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Guide to exam questions Section C

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  • 1. 1Past exam questions: Section CBelow you will find a list of past exam questions for Section C of your exam paper. For this sectionyou will have two questions to choose from, so for example on a real exam paper you would havequestion 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, and so on. For the most part one question will be easier to answer thanthe other. Remember that other schools would have studied different films therefore some films ledbetter to some questions than others. By looking at the question you should notice that at least oneof the questions out of the two is about key themes/ message and values or time and place, hencewhy I have made a point of making this key to your studies of the films. I am going to guide youthrough all of questions that would relevant to the two films we have studied – the most importantthing to remember is that even if I don’t mention it in the main section of your essay you mustalways use TEXTUAL EVIDENCE/ TEXTUAL REFERENCING!1. Compare the ways in which key themes in your chosen American films are presented.2. With reference to your chosen American films, compare the extent to which their messagesand values reflect the times in which they were made3. How important is place in contributing to key themes in the American films you havestudied for this topic?4. Discuss similarities and differences in the representation of masculinity in your chosenAmerican films.5. How far do the American films you have studied for this topic depend on well establishednarrative and/or genre conventions?6. How far do the American films you have studied for this topic express similar messages andvalues to one another?7. Compare the ways in which narrative is used to create dramatic conflict in the Americanfilms you have studied for this topic8. How far do your chosen American films portray themes and ideas in similar ways?9. With particular reference to the endings of your chosen American films, compare theirmessages and values.10. How useful have your wider contextual studies been in understanding similarities anddifferences in the American films you have studied for this topic?11. What is significant about setting and/or place in your chosen American films?12. In the American films you have studied for this topic, how far do the representations ofeither women or men reflect the time when they were made?13. How do key sequences from your chosen American films reinforce their messages andvalues?14. ‘Films always reflect the times and places in which they are made.’ How far is this true of theAmerican films you have studied for this topic?
  • 2. 2Remember when reading an exam question the best thing to do is to reword it so that if shows thatyou understand the question – focus on key words.1. Compare the ways in which key themes in your chosen American films are presented.This is an easy question all it wants you to do is discuss the key themes and compare how theycome across in each of the films.Possible Structure: Introduce your films and what they’re about, explain where they films are set. Putforward the case that the similar narrative of a court case and the fact that both filmsare set in the Deep South of America give credence to there being some similarities in theway that the key themes are presented. Explain what key themes you are going toexamine/ compare, possibly give suggestions as to how these come across (e.g. theprotagonists in each film; Jake Brigance and Atticus Finch) – then in the main of theessay systematically provide the evidence of this. Main section – go through each of the themes you said you would in the introduction,discuss in detail how they come across – how the film communicates them to theaudience – I think it best, for example, if you chose Bigotry discuss it in one film then theother then compare or suggest why they are presented in the same way. OR you canstart with the comparison then show how it comes across in each film. MAKE SURE YOUUSE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE/ TEXTUAL REFERENCING! Conclude – make sure you re-address the question, summarise your points and wrapeverything up2. With reference to your chosen American films, compare the extent to which their messagesand values reflect the times in which they were madeThere is a guide on how to answer this question in the revision pack I gave you; you can also findit on the blog http://asa2film20092011.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/section-c-general-notes-on-both-films.html3. How important is place in contributing to key themes in the American films you havestudied for this topic?This question wants to know if the fact that both film are set in Deep South America has had aneffect on the key themes in the films. If you listened to my revision lessons notes you wouldobviously say YES, place is very significant to contribution to the key themes. WHY? Because thebiggest key theme is Bigotry, we all know by now that this includes elements of racism, racialintolerance and racial inequality. Racism is inextricable from the history of a setting such as DeepSouth America, especially the states of Mississippi (make sure you spell it right!) and Alabama.Therefore racism, whether people like it or not, permeates in southern society leading toinstitutionalised racism, that in both films is seen to effect Justice and The Law, the way thatpeople see ETHICS and more so in ATTK racism affects people and the audiences’ PERSPECTIVE.So in a question such as this (at least for our films) it’s not as easy as just going through each ofthe key themes, but starting with the main one, and explaining how this then effects/ links tothe other themes.
  • 3. 3Possible Structure: Introduce each film and what they’re about; explain the main key theme that features inboth films and how this is linked to the place where the films are set. Go on explain howthis key theme and setting helps to create links to other themes that appear in the films –explain what these are. Main section – obviously start with Bigotry and explain how it comes across in both films,ensuring that re-reference place as key – and providing TEXTUAL EVIDENCE/ TEXTUALREFERENCES to back up any points you have made. You can then go on to crate links toother themes ensuring you still use TEXTUAL EVIDENCE/ TEXTUAL REFERENCES! Conclusion – ask yourself ‘do I think that place has been important in these films incontribution to key themes’ then go ahead and answer the question – but this time youdon’t need to list in detail all the evidence. Just say enough to convince the examiner ofyour point.5. How far do the American films you have studied for this topic depend on well establishednarrative and/or genre conventions?This is probably one of the harder questions that I left in, and it requires applying knowledgegain in Shaun’s lesson to help you. Let’s just focus on narrative conventions. They way that Iunderstand the question would be to apply Todorov’s theory to both films. You could compareeach stage of each film with Todorov’s 5 stages and discuss cause and effect.6. How far do the American films you have studied for this topic express similar messages andvalues to one another?Don’t be thrown by a question like this, the only way that you can get a message or value acrossis through the use of the key themes. So in effect what you need to do is explain this in youressay and then go on to discuss the themes and MAKE SURE you say what messages and/ orvalues (morals/beliefs) comes across through the use of it and the extent to which the two filmsdo this is similar ways.Possible Structure: Introduce each film and what they’re about; explain that the way in which the filmscommunicate their messages and values is through the use of their shared key themes.Explain what the key themes are, and give and mini example of message/ moral. Then inthe main of the essay go on to expand on the points you have made here. Main section – go through the themes explain how they come across and the message/value that is taught through it. I think this can be tricky, and requires some personopinion/reflection on the films. For example I would say that a message shared by bothfilms is that innocence can be subjective and thwarted by perspective. Carl Lee and BooRadley were both made to be innocent in one way or another – I would then go on todiscuss this through the use of the theme Justice and The Law and possible Ethics. Whatmessages/ morals did you get from the films? Conclude – how you wrap this essay up all depends on how you address the question inthe main section
  • 4. 48. How far do your chosen American films portray themes and ideas in similar ways?This question is very similar to question 110 How useful have your wider contextual studies been in understanding similarities anddifferences in the American films you have studied for this topic?This question wants you to consider what was happening at the times when the films weremade, and how your knowledge of these time periods and events that occurred during thesetime periods have helped you to understand the two films.Possible Structure: Introduce the two films and what they’re about, discuss where they are set and link thisto the issue of race that then links to the context. Briefly explain what was happening atthe times both films were made (see revision booklet) – in the main of the essay talkabout this in more detail and how some themes help to the films more. For TKAM you would have to discuss The Civil Rights Movement (you should have donemore research on this yourself – typing it into Wikipedia is the least you can do! Thereare also links at the bottom of this document to help youhttp://www.slideshare.net/belair1981/exam-essay-structure-with-tasks?ref=http://asa2film20092011.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/section-c-general-notes-on-both-films.html ) You willneed to explain how the film reflected the messages and values of this issue and howthat in turn helped you understand the film better. The same with ATTK in the 90’s youhad high profile race relations cases, shows on TV that portrayed negative stereotypes ofblack people, other film that were being made that focused on racial equalitiesiandinjustices and black churches being burned to the ground. Explain how the film reflectedthe issues of the time. Comment on any similarities/ differences in the films and the wayin which they link to context e.g. race clearly being that big issue and unfortunately in the1990s the issues seem much the same as they did in the 1960s – posing the question israce relations as issue that America still has to deal with? I don’t know that’s a questionthat comes to mind for me. Conclusion – ask yourself has knowing about what happened when the film were madehelp me to compare and understand them more – then write your answer.11. What is significant about setting and/or place in your chosen American films?This question is similar to question 313. How do key sequences from your chosen American films reinforce their messages andvalues?This is a simple textual analysis question, which should be easy I keep encouraging you to useTEXTUAL EVIDENCE/ TEXTUAL REFERENCING. So choose some key themes and discuss how theuse of film language or character empathy/alignment is used to make the message/ moral moresalient (significant). For example ATTK - Justice and The Law – Carl Lee killing entering the courthouse at night, killing the men, then getting arrested, Perspective – Tonya’s rape and Jake’ssummation. TKAM – I think that the main key sequence is when he gives his summation you candissect what he says to discuss the themes of Justice and The Law and Bigotry. It’s good tocompare his summation with Jake’s.
  • 5. 514. ‘Films always reflect the times and places in which they are made.’ How far is this true of theAmerican films you have studied for this topic?This question is similar to question 10iOnce Upon A time when we were coloured, White Man’s Burden, The Long Walk Home and many others