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A Touch of Sin Communications & Media Essay Research (Essay Sample)

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Documentary Discussion Prompts ANSWER ONE at lease on reference
Please begin with the title of the film, the director’s name and the year it was released. Then in one or two sentences briefly describe what the film is about.
• What are the goals of this film: to capture or document the present or vanishing ways of life or communities? To poetically or aggressively transform our vision or way of seeing the Chinese culture? To reveal, document, give voice to or expose injustice? To retell the stories of the past that have been erased from the master narrative?
• What does this documentary film have in common with Chinese independent experimental films? Give one comparative example. Is there room for the poetic? For nonlinear storytelling? What happens if a documentary filmmaker privileges visual expression over narrative exposition?
• List some new ideas or political, historical, social issues described in the film that impressed you and what overall impact or effect the film conveyed to you as a viewer. Was this intentional by the director? How did the filmmakers try to convince you of the position that the film supports? Look for appeals to logic, emotion, and prejudice.
• Where is the director positioned here? For example is the director---- invisible, part of the community filmed, attempting to be objective, biased, involved, promoting a specific stance, how does the director shape the narrative or manipulate the overall effect, theme, message?
• Traditionally a documentary is defined as a work that derives its contents from actual events, persons and places. The subjects of a documentary are everyday people, places and society---and historical events. Documentarians shape their raw materials into an organized, coherent artistic structure. This structure is a balance among information, argument, human interest (entertainment value), and formal filmic elements like composition, lighting, sound, rhythm etc. How does your film fit in here?
• Did any of the reasoning given in support of the position advocated by the film seem to be weak or misleading? If so, describe the concept put forward in the film and why you thought the reasoning was flawed.
• Describe any cinematic techniques used in presenting particular scenes, images, or sounds which were designed to appeal to the viewer’s emotions and to encourage the viewer to agree with the position advocated by the film, without reliance upon fact or logical argument. In short how did they show you rather than tell you a particular idea?
• If the filmmakers asked how this film could be improved, what would you tell them? Describe the changes you would suggest in detail.
• Discuss how this film technique is particular to Chinese New Documentary movement – to do this try to contrast it with a non-Chinese documentary you are familiar with.
• Did the film change your mind about any aspect of the subject that it presents? What information, argument or persuasive technique caused you to change your mind?
• What particularly appealed to you in the cinematic presentation of the film, such as the way in which particular scenes, images, or sounds were presented?
• Describe a scene that is unrelenting in its voyeuristic or raw nature and why you think the director included this disturbing scene.
• Who is the intended audience of this film? How does that shape the approach and style?
• If the film you select is a collage of images - how can new meanings be shaped and created by the
juxtaposition of sounds and images from disparate sources?
• If the film you select looks back - how does it reconstruct the past to tell us something relevant to
the present?
• While many documentaries are about important social or political issues there is a turn toward
more narrowly defined and private portraits. Filmmakers are increasingly turning their cameras on themselves. This raises more questions than usual about what's revealed and what's hidden by documentary practice. Discuss.
• More and more Chinese narrative/fictional filmmakers’ appropriate documentary techniques such as on the spot realism, non-trained actors, hand held cameras, interviews, and re-enactments – discuss.
• This time take advantage of the features of online viewing -- Pause. Take notes. Develop your own questions. Closely examine intriguing sequences. Consider the structure and editing, timing, sound, silence, narration, pacing.
• Discuss the use of long shots, edits, camera angles, held camera, rough cuts, voice-overs and such.
• Discuss framing----what is included and equally important what is excluded and composition--- the angle of view, which lenses are used, the visual "distortions" which are chosen.
• Discuss the use of color --- How is it paradoxical? Does it give a heightened sense of realism? If it uses the absence of color in early newsreels and black and white footage does it seem more credible than color?
• Discuss editing ---how does it allow for creative freedom outside the boundaries of normal time and space; where the viewer can be transported to any time or location.---not to mention control of sequence and context.... omissions and ellipses.
• Often a primary concern of documentary is a search for truth - a search for truth is often a shared goal of the best and most successful of documentary work. Relate this to your film.
• Why do audiences tend to believe in the truth of the documentary? The power of the documentary comes from an agreement between filmmaker and audience regarding the authenticity of the events portrayed. The viewer is asked to trust the image before his eyes. Ultimately this trust is based upon our willingness to believe in the integrity and honesty of the filmmaker. Discuss one or two of the strategies that the filmmaker employs to gain and retain your confidence.

 

X film.documentarysq.pdf• • •8:01 .ill ^ CODocumentary Discussion Prompts ANSWER ONE
Please begin with the title of the film, the director’s name and the year it was released. Then in one or two sentences briefly describe what the film is about.
What are the goals of this film: to capture or document the present or vanishing ways of life or communities? To poetically or aggressively transform our vision or way of seeing the Chinese culture? To reveal, document, give voice to or expose injustice? To retell the stories of the past that have been erased from the master narrative?
What does this documentary film have in common with Chinese independent experimental films? Give one comparative example. Is there room for the poetic? For nonlinear storytelling? What happens if a documentary filmmaker privileges visual expression over narrative exposition?
List some new ideas or political, historical, social issues described in the film that impressed you and what overall impact or effect the film conveyed to you as a viewer. Was this intentional by the director? How did the filmmakers try to convince you of the position that the film supports? Look for appeals to logic, emotion, and prejudice.
Where is the director positioned here? For example is the director— invisible, part of the community filmed, attempting to be objective, biased, involved, promoting a specific stance, how does the director shape the narrative or manipulate the overall effect, theme, message?
Traditionally a documentary is defined as a work that derives its contents from actual events, persons and places. The subjects of a documentary are everyday people, places and society—and historical events. Documentarians shape their raw materials into an organized, coherent artistic structure. This structure is a balance among information, argument, human interest (entertainment value), and formal filmic elements like composition, lighting, sound, rhythm etc. How does your film fit in here?
Did any of the reasoning given in support of the position advocated by the film seem to be weak or misleading? If so, describe the concept put forward in the film and why you thought the reasoning was flawed.
Describe any cinematic techniques used in presenting particular scenes, images, or sounds which were designed to appeal to the viewer’s emotions and to encourage the viewer to agree with the position advocated by the film, without reliance upon fact or logical argument. In short how did they show you rather than tell you a particular idea?
If the filmmakers asked how this film could be improved, what would you tell them? Describe the changes you would suggest in detail.
Discuss how this film technique is particular to Chinese New Documentary movement - to do this try to contrast it with a non-Chinese documentary you are familiar with.
Did the film change your mind about any aspect of the subject that it presents? What information, argument or persuasive technique caused you to change your mind?
What particularly appealed to you in the cinematic presentation of the film, such as the way in which particular scenes, images, or sounds were presented?
Describe a scene that is unrelenting in its voyeuristic or raw nature and why you think the director included this disturbing scene.
Who is the intended audience of this film? How does that shape the approach and style?
If the film you select is a collage of images - how can new meanings be shaped and created by the juxtaposition of sounds and images from disparate sources?
If the film you select looks back - how does it reconstruct the past to tell us something relevant to the present?
While many documentaries are about important social or political issues there is a turn toward more narrowly defined and private portraits. Filmmakers are increasingly turning their cameras on themselves. This raises more questions than usual about what's revealed and what's hidden by documentary practice. Discuss.• More and more Chinese narrative/fictional filmmakers’ appropriate documentary techniques such as on the spot realism, non-trained actors, hand held cameras, interviews, and re-enactments -discuss.
This time take advantage of the features of online viewing -- Pause. Take notes. Develop your own questions. Closely examine intriguing sequences. Consider the structure and editing, timing, sound, silence, narration, pacing.
Discuss the use of long shots, edits, camera angles, held camera, rough cuts, voice-overs and such.
Discuss framing—what is included and equally important what is excluded and composition— the angle of view, which lenses are used, the visual "distortions" which are chosen.
Discuss the use of color — How is it paradoxical? Does it give a heightened sense of realism? If it uses the absence of color in early newsreels and black and white footage does it seem more credible than color?
Discuss editing —how does it allow for creative freedom outside the boundaries of normal time and space; where the viewer can be transported to any time or location.—not to mention control of sequence and context.... omissions and ellipses.
Often a primary concern of documentary is a search for truth - a search for truth is often a shared goal of the best and most successful of documentary work. Relate this to your film.
Why do audiences tend to believe in the truth of the documentary? The power of the documentary comes from an agreement between filmmaker and audience regarding the authenticity of the events portrayed. The viewer is asked to trust the image before his eyes. Ultimately this trust is based upon our willingness to believe in the integrity and honesty of the filmmaker. Discuss one or two of the strategies that the filmmaker employs to gain and retain your confidence.

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A touch of sin
Introduction
“A Touch of Sin” is a Chinese film produced in 2013 under the direction of Jia Zhang-Ke. The film focuses on four characters who commit violent acts upon themselves and others in four different cities because of their respective situations in modern China. Although the film was a hit outside Mainland China, Chinese authorities declined to license it because of its blatant exposure to how economic oppression correlates with random acts of violence.
Goals of the film
The main goal of “A touch of sin” is to reveal, document, and give voice to the many injustices that exist in the Chinese community. The revelations are related to economic issues and subsequent violence. There is a belief that the Chinese have gained huge economic benefits from the development policies that were implemented in the 1970s. However, “A touch of sin” displays a very different picture of what the great economic expansion of China has done to the majority of its people. All the four stories in the film display a country with corrupt managers and a huge income disparity that surpasses that of the United States. The story of the miner who goes berserk against the company’s manager for failing to sh

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