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Essay Prompt: Please choose a film similar to Juno or Brokeback Mountain, but do not use either film, which takes on a controversial social-political issue and establishes a strong point-of-view favoring one side of a well-known debate.
Demonstrate how the filmmaker used the tools of “cinematic invisibility” to advance the argument being put forward in the film you have chosen. You need to give two very specific examples of the filmmaker’s use of cinematic tools. (Do not use Juno or Brokeback Mountain.)
Scoring: Each example will be awarded 10 points and graded on how well you demonstrate the use of the tool in advancing the argument at the core of the film’s debate. This is not an essay where the you critique a film or write a film review. Instead, it is an analytical essay that asks you to deal in cinematic tools. It is asking you to analyze how the filmmaker of your choice used specific wordless tools to advance the film debate being put forward. Tools: These might include camera lenses, shot composition, lighting, editing, sound effects (not musical score), color transitions, space, match cuts or props for example. Please do not use dialog, wardrobe, hair, make-up or musical score. If there is a cinematic element not included in the list you want to use but you are not sure of, please contact me to confirm you are on the right track.
Recommended Reading
Looking at Movies: Start with reading the Formal Analysis of Juno in Chapter 1. Notice how the discussion talks about the use of camera lenses, camera movement, framing and sound effects for example. These are used to externalize the protagonist’s inner thoughts about the life of her unborn baby and the larger question of abortion. Other chapters that will give you more depth in understanding individual cinematic techniques are 2, 5, 6, 8, 9. Choose 2 cinematic techniques covered by these chapters only. As in the formal analysis of Juno, these techniques might all be used in one scene or alternatively, in different segments of the movie. Make sure to connect the use of the tool to the DEBATED IDEA being advanced. This is important to get full points for your analysis.
Cinematic Storytelling: This book provides 100 case studies of cinematic invisibility uses. It is listed here to provide a resource for those who want to do further research.
Please make sure not to use specific examples from either book. Your examples and analysis need to be your original work.


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