I need support with this Film question so I can learn better.
Choose a film topic that is not directly related to class materials and that pertains to a period since
1950.. The topic does not have to be “significant” (award-winning, famous), but needs to be a rich
opportunity to explore a film movement, political situation, technology, aesthetic, or other key aspect
of history. You can focus on one film or one filmmaker (director, producer, writer, editor,
cinematographer, etc.), or you can look more broadly at a film movement, technology, etc. “Film”
here is defined in its broadest sense of moving image usually accompanied by sound, so you can
research videogames, online videos, television, VR, etc. If you are interested in a topic but unsure if it
“fits,” please ask. There are several suggested topics in the Research Project folder on Brightspace if
you have trouble thinking of a topic. Another possibility is browsing the DVD shelf in the Killam library;
it’s on the ground floor in the room marked “Music Collection.”
If you’re having trouble deciding what kind of direction you might take with your project – and
especially what kind of focus or argument you might make – David Bordwell’s “Doing Film History”
has a good overview of approaches. This article is a recommended reading for Week 1 of this course.
This article also includes some broad questions (e.g., “How have the conditions of the film industry—
production, distribution, and exhibition—affected the uses of the medium?”) that you might adapt to
more specific case studies. You can also think reflectively about the approaches and questions we use
in class lectures and discussions, and the approaches in the assigned readings.
Your proposal of 1500-2000 words must a) state your aims (why do you want to do this project? what
do you hope to learn?), b) state your research question(s) and/or provisional thesis, and c) include an
annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography must have a minimum of 4 sources and include
both scholarly and non-scholarly sources in addition to the primary text(s) you are studying; for
example, if you are writing about the historical significance of The Godfather, you need at least one
non-scholarly source in addition to the film itself.
The annotation must include
a) a brief summary of the content of the source,
b) an evaluation of the source itself (its aims and effectiveness), and
c) an evaluation of how the source will be useful to your project.
The last is perhaps the most important.
Although the annotation style follows MLA conventions, you can format bibliographic citations in any
style you choose (APA, MLA, etc.); just be consistent. Your proposal will be graded on the care with
which you have found and evaluated sources and on the development of the research question/thesis
(though it is understood that this may change as you work more on the project). See this page for
examples of annotated bibliographic entries: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/.
The first is the MLA-style annotation required for this course (although your annotations can be
shorter than those in the example).