Critical Film Analysis Essay
Changing Family Life in Canada
For your final essay, you will draw on the themes and concepts encountered in the course lectures and readings to write a critical analysis of one of the following three films:
Birth of a Family
Hubbard, Tasha. 2016. Birth of a Family. National Film Board.
Heaven on Earth
Mehta, Deepa. 2008. Heaven on Earth. Hamilton-Mehta Productions Inc. and National Film Board.
Available on course reserves at the UTSC library
Shum, Mina. 1994. Double Happiness. Fine Line Features and National Film Board.
Select one film from the list above. The first two films can be accessed from the website of the National Film Board of Canada by clicking on the links provided. There should be an authentication step that asks you to provide your UTORID and password before viewing the film. The third film is available as a DVD on course reserves at the UTSC library. There are DVD players in the library which you may use to watch the film.
Carefully watch the film from the perspective of a sociological observer, keeping in mind the core themes and concepts covered in the course readings and lectures. Take notes on your observations.
Using materials from class, develop a richly detailed analysis of the film’s themes, events, plot, and/or characters. You are not required to analyze the entire film; you may select specific aspects, scenes or characters on which to focus your analysis. Keep in mind that it will be more effective to go into greater depth on a smaller number of topics rather than providing more superficial coverage of a larger number of topics.
Be sure your analysis goes beyond the descriptive. The objective is not to simply describe aspects of the films having to do with Canadian families or to summarize the plot. (You may assume the instructor and TA have seen the films.)
Develop a clear and specific thesis that directly engages the theories and concepts we have discussed this semester. State your thesis in the first paragraph of your paper.
Support your thesis with evidence from the film. Be sure to give specific and detailed examples from the film, such as quotes from the characters or accounts of their actions from specific scenes, in supporting your argument.
No additional reading is required for this assignment. Draw specifically on the books and articles assigned for this course. Refrain from simply quoting another scholar and expecting your reader to understand how that scholar’s work relates to your point. Explicitly draw the connection between their ideas and arguments to your own points.
Format and Submission:
Include a title for your essay.
The essay’s length should be 6 – 8 double-spaced pages. Please use 12-point font and 1 inch margins. Be sure to insert page numbers and do not go over the page limit.
Carefully proofread your essay for typos, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes. Essays will be marked down for errors of these kinds.
Use ASA format for citing the readings and film you discuss. Refer to the following ASA style guide: https://utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/ASA.pdf
To cite a film in a bibliography, use: “Director. Year. Studio.” The bibliographic entry for each film is given above, for example: Shum, Mina. 1994. Double Happiness. Fine Line Productions and National Film Board. The in-text citation would be: (Shum 1994).
The final write-up of your assignment is due as an electronic copy to be submitted on Quercus by 3pm on Monday, December 3rd. To submit your assignment, go to the “Assignments” section of Quercus, then click on “Critical Film Analysis,” then click on “Submit Assignment.” Please make every effort to submit your assignment as a Word document saved with the following file name: Last Name, First Name.
Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:
Ability to construct a precise, well developed, and relevant thesis
Ability to write with a clear, logical organization and structure that is based on developing that thesis
Ability to support your thesis with detailed evidence from the film
Level of understanding and application of the themes, concepts and theories of the course
Composition and mechanics; clear paragraph and sentence structure
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