1. Trace the development of the early documentary film career of Jean Rouch. What were his objectives as an ethnographic filmmaker during the 1950s? What formal techniques did he use to express these objectives?
2. How did Direct Cinema succeed in transforming documentary filmmaking during the late 1950s and early 1960s? Why did American documentary makers adopt this style, and in what ways did this choice influence their films? In what ways were their films also influenced by technological developments?
3. Compare and contrast two of the most prominent trends in avant-garde filmmaking from the 1940s to the 1960s: the experimental narrative and the lyrical film. How did both trends make use of abstract imagery and structure, and for what purposes?
4. What were the notable (and notorious) qualities that characterized the American underground film of the 1960s?
5. Analyze the important social, economic, and industrial factors leading up to the emergence of the New Hollywood in the early 1970s. What were the causes of the industry-wide recession of 1969 to 1970? What new audiences did the Majors subsequently attempt to target?
6. How did European art cinema conventions influence the filmmakers of the New Hollywood? In what ways did art cinema narrational and stylistic techniques infuse new life into standard Hollywood genres?
7. Trace the evolution of the Hollywood studio system’s economic recovery in the middle and late 1970s. What were the important blockbusters of the period?
8. Compare and contrast the approaches of Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese to studio filmmaking. In what ways did each director “revise” genres from the classical Hollywood era? How did the personal style of each director reflect or deviate from the norms of classical Hollywood filmmaking?
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