How are the binaries established?

Specific areas to be investigated (sections to include in the paper, clearly marked as such) are as follows. Remember to label each part of these parts of the paper:

1-Introduction. In a couple of sentences, describe the narrative of the film. In a couple more sentences, characterize what you think the film means (e.g., “crime does not pay”) and then give an overview of what dimensions of the film you will examine in your paper (150-200 words).

2-Context. Present information on, for example, box office and critical appraisal (reviews), awards, production history, controversies, and notable figures involved with the film (e.g., director). 150-250 words. Cite sources correctly as needed.

1.Formal analysis of text (notably mise-en-scene). Begin by defining what mise-en-scene entails (see slides used in class) and then unpack it. You may pull details from different scenes in the film, but bear in mind that your paper will be most effective locating details that amplify what you take the film to mean. Recall that we performed this exercise with Elisabeth and Citizen Kane in class. Notice that incorporating still images from the film may work very well here. (400-500 words.)

2. Employ binary oppositions. This will necessarily engender discussing what binary oppositions are; the Fiske PP slide on westerns will help you here. Then select two or three important, widely circulating binaries (rich/poor, urban/rural, man/woman, lawful/lawless, phallically sufficient/phallically insufficient) and discuss how the binaries play out in the film. Make this assignment easy on yourself by selecting important, neon-clear binaries of general interest and not obscure or idiosyncratic ones. How are the binaries established? How are they undermined or complicated during the film (as with Simon LeBon “going native” in the execrable “Hungry Like the Wolf” video)? Where do the binaries stand by the end of the film (how are they resolved)? 400-600 words.

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