Weekly Reaction Paper

A written 1-2 page reaction paper on the films viewed in each class will be due each week. The papers are due the week after the viewing. Students will be allowed to skip one reaction paper over the course of the term. The reaction papers should convey the student's own analysis and views of the film while also referencing that week's readings and class discussion.

No reaction papers will be accepted late unless a student is ill or there is some other documented emergency. Students must contact the instructor before the paper's due date.


Please write a 5-7 page paper on one of the following. Draw on written materials from the class as well as your own observations of the films you will be discussing.

  1. What are the parallels and differences between the work of French director, Jean Rouch, (sometimes referred to as "cinema verite") and the work of direct cinema proponents centered in the United States? How are these parallels and differences expressed, not only in terms of their ideas and theories of filmmaking, but in the construction of the films themselves? What sorts of "truth" does each hope to capture?
  2. Write an essay exploring the various ways that culture has been documented on film in this class thus far. What range of motivations have been expressed by the filmmakers you have seen? How do the different viewpoints of the filmmakers find expression in their choice of subject as well as filmstyle? Are there certain perspectives you feel to be more helpful than others?