Instructions: The purpose of this project is to demonstrate your ability to appreciate film on an analytical level and to be able to discuss it's religious dimensions. You are not exploring your own faith perspective, but instead that of film from the academic perspective. Often people assume I study theology when I say I teach religious studies, so I explain that I'm not teaching about God, but instead those who believe in God and the cultural moments and artifacts that come from that system of belief. Film is one of those artifacts we look at. You will pick one of our “optional viewing” films and analyze it for its larger religious meaning, utilizing the skills you gained from your several screening reports and larger understanding of religion from our lectures and readings. Our “optional” films are any film in our D2L “Access Films” module or that are not required, as well as those in our syllabus under "optional". If you want to include a new film currently playing in the theater, or a film I haven’t considered yet, just email me to make sure it will work. I usually say yes and sometimes add it to our optional films list. Do not write about required films, as we’ve already dealt with those in our screening reports. Papers written about required films will simply not be graded. Basic requirements: 5-6 pages (does not include bibliography) Proper formatting: Double spacing, page numbers, tab each new paragraph. Times Roman font, 1 inch margins, 12 inch font size. APA or Chicago formatting for citations A works cited page. For proper citation style, see this website: Proper formatting guide Step 1: Watch an Optional Film Watch an optional film that is labeled “optional” in our syllabus or in our “Access Films” module in D2L. Watch the film carefully in one sitting, taking notes as to what struck you as most significant in what the director/s is/are doing. Contemplate how transitions, cinematography, angles, lighting, mise en scene, etc are all being used to create religious. Step 2: Apply your Analytical Skills Work through the film utilizing the skills you've gained from your screening reports. Take some time to think through the potentials these new analytical skills have in interpreting your film, and start to play with each approach to film. Explore some of the questions the film presents and see what presents itself. For example, you could read some interviews from the director, or research a particular character, or you could learn more about the story behind the film, and then begin to analyze using past screening report themes. Also, is this film based on a true story, or a book, a familiar tale? Why was this film made? Let your ideas germinate, and watch the film again. Step 3: Let's Start Writing! This Paper is to have a creative title. Make sure your name and course number are also on the paper. Film titles should be italicized or underlined. Do not place them within “quotation marks.” The film’s date (the date of its release) should appear in parentheses after the title the first time you refer to it. It is better to refer to a character by the character’s name rather than the name of the actor; if you want to identify the actor, place their name in parentheses after the character’s name. Formulate your thesis statement and articulate it at the end of your first paragraph. Use course vocabulary and themes (ie., mise en scene, sound, cinematography, etc) in formulating your ideas. The director carefully chooses between visual and sound elements to control the manifestation of the plot and to create meaning. This is an analytical paper about the deeper meaning of a film, so you want to do more than summarize this film. You are to look deeper to find the religious meaning of the film that the director is trying to convey. You are to show us how they did this and if they were effective or not. Remember, our understanding of “religion” in this class is broad and can be found in secular films that never explicitly mention anything religious. Step 4: Write your body paragraphs Develop your body paragraphs. Each paragraph should deal with a different theme that supports your central thesis. Each theme should have supportive evidence. We are not making up information here, but grounding it in supportive evidence from the film. Remember, good writing is rewriting, so it's ok if your paper doesn't read well right off the bat. Good writing, like film, comes through editing. Since we are dealing with finding religious meaning in film, you should have a definition as to what this actually means. Make sure to be explicit about this. Don't leave us guessing and don't assume we are on the same page. Your definition should be early on in your paper, and should coincide with your thesis. This essay needs to address visual and audible aspects of the film as though they are part of the plot. For example, how does a Dutch Tilt shot move the plot along, or montage, long shots, and lighting, etc? The unravelling of plot goes well beyond words and includes everything you see, even the choice of actors. Think about all we have learned so far in our screening reports and utilize those skills in this paper. It is expected that your evidence for your ideas come out of all that you have learned these past several weeks When novices review films, they seldom get into technical details, since they see little more than plot and story. You are no longer a novice, and are expected to pay close attention to this interplay between image, sound, and word. Get below the surface to understand more than the plot. Step 5: Finish things up Develop a concluding paragraph. Bring it all together. Make it so I can't misunderstand your main points. At this point, don't bring up anything new summarize all that you have already dealt with, but in a way that drives home your main thesis. Double check to make sure you cited your sources properly! Plagiarism depresses me and earns you a zero on the assignment. Use this source for how to properly format: Purdue OWL Assemble your bibliography using Chicago or APA formatting. I'm familiar with both, so either is fine. College level writing is expected. If you need support, set an appointment with UArizona's Writing Center. Step 5: Revision Process and Final Submission Gen Ed courses require a peer-review revision process. On the given date outlined in our course schedule, you will turn your rough draft into our class "Discussion" link. Students will then pick a student paper to review. These reviews will follow a specific rubric that will be outlined in the prompt. Review another student paper. Revise your own paper according to this student peer review and your new skills as a reviewer. Submit your final paper by the due date.