Answer the following questions with a short essay, about 300 words in length, that incorporate specific scenes or sections of any film you discuss and cite any readings you deem appropriate. For the sake of simplicity, citations consisting of an author and page number(s) in parentheses, e.g. (Rabinowitz 49) or (Turvey 79–80), will suffice. There’s no need for a bibliography unless you use sources not listed on the course schedule of the syllabus.

Clearly indicate which question you are answering. Please bring a hard copy of your responses to class on Thursday, October 16.

Each question is worth 25 points.

  1. In his landmark essay on early cinema, Tom Gunning notes how Ferdinand Leger saw the cinema’s greatest potential in “making images seen.” Compare two films we’ve screened in class that most utilize the medium’s potential for “showing something,” as the early cinema had once done, instead of following what Leger called the “mistaken path” of the novel or theater.
  2. Malcolm Turvey comments that Entr’acte (1924), a film made and exhibited as a part of a Dadaist performance, “seems to be engaged in a sweeping attack on bourgeoisie society and to exemplify the anarchy and nihilism typically associated with Dada” (79). How does Entr’acte attack “the values of bourgeois modernity?”
  3. Surrealist painter Salvador Dali described Un Chien Andalou as a “film without any artistic intention whatsoever” (Turvey 114). According to Turvey, how does Un Chien Andalou “bypass the prejudices and distortions of human subjectivity and reveal reality objectively in all its inexplicable, surreal strangeness” (115). Please include references to the specific images and the temporal structure of the film.
  4. According to Lauren Rabinowitz, Maya Deren “continuously attacked the Hollywood film industry’s artistic, political, and economic monopoly over American cinema throughout the 1940s and 1950s.” With reference to at least one Maya Deren film, how did she challenge the conventions of Hollywood filmmaking by either appropriating or rejecting those conventions?