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Film Appreciation: Comprehensive Analysis

Film Appreciation: Comprehensive Analysis

Film AppreciationAdaptation

  • Directed by Spike Jonze
  • Written by Charlie Kaufmann

Cast of characters:

  • Charlie Kaufmann – the protagonist
  • Donald – Charlie’s brother
  • Susan Orlean – the author of The Orchid Thief
  • John LaRoche – the orchid thief
  • Valerie – Film producer
  • Amelia – Charlie’s primary love interest (the british musician)

Quick note: This film employs fictional variations of some real people, while other characters are totally fictional. For example, Charlie Kaufmann is a real person, and wrote this film as well as Being John Malkovich (which was also directed by Spike Jonze). Susan Orlean is a real writer and she wrote an award winning book called the Orchid Thief. However, Donald Kaufmann is completely fictional, as are numerous side characters in this story. This blend of real and unreal is actually important to your overall understanding of a film that explores the personal creative trials involved in crafting a Hollywood script.Respond to each question with a short essay of about 4-6 sentences. Provide meaningful examples from the film and reference terms from the notes in supporting your claims. You will be evaluated based on your usage of terminology, insight into the film(s), the reasoning behind your response, and grammar/ spelling / clarity. Strong answers will be supported by examples from the film. You may do a video essay if you choose.

This paper is worth 100 points (25% of your final grade)

This assignment must be submitted to canvas.

Each question is worth 10 points. A strong, accurate, and well supported answer will get 10 points. An answer that is accurate but not well supported, or an answer that is well supported but inaccurate, is worth 8-9 points. An answer that is on topic but both inaccurate and poorly supported is worth 7 points. An answer that is off topic but well supported is worth 6 points. An answer that is off topic and poorly supported is worth 3 points. No answer is worth 0 points.

Poor organization of the paper will result in a 10 point deduction. Number your answers or separate them into paragraphs.

Questions (there are 10 questions, please answer them all)

1. Are these performances realistic, theatrical, or a mix of both styles? Explain why this choice of style was made for this film.

2. How does the montage below, which occurs early in the film, introduce Charlie’s crisis as a writer as well as the themes in the film overall?

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVFoaUowVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBP S0tOTgxZTQ4MjIxZjUzMzdhYzQ3ODM1MjI3YjI4M2VmZDJiOTRmODgzNQ.mp4

3. Breakdown and analyze the significance of the camera movement from the clip below. How is lighting and motion different in this scene than the rest of the film and why?

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVJXajUwVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBPS 0tY2RjZGYxMjBmNjE1MmYwMGZmY2ViYTA3ZWQ3NDdjYTYwZGFjYTg0ZQ.mp4

4. Explain the subtext of this dialogue between LaRoche and Susan in the scene below and elaborate on how it informs our understanding of character and theme.

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVFvbjUwVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBPS 0tMzgxYmIzMWIwNDRiMjEyNDEwOTRlZjQ2MzFlYWZjMjI0ODE1YzI4Nw.mp4

5. Examine the montage below and discuss how the editing of this sequence contributes to our understanding of the film’s core themes?

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6. How does composition and lighting in the scene below inform the development and personal struggles of Charlie’s writing journey at this point in the film?

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVQxdTUwVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBP

S0tYzIyYjhmMWUxNzg2Yzk0ZmQ1NzBiMDJiZDNkMDQ4YjJhM2QzN2ZjYw.mp4

7. Breakdown the sound design of the scene below. How does sound bring us deeper into the character’s struggles and the film’s themes?

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVM3cjUwVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBP

S0tZWQ3NDFlZjNkOTg3MDIxYmYzNmQ5MWU1NTg0NjMxNjc1MTFiNzVkNw.mp4

8. Discuss the symbolism of the swamp setting in this film. What do characters find there or try to find there, both literally and figuratively?

9. This film does some unusual things with our expectations of narrative structure. How does this film’s use of story beats evolve from the beginning on to the end and what do you think the meaning of this evolution is?

10. What is the meaning of the final image of the film? Break it down with a focus on color, production design, and motion and apply that understanding towards a final thesis for the film.

https://nv.instructuremedia.com/fetch/QkFoYkIxc0hhUVRUdnAwVE1Hd3JCNGhlbVdBP

S0tNDlmYmNhNzkxNTE3ZDJiMWJlNTgzYzllODY1YWU4ZDFkMGZmOWU3Ng.mp4

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