Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Practice SAC

Let's recap the things I want you to remember:
1. It is not a "movie". It is a film , a film narrative, a melodramatic film or suitable equivalent.
2. Write the title as Look Both Ways. Note three capital letters and underline it.
3. Do not write about Meryl's animations as if they are all the same and serve the same purpose. We have decided there are 3 distinct types and that this should be acknowledged: eg. the ones that show fear of unexpected death; the ones which involve water and show fear of loneliness and literally drowning in her own life; and the animations involving the indigenous boys. Not only do you need to be able to refer to specific examples of animation, you need to be able to discuss the context in which they occur.
4. Similarly, I do not want to see the photomontage sequences involving Nick lumped together. Be specific about the content of the example you are using and indicate when it occurred in the film. What was he thinking, feeling, doing at the time? Same with the flashbacks to Jim. Describe the content and what Nick is doing when they occur.
5. Make sure you can use film terminology successfully. You are all referring to animation and photomontage correctly. Make sure you use the term mise en scene correctly. Discuss framing, dialogue, physical expression, silence, lyrics, soundtrack, costuming etc where appropriate.
6. Review the themes/ideas covered in class. Make sure you can write one each of them.
7. Memorise quotes. Some of you have been that focused on getting the film terminology right that who have forgotten to quote. Remember I like the "weave" - short quotes woven into your argument. As part of your study list quotes under headings for each character and theme. If you have a how the director constructs meaning question which quotes are going to be most appropriate.
8. Don't simplify the characters. eg. Meryl is not simply scared of death per se. What is she afraid of? Andy is not simply an angry man. How is his character illuminated by Cathy and Anna? Mise en scene?
9. Make sure you choose the right question for you. Some of you have not fully understood how a thematic essay differs from an essay focusing on a character. If you do not understand the difference do not do it. Choose a type of question that you have done well on in practice.
10. Go in with a clear idea of Watt's overall message. Last year I attended the funeral today of a wonderful man who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and told he had two weeks to live. Instead he had 90 days and the rare opportunity to have input into his funeral service. His message was clear. Life is precious. Live each moment to the full for you never know what is around the corner. Living fully means having the courage to forge deep and meaningful relationships with family, friends and the community and maintain them as your top priority. His wife spoke of how he spent his last 90 days living - not dying. He chose to spend time with people and say the things he needed to say before he died. He was looking both ways and determining the course of his life until the end. I thought of Joan. I will remember him for how he lived - not how he died.

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