Describe about how they demonstrate the differences between realist and formalist conventions.

Make an original argument about one or more films watched in the class so far,
supporting it with concrete evidence from both the film and the relevant readings.
Please read the assignment below carefully. Papers will be graded according to how well
they follow the assignment instructions.
The paper must have a clear, focused thesis (your own main argument), stated in the
introduction, which the body of the paper systematically argues. All papers must cite at
least two course readings in a way that helps to advance your own argument (no random
citations just to meet the requirement).
All papers must include specific evidence from the film(s) that supports your argument.
Descriptions of scenes and shots should show the analytical skills you used in Papers 1-3
of this class. All the films are available through the Digital Content Library.
length: 3-5 pages, double-spaced (about 900-1500 words).
Please consult all of the “Guidelines for Writing Papers” handout (available on Moodle).
Follow those “Guidelines” for citing course readings. No sources outside of course texts
need to be used, but if you do use other sources—either online sources or other books or
articles—you must cite them using either MLA or Chicago Manual of Style form (please
choose one of the links on Moodle). Papers that use any sources without proper use of
quotation marks and citations will receive a “0” (F) for plagiarism, and the student will
be reported to the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.
Please note that these are TOPICS about which you can make a THESIS—these are not
THESES in themselves because they do not yet constitute a specific, original argument.
Feel free to choose a topic not given here, as long as it is about one or more of the films
we’ve watched and relates in some way to course readings and class lectures and
discussions.
(1) Make an argument about how a film tends more toward realism or formalism as those
terms have been defined and used in class lectures and discussions. Or, make a
comparative argument about two films along these lines—for example, about how they
demonstrate the differences between realist and formalist conventions.
(3) Make an argument about how cinematic representations of women and femininity
changed between the Republican era (1911-1949) and the Mao era (1949-1976), using
one of our earlier films for the first period and Red Detachment of Women for the second.
(4) Make an argument about how the cinematic representation of men and masculinity is
different in two or more of the films we’ve watched.
(5) Make an argument about the differences in film technique (mise en scene,
cinematography, editing) between two different types of films we’ve watched—e.g.,
slapstick comedy (Laborer’s Love), historical romance (Romance of the Western
Chamber), maternal melodrama (The Goddess), romantic comedy (Street Angel), art
cinema (Spring in a Small Town, The Hole), critical realism (Crows and Sparrows),
revolutionary cinema (Red Detachment of Women), opera film (Dream of the Red
Chamber), “healthy realism” (Oyster Girl ), or martial arts film (Romance of the Western
Chamber, Project A).
(6) After 1949, China was split between the Communist Party’s People’s Republic of
China on the mainland and the Nationalist Party’s Republic of China on Taiwan. Using
Red Detachment of Women and Oyster Girl, make an argument comparing and/or
contrasting the styles, stories, or ideologies of the cinemas of these two opposing sides.
(7) Discuss how Yellow Earth builds upon, yet fundamentally undermines or subverts, the
conventions of Maoist revolutionary cinema (Chinese socialist realism) as exemplified by
Red Detachment of Women.

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