English 758 exercises

1. Description exercise (200-300 words).  The object of this exercise is for you to describe in detailed and specific language the key elements of Cukor's version of the speech or passage you've chosen as your focus.  Focus not on offering an interpretation, but on describing what you see and hear as accurately and precisely as you can.  You might focus on:

You cannot discuss everything you see and hear, so focus on what is most significant within the passage.  You will find that this exercise is easiest to complete right after you've seen the film.  This is due at class time on February 6, 2002.
 

2.  Film comparison exercise (200-300 words).  The object of this exercise is for you to compare and contrast two film performances of the same passage.  Compare a passage from Zeffirelli's film with a similar passage from Luhrmann's film.  Your goal is to identify the most significant ways in which these film performances are similar and different.
You might focus on–

These films are similar and different in many ways, so focus your discussion on those elements most significant for the interpretation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  Once again, avoid using language that brings value judgments into play;  do not suggest or imply that one film is better than the other.  This is due at class time on February 13, 2002.
 

3. Style exercise (200-300 words).  The object of this exercise is for you to make a relatively specific observation about the cinematic style of Welles's Othello film as a whole.  That observation should be concern something that is not immediately apparent to a casual viewer of the film.  You should look for repeated patterns throughout the film, and offer examples from several different scenes to support your observation.
You might focus on–

Remember that you may find several patterns operating in the film;  choose the one you think is the most significant for establishing Welles's interpretation of the Othello story.  Once again, avoid using language that implies a value judgment about Welles's film.  This is due at class time on February 25, 2002.
 

4. Script and film exercise (200-300 words).  The object of this exercise is for you to compare a passage of Shakespeare's script to how it is handled within the film.  Focus on comparing the script to the particular performance of it given within Burge's  film.  You will need to combine close description of details with comparison and contrast.  Avoid making value judgments about the differences or similarities between the script and the film.
You might focus on–

You cannot discuss every similarity and difference between the script and the filmed performance, so focus on describing the most important similarities and differences as specifically and precisely as you can.  Avoid using language that brings value judgments into play.  Avoid words like, for example, "effective" or "not effective," "enhances," "deviates" or "detracts from";  instead prefer more neutral terms like "adds," "changes," or "revises."  This is due at class time on March 4, 2002.