film review 24

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I. Write a review for each film.

II. a. As independent documentaries go, there are few noted documentaries that fit those terms better than “Dark Days”. Look for articles and videos online in which director Marc Singer talks about making the film (still his only film, to date), and which discuss Singer’s work. Summarize your findings in a discussion of Singer and “Dark Days”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Days_(film) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

b. Toward the end of “American Dream”, Mark Borchardt asks his main funder (his uncle) what his American dream is, and they briefly discuss their American dreams. What do they say about this? How do their answers reflect some fairly common attitudes within American society? (Remember when writing about “American Dream” that Borchardt is not the director of the documentary — he’s trying to direct his own horror film.)

III. a. “Amy” and “The Imposter” both focus on individuals who are troubled in different ways: discuss how, within your review of each film.

For research purposes, note that while there is obviously a Wikipedia page for a famous person like Amy Winehouse, there is also a Wikipedia page for Frederic Bourdin.

b. The filmmakers for “The Imposter” provide a “twist” in their story, by considering Frederic Bourdin’s contention that the family accepted him as Nicholas Barclay because they had something to hide. Referring to specific audio and visual moments throughout the film, what is your opinion about the veracity of Bourdin’s contention and be sure to include in your discussion any hard evidence or lack thereof that any family member knew the truth about what happened to Nicholas. Keep in mind the question of why anyone would go along with Bourdin’s act, despite the obvious physical differences between Bourdin and Barclay.

IV. Knock, knock!; Who’s there?; Democracy?: “The Square” (NetFlix), “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” (NetFlix or UNH MM)

The word “democracy” has been kicked around for years. First, define (in your own words, i.e., don’t quote Webster’s Dictionary) democracy in a paragraph. Based on your understanding of the basic concepts of democracy — free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, etc.– after watching “The Square” and “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”, discuss the specific ways in which you see the dissidents in the films trying to democratize their country.

V. The final question: Which documentary did you find the most compelling and why. Site specific moments from the film, within your discussion.

If you are not familiar with the film review style, summarize what happens in the film, and be sure to write as though you are writing to someone who has not seen the film. Then give your opinion on the effectiveness of the film in terms of whether you found the way the filmmakers told the story compelling. Include your opinion on the issue, regarding what you think should be done about it.

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