Week 7: Mobilité sociale, mobilité géographique

Primary film to watch: Qu’Allah bénisse la France (2014)

Where to find: vimeo.

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Secondary film to watch: Nous trois ou rien (2015)

Where to find: TBA.

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Magazine article to have read by Tuesday: Sciences Humaines: Égalité répulicaine et dicriminations

Academic article to have read by Tuesday: “Displaced Mothers, veils in motion, and fatherlands”

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Qu’Allah bénisse la France trailer

 

Nous trois ou rien trailer

Final project

For your final project, you also have 3 possibilities (same as the midterm). You must choose a different option than you did the previous time. You can think of the final project as your “major” in this course and the midterm as your “minor.”

Option A:

Write an article-length critical essay (8-10 pages double-spaced including a 1-2 pages bibliography), think of it as a draft of an article that could be publishable in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Develop original ideas and argue to support a thesis. It should be on both style/aesthetics and content/cultural implications (How do they echo each other?). It should be on one (or several) of the films we saw for the course. Don’t repeat what has been said in class, but build on it and critique it. If you do quote a classmate, cite them. Themes, motifs, characters, objects, music, lighting are all possibilities. Your project could also include a comparison with a film outside of what we watched for this course. If you want to analyze a different French/Francophone film, run the idea by me first. Make sure to use the vocabulary of cinema. The essay must be in French.

On “Conference Day” (Tuesday of week 15), students doing the critical essay will present their projects and findings to the class in a brief presentation. By that point, most of your paper should be written out, but you don’t have to submit it to me yet. You may read some passages from your paper directly, but an engaging intervention would be better for everyone. You can make a slideshow, display screenshots, or have extracts ready to play (but not too long!). You will have 10-15 min (depending how many people are doing it). We’ll reserve a couple of minutes for Q&A/feedback. Afterwards, review and edit based on the feedback you received, and submit your definitive version on the week of finals (date TBA).

Option B:

Create a short film (10-12 minutes) demonstrating skills in several narrative/stylistic techniques. It should be on a theme related to the course (diversity, identity politics, etc.) and respond in an intertextual way to movies we watched for the course or other movies/events that pertain to your topic. If filmmaking is your main interest, this can be a great practice for you. Your film can be fiction, nonfiction, or a multitude of other genres and styles. Creativity, originality and meaningful connections between form and content will be considered when grading. Be mindful and deliberate during your editing process. The language used by your actors/in your situations may be in English, but if it is, you must add French subtitles. French for dialogue is still recommended. Keep it PG-13.

You will need to send me the movie ahead of the “Film Festival Day” (Thursday of week 15), at least 24 hours in advance. It might not be your final cut (because you will receive feedback and suggestions from your peers) but it should be a “final” version. Submit your definitive version by e-mail to me on the week of finals (date TBA).

Option C:

Create a video essay (10-12 minutes). Like for the written essay, it should be on one (or several) of the films we saw for the course. Develop original ideas and argue to support a thesis. The content can be similar to what a written essay would be, but the medium is different. Take advantage of the video format! Your essay can be on style/aesthetics or content/cultural implications (both if possible). Themes, motifs, characters, objects, music, lighting are all possibilities. Your project could also include a comparison with a film outside of what we watched for this course. If you want to analyze a different French/Francophone film, run the idea by me first. Make sure to use the vocabulary of cinema. Your must “narrate” your essay in French.

You will need to send me your video essay ahead of the “Film Festival Day” (Thursday of week 15), at least 24 hours in advance. It might not be your final cut (because you will receive feedback and suggestions from your peers) but it should be a “final” version. Submit your definitive version by e-mail to me on the week of finals (date TBA).

Rubric for the critical essay:

  • Depth of analysis and quality of the arguments………………………………….. 50 pts
  • Use of technical film vocabulary and pertinence of evidence cited……… 30 pts
  • Format convention & clarity of expression………………………………………….. 20 pts

Rubric for the short film:

  • Engagement with the themes and topics of the course………………………. 50 pts
  • Coherent and pertinent use of film techniques………………………………….. 30 pts
  • Originality, overall aesthetic & use of French…………………………………….. 20 pts

Rubric for the video essay:

  • Depth of analysis and quality of the arguments…………………………………… 50 pts
  • Use of technical film vocabulary and pertinence of evidence cited……… 30 pts
  • Style conventions & clarity of your voice over…………………………………….. 20 pts

The total (100 pts) will then be divided by 3.33 for a total weight of 30% on your overall grade.

What I mean by clarity of expression:
This criterion includes the grammatical and mechanical elements of your writing in French, but also the organization of your thoughts. You should take the time to express yourself as clearly and correctly as possible, and to formulate your ideas into a coherent line of analysis. Your are not expected to be fully proficient or fluent. For vocabulary and translations, I recommend you use the website context.reverso.net.

Method for writing an analytical essay: Appendix from Film Art

Examples of video essays:

  • On comparing two movies:
  • On sound effect:
  • On character development:

Midterm project

For your midterm project, you have 3 possibilities (same as the final). You must choose a different option than you will on your final. You can think of the final project as your “major” in this course and the midterm as your “minor.”

Option A:

Write a short essay (4-5 pages double-spaced, no research bibliography needed), think of it as something that could be published online or in a non-academic magazine. Develop original ideas and argue to support a thesis. You can expand on an idea or thought you previously shared in a blog post. It can be on style/aesthetics or content/cultural implications (both if possible!). It should be about one (or several) of the films we saw for the course. Don’t simply repeat what has been said, but build on it and critique it. If you do quote a classmate, cite them. Themes, motifs, characters, objects, music, lighting are all possibilities. Your project could also include a comparison with a film outside of what we watched for this course. If you want to analyze a different French/Francophone film, run the idea by me first. Make sure to use the vocabulary of cinema. The essay must be in French.

Option B:

Create a short film (4-8 minutes) demonstrating skills in several narrative/stylistic techniques. It should be on a theme related to the course (diversity, identity politics, etc.) and respond in an intertextual way to movies we watched for the course or other movies/events that pertain to your topic. If filmmaking is your main interest, this can be a great practice for you. Your film can be fiction, nonfiction, or a multitude of other genres and styles. Creativity, originality and meaningful connections between form and content will be considered when grading. Be mindful and deliberate during your editing process. The language used by your actors/in your situations may be in English, but if it is, you must add French subtitles. French for dialogue is still recommended. Keep it PG-13.

Option C:

Create a video essay (4-8 minutes). Like for the written essay, it should be about one (or several) of the films we saw for the course. Develop original ideas and argue to support a thesis. You can expand on an idea or thought you previously shared in a blog post. The content can be similar to what a short essay would be, but the medium is different. Take advantage of the video format! Your essay can be on style/aesthetics or content/cultural implications (both if possible). Themes, motifs, characters, objects, music, lighting are all possibilities. Your project could also include a comparison with a film outside of what we watched for this course. If you want to analyze a different French/Francophone film, run the idea by me first. Make sure to use the vocabulary of cinema. Your must “narrate” your essay in French.

Rubric for the short essay:

  • Depth of analysis and quality of the arguments…………………………………. 50 pts
  • Use of technical film vocabulary and pertinence of evidence cited……… 30 pts
  • Clarity of expression…………………………………………………………………………… 20 pts

Rubric for the short film:

  • Engagement with the themes and topics of the course……………………… 50 pts
  • Coherent and pertinent use of film techniques………………………………….. 30 pts
  • Originality, overall aesthetic & use of French…………………………………… 20 pts

Rubric for the video essay:

  • Depth of analysis and quality of the arguments…………………………………. 50 pts
  • Use of technical film vocabulary and pertinence of evidence cited……… 30 pts
  • Style conventions & clarity of your voice over…………………………………… 20 pts

The total (100 pts) will then be divided by 5 for a total weight of 20% on your overall grade.

What I mean by clarity of expression:
This criterion includes the grammatical and mechanical elements of your writing in French, but also the organization of your thoughts. You should take the time to express yourself as clearly and correctly as possible, and to formulate your ideas into a coherent line of analysis. Your are not expected to be fully proficient or fluent. For vocabulary and translations, I recommend you use the website context.reverso.net.

Method for writing an analytical essay: Appendix from Film Art

Examples of video essays:

  • On comparing two movies:
  • On sound effect:
  • On character development:

Leading class discussion

Once during the semester, you will be the “class facilitator” for the day. You will sign up on a Google doc that will be shared on the first day (first come, first serve; look at the list of movies based on your interests, look at your calendar, and choose wisely!).

You responsibilities will be to introduce the day’s main topics with a 5-10 minute introduction and then lead the class discussion with open-ended debate questions. Try to initiate respectful engaging conversations. See this as a way for you to practice teaching. You can create a Powerpoint and/or bring along additional multimedia material you want to show the class. If you bring examples from other movie clips or YouTube videos, email them to me ahead of time (at the latest the day before).

For that whole session, expect to remain the “center of gravity” guiding us through the day (it’s not simply a 5-10 min presentation + questions!). Regardless of your future job goals, public speaking is very important. Playing “teacher” may seem daunting, but don’t panic!—You can stay seated and see yourself as a class “TA” for the day. You are not expected to be an expert on the day’s topic. It’s not about the answers, it’s about the better questions (instead of yes/no questions, try to engage the class and learn from each other!).

  • If you’re facilitating on Tuesday, the class will be mostly introductory. Clarify who the filmmaker is, who the actors are, what perspectives/points of view they have, techniques used, style, personal backgrounds, intentions, etc. Tuesday is more of a Film Studies day. 
  • If you’re facilitating on Thursday, the class will be more analytical and open-ended. We’ll cover the cultural and social implications. Feel free to bring in knowledge and experience you may have with other contexts/countries. This is more of a Cultural Studies day.

Whether you are presenting on Tuesday or Thursday, you are expected to have seen both the primary and secondary film of that week, and to have read the additional reading. Usually we will discuss the secondary film more on Thursdays, but feel free to mention it on Tuesday. Whether on Tuesday or Thursday, feel free to bring in points from the reading to see how the film and the essay/interview respond to each other. Not everyone in the class will have seen the secondary film, so walk us through it and draw some parallels with the primary film. You can email the other student presenting the same week as you to make sure there is no overlap between your talking points.

For that week, you won’t need to do a blog post at all.

You will be evaluated on your personal analysis and contextualization of the film(s) (10 pts) and on your ability to moderate a healthy and constructive class discussion (10 pts) for a total of 20 pts. I wouldn’t blame it on you if the class is more silent than usual that day. What I am grading is rather your capacity to integrate your own reading of the film to a larger class that you orchestrate. No matter what, I will still be there to help you guide the discussion and take over if you’ve exhausted your conversation topics.

 

Weekly blog posts

You will need to “blog” and analyze a theme, motif or scene once per week from the film(s) we are watching that week. A successful post will identify, locate (via timestamp) and comment on an aspect that was striking to you and that you want to discuss more in class. No need to do a full-blown analysis; instead, tease what will you say. Everyone should have read others’ blog posts before class.

Feel free to propose theories, muse, ask questions, or draw connections with other films or material. We will discuss impressions and opinions in class, don’t just blog “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it.” One strong paragraph (approx. 200 words) is good.

Blog posts are due on Monday night by 10 pm. If you miss this deadline, you can watch the secondary movie and do a blog post on this one by Wednesday night 10pm instead. No matter what, you are responsible for watching the primary film at the very least each week.

On the week when you’re presenting, you don’t have to blog at all. Keep your thoughts and arguments for when you will be leading class discussion.

This running assignment will be graded as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” each week.