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ART2010 Final Project Guidelines


Write a research paper, selecting from the topics below. 5 pages


Research Paper

It must adhere to the following guidelines. All papers must:

  • be written exclusively in the third-person voice, double-spaced, 12-point font, and be “five pages” minimum.
  • employ no less than five sources, which will include films, as well as articles, textbooks, reference works, etc.
  • have an interesting title that captures the reader’s attention and clearly indicates which topic you are addressing.
  • avoid all plot summaries (do not describe the film’s storyline)
  • use the terminology we have employed throughout the course
  • document all research with in-text citations and a works cited page in MLA format (please review the “MLA Resources” page in our course for a refresher about MLA format)
  • submit your research paper on deadline


If you choose to write a research paper, you are required to select 1 topic from the following list. Note that most of the topics below are very general and would need to be narrowed down for a research paper of this length.





  1. Select ONE genre or sub-genre (other than the Western) and examine its complete evolutionary cycle–Primitive, Classical, Revisionist, Parodic–illustrating these with examples of films, film technique, mise en scène, etc.


  1. Select one legendary and influential filmmaker or team of filmmakers (not Hitchcock) who was/were instrumental in pushing the envelope. Describe his or her techniques and unique contributions to the industry. You may find it helpful to review AMC’s list of the 50 greatest directors, but you are in no way limited to this list. For instance, you could examine Monty Python’s contribution to parody and satire.


  1. Select two distinctly different “auteur” directors and illustrate each one’s personal vision and style, as well as the thematic obsessions in their films. Compare and contrast one to the other.


  1. Compare and contrast a documentary and a feature film on the same subject (e.g., Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile(featured film) and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (documentary), identifying the similar and/or different use of narrative, characterization, ideologies, etc.


  1. Explore how one contemporary film is an homage to an earlier style or body of work. Some examples might include Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge as an homage to early silent films, vaudeville, 19th-century photography, etc; La La Land as an homage to a number of classic Hollywood musicals; or Jackie Chan’s movies as homage to Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd. These are just a few of many possibilities.


  1. It’s been said that American Westerns are the Greek Tragedies of our time. How is that so? Give specific examples using a number of films; get into the nitty-gritty of what makes that statement a truism.


  1. Take an in-depth look at the digital revolution, exploring a range of comparable films that present a continuum of influence or technological advances. These could be live action or animated, or some combination of both. Consider how digital has changed movie making in the 21st century and the impact this has had on storytelling.


  1. Fully explore one aspect of Hollywood’s Golden Era (1920s to 1960s) and consider how it continues to influence today’s films. For instance, consider one of the unique visual styles, story-telling methods, costume and set design, even sound, illustrating with specific examples from then and now.


  1. Fully explore examples of mise en scène in two distinctly different but highly comparable films (perhaps by the same director or sharing the same genre, topic, etc.). Compare them in relation the frame, composition and design, territorial space, proxemic patterns, and open and closed forms, illustrating with examples/scenes from both.


  1. Select ONE specific genre and write an historical retrospective of that genre, delineating its significant contributions by examining a number of significant movie milestones in that genre.

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