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Specific guidelines: Prior to viewing this film
, familiarize yourself
with the historical context in which the film
, The Pianist, is situated.
View the film
several times. Concentrate on major organizing segments
or scenes and significant visual and sound messages. Select one major
segment or scene [about ten minutes] for careful analysis. Complete a
detailed sight-sound skim [i.e., a "T" chart summarizing the visual and
sound elements] for this segment. Use information from this analysis
to compose paragraphs which answer each of these questions: What are the
messages of the film
? How do the visual and sound components
communicate these messages?
Carefully examine the content, production, and reception of the
. Find and use evidence from at least two scholarly assessments of the
treatment of the subject matter, and at least five articles and reviews
that deal with the production and reception of the film
Useful sources include: "Film Reviews
." American Historical Review
." The Journal of American History.
Use information from these sources to compose paragraphs which
discuss the following questions. What influences [background of the
-makers, agencies of government, film
industry, political and social
climate] helped shape the messages of this film
? How did various audiences
critics, the public] react to and evaluate the film
Reexamine your analysis of the messages of the film
your findings about its content, production, and reception. Use the
following questions to think about and evaluate the film
as a representation
of historical personalities, eras, events, and themes. Then compose
paragraphs which discuss each question.
To what extent does the film
present a thoughtful, coherent, and
historically sound interpretation of the individuals, issues, and events
portrayed? To what extent are the characterizations and relationships
depicted in tune with the historical period, or have they been modernized
to appeal to contemporary audiences? How would you evaluate the film
as an interpretative representation of the past?
Assemble your analysis and evaluation of the film
. Include an
initial paragraph which introduces the film
, indicates your reasons for
selecting it, and communicates your overall assessment. Use foot or end
notes to credit all sources of words, information, and ideas. Attach the
sight-sound skim and a Bibliography or Works Cited identifying sources
used. The film
is The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski and starring
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