The purpose of this analytical paper assignment is to examine the ways in which a short sequence can
function within a larger filmic whole. It is an opportunity for you to not only practice close reading––as you did
in the previous assignment––but further, to use your close reading skills in the service of an argument that
extends beyond a mere clip. In other words, your close reading is meant to serve as evidence of some larger
Instructions: Select a short sequence (approx. 1 min.) from one of the films we have watched in this class to
date.(( 1. New Woman 新⼥性 (dir. Cai Chusheng, 1934) 2. Romance of the Western Chamber ⻄廂記 (dir. Hou
Yao, 1927) 3. Laborer’s Love 掷果缘 (dir. Zhang Shichuan, 1922))(These are all chinese films)How does this
sequence further the film’s key themes/aims? What specific directorial and/or editing choices facilitate this
process? Write a cogent paper answering both these questions.
Formatting Requirements: Your paper must be two-pages long, doubled-spaced, with one-inch margins. Be
sure to use a black, twelve-point font.
Write about the sequence/film in the present tense.
Focus on something that you yourself find interesting and engaging. If you’re invested in your subject matter,
your paper will be easier to write and your reader (i.e. me) will be more invested in it as well.
Try to focus on a problem or a puzzle, something that’s not self-evident, something that requires effort/insight
to unravel. Your argument shouldn’t be obvious; it should be debatable but convincing.
Try not to overstate your case, however. Stick to things you can prove. You don’t need to make an argument
about all cinema everywhere. It’s okay––preferable, in fact––to simply focus on one individual clip.
Avoid making broad generalizations; they will only bring you trouble.
Summarize the clip only insofar as it helps you make your argument. There’s no need to rehash irrelevant
Always remember that you are writing for someone else. You may know what you’re trying to say, but will it be
clear to your reader? Try reading your paper out loud to yourself. Does it make sense? Does it “flow”?
A little editing goes a long way. Typos, spelling errors, and factual mistakes are easily fixed, but they have a
disproportionately large impact when left unaddressed. They can be the difference between enchanting and
angering your reader.