Treatment of landscape and subjectivity in the Movie “Gerry”

Please develop an essay that examines Gus Van Sant’s treatment of landscape and subjectivity in his 2002 film Gerry in as many inventive ways as you can. In what ways does this film deviate from mainstream Hollywood cinema, or potentially fulfill critiques of it? Potential themes you may want to address are constructions of gender; intersubjectivity; sexuality; and narrative time. In addition to considering Van Sant’s references to the work of other filmmakers, your essay should examine the way Gerry differs from conventional cinematic approaches to the American West, like those discussed during Week 9 (Thanksgiving Week). Please note, in order to fully meet the evaluation criteria for the exam, you must include at least three close readings of shots and/or sequences of the film (devoting at least 2 paragraphs to each) that demonstrate your understanding of the relevant film terms and substantiate your interpretive points and main thesis. This may require taking notes and re-watching the film (or sections of it) several times. In reference to other films shown in class, please draw comparisons that will convince your reader of the larger argument you wish to make about the film. Length: 4-5 pages long, double-spaced, full bibliographic citations. Apply a standard system of citation, MLA. General guidelines: Your essay should have a central thesis supported by a discussion of the film’s specific formal elements, as well as 3-4 different references to the assigned course readings on the syllabus, and 2-3 films shown this quarter with full bibliographic citations. You will be evaluated on the originality of your ideas; the clarity of verbal expression; the development of a coherent central argument; as well as your engagement with the assigned readings from the entire quarter. The essay should be informed by the film’s formal details and development of narrative. Be sure to focalize at least three times (across a couple paragraphs each) to particular elements or sequences of the film, in which you closely describe and analyze the filmmaker’s use of cinematic conventions (framing, recording speeds, shot lengths, sound, editing, etc.) and consider what their significance might be.

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