Mass Media Unit 5

Fri, Dec 18


DUE TODAY: Review of Tim Burton's "Big Fish"


Mon, Dec 14 - Wed, Dec 16


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Submit the "Big Fish" film review by Friday, end of day's classes



Mon = Big Fish, part 2

Wed = Big Fish, part 3


To help you with your own reviews, I've dug up some interesting commentaries on "Big Fish"




Thu Dec 10 and Mon Dec 14


DUE TODAY: "Casablanca" review due Dec 14

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: "Big Fish" review due before break

FOCUS TODAY: Critical viewing


"Big Fish" film viewing


Fri Dec 4, Tue Dec 8


DUE TODAY: Review of "2001"

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Review of Casablanca due Dec 14

FOCUS TODAY: Critical viewing


"Casablanca" viewing and note-taking


Wed, Dec 2


DUE TODAY: Review of "It's a Wonderful Life" - be sure to follow the directions for writing film reviews

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Review of "2001"

FOCUS TODAY: Themes in film


Finish viewing 2001


Talk about how the film approaches and presents technology


Mon, Nov 30


DUE  TODAY: Review of "It's a Wonderful Life"  if you want to - otherwise due @ start of next class


FOCUS  TODAY:  2001 and its artistry


Viewing today:  2001:  A  Space Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick


Check out the 2001 Viewing Guide


Tues, Nov 24


DUE TODAY: Sections one and two on the film take-home exam


FOCUS TODAY: Viewing film as a text, review writing


The conclusion of "It's a Wonderful Life"


Writing film reviews - approach strategies and a template

Check out "reel" reviews at to get an idea of how the "pros" do it!


Fri, Nov 20 (Half-day)


DUE TODAY: A paragraph on one scene in a film - analyze how the camera work adds meaning to the story or a character in the scene.

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Complete secitons one and two on the take-home exam

FOCUS TODAY: "It's a Wonderful Life"  continued


Film viewing:  "It's a Wonderful Life"


Wed, Nov 18


DUE TODAY: Nothing written

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: One paragraph that explains how camera work in a scene adds meaning and depth to the story or a character. You choose the film or use one of the scenes we've watched in class.

FOCUS TODAY: Further camera work analysis


Warmup clips:


First full-film: "It's a Wonderful Life" directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart


Mon, Nov 16


DUE TODAY: Nothing written


FOCUS TODAY: Analyzing camera work


Today we focus on the different types of camera shots movie makers use to help add meaning and depth to their scenes.


A presentation on basic film terms related to camera work


Film clips:


Thu, Nov 12


DUE  TODAY:  Reading of pgs 240-252 in the text

HOMEWORK  TONIGHT:  Review the reading for discussion and quiz next class

FOCUS  TODAY:  Radio performances in theater!


LIVE  performances of the "old timey"  radio dramas today



Mon, Nov 9


DUE  TODAY:  Nothing

HOMEWORK  TONIGHT:  Read pages 240-252 in the text

FOCUS  TODAY:  Early developments in film - 1800s-1927


One powerpoint today:  Film from the 1800s to 1927

One short film:  "Four Troublesome Heads"  by George Melies

Two narrative films:  


Pay attention to the development of film as a mass medium. What were the characteristic elements of early films?  What developments caused the film industry to grow? Why did silent films speak to audiences across all cultures and social circles?