Pick a film, director, national cinema or topic (like “the untold story of women in early cinema” or “avant-garde cinema”) that you discovered for the first time during the first three episodes of The Story of Film. Do some additional research on the topic: watch the film, read some articles, explore the director, national cinema or topic further. Write a short paper (3-5 pages) exploring the topic you chose further. In your introduction, explain why you chose your topic – what caught your attention? What do you like about this film/director/national cinema? What excites your about it? Write a persuasive paper to convince us that we should take a closer look at the topic you chose.
Some topic ideas (Review the list of films/filmmakers by episode, found under “Course Documents” — it’s a link to The Story of Film: An Odyssey on Wikipedia, which lists the films Cousins references by episode).
– The Untold Story of Women in Early Cinema
– Pick one of the early pioneers, filmmakers, actors/actresses and write a paper about him or her: Thomas Edison, the Lumieres, Alice Guy Blache, Edwin Porter, D.W. Griffith, Ruan Lingyu, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, etc. (see the list of films by episode for more ideas).
– Pick a film that interested you and tell us why we should be interested to; what attracted you to it; why is this film important; what about it is interesting?
– The Rise of Hollywood — write a paper about the development of Hollywood; explore what led to the establishment of Hollywood (why LA/West Coast?, etc.); describe the early years.
– Pick one of the filmmakers or movements (surrealism) who challenged Hollywood during the 1920s — this is from episode three (see the list of films for ideas)