What were the forces that helped shape the development of the star system in Hollywood?
What were some of the ways stars were represented and discussed as unique components of
cinema? How did the star system impact the evolution of film industrial practices during the
1910s-1920s? Based on the film The Sheik (George Melford, 1921), how does the image of the
star connect to the melodramatic mode of cinematic expression?
In this take home exam you are asked to address some of the key concepts and ideas discussed
throughout the semester in the lectures and the readings. Using the films screened in class (this
also includes any film shown during lectures) as examples and illustrations, demonstrate your
knowledge about the history and historiography of cinema.
Using all three questions below, answer them using the materials from the readings, screenings,
and class lectures and discussions.
The total for all responses combined should be between 7 and 8 pages double-spaced, not
including the title page and works cites/bibliography page. All responses should add up to
approximately 1,800 – 2,000 words in total. The overall length of either part should not be more
than four pages.
The answer to each question should be organized as a short essay. This means it should make a
claim that answers some of the specific questions posed in the description of each topic.
Your introduction paragraph must have a thesis statement/overall claim. The main body of the
essay must further elaborate on your argument and use material from the films and the
readings in support and as illustrations of this argument.
For each question, you must use a minimum of two secondary sources listed in the syllabus
(either from the required or “further readings” category), and discuss at least one film showed
in class or mentioned in the readings as your points of reference.
*You may choose to include additional sources, primary or secondary for any of these questions,
but this is not required.
The conclusion must either summarize the main points, highlight the significance of the
developments you discuss, or bring out possible problems arising from your discussion as topics
for further exploration.
Make sure to carefully and correctly cite all the information you use in your support of your
argument following one of the academic style guides.
2.What constituted the aesthetic avant-garde in the cinema of the silent period? What were its
formal attributes and techniques? What were some of the broader aspects of society and culture
that avant-garde artists sought to reflect upon and challenge? How does the avant-garde fit in
within the larger context of the 1920s film cultures and the problems and promises of modernity?
3. How does silent cinema reflect and shape the ideologies of colonialism and the Euro-centric
understanding of race, ethnicity and cultural difference? What kinds of genres and types of
cinema were particularly employed in the colonial vision of the world and its constitution of
racial politics? How do such films represent colonialist ideologies, and what assumptions do they
make about spectatorship? Using a specific film example that was not included in your digital
archives assignment, identify and discuss the genre techniques encoded in these films.
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