Dr. Lewis' Academic Website

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Assignment 1: Warm Bodies Review

Write a short review for the film, Warm Bodies (2013). The review should:

  • provide the basic metadata,
  • give a short outline of the plot,
  • and give an opinionated review.
The review need only be one or two paragraphs long.

Assignment 2: Romeo and Juliet Review

Write a short review for the film, Romeo and Juliet (2013). 

Assignment 3: Romeo and Juliet - Narrative Structure

Outline the Narrative Structure in Romeo and Juliet (2013). Decide whether it has a three act, four act, or five act structure. Give a summary of the events in each act and remember to include relevant terminology like "exposition", "rising action", "turning point(s)", "climax", "falling axtion", "denouement".

Assignment 3: An Essay on Romeo + Juliet

Write an essay in which you explore some cinematic narrative device(s) of the film Romeo + Juliet (1996). Make sure that your essay follows the proper academic essay format. The essay should include:

  • an introductory paragraph that contains
    • some background information to the movie (including metadata),
    • a clear thesis statement,
    • and a scope of what you will discuss in your body paragraphs (i.e., mention your main points);
  • an appropriate number of body paragraphs, each containing a topic sentence (based on the main points you mentioned in your introduction);
  • a concluding paragraph that
    • reviews your thesis statement,
    • summarises your essay,
    • and concludes with a final thought;
  • and a "References" section that contains the bibliographic information of the film and any other sources you may have consulted, for instance websites, books, etc.



Kratuwurst, Karen. "Movie Analysis: Baz Luhrmann's Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." Helium. 12 May 2007. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://www.helium.com/items/331752-movie-analysis-baz-luhrmanns-shakespeares-romeo-and-juliet>.

Luhrmann, Baz, dir. Romeo + Juliet. Perfs. Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes. 1996. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film: Movies, Media and Beyond. 2009. Oxford University Press.

"Romeo + Juliet (1996)." Internet Movie Database. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117509/>.

Schrader, Paul, writer. Taxi Driver. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perfs. Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster. 1976. DVD. Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1999.

You can find more information on how to cite your reference entries here:

Assignment 4: Mise en Scène or Sound-in-Film Essay

Write an essay in which you extrapolate on the mise en scène or the use of sound in West Side Story (1961).

Assignment 7: Postmodernism

Write a short essay in which you explain what postmodernism is and how it manifests in the films Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Shakespeare in Love (1998).

Assignment 8: Cinematography & Editing

Select one scene from any of the films we had watched and do a scene description: describe the cinematography and editing, take-by-take. A "take" is an individual camera shot. Your scene description should refer to the the camera height, camera angle, camera distance, and the way the camera is moving, as well as the tempo and transitions between the shots. Also include some interpretations. For instance, if the tempo is fast, explain what you think the director/editor wants to achieve with it; if the camera distance is an Extreme Close-Up, why?; if the camera is shaking (handheld shot), why didn't they use a Steadicam?

Final Paper

Your final paper grade will go towards your final exam grade. For your research paper you need to discuss one film in detail. You may choose any of the following films which we watched after the Midterm Exam. 

Your paper should contain the five following sections: 

Section 1. Introduction 

The introduction should include all appropriate metadata and a short review of the film. The introduction should further provide a preview of what you will do in the rest of the paper. 

Section 2. Narrative Form 

In this section you will do a full explanation of the narrative structure of the film. 

You will divide the film into three, four, or five acts, depending on the film. Films that are based on Shakespeare plays and which follows the play closely will use the Five Act Structure (according to Freytag’s Pyramid). Other films will fit either within the Three Act Structure or Kristin Thompson’s Four Act Structure. You need to choose the narrative structure that best fits the film you have chosen. 

Furthermore, each Act is made up of different scenes. You have to identify the different scenes and provide a précis for each. 

As part of the Narrative Form you need to discuss the different aspects of each Act, indicating, for instance, the exposition, the rising action, the turning points, the climax, and the resolution. 

You will conclude this section by giving a summary of the film’s plot, making reference to both the fibula and syuzhet where appropriate. You could also mention relevant Cinematic Narrative Elements like Parallels, Allusions, and Motifs if appropriate. 

Section 3. Scene Analysis (Scene Exposition) 

For your research paper you have to do an exposition of one scene. An exposition is a detailed description. To do this exposition you have to describe the Mise en Scène, Cinematography, Editing and the use of Sound in the scene. To do it thoroughly break the scene up into all the “takes” (individual camera shots) that constitutes the scene and describe each. The analysis may also include any relevant Cinematic Narrative Motifs. 

Section 4. Film Analysis 

Finally you need to write an essay that discusses some elements in film, like certain motifs, or certain aspects of the Mise en Scène, Cinematography, Editing or the use of Sound that the filmmaker used to convey a specific idea or message. [When choosing the scene for your Scene Exposition (Section 3), it is wise to choose a scene that will illustrate some of the points you want to make for your Film Analysis in this section (Section 4).] 

Section 5. Conclusion 

Conclude your paper by summarizing what you have done and giving a more thorough review of the film than you did in Section 1.

Section 6. References

Remember to include a references section, that details the bibliographic information of your sources.