CS 135 B Contemporary Latino Film Fall 2020
Prompt- Final Paper
Essay Question and Guidelines:
Maria Full of Grace, Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mama Tambien are films structured around a journey; a road film with a companion who shares the adventure but may be at odds with another protagonist. In these stories the protagonists are transformed by the journey and their relationships also change.
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu directed Amores Perros as well as Babel and 21 Grams employing a very distinctive style of storytelling which some people call disjointed, others literary. In Amores Perros as in several of his other films, Iñarritu explores the themes of fate, love, alienation, vulnerability, compassion and inter-connectedness.
In A Fantastic Woman director Sabastian Lelio takes on a story of romance with many of the twists and turns of typical love story. But this film features an enigmatic transgender heroine who shows us what real love and dignity are all about.
Select ONE of the films we have screened for your essay. With the film’s particular scope and approach in mind, discuss one of the themes that emerged in class discussion or in your own reflections. You may do this by discussing a character, a motif, a theme, a set of images, a quote, or any other aspect from the film to “anchor” your point of view. You may further examine the motive of the filmmaker and his or her point of view. Is there a political or social issue he is addressing? What is unique about the to approach the issue? How does the film work? Think about the way the characters’ transformations evolve and how the story is told. What devices does the director employ to draw in the viewer? What brings it to life? Look at the performances, language, script and how the film is shot.
Structure: Your essay must contain a thesis (main argument) that you support with a balance of evidence (scenes/dialog) from the film, the readings and your own analysis. Your introduction should contain your topic and the main ideas/themes you will examine and
layout a “map” of your paper. The essay should flow and develop in a purposeful manner at the “local” level (sentence/paragraph/ overall organization) as well as thematically. While you must demonstrate your perspective and how you arrive at your conclusions, a successful paper will also be reflexive and offer a larger point or further insight beyond “proving” your thesis. We want to see that you are engaged with the subject of the film, its themes, the filmmaker’s approach, and how it speaks to you. That is, what kinds of connections does the film allow you to make? What questions does it raise for you? Can you make a connection between the film and your own experiences?
You must use scenes from the film (dialog and visuals) as evidence to support your thesis.
You can write about any of the following films:
Maria Full of Grace
Y Tu Mama Tambien
A Fantastic Woman
Format: 6 single-sided pages, typed, double-spaced, standard 12- point font, one- inch margin. Include at least two readings which can come from sources outside of the assigned readings. All sources must be cited. Please include a bibliography. Electronic copies due Friday, December 18, via bCourses.
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