Hum 3280: Narrative Film Dr. Perdigao Fall 2011

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HUM 3280: Narrative Film

Dr. Perdigao

Fall 2011
Film Response #10

DUE: Wednesday, November 9th

in hard copy and to
Choose one of the following questions and construct a 1-2 page (250-500 word) typed response. It is not a formal essay but it should demonstrate your knowledge of the texts, both the films and the critical texts on film. Make sure that you do not approach this as a film review; instead, construct an argument about the film, its composition, from individual shots to editing, its historical and cultural contexts, and/or its placement in the history of film, its relationship to other films.

  1. [From Michael! You can thank her whenever.]: In The Breakfast Club, the song “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays a central role in framing the narrative. Offer an argument about how the song creates meaning within the film, offers ways of interpreting the characters, their situations and actions. In what ways is the song used, and to what end? Consider its representation of time and how time is represented in the film cinematographically as well. [My addition: No, you cannot go with the David Cook version. Yikes.]

  1. The Breakfast Club is, in so many ways, a child of the 1980s and its culture. How does the film represent the politics of the day, particularly in terms of American culture in the 1980s? Think beyond choices in style and setting to ideas about a changing American culture that we began to trace in the early years of the twentieth century. How is youth culture being defined at the time? What are the roles that are afforded to male and female adolescents?

  1. Comparing The Breakfast Club to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Sartre’s No Exit raises issues about the setting of the film. The characters are confined within the space of the high school, and, more constrictively, the library. How does The Breakfast Club use mise-en-scène to tell its story? For example, consider how props are used to communicate the characters’ identities as well as their struggles with themselves and each other. What is significant about the use and manipulation of space within the film? You might consider how the characters are shot in relation to each other, how the story unfolds in those terms.

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