Film Analysis Paper: 8 pages in length. This paper will count for 30% of your grade. Late papers will be penalized 2/3 of a letter grade per day. ​​ For this paper, choose one of the following five fi

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Film Analysis Paper: 8 pages in length. This paper will count for 30% of your grade. Late papers will be penalized 2/3 of a letter grade per day.


For this paper, choose one of the following five films and write an essay about how it represents issues related to this class: race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Your essay should consider intersectionality: how do these various “categories” of social identity relate to one another in your chosen film?

Also keep in mind the social and industrial contexts of your chosen film while writing your essay.  For example, is your film a Hollywood social problem film from the 1940s, or an independent film from the 1980s?  As such, you should consider questions of authorship, genre, and/or other aesthetic concerns.  Draw on your textbook and classroom experience to help situate your film; if you don’t know anything about it, you should do a little research ( is a quick reference site).

These essays are thus analytical essays that place the given film text within some of its various contexts.  Your analysis will need to be organized around a thesis of your own devising, which might be something as simple as “Film X is a good example of [Film Type Y] because it embodies formal elements that represent diversity issues in [These] ways.”

Close textual reading of you chosen film will produce a better paper.

Choose one of the following films to analyze:

1. ​Fried Green Tomatoes (1991, dir. Jon Avnet)

2. ​Judas and the Black Messiah (2021, dir. Shaka King)

3. ​Minari (2020, dir. Lee Isaac Chun)

4. ​Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017, dir. Martin McDonagh)

5. ​Hustlers (2019, dir. Lorene Scafaria)

Papers will be uploaded to before or during Week 15, due date May 3.

Caveats and Helpful Hints

This assignment is NOT about summarizing the story, NOR is it about describing the film in a shot by shot manner.  You should assume your reader is familiar with the film in question and any story synopsis should brief.


*​Make sure you have seen the film you are going to write about.  Consider watching it twice and taking notes on its form and style.

*​Make sure you understand the assignment. If you have any questions or doubts, contact the teaching assistants or the professor.

*​You may want to prepare an outline before you start to write.


*​Use one-inch margins on all sides of each page.  DOUBLE SPACE your lines.

*​Underline, italicize or CAPITALIZE the titles of the films you discuss. Do not place them in quotation marks. Note that underlining the titles is the preferred method since it allows you to use italics for emphasis.

*​Number the pages in the top right corner, and place your last name on the word file.

*​An original title is not an absolute requirement. However, try to provide one if you can.

*​Put your name, the instructor’s name, the course title, and the date on the title page.


*​Do not use regionalisms, slang, or colloquial language (“kind of,” “sort of,” “like,” etc.)

*​Structure your sentences clearly and precisely. Any claim you make has to be supported with convincing evidence.

*​If a sentence becomes too long, split it into two before it gets out of control.

*​Avoid sentence fragments.  Every sentence needs a subject and a verb.

*​Do not overuse pronouns (he, she, they, etc.). When you do use pronouns, make sure it is clear to what or whom they refer.

*​Avoid repetition.  Don’t make the same point over and over.

*​Avoid contracted forms (use “it is” not “it’s,” “they are” not “they’re,” etc.).


*​Make sure your opening paragraph contains a specific and precisely formulated thesis that anticipates the main points of the argument of the essay.

*​Your paragraphs should reflect a logical development of the thesis.

*​Make sure your argument flows smoothly, with clear transitions between paragraphs and sentences.

*​Support general observations with concrete examples.


*​We are not interested in your personal opinions about the quality of the film you are analyzing.  Whether you enjoyed the film or not is irrelevant to the assignment. Try to be as objective as possible.

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