analyzing a visual art piece paper

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Paper 4 counts as 15% of your grade. This is a three to five-page paper analyzing a visual art piece (painting, photograph, etc), television show, play, movie, website, or video game using at least two sources, only one of which can be your textbook, in MLA style.

Using the techniques that we have been using in class, analyze your subject in semiotic terms. Give a short description of your painting, movie, video game, etc. What is happening on the surface? What is going on in terms of design, color, theme, intent? Who is the audience for this? What is the history of the piece, or its making?

How does it reflect its time period? You can analyze something from any time period, but you must tell how it relates to the culture that spawned it, and what it says about that time period.

For example, 1950s monster movies were a reaction to the Cold War era, when we feared Russia would launch a nuclear attack. Many times the creature became overly large because of a massive dose of radiation. Sometimes otherwise benign creatures became killers due to nuclear power.

If you pick a contemporary movie, explain what “in jokes” and cultural signposts are in it. Did any catch phrases arise from it?

One of your sources can be your textbook, and the other can be a biography of the director, artist, or creator. Or perhaps a history, sociology, or film studies article. If there is nothing of use in your book, then find two outside sources. Go into the research databases on the library’s website

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