Sunset boulevard analyses
Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements
write a classical narrative analysis on: Sunset boulevard for Billy Wilder, 1950 ( the film that must be analyzed)
Question: What narrative strategies are used in your chosen scene? How do these strategies reflect a classical approach to film narrative? How do they create meaning for the viewer and reflect larger themes in the film? Your response must ‘think on both sides of the screen’ by considering your film’s classical narrative form in relation to larger contexts such as classical Hollywood film history, genre or the signatures of the director.
Your 3 references must be taken from academic books, book chapters or journal articles. These may be taken from the required and/or further reading materials of the course.
Your classical narrative analysis must use 3 academic references – one of these must include Bordwell and Thompson’s “Narrative as a Formal System”
Your response is to be written up in the form of a short academic essay that makes its citations in a consistent bibliographic style (i.e. the Harvard referencing system).
You must include a reference list/bibliography and a filmography that lists the film or any other audio-visual materials used. This will be shown to you in tutorials.
Note: Essays that do not meet the academic research requirement, those that fail to use the set clip or engage with the Bordwell and Thompson reading will not be eligible to pass.
Assessment: Your will be assessed on the following: your grasp of classical film narrative and Bordwell and Thompson’s discussion of narrative; your ability to analyse a scene in terms of its narrative techniques and their interpretative effects; and your understanding of the place of your chosen film within the larger contexts of film/media history.
Preparation and Advice: film plot description is not a narrative analysis. While you will not be expected to cover every aspect of film narrative, you might want to consider some of the following questions in relation to your chosen scene:
How closely does your scene/film adhere to Classical Hollywood story telling? Is there a larger logic that also informs the film’s narrative form? For example: the genre of
the film such as film noir or directorial authorship.
How does the scene alert us to the characters’ goals and their interior psychology?
What complications/obstacles block the characters’ achieving their goals? Why?
Is the narration of the film restricted or omniscient – subjective or objective? Is it a mixture of these techniques? What are the effects of the mode of narration?
What is the temporal ordering of narrative events? Is there a linear progression to the film or is the temporal ordering of the plot distorted? Why might this be?
Are there many – or any story-events – introduced into the set scene?
How does your scene connect with the main themes of the film?
Is there a clear-cut sense of narrative closure to the film? Why or why not?
What evidence/examples from the scene can you provide to support your claims?