Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Understanding Movies- Midterm Exam Study Guide

Midterm Exam Study Guide
Understanding Movies (BC 351)
Fall 2014 Turner A Room 263
Exam Date: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 12:30 p.m.

This test will cover material covered in the few weeks we have been together. Questions will come from material posted on the class Pinterest board and from the links given below (many of which are the same ones on the Pinterest board). 

The test will consist of an essay question to be prepared before the test. The written test on the exam date will consist of multiple choice questions, lists, and short answers.

For the essay question, I want you to consider the lists we have examined in class about the greatest (in terms of quality) and greatest (in terms of box office revenue) movies of all time. Contrast these very successful films with the lists of all-time flops. In your essay, which must be typed, double-spaced, and at least 400-500 words in length, address the following issues:

Ø  Among experts and Hollywood insiders, what seems to be the consensus as to what makes some films big hits at the box office and what makes others bomb at the box office
Ø  As to the quality (not just box office appeal) of films on the AFI’s top 100 all-time list, what are some of the common denominators that seem to be shared by these films?
Ø  What are several factors that much less successful films (artistically and attendance-wise) seem to have in common? Are there things that make some films doomed to fail? What are they?
Ø  Finally, articulate what makes some movies a hit in your mind- why you like them so much- and conversely, why other films make you wish you had spent your money and time elsewhere.

You must site at least three sources for your findings. Include brief source descriptions at the bottom of your paper. Use footnote references (1) in this manner and at the end give your source:
1.      I found this on the Internet. This is an article (or analysis) written by film critic so and so that ran in, for example, Rolling Stone magazine, on this date. I am distributing an example of a strong source article for this paper but need to find some others on your own, at least two more

For the written part of the test on the exam date, be prepared to answer questions based on this material, again from the class Pinterest board:
ü  Motion Picture Industry Overview (PowerPoint)- study all material here
ü  S.C. Film Commission App- What types of information can be found on this site? What movies have been filmed in Orangeburg that are included on this app?
ü  Main Film Genres- be able to list and describe several
ü  “Film Noir” movies as a distinct American style/genre- what is “Film Noir”? The two other distinct American film styles, along with film noir are musicals and Westerns.
ü  American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest Movies of All-Time- be able to list Top 5 and a few of the most recent films added to this prestigious list
ü  Top 100 film Worldwide Grosses list- be able to list the Top 5 money-making movies
ü  Top Adjusted-for-Inflation Domestic Grosses (by ticket sales) list- be able to list several of the top ones from this list
ü  10 Movies with Tiny Budgets that Made Massive Box Office Profits lists- be able to the No. 1 film on this list and a few others
ü  10 of the Biggest Movie Flops of All Time list- be able to list several films from this list
ü  Read the College of Charleston magazine article about South Carolinian Orlando Jones and be able to write about who he is, what he has accomplished in show business, and what the motivations- and talents- have been that have made Jones so successful


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