A thesis-driven critical analysis essay

Using any and/or all of the essays by Bazin in your readings (along with additional research you undertake, if needed and/or desired), test out the validity and usefulness of his theories on cinema’s “ontology” and “evolution” on any ONE of the following contemporary film that takes up and expands the neo-realist tradition:

Nobody Knows (dir. Hirokazu Koreeda, 2004)

Do you think this film fulfills Bazin’s hope for a “pure cinema” where “life itself…becomes
the spectacle” and “small events test the extreme limits of our capacity to perceive
them in time”? How so? In other words, engage with Bazin’s theories on realism vis-à-vis a
close analysis of the film’s form, content, and socio-historical significance. Does the film
you’ve chosen abide by, flesh out, and/or tweak Bazin’s idea of cinematic realism? How so?
What do you think this contemporary film reflects and/or anticipates about cinematic realism?


1) formulate an effective thesis, 2) craft solid and meaningful critical analysis, 3) use appropriate, specific, and illuminating examples from the theoretical and filmic texts at hand, and 4) enter the discourse of classical film theory with a confident, scholarly voice. Don’t forget to also title your paper—construct an original, unique title that specifically reflects the subject and argument of your essay.

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