shading off gradually at the edges into the background. These were quite popular in early films in order to draw the audience's attention to a specific part of the shot or to create a 'dream effect.' The dream effect vignette was used in the movie, Santa Claus depicting dreams of Santa delivering presents. And finally, the still-used and effective close-up. A close-up is a shot that tightly frames the subject in order to reveal small details to the audience (such as hand gestures and facial expressions). One of the most shocking early close-ups was the re-enactment of a Broadway play. It was a close-up of a kiss, which gave the short film the title, 'The Kiss.'


2)  In the Land of the Head Hunters had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because the film portrayed views of the Native Americans and their culture before European settlement. It was also the first film to ever be completely cast with Native Americans. ((good)


3)  This may be a bit of a stretch, but the same ideas are used. In The Birth of a Nation, the KKK rides in as the 'rescuing calvary' to save the trapped people in the shed. The same idea has been portrayed in several films and TV shows alike, but the film that it makes me think of is The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King when the Riders of Rohan flank the orcs while they are laying siege to Minas Tirith. The people of the White City were trapped inside the cities walls, similar to the people in the shed. They were fighting back with all they had but were still on the verge of being overrun. Then the calvary shows up in both movies. (Little too much of a stretch.  Too general a comparison.  Would have to had the identical subtext or racial overtones to be an homage.)


5)  Two movies I think will be discussed in a History of Film class fifty years from now are Paranormal Activity and, of coarse, Avatar. I chose Paranormal Activity because of Oren Peli's $11,000 budget that brought fantastic results. Sure the film received a ton of rocks thrown by critics but come on, the movie was very entertaining and was spectacularly made for such a tiny budget. On the other end of the spectrum of budgets is where Avatar lies. The plot was nothing new (look at Poccahontas (sic) and tell me they aren't the same), but the film itself is a breakthrough for film-making. 3D was used in almost every shot on this created world. The concept of digitally creating a world and filming something on it will change the way future directors think.


A Master Shot is a wide angle shot used to either show an entire room or a street (not limited to “rooms” or “streets”). It encompasses several characters and extras and gives an overall view of a scene. This shot was used in the parade scene of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times to show the entire street with Chaplin, the paraders, and the cops who show up to arrest the protest parade (sic).

A Two Shot is a shot with two characters in it. It can be shot from the waist, the knees, full body, or bust. This kind of shot can be seen in Citizen Kane, in the Ferris wheel scene. The two men are speaking in the cage of the Ferris wheel and being that it is a small space the two shots were used almost the whole time.

A Close Up Shot is a shot that is usually cut at the bust. It is used to focus on one character, to carry the story, or to get a reaction from someone. The 1932 version of Scarface used this very well. Paul Muni’s character and another gentleman are sitting at a table with Karen Morley’s character. The close up shot was utilized on Karen to showcase her beauty as the two men were trying to impress her while both trying to light her cigarette.


Europeans had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because a lot of the early technologies and techniques that we had were either taken from European filmmakers (particularly Russian, German, and French) or influenced by them. All of the fancy film techniques like color bursts and adding music were taken from French filmmakers.


Casablanca is a classic film that has been referenced, quoted, shot matched, and just about everything you could think of for years. In “Sleepless in Seattle” the wife says "here's looking at you" also As Time Goes By is playing at the start. In “Max Payne”, Vlad says "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship", the famous quote from Casablanca. In “Out Cold” the love story between Rick and Anna and Barry follows a similar path as the story of Casablanca's Rick and Isla and Victor. Rick and Anna met, fell in love, and then she leaves without any reason for doing so. She finds her way into Rick's hangout and sees has Rick’s best friend play Rick and her song. Rick recognizes the song and gets mad. Then there’s the additional fact that she also has another man, Barry. Rick is determined to win her back but then realizes that she would be better off with Barry and does the right thing and makes her go with him. There are several variations on direct quoting from Casablanca also. (The question was about a specific SCENE, not about plot points or an entire remake.)


I definitely think that Avatar and Paranormal Activity will be studied in a class like this one 50 years from now. Now, I will say that I don’t think they are going to be on the list because I thought they were great movies. Paranormal Activity will be remembered for the poor production quality but equally great success of the film in the box office and on DVD. The marketing and hype was so great that it made it very successful overall. Avatar on the other hand will be remembered for James Cameron spending roughly 10 years creating a new way for people to enjoy digital artwork and 3D movies. The 3D experience wasn’t the typical 3D experience that people have had for decades. It was a new advancement. Instead of things jumping out at you, the 3D effect was used to enhance the picture. To allow you to see things as you would see them in real life. This table is in front of this table which is in front of that chair which are all behind a bar. You can see every layer, and that makes for a great and new experience making Avatar a remembered


#1 Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.


a.Interframe- the ability to use different focal shots within one scene.  Was done by D.W. Griffin’s 'The Birth of a Nation.'  (Too general.  Need specific example.)

b.ad lib- dialogue that an actor adds to a scene that was not scripted.  Was done in the Jazz Singer by Al Jolson.  (Too general.  Need specific example.)

c.flashback- something that alters the natural order of a film, such as a back-story to current action.  Was done in Citizen Kane.  (Too general.  Need specific example).


#2 Expressionism (out of Germany) had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because of films such as 'Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horrors', which has inspired many writers and film makers today.  Though most films today do a lot of cgi effects, Nosferatu was done mostly through clever camera angles and lighting, making it an inspiration to low budget filmmakers.  You can still make things creepy and scary without adding cgi after effects.

#3 Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film. (The question was about a specific SCENE, not about plot points or an entire remake.)

An obvious answer would be a remade film, such as 'The Omen' or 'Superman', (but these are not pre-1950) or even the one you mentioned as an example.  But I remember from class you mentioning Quenten (sic) Tarantino using a lot of old ideas in his movies.  I also remember when watching 'The Great Train Robbery' in class, that some of the scenes from it--the actual scenes--were used in the movie 'Tombstone.'  I also can't help but think of the movie 'Freaks' when seeing some of today's movies such as 'The Unborn' because of the characters that are all bent up and twisted, though these characters are not actual humans, such as they are in 'Freaks', and are meant to be ghosts or demons.  I do think that somewhere the two movies connect, but I could be wrong.

#5 Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.


a.  I would say the 'Twilight Saga'  not because it was brilliant or anything, but maybe because of the impact it had on so many (especially young girls).  Its everywhere, and has made tons of money.  One things for sure, love or hate the movie, it has impacted society.  I mean, think about it, when a movie(s) causes almost as many people who hate it to talk about it than people who love it, it has made an impact.  For good or not;  only time will tell.

b.  The second (and much more serious) is 'Saving Private Ryan'.  This movie tugs at the heartstrings and makes almost anyone who watches feel patriotic.  It was among the first war movies to be about more than "just the war" and more about the people and their struggles as they move through such a terrifying ordeal as war.  It also touches on the many types of people in the war.  Everyone there was not heroic, and most were selfish, but when times called for it, most of them pulled through and did what they were supposed to (or what they were ordered to do) for what some might call, a higher purpose.  Plus, the effects were cool.  In retrospect, however, I may be a bit biased.  At the time that this movie came out, I was in the military.


1. Cinematography is based upon a combination of the phi phenomenon and a human’s persistence of vision. The phi phenomenon is what causes our eyes to see individual blades of a rotating fan as a unitary circular form and the different colors of a spinning color as a unified color. When this combines with our persistence of vision provides for cinematography. The persistence of vision comes into play because it prevents us from seeing dark spaces between the film frames. (An important film term—but not an example of “Film Language”, which has to describe WHAT you see IN cinematography.)

A Medium shot was a technique that D.W. Griffith introduced in his 1908-1909 Biograph films. The medium shot is an alternate shot of different spatial lengths. This term soon joined long shots, full shots, close-up and close shots. Griffith combined all of these special lengths in order to form a single dramatic scene from multiple points of view. A medium shot is typically distanced midway between a close-up and a full shot, such as a human being shot from the waist up.  (This IS an example of “Film Language”.)

A three-point lighting system had been developed by the early 1930s. This allowed for proper lighting to be placed on the subject to provide a clear picture on film. The three types of light involved are key light, fill light and backlight, Key light took the role of the primary lighting, fill light is the light that is used to the sides and backlight was filled illumination from the back. (Again, a good technical term, but not an example of “Film Language”.)

2. A great migration of production companies from the east, which occurred between 1907 and 1913 in the wake of the nickelodeon boom, had an important influence on American films in the first two centuries of the 20th century because it became necessary to put production on a systematic year-round schedule. This is the point in film history when Hollywood became the center of the motion picture industry. By 1915, over 15,000 workers were employed by the motion picture industry and over 60 percent of American production was centered there. (good)

3. In Citizen Kane, the scene where Hearst is shown by a fireplace having a conversation with his mistress, he is portrayed as somewhat of a selfish money mogul as he stares at the fire giving saying something deep and quiet. This can be seen in contemporary films when the villain or a primary character has a gut-check moment staring off into the distance and taking to someone behind him. For example, in A Time to Kill, Matthew McCoaughey (sic) is telling Samuel L. Jackson that he feels his case is somewhat unwinnable, he turns his back to him and puts his head down as he talks. The silence before and after he speaks makes the scene.   (Too general a situation.  Don’t think Joel Schumacher meant the scene to be a Citizen Kane homage.)

5. New Moon, the second installment of the tremendously popular Twilight saga, will definitely make an appearance in a future History of Narrative Motion Picture classes. This movie grossed an amazing $26.3 million in its midnight showing alone which put Twilight, the first installment, opening weekend earnings to shame. This movie will hold an importance not only because of its record-breaking profit, but also, its usage of special visual effects on an estimated $50 million budget. The scenes in which the vampires fly and move incredibly fast have come a long way from the first movie’s effects that left some to be desired. This movie is also guaranteed a place in history because of its impact on pop culture. The reoccurring vampire frenzy that was brought about by these movies and Stephanie Myers’ books that were the basis will not soon be forgotten. The public’s interest in vampires has remained from the time of Murnau’s Nosferatu, even though the portrayal of the vampires themselves has been modified significantly.


A second movie worth mentioning in a future History of Narrative Motion Picture course is another mystical thriller that has taken pop culture and the box office by storm: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This movie brought in an exceptional $2.2 million at its midnight showing. Similar to the saga that brought about the Twilight frenzy, the Harry Potter series also spawned from a book series written by J.K. Rowling. The magical effects involved in this movie, in my opinion, are even better than those in the Twilight Saga. This is not surprising considering that Harry Potter producers were working with a $250 million budget. Although the wizard obsession has seen a decline in the past few years, it still left a huge mark on merchandising, book sales and of course, box office ticket sales.

1.     Define 3 film language terms and give an example of each term using an early narrative film.

Credits- The list of the writers, actors, technical, personnel, and production staff of a film.

An example of credits would be in The Birth of a Nation at the beginning where it states all of the people who are in the film including the name of the actor or actress and the person who created it. An example is the movie was produced by D.W. Griffith and the character name Elsie was played by Lillian Gish.

Flashback- is a shot, scene, sequence, or sometimes major part of a film inserted into the narrative present in order to recapitulate the narrative past.

An example of a flashback was used in D.W. Griffith’s film “After Many Years”. Griffith used a scene of the character Annie Lee waiting for her husband’s return and then it was followed by a scene of Enoch cast away on a desert island.

Intertitles- Printed titles that appear within the main body of a film to convey dialogue and other narrative information. They are common in (but not essential to) the silent cinema.

An example of an intertitle is in “The Birth of a Nation”. The intertitle states, “The agony which the South endured that a nation might be born.”

2.     D.W. Griffith had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because of his work in narrative film. Griffith was a genius when it came to making films. He used features like close-ups and medium shots like no one else before him. He made whoever watched his films emphasize with the character that was on screen. He very rarely worked with a script. He knew how to make a film look good by combining the correct forms of editing, lighting, and angles. His most famous film was probably “The Birth of Nation.”The film was made at the cost of $110,000 and it made millions.

Griffith directed over 400 films in his lifetime, but he has had a lot of controversy surrounding “The Birth of a Nation.” This one film is hanging over career and it shouldn’t be. Griffith has done a lot for the film industry and it is not right to judge him on just one film and people have done that until this day by removing his name from some of the best lists of people in the film industry.

3.     Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier film.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the 1932 film “Freaks” can be compared to the 1998 film “Simon Birch.” Both films have actors that are different in some way or another. In freaks, the actors have handicaps like missing arms or legs and in the film Simon Birch the main character is a midget or small person. In the movie Freaks, in different scenes the actors are treated different because of their handicap. In the movie Simon Birch the main character is picked on in the first few scenes because of his size. Peers raise Simon above their heads and pass him along as if he was a beach ball or something like that. In freaks, one character is looked at differently because she uses her feet to eat with instead of her hands because she doesn’t have any. (Interested in a specific Scene, not the entire movie.  However, you could have referenced the handing down the table scene of Johnny Eck, “The Half-boy," in Freaks with the scene you mentioned with Ian Michael Smith in Simon

5. Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Pictures classes 50 years from now.

The two contemporary movies that I have seen within the past year that will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now are Avatar 3D and The Book of Eli.

I believe that Avatar 3D will be seen in classes in 50 years because of the fact of the technological advances shown in the movie. Putting on glasses and being able to see certain features in a film will be old news in 50 years like silent films are in today’s theaters. Avatar 3D also has enough breaks in the film where instructor’s will have time to talk to their students without missing an important line of the movie. Also the film will present a great example of a flashback because the film moves back and forth from scenes on the Earth and scenes from an imaginary planet.

Another film I believe that will be presented in film classes in the future will be, “The Book of Eli.” The topic of the movie is the key reason why I believe the film will be seen by students in future film classes. The film is about a man who tries to protect the Bible. The Bible is still the most popular book sold in stores. The Bible isn’t a book that just stays on bookshelves for a few weeks, but it has been sold for many years and all year around. From a learning standpoint the film will show students the way cameras can use different angles to present a brilliant movie.

1] Parallel Editing is when there is a cut in the scene to reveal what is happening in a separate scene at the same time.  DW Griffith was the first to attempt this, and he displayed it in Birth Of A Nation.  There are multiple plot lines progressing at the same time, and the camera is following one of them, then cuts to the other plot line.  This is seen when the camera is on Duke Cameron, who is at war, then shortly after he and Todd Stoneman are killed in the battlefield right next to one another, the camera cuts away to the family receiving the letter that tells of the death.  (Can’t be parallel editing unless the two actions are happening simultaneously.  The receipt of the letter happened days or weeks after the death.)

Narrative Film is the term (general film “term”—but not “film language”) used for films that tell stories.  These films are in contrast to documentaries or types of experiential (experimental) films.  Many of the first films were narrative films.  One of the first great narrative films (arguably the greatest early narrative film) was The Great Train Robbery.  While it does not seem like a cinematic thriller in comparison to today’s movies full of special effects, for its time, this film was legendary.

(Question was for THREE examples.)

2] Birth Of A Nation had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because it showed that films could be more than entertainment.  This was a movie that stirred people’s souls and caused major controversy in the United States.  The first formation of the Ku Klux Klan was in 1865.  It broke up 9 years later in 1874.  When Birth Of A Nation was released in 1915, it sparked a revived glory for the Klan, and served as the base for the reforming of the KKK that year.  Since the movie portrayed the Klan as heroes, it motivated the white supremacists, and gave them the support they needed to re-form.  It was then that America saw the power of the film.  Never before had such an uprising occurred as a result of a movie.

3) In the new Sherlock Holmes movie (staring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law), there is a scene where Holmes is running for his life from a giant man that works for the man Holmes is investigating.  Holmes is chased into a shipyard where several dozen men are working on a massive ship.  As the chase scene continues, the chaos escalates and the damage to the ship yard and ship becomes progressively destructive.  The criminal chasing Sherlock uses several different large objects to swing at him in an attempt to kill him.  One of these objects is a massive chain, another is a larger-than-life sledge hammer that Holmes can not even lift. 

As his enemy clumsily swings these large objects at him, Sherlock barely escapes with his life from each swing.  However, with each swing, the criminal does a little more destruction to the planks that are keeping the ship from sliding into the river.  So, by the end of the scene all of the planks on one side of the ship have been destroyed and the ship slowly begins to creak and rock back and forth as it gradually slides into the river.  The scene ends with Watson pushing Sherlock out of the way just in time so that the ship does not run him over.  With the criminal nowhere to be seen, the two detectives are seen sitting in the middle of the destroyed shipyard, watching the ship sink in the river with an angry crew of shipyard workers coming at them.

This whole scene is very similar to a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936).  In Modern Times, Chaplin stumbles upon a job in a shipyard, and his clumsy, careless behavior causes a grand ship to be launched into the river prematurely. Of course the special effects are not used near as much in Modern Times, but it seems as though director Guy Ritchie did fashion the Sherlock Holmes scene after this classic Charlie Chaplin film.

5] American History X starring Edward Norton is a movie that I think will be discussed 50 years from now.  If it were not so violent I think it would be more likely to be discussed in the future, but as it is many people don’t want to watch it now since it is so graphic.  It is a very difficult film to watch because of the graphic nature of it.  Director Tony Kaye intentionally wanted it to be graphic so that it would more accurately portray reality.  Watching Birth Of A Nation reminded me of this movie in some ways.  Both films take the issue of racism head on.  The difference with American History X is that it motivates the viewer to have a spirit of reconciliation rather than one of violence.  The main reason I think it should be discussed years from now is because of how accurately it portrays the issue of racism in America.

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy are 3 movies that I think will also be discussed 50 years from now.  Aside from the overwhelming box office response, these movies did a great job of portraying the story of one of the best authors of the century.  Tolkien did such a brilliant job of creating the story with such detail.  In my opinion, the movie did the books justice.  I think the makers of these movies did an outstanding job of capturing the majestic panoramic mountain views, and the grungy, dirty, dark scenes, and the peaceful shots of the Shire, and everything in between.  The movies were  extremely well made, and for the most part stayed true to the original storyline.


#1 Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.

Alternate Ending- The shooting or re-shooting of a film’s ending for various reasons. Ex. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) Film “term” but not an example of “film language”.

Tint- The use of color to physically tint film stock to achieve a desired mood. Ex. The Great Train Robbery (1903) Should have described use in specific scene(s)—e.g. smoke from gunfire and dancers.

McGuffin- Alfred Hitchcock’s term for the device or plot element that catches the viewer’s attention or drives the logic of the plot and appears to be extremely important to the characters but turns out to be insignificant or ignored after it serves its purpose. Ex. The “black bird” in Maltese Falcon (1941)

#2 ______________had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_________________.

Edwin S. Porter had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because he directed what was “alleged” to be the first American documentary(The Life of an American Fireman(1903)) and Jack and the Beanstalk(1902). Edwin S. Porter also produced what became one of the most important and influential films of the time, The Great Train Robbery(1903). It was the first motion picture smash hit establishing that a film could be commercially viable. Porter also developed the process of film editing. Porter took what began as recorded stage shows and live events and created a more innovative way to tell stories whether they are real or fictitious. Without what he has done not even the news would be worth watching. He has earned the title “Father of the Story Film”.

#3 Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.
(An example would be Brian dePalma ripping off the run-away baby carriage scene from BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.)

In Chapter One of the recent film Inglorious (sic) Basterds there is a scene where the daughter closes a window and it seems to be like the scene in Citizen Kane when his mother is signing away control of her son’s life.  Don’t think so.  Tarantino borrows from many filmmakers, but the subtext of this Inglourious Basterds scene is entirely different than the one in Kane.

#5 Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.

Two movies I’ve seen in the past year that I think will be studied 50 years from now are Inglorious (sic) Basterds and Sherlock Holmes. First off, I believe that Sherlock Holmes will be studied because of the fact that the character has been around for so long already and is a part of literary history. Of course with the times as they are now, Sherlock Holmes has become more of a “bad-ass” if you will. In the times before when knowledge and insight were the “thing”, now violence and just all around “bad-assery” have become the norm. Although, I will give them credit for sticking with his ability to break down a situation and figure out a problem rather quickly. Now on to Inglorious Basterds, this film was fantastic. Quentin Tarantino is a great storyteller and has a way to keep his audience not only entertained but thinking as well. In the first scene with the German officer talking to the man that was hiding the Jewish family I was on the edge of my seat. I could tell the officer was toying with the man and it just made the scene gripping. I’m sure there are many more movies that will be studied but I really hope to see these two movies on the curriculum.     

  1. Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.


-       Close-up: Camera shot in which a part of a person or object comprises most of the frame. A close up of an actor is generally limited to his head and shoulders. This shot gives the highest amount of detail, but lacks any information about the broader scene. An example of some of the first close ups used in narrative film can be seen throughout D.W. Griffith's  “Birth of a Nation”.


-       Panning Shot or Pan: The movement of a stationary camera on a horizontal axis. A camera on a tripod that moves from left to right (following a parade, for instance), would be panning. One of the early uses of the panning shot that springs to mind, is one at the end of “Birth of a Nation”. During several scenes toward the end of the film while our bandits are in the woods (I suppose looting things) we see this lateral movement of the camera follow them.


-       Deep Focus: A shot in which everything, including the background, is in focus.  This type of shot is generally regarded as difficult to achieve, since the entire set must be adequately lit, designed, etc. Many examples of this type of focus shot can be seen throughout “Citizen Kane”.



  1.  ______________had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_________________.

(Whoops. Kane came along way later than “the first two decades”.)

-       Many film scholars (and critics) throughout the history of narrative films have given a tremendous amount of praise and consideration to the genius of Orson Welles, specifically regarding his role in the creation of “Citizen Kane”. However much of the praise given to this film is given to it's revolutionary use of never-before-seen camera angles and very deep focusing. Therefore I believe cinematographer Gregg Toland had an important influence on American films in the first two decades of the twentieth century because he came up with some of the most dramatic and creative shots anyone had seen in a film up to that time.


  1. Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.


-       1. Not sure why this sprang to mind, but in the new film “Brothers” Tobey Maguire gives a powerful performance in which his character basically destroys the kitchen in his home after learning that his wife has shacked up with his brother while he was in Iraq (he was reported KIA). His tirade lasts an uncomfortable minute or two where he literally dismantles every part of the kitchen with only his bare hands (and whatever happens to be laying around). This reminded me of the classic scene from “Citizen Kane” in which Kane destroys Susan's bedroom after she leaves him. The scenes were very similar, even in their understated camera technique. Personally I'd go hand held for a moment like that, but hey, that's just me.


-       2. In “Kill Bill vol. 1”, there is a shot of the bride character laying in a hospital bed silhouetted by the window behind her. This shot was designed to be a direct replication of an early scene in “Citizen Kane”


5. Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.

-       Well clearly, Avatar, regardless of your feelings about this film you'd be a fool to suggest anything other than the fact that It was a pure and simple gigantic step forward for film making. I think it could easily be considered as the “Jazz Singer” of our time. It has completely opened new doors. I'll spare a long diatribe on the merits of the film making here, but I'll just say when you can put a purely computer generated image on the screen that looks more like an actor with prosthetic make-up on in front of a set, I think it's safe to say you've revolutionized film making. Oh yeah and lest we forget it's some of the best 3D we've seen to date.


-       To answer the second part of this question, I'll say that there wasn't another film I've seen in the past year that would merit a discussion 50 years from now. If I may be so bold however to go a bit outside the boundaries of the question, I'd like to say that I think one recent movie that will definitely be discussed is “No Country for Old Men”. Most people watch through that film, and tell me they quite enjoyed it. But then I tell them what I am about to put down on this page and they say, “No!” and immediately scramble to start the film over again. That shocking fact is that there is NO music in the film, zero, not one lick. Our modern day film making relies SO heavily on music in order to suggest to the audience how they should be feeling. (whether that be excitement, sadness, fear, etc.) I have long upheld that movies without music would be boring and emotionless, and this film made me look like a total idiot. The film unravels over is two hours with every bit (if not more) of emotion and excitement as any other film I've seen, yet, there is no music anywhere in the film. Now, that's film making. I believe this is one of the finer films I've seen in the past decade. It also has some of the finest acting to boot.  



-       1.  Narrative film- a movie that follows a story line. Most films of today are narrative films.  Ex. “Birth of a Nation” (film “term” but not an example of “film language”)


-       Nickelodeon- the first permanent movie theatres, converted from storefronts.

-       Ex. Charlie Chaplin films (film “term” but not an example of “film language”.  Besides, most of Chaplin’s films were from the post-Nickelodeon era)


-       Narrative- a story that follows a beginning, a middle, and an end.

-       Ex. “ The Great Train Robbery” (film “term” but not an example of “film language”.  Also too general.  Books have narrative.  “Film language” is unique to film)



-       2. D.W. Griffith had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because of his creation of narrative film and his work on the controversial film “Birth of a Nation.”  (Griffith refined and improved elements of film language that he did not create.)


-       3. The 2004 animated film “The Incredibles” the introduction scene is set up through a series of newspaper clippings and radio announcements. It explains the characters and why they are the way they are now. This scene almost is almost identical to the opening scene of the 1941 film “Citizen Kane.”  (good example)


-       4. The first movie I remember seeing in a movie theatre was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in 1990. I was four years old and my father took me to the local movie theatre in Knob Noster, Missouri. I remember my parents buying me a ninja turtle sweat pants and matching sweat shirt, and I wore it to the movie. I remember sitting towards the back, but this was before stadium seating so the back was not so bad. My dad got my sister and I  both theatre popcorn and a soda. At this time my mom was a total health freak and soda and snack foods were forbidden in our house. So getting movie theatre popcorn was a huge deal. Before the movie came out, I collected the toys so Michaelangelo was my favorite and every time he said something on the screen, I would quote it. “ man I love being a turtle!” was my favorite. I also remember actually being terrified by Master Shredder when he would come onto the screen. Once “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” came out on video later that year, I would watch it over and over again until it got wore out. To this day it is still one of my favorite movies and I still love quoting it. “Wise man once said forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price on a late pizza.” (good)


-       5. Avatar- I believe the film “Avatar” will be studied 50 years from now due to its film achievement in 3 Dimensional film making and its huge success in box office grosses. More importantly than the film, the director James Cameron will be spoke of as a film maker due to his achievements in this film and “Titanic” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” “Avatar” reached the highest grossing film of all time both domestically and world wide in less than two months which took its predecessor “Titanic” almost a year to achieve.


-       X-Men Origins: Wolverine I believe that the film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” will be spoken about in classes in 50 years.  Not because of any form of film achievement or the idea of an extraordinary film, but because of  the idea of how it leaked online months before its release. The rumor was that one of the editors of the film was getting fired so he took a copy and leaked it online. After many people saw the print online, although not the complete finished film, the filmmakers released that it was not the right film and it was just the work print copy. But once the film was released in theatres, it was obvious that the work print released online was the same film without the special effects added in

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-       #1 Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.

-       a) Close- Up (CU) – A shot framing the head from the neck up, and occasionally a part of the shoulders are shown. Example: Birth of A Nation, the scene where they are in the cotton field and the scene of a woman is shown from the neck up.


-       b) Expressionism – Use of strong contrast, shadows, extreme angles and designs.

-       Example: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the scene where he open the cabinet and the man steps. Throughout the clips the shadows are shown and on the set the different angles and designs are shown.


-       c) Foreshadowing – A scene that contributes to the upcoming scene. It prepares viewers for the next scene. Example: Wizard of Oz, the opening of the film when the lady turns into a witch on the broomstick foretells of her being portrayed as Dorothy’s enemy throughout the film.



-       #2 D.W. Griffith had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because he introduced parallelism which is cutting between two different scenes in progress. He also introduced montage which is a sequence of brief shots expressing the same or similar theme which will be used to build on to the conclusion. (Griffith refined and expanded parallel editing, but didn’t unequivocally introduce the concepts).


-       #3 Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.
(An example would be Brian dePalma ripping off the run-away baby carriage scene from BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.)

-        Sabrina: 1995

-       Directed by: Sydney Pollack

-       Starring: Harrison Ford, Julie Ormond

-       Sabrina: 1954

-       Directed by: Billy Wilder

-       Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn

-       Cinderella: 1950

-       Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

-       Starring: Illene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton

-       The films are both referenced to the story lines of Cinderella. For example: a girl less fortunate desires prince charming and doesn’t quite grasp his attention. So, in the movie Sabrina, Audrey (1954) and Julie (1995) portrays a young girl who fantasies about attending a fancy party and she falls in love with the brother of prince charming. The comparison of the two films is that they have the same story line. However, the information within the content is referenced back to the same story lines of Cinderella. The scene that keeps resurfacing is a beautiful girl wearing an evening gown attending a ball or a fancy dinner party and falling in love with prince charming.   (To answer this correctly, you would need to compare two scenes specifically. Your answer is a bit too general.  I am more interested in a contemporary film’s homage to a specific  SCENE in an older film than in the concept of remakes of entire films.

#5 Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.


-       I believe 50 years from now Avatar will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes because of the amount of money that was spent on the production of the film. Vanity Fair magazine had an article on December 22, 2009 that stated, reports have been published that the production and marketing cost ranged from $230 million to nearly $500 million to produce Avatar. The movie techniques and special effects that were used will more than likely be studied and observed very closely. Also, the film made over $1 billion worldwide.

-       Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys will also be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes because of the plot of the film. The film highlights the relationship between an upper class family and a blue collar working family. The two families are closely linked together by business, marital infidelities and secrets. The film makes a strong connection between social/ economic racism and ethnicity.

-       References:  (Need to be footnoted so that a reader can reference a specific citing.)

-       Website: http://www.allwatchers.com/topics/info_19035.asp

-       Website:  http://www.filmsite.org/filmterms1.html

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1.     Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.

“Panning” – Most people are familiar with the term panning, as in “the camera pans the crowd.”  This term came about in the late 1900’s by Robert W. Paul. Mainly, so he could film the procession of Queen Victoria.  It is also called “panaromous” in some documents.

“Matte”—We discussed matte or “vignette”, as it is sometimes called, during The Birth of a Nation.(sic)  This term was first coined by G.A. Smith during in 1989.  This is when the object the audience is intended to focus on, usually a person, is surrounded by a black circular sort of frame.

“Close Up”—This is a term that surely everyone knows.  However, most people probably don’t know that it was also G.A. Smith who coined this term.  He did a close up of a little girl and a kitten in the 1901 film, The Little Doctors.

2.     ______________had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_________________.

D.W. Griffin had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because he not only contributed technological advances such as the interframe and intraframe. He also was really the first to want to tell a story.  He made Sleepless in Seattle(sic)   his films more like a novel. Whereas, the films before had been less serious. (Not the first to tell “a” story, but the first to tell one in the U.S. on an epic scale.  His novelistic approach was more complex but not necessarily more serious.)

        3. Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.
                  The 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle, starting Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, was inspired by the 1957 romance, An Affair to Remember.  even used the theme song and clips from An Affair to Remember in the credits. An Affair to Remember is even discussed by some of the main characters in Sleepless in Seattle.  (Good choice of comparative movies, but really wanted an analysis of a two specific scenes showing contrasts and differences.  Too general an answer.)

5. Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain

            Obviously Avatar, because it is so unlike anything that has been done before.  Avatar had revolutionary technology that changed the 3D world completely.  It wasn’t just going in and feeling like you have on these weird plastic glasses for nothing.  You were completely immersed in the movie.  It was like you were surrounded.  And, the acting, writing, storytelling parts were just as good as the effects.  This is very rare.

            The White Ribbon was probably the best movie I have seen ever, not just this year. The movie was made was directed by Australian director Michael Haneke and has had popularity in Australia, Germany, Poland, France, the U.S. and other places. While at first you think the movie is a mystery, you began to realize it is more about it is a metaphor for an oppressive society. This isn’t your typical film in any way. There is not a tidy ending.  This film makes you think. It makes you think about life, society, government, oppression, terrorism. This film moves people.  And, if they are talking about Avatar and no The White Ribbon 50 years from now, well they will say something about the state of our society then.


#1 Define three Film Language terms and give an example of each term using an early (before 1950) narrative film.


The film: Listen to Britain 1942


Close-up- Usually defined as a shot framing the head from the neck up, sometimes with part of the shoulders.    


There is a scene with a woman working on a machine in a factory the filmmaker provides a close-up of the action.


Fade in- Gradual appearance of the image.


The film starts off with a fade from the man talking to a shot of a map.


Cut-   A clean break between consecutive shots. 


The filmmaker uses jump cuts from one action to another. For example in the scene with the men looking at the planes, it shows the planes flying overhead then the man looking at them.


#2 ___had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_________________.



Answer: Cinema’s(sic) had an importance on American films in the first two decades because they were linked to technological advantages. These films displayed the evolution of editing patterns, camera movements, and effects.  (“Cinemas” is too vague and inexact a term for the modes of distribution and exhibition that helped drive the growth of the film industry in the U.S.  Early nickelodeons proved the profit potential of films and evolved into the stand-alone movie theaters with seating and projection standards that are still in effect today.)

#3 Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.
(An example would be Brian dePalma ripping off the run-away baby carriage scene from BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.)

Answer: In the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy played by Judy Garland clicks the soles of her ruby red slippers together 3 times to return home. The scene is also portrayed in the 1978 film “The wiz” when Dianna Ross as Dorothy clicks her shoes together 3 times to return home. (Good choice of films, but what I really wanted was more detailed description in the similarities and differences between the two scenes you referenced.  What the scene with Dianna Ross literally copies shot-for-shot? Were there interesting, creative differences?  Etc.)

#5 Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.



1.     I think that Avatar would be a movie that will be studied 50 years from now in Motion Picture classes because of its graphics and animation. I also think that the movies impact on the society and its originality would make it a definite choice for this class.


2.     The next one is “Precious”. I think it will be studied because it is a controversial indie film that focuses on illiteracy and the problems concerning the urban community.  This film made lots of money and its actors and the director has been nominated for Oscars.


1.    Define three Film Language Terms and give an example of each term using an early (1950) Narrative film?

A.     Close -up- A shot framing the head from the neck up. Sometimes includes part of the shoulder. Example- There is a scene in the Jazz Singer when there is a close up and you can really tell that the actor is in blackface.

B.     Scene- The basic dramatic unit. Usually continuous in time and setting. A feature film usually consitis (sic) of 30-60 scenes, with varations. (sic)  In the very first “film”, “The Great Train Robbery” of course there are a few different scenes but the first really cool one is when they ride on their horses. There is also a scene cut but not a scene switch when they break to change the body to a dummy to throw off the train.

C.     Fade In-  Gradual appearance of the image. In “The Birth of a Nation” sometimes they would have people Fade In from outside the shot in different scenes. Also, sometimes when the movie would change from one scene to another, they would fade it in. I remember a scene when they were on horses did that most notably.

2.    ______________had an importance influence on American films in the first two decades of the 20th century because_________________.

I think that both “The Birth of a Nation” and “The Jazz Singer” had huge impact on American film in the early 20th Century. I think that “The Birth of a Nation” was influential because of the length and content of the movie. The length being a factor because it was the first time that a movie became something more than just a quick story. When Griffith came out with the movie he proved that you could do more with a movie than what had been done. “The Birth of a Nation” tells a very long story with film and in my mind is the first true “feature” film. The “Jazz Singer” is influential obviously because it was the first true “talkie” or movie with sound. It also tells a story more than most movies of that time but the integration of sound is the biggest deal to me.  (Question was for “first two decades of the 20th century.  Jazz came out in the third decade.)

3.    Describe a scene from a contemporary film that seems to reference or be derived from an earlier (before 1950) film.

The first film that came to my mind when thinking about this question was “The adventures of Robin Hood”. This is a movie that has been remade over and over again but I really enjoyed the one with Kevin Costner in it. I believe it was made in 1991 and was titled “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”. The movies were nowehere (sic) near identical but they shared some of the same story lines. Robin Hood is still the main character and the hero who fights to save the less fortunate by stealing from the rich. There are no direct scenes from that are the same as the 1938 film but the whole movie references the storyline from the early movie. Personally, I really liked it. I have not been able to see the entire 1938 film but it really wasn’t too bad either from what I was able to see.  (Question wasn’t about remakes.  Needed a detailed description of two different scenes from two movies giving similarities and differences.)


4.     Discuss two contemporary movies you have seen within the past year that you think will be studied in History of Narrative Motion Picture classes 50 years from now. Name and explain.

Of course the first movie that comes to mind is Avatar. The movie is just so futuristic to me so I believe it will be studied for a while. I believe that people should start even looking at it now to understand some of the subtleties and underlining issues that aren’t noticed by just watching the film. I don’t know much about film making itself but I would assume that James Cameron used some things that were new to film making that could potentially revolutionize parts of the industry. However, like I said I am a novice so that is just what I have heard from all the hype. Another movie that I think will be studied for a while is “The Watchman”. Personally, I was not a fan of the movie but I think it also used some concepts that were new to film making. The movie had normal filmed scenes and it also had some animated scenes. Some of those were together in one scene and that is why I think that it can be studied in the future. I think part of the future of film making is going to become more and more digital so I also think that the early digital movies that include things like this will make them particularly interesting, especially 50 years from now when God knows what films will look like.

Put your name in the name of the Word document title (for easier reference) and italicize movie titles like Citizen Kane.  70=C


1. A flashback is describing a scene where a sequence breaks into the movie to show something that happened in the past. Depth of field is a camera term used to describe the range over what objects will be in focus. Slapstick is a form of comedy that relies mainly on physical humor rather than speech. (Need examples of each term.) 


2.  ???  (Each question of 20% of the total exam points.)


3. Sydney White, a modern day tale of Snow White. Snow White was an inspiration to this movie in almost all ways, but my favorite is the seven dwarfs. In Sydney White after getting thrown out of her sorority house  Sydney moves in with 7 misfit guys who live in a broken down home. Just like in Snow White, Sydney comes into their lives to help them out, and they in return teach Sydney much about what she can do with in herself. 

5. The first movie I am choosing is one of the greatest films I have ever seen, 500 Days of Summer. This is a movie that I think will be significant in 50 years because it was an independent movie that got a lot of positive buzz very quickly and made more than was originally expected in the box office. The movie is described as "not a love story, its a story about boy meets girl" and that is what it is. It is a good tale of modern love and how complicated it can be when one (sic) heart is in it too much. But besides the plot, it is a beautifully filmed movie, especially in the independent standards.


The second movie is one many have probably chosen, but probably not for the same reasons. Avatar. It is no question that this movie will be talked about for decades to come if only because of how short of a period it took to make over 1 billion dollars. The reason why I hope it is talked about in 50 years is because it sucked, plain and simple sucked. I will give James Cameron a ton of credit for how beautiful this movie is, the technology is amazing, and it was not like watching a regular 3D or IMAX film. But, the entire story line was a straight rip off of Disney's Pocahontas. (English man meets native who happens to be the princess of the tribe who's best friend is nature and who goes to a tree for advice, and english (sic) are trying to force them out to take over their land, seriously James Cameron?) Not only the rip off plot, but his political agenda was far from stubble (sic). Then there is the even worse overall terribly written, non creative, dialogue of the film. Since I saw the movie in December it is hard for me to take direct quotes. So my hopes is that in 50 years people will realize that the people of our generation were idiots for spending so much money on such a poor story.