World Cinema Essay Planning

What might I be asked in the exam?

Here is a list of all the World Cinema Questions  that have ever cropped up.

What are these questions about?

In pairs you should go through and see if you can spot any repetition / trends in questions that have arisen in previous years.

Alongside each question try to summarise what it is asking you about.

OK – where do I start?

You should then pick 4 different questions and complete 5 minutes plans for each.

You could do this as a mind map for example.

When planning –

  • start with your significance – what are the points that you want to make (aim for 4 different ideas). (S)
  • then think What examples would be great to back that idea up? 2 per point would be great (E)
  • then – what terms can I use in this example and what meaning is being communicated to the audience. (T/A)
  • and finally – how can I link this idea and analysis back to my initial point in the paragraph & the question as a whole. (Q)

You should then pick one of these to plan more thoroughly for a timed essay. Which you will complete without notes!

Postcards from Rio & Rome

Postcard from… 

You are going to send a postcard home from the films version of the city we are in.

This should of course include multiple images from the films:

  • iconic images
  • locations & settings
  • The atmosphere
  • characters you have met
  • The events you witnessed (from the film)

Rome in The Bicycle Thieves


Rio de Janeiro in City of God


World Cinema Revision 5 – Narrative & Setting

REPRESENTATION OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT:

Another question, which crops up regularly is something like this:

Explore how stylistic choices contribute to the representation of the urban experience in the films you have studied for this topic.


What is the importance of cinematography and/or editing in communicating issues of power, poverty and conflict in the films you have studied for this topic?

These essays require you to have a really good knowledge of the specific micro techniques that the directors use to communicate their themes (messages and values) about the nature of the city.

Postcard from… 

You are going to send a postcard home from the films version of the city we are in.

This should of course include multiple images from the films:

  • iconic images
  • locations & settings
  • The atmosphere
  • characters you have met
  • The events you witnessed (from the film)

 

NARRATIVE

Here is a worksheet on narrative which explains it more precisely.

World Cinema Revision 2 – Cinematic Movements

CINEMATIC STYLE (ITALIAN NEO REALISM AND CINEMA NOVO)

A typical question which comes up in the exam is something like:

Discuss how far the ‘look’ created by cinematography and editing contributes to the impact of the films you have studied for this topic.


‘To find an international audience, films about local and particular problems need to use mainstream techniques such as those associated with Hollywood cinema.’ How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the films you have studied for this topic?

As noted above the best way to approach this sort of essay is using evidence of the cinematic movements that the films have used in their style.

CINEMA NOVO & ITALIAN NEO REALISM

Same as with context make a copy of this template and fill in the features of the particular movement and where you can see evidence of them in the films.

ANALYSIS / DEBATE

There are some nice debates to be had – especially with City of God – that maybe the style of the film outweighs and simplifies the themes of the film. This would be a useful idea to develop your analysis and include in your introduction and conclusion.

Read the articles in the pre reading and pick out 3 key quotes that you can use in your revision to help your analysis. Consider how The Bicycle Thieves fits within this as well.

Note: Please do not refer to the Bicycle Thieves as ‘boring’ just because the cinematic style is less obvious / energetic.

World Cinema Revision 1 – CONTEXT

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONTEXT

One type of question that may arise is about the context of how the films were made based on the times they were made – in other words – CONTEXT.

Here are a couple of examples of context type questions.

How far have your contextual studies been important in understanding the specific urban locations and life experiences represented in the films you have studied for this topic?

How far should the films you have studied for this topic be seen in relation to their particular time and place?

What are the relevant contextual elements that you need to be aware of? 

In pairs / 3s decide on 5 key areas of contextual significance for the Bicycle Thieves. We will then discuss these and decide on the most important ones as a class.

Now do the same for City of God – this always seems a bit harder because it’s more contemporary – but there are still loads of contextual choices in the film.

How can I evidence these? 

Make a copy of this template and put in the class agreed contexts for TBT & COG. Now consider specific examples from the films that you would use to evidence these. Remember your examples must come from a key moment in the film and should include a term – so add those in now.

So now you have formed the basics of a context essay – the key context will form your point (your significance – that so what – the reason you’re writing that paragraph) and then you have your micro example and term…

Now all you need is to analyse the meaning that example communicates / implies / connotes for the audience and link it back to the question… simples.

Pre reading – World Cinema Revision

Here are some articles / videos that will help refresh your minds of some of what you need to know for world cinema

Cinema Novo 

Italian Neorealism

A brief overview of Italian Neo Realism:

Here is a great lecture given by MIT Professor David Thorburn, who covers:

  • The context of post WWII Italy
  • The features and ‘density’ of Italian Neo Realism (28.00 – 34.15)
  • The cinema of Fascist Italy that the film was reacting to

City of God – Treatment of the City

Style over substance – City of God review

Style over Substance City of God extended reading

SPECTATORSHIP REVISION 5 – Past Paper Questions

What might I be asked in the exam?

Here is a list of all the questions that have ever cropped up for Spectatorship & Documentary.

What are these questions about?

In pairs you should go through and see if you can spot any repetition / trends in questions that have arisen in previous years.

Alongside each question try to summarise what it is asking you about.

OK – where do I start?

You should then pick 4 different questions and complete 5 minutes plans for each.

You could do this as a mind map for example.

When planning –

  • start with your significance – what are the points that you want to make (aim for 4 different ideas). (S)
  • then think What examples would be great to back that idea up? 2 per point would be great (E)
  • then – what terms can I use in this example and what meaning is being communicated to the audience. (T/A)
  • and finally – how can I link this idea and analysis back to my initial point in the paragraph & the question as a whole. (Q)

You should then pick one of these to plan more thoroughly for a timed essay on Thursday 10th May. Which you will complete without notes!