Film Comparison

Here are some ideas to help you generate a thesis:

1. Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ are both war movies that have vastly different perspectives. One way you could compare and contrast the approaches taken by the film makers is to analyse the major combat sequences or you could pick one aspect of either film and discuss:

A) Describe, in filmic terms, how the combat scenes are approached. The helicopter attack on ‘Charlie’s Point’ ending in the famous ‘Napalm’ speech by Col. Kilgore in ‘Apocalypse Now’ and the Normandy landing or the bridge defence in ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Things to consider: the attitude of the narrator’s point of view; the emphasis director on the combat; the nature of the enemy in both scenes; the dialogue.
B) Discuss the symbols, emblems, artistic choices, situations and characters that make these movies so different. Things to think about: Americana, political times, attitudes of the army, religion, the taking of human life, the national personality, the era described.
C) Both movies involve a quest, a journey and a mission. How are these different, how are these the same. How do the 2 directors capture the quests? Remember to frame most of your points in terms of filmic language and vocabulary you have learned over the last year.

You can use these thesis ideas or you can generate your own. Please run your ideas by me before committing too much work on your essay. Try to organize your essay paragraphs in clear, easy to understand talking points, starting with your strongest evidence. Sketch out a plan before hand and follow it. Do not mix ideas and points up in one paragraph. Do not add more info into the summation. Do not hand in one giant block of text and expect me to figure out your points and evidence from the text. REMEMBER TO CITE ANY OUTSIDE REFERENECS OR YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF THE SCHOOL ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICIES. I WILL google you. You can cite your outside material in a ‘works cited’ page at the end of the essay. Do not abbreviate the movie titles and either italacize them or single quote them. Don’t forget to indent paragraphs and don’t forget the proper format in the top left hand corner. Use scholastic language; no flowery descriptors, creative license or colloquialisms are acceptable.

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