Friday, July 31, 2009

Essay questions

This post is for those who requested extra questions to practice:

A sustained interpretation of a character/s
1. ‘It is Andy who is the most troubled character in the film, despite his knockabout, blasé streak.’ Discuss.
2. ‘Andy is an irresponsible character who is reluctant to admit to his mistakes.’ Discuss.
3. ‘Andy is unable to deal with sadness in his life, which often makes him bad-tempered in his interactions with others.’ Do you agree?
4. “I met you on Friday, we slept together on Saturday, you took me to meet your mother on Sunday…That’s the tightest little relationship I’ve ever had.” ‘Nick and Meryl do not really know each other by the end of the film.’ Discuss.
5. ‘Meryl and Anna are better at dealing with their problems than Nick and Andy.’ Discuss.
6. “You think everyone’s got an agenda…Sometimes things just happen.” Do any characters have an agenda in Look Both Ways?
7. Does Andy’s concern for “major social injustice[s]” extend to his personal relationships?
8. What effect does his father’s death have on Nick?
9. The stories of all the characters carry equal weight in Look Both Ways.’ Do you agree?
10. ‘The characters such as Julia and the train driver who say the least in the film are the characters who are suffering the most in Look Both Ways.’ Discuss.
11. ‘Meryl’s fears are the paranoid imaginings of a woman who has too much time on her hands.’ Is this how you view Meryl in Look Both Ways?
12. ‘Julia and the train driver only have small speaking parts; however, their roles are crucial to our understanding of the other characters.’ Discuss.

Using a character/s to illustrate a theme/view/value
1. ‘Look Both Ways shows characters in crisis who are dealing with real and imagined fears.’ Discuss.
2. ‘The characters in Look Both Ways are afraid.” Discuss.
3. How do the characters in Look Both Ways cope with death?
4. Nick’s mother says to him: “Your father’s death was not the sum of his life…I couldn't give him my way of coping and you couldn’t give him yours.”
5. How do the characters cope with death in Look Both Ways?
6. ‘Look Both Ways is a film about the challenges that the characters face in their relationships.’ Discuss.
7. ‘All the problems in Nick and Meryl’s relationship are caused by communication problems.’ Discuss.
8. “Christ, you only went for a travel medical,” says Phil. Describe how different characters in Look Both Ways react differently to the presence of death in their lives.
9. “Maybe it was meant to be.” ‘The relationship between Nick and Meryl is guided more by fate than their own choices.’ Do you agree?
10. ‘Julia, the train driver and Anna each experiences a random event that gives greater meaning to their life.’ Discuss.
11. ‘Nick and Meryl come together only out of their fears of loneliness and death.’ Discuss.

Demonstrating an understanding of key themes/ideas/social values
1. Fear and anxiety are endemic in contemporary society and must be controlled and harnessed for a healthy life. Is this a central idea in Look Both Ways?
2. Out of nowhere comes either happiness, despair or somewhere in-between. Is this true of Look Both Ways?
3. Facing up to responsibilities is a fundamental tenet of human experience. Do you agree?
4. ‘Look Both Ways affirms death as a part of life.’ Discuss.
5. ‘Look Both Ways is a film about survival.’ Discuss.
6. Meryl says: “Maybe it was meant to be.” Discuss the film’s message on the role of fate.
7. ‘Look Both Ways challenges the norms of standard male-female relationships.’ Do you agree?
8. ‘Look Both Ways critiques how the media bombards people with messages about death.’ Discuss.
9. ‘Look Both Ways reveals that fear and anxiety are endemic in contemporary society and must be controlled and harnessed for a healthy life.’ Discuss.
10. ‘The film shows that out of nowhere comes either happiness or despair.’ Do you agree?
11. ‘The strength and appeal of Look Both Ways is that it presents a social portrait of ordinary people in ordinary circumstances.’ Discuss.
12. The film demonstrates that facing up to responsibilities is a fundamental tenet of human experience.’ Do you agree?
13. Look Both Ways persuades us that it is when all seems lost and pointless that the most profound life lessons are learned.’ Do you agree?
14. ‘Each person’s death affects all of us in some way.’ Discuss with reference to Look Both Ways.'
15. ‘The film demonstrates that death is a universal human experience.’ Discuss.
16. ‘This text shows that, ultimately, we must all face the consequences of our actions.’ Discuss.
17. 'Look Both Ways shows that a fear of death can prevent people from living fully.’ Discuss.
18. ‘Although speaking the truth can be difficult, the text shows that people should be honest with one another.’ Discuss.
19. ‘Look Both Ways shows that men find it harder to deal with suffering and emotions than women.’ Discuss.

Developing and justifying a detailed interpretation of the text
1. ‘Look Both Ways shows that life is always worth living.’ Discuss.
2. ‘Look Both Ways is an optimistic film.’ Do you agree?
3. “I suppose everyone has to witness something ghastly one day.” ‘Look Both Ways argues that in the end it is impossible to prevent personal suffering.’ Do you agree?
4. The strength and appeal of Look Both Ways is that it presents a social portrait of ordinary people in ordinary circumstances. Do you agree with this interpretation of the text?
5. “Contrary to your own belief, you do hold fate in your own hands.” Does Look Both Ways show this to be true?

How the director constructs meaning questions
1. How does the director, Sarah Watt, convey the importance of looking both ways in her film Look Both Ways?
2. ‘The director of Look Both Ways employs silences to convey messages just as much as dialogue.” Discuss.
3. How does the use of visual art forms, such as painting, contribute to the impact of Look Both Ways?
4. ‘In Look Both Ways, features such as silence and noise are used to emphasise how life can change so quickly.’ Discuss.
5. ‘The animation and photomontages mean that we learn about Nick and Meryl more than other characters in the film.’ Discuss.
6. ‘The use of parallel narratives is an effective strategy that complements the story of Meryl and Nick.’ Do you agree?
7. How does Look Both Ways represent the fears and anxieties of its central characters Meryl and Nick?
8. ‘The rain reflects the tears of the characters.’ Do you agree?

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