Weekly Film Notes

Students are required to prepare and submit notes on each film following each film screening. These notes are designed to ensure that students are watching films attentively with an active mind and to generate ideas for papers and class discussions.

Paper 1: Observing City Scenes

For the first paper, students should select, observe, and describe a single "scene" from the life of the city around them.

Paper 2: Close Reading

For the second paper, students should build on class discussions and conduct a close-reading of just two scenes or sequences to explore what they say about the experiences of living in cities. Although students have free choice to explore any two scenes you choose from the first six films in the course, students should ground their thinking and analysis in the arguments presented in Louis Wirth's article on "Urbanism as a Way of Life" (1938).

Paper 3: Films and Themes

For the third paper, students should pick one theme and trace it through three different films and then add some new observations to extend beyond the films.

Final Paper

For the final paper, students should select either one film and explore 2–3 themes throughout it, or alternatively select one of them and discuss it in the context of 2–3 films. Importantly, although students may certainly draw on their knowledge of the films from the syllabus, they are expected to do "outside research," identifying films about cities that have not yet been screened or discussed in class.