Film Commentaries (Spring 2018)

Due: Sign up for at least 5 total (though do more for extra credit!), emailed to me by Fridays, 5pm, the week the film is screened for the class.

Length and Format: 280-500 words, or if it were a Word doc, it would be 1-2 pages, double spaced. Your commentary can include images and/or video (see my policy on the ethical use of images) but it should incorporate at least 280-500 words of text.

They should be informal commentaries (doesn't need a formal expository structure with intro and conclusion, etc., tone is still serious but more informal and conversational) on the film screened for that week of the course, with specific reference to ideas and debates in the week's readings. All references to the readings should be cited with in-text, paranthetical citation (ie., Lopez 1998: 10). No reference list is needed unless you cite sources outside the syllabus, but all images or video used should have a way for viewers to see their source, title or creator, and if possible, creation date (ie., in a caption, a rollover box, or in-text reference).

Evaluation: Even though these are informal commentaries, this is still a writing assignment, only here you get to experiment with other genres of writing in a less formal setting.  I will evaluate based on (in order of priority):

1) Extent to which you refer to the week's readings and demonstrate clear understanding of basic terms presented in the course;

2) The creativity and originality of your ideas;

3) The clarity of your organization and writing;

In this course, we take a multimedia approach to the anthropology of sex and gender, treating images and video as seriously as we do written texts. These informal commentaries are your chance to try your hand at a different kind of writing--which is no less academically rigorous.

This is not a "film review," but the idea is to critically comment on course films with reference to ideas and debates from the relevant week's readings. We screen a total of 12 films this semester; you must comment on at least 5 of them (those you signed up for). But feel free to do more for extra credit. The film commentaries can thus work as a kind of ongoing journal about the course material. Note that your commentaries will not be shared with anyone unless you want to (feel free to post them on the course blog!).    

Check out these model film commentaries as examples.
They are from three different writers and illustrate three different commentary styles.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 2

Middle Sexes