Assignment Name: Short Written/Visual Exercise #2
File Type + Due Date: Upload your paper as a .doc, .docx or .pdf on or before the due date of Tuesday, May 4 by 11:59 pm
Assignment Type: A Critical Analysis Exercise
Required Length: 2-3 pages
Required Format: Typed, 12 pt. font (no larger or smaller than Times New Roman), double-spaced, 1” margins all around, MLA citation style (if using sources other than Looking at Movies — no need for a “Works Cited” page if you’re only using your textbook as a source). The form & style of writing is up to you, but make sure you fully respond to the task and engage in thoughtful, specific film analysis.
Points Possible + Grading Criteria: 10 points possible; see evaluation rubric below (scroll all the way down)
Task: Compare and contrast the cinematography in A Better Life and Moonlight. Both films are presenting “portraits” of their main character (“Little/Chiron/Black” in Moonlight, and “Carlos” in A Better Life). In doing so, they invite viewers to become immersed in the intimacies of identity.
“Who is you?” is a line from Moonlight—one posed to “Black” from his friend, Kevin. As viewers of this film, we are shown who this man is, and how key moments from his childhood shaped his identity—and this is all shown to us, through the film’s strategic, deliberate cinematography. Similarly in A Better Life, we are shown some key moments in Carlos’ adulthood where he is most vulnerable, strong, and determined. These intimate, visual expressions of identity are painful to watch at points, though transformative for the viewer, hopefully.
In your 2-3 page exercise (typed, double-spaced, font no larger or smaller than 12 pt Times New Roman, 1 inch margins all around), be sure to respond to the following questions and/or key points.
How do directors Chris Weitz (A Better Life) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) use the various elements of cinematography to foster viewers’ identification with and empathy for their main character? What is similar about their visual approaches; what is different? In your response, cite at least two specific examples from each film as they pertain to specific cinematographic elements in each film (camera angles, shot types/proxemics, shot length, lighting, camera movement, color, open/closed framing, and/or composition).
In the final paragraph or sentence of your exercise, tell me in one word or short phrase who you think these characters are based on your experience of “inhabiting” their identity over the course of each film. This is your chance to describe or “diagnose” these characters; likely, your word or short phrase will be/will include an adjective.
The post What is similar about their visual approaches; what is different? appeared first on Assignment Prep.