Techniques for representing the face in film

Discussing or referring to at least three films or documentaries from the list below (those marked with ** are on reserve), consider some of the different techniques for representing the face in film, paying close attention to how these celluloid faces are positioned or “framed,” how they interact, and, above all, how they have been interpreted.


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Writing Guidance:

Your answer might include reference to the technical aspects of face-production in film (the close-up, framing, lighting, abstraction, distortion, etc.); ideas about expression or emotion; the Hollywood star system; questions of race and gender; the symbolic, social and political messaging of filmic faces; comedic or tragic effects; character development and revelation; etc.
If you wish you may refer to TWO films on the list and ONE other relevant film not included on the list which you have watched. For example, many early silent films including by Georges Méliès are available on YouTube or elsewhere. Or, you can discuss one example from current or recent film-making, including commercial films or “blockbusters.” In both cases you should compare and contrast with two films on the list below.
Create a title for your essay. This should not be descriptive but refer to what you are arguing or contending. I suggest you edit the title when you have completed a good first draft of the essay.
If you discuss a film or clip in some detail please include an still image (preferably in medium resolution), clearly labelled with artist, title, date, medium at the end of the paper under “list of films discussed”


Notes on Format:

Word doc. (best) or pdf [typed]

Front page: include full name, class, professor, Reader: Ifan Chen

Length: min. 650 words
Use MLA or Chicago style for format and notes
Include a bibliography at the end of sources read and cited
Create a title for your essay.
You may use lecture notes, texts in the Reader or any relevant outside sources including books on course reserve


List of three Screening Sessions: (better to choose 2 in the same session and 1 in other sessions)

Screening Session A: Early Cinema, Silent Goddesses: Vertov, Kuleshov, Balázs, Dreyer
Georges Méliès, The Eclipse (The Courtship of the Sun and the Moon) 1907
Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera (1928) and One Sixth of the World (1926)
Carl Theodore Dreyer, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1927), 82 mins. **
Ray Enright, Dames (1934)


Screening Session B: Experiments and Genres
Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Ballet Mécanique (1923-24)
Documentary on Mount Rushmore, written and Produced by Mark Zwonitzer **


Screening Session C: Fellini, Cassavettes, Bergman, Antonioni, Godard
Federico Fellini, Amacord (1974) **
Ingmar Bergman, Persona (1966) **
John Cassavettes, Faces (1968) **
Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorrin, Letter to Jane (1972) **

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