S‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍tudents will interview an elder about personal experiences
S‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍tudents will interview an elder about personal experiences of theatrical film-going before home video, cable, multiplexes, and the world wide web—approximately before 1980. Some of these were introduced in the 1970s but only widely adopted in the U.S. in the early-mid 1980s; popular adoption of the Internet occurred in the mid-1990s and after. These periodizing dates may differ for contexts outside the U.S. There are two parts to this assignment, the interview itself and the essay about the interview. You will turn in both your list of PREPARED questions (10-12) and a 1000-1200 word oral history essay explaining who your interview subject was and reporting on the interviewee’s responses, contextualizing them in relation to the period and the version of film history presented in class. The goal of this assignment is both to humanize the historical period we are learning about in class and to get a sense of audience reception practices in contrast to the formal and industrial histories we are learning about in class. Students are encouraged to interview subjects who were living and going to movies outside the . Interviews may be in languages other than English as applicable, but students will need to translate questions and quotations into English for the assignment. Keep in mind that the film movements we are studying were not all “popular” and that your interview subjects may not have seen the specific films from this course. There are many forms of cinema, and people remember or consider important different films. Students are responsible to find their own interview subjects. Interviews may be done via phone, Skype, email, etc—although talking in-person is ideal. Student grading rubric: Total points possible: 30 Questions prepared for interview: 5 points possible Personal context for interviewee in report: 5 points possible Communicates a sense of or reflection on film history in report: 5 points possible Tells a story and captures a sense of the person (form/style): 5 points possible Clarity and focus: 5 points possible Communicates what you learned: 5 points possible Deductions: Grammar and spelling mistakes: at least -1 Not citing sources where relevant: at least -1 Late submission: at least -1 Oral History Oral histories help us to retrieve and clarify aspects of history that are usually not accessible or made available to us in published history books and articles. While it is easy enough to obtain a sense of “major events” occurring in the film world by reading newspapers, searching online, and consulting trade and critical journals, none of these sources provides us with a sense of what it was like to experience cinema as a creative participant, theater owner, film technician, or movie spectator during the period we are studying. Although oral histories provide us with a “subjective” account of events in the past, they can help us to pose fruitful questions regarding film culture and politics, as well as provide immediate insight into how film culture affected people at different locations in different ways. Occasionally, they yield important facts that have been forgotten or overlooked by public and institutional discourse, as well as by historians. If your interviewee worked in the film industry, that is great. The interview should address both production and film-going. You are not expected to find someone who worked in the industry. WRITTEN REPORT IF YOUR INTERVIEWEE GAVE SHORT RESPONSES If your interview subject gave short, one-word responses to your questions, it is my hope that you intuited the need to ask FO‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍LLOW-UP QUESTIONS and/or to rephrase the original question in order to get a more fleshed out response. Obviously your written report will be difficult if you didn't get full answers during your interview. Leading an ineffective interview does not let you off the hook for the written component, and you should not blame your interviewee for incomplete answers when you should have asked for clarification or more detail. If you are concerned that you don't have enough information to write a report, there may yet be time for a follow-up. IF YOU ARE CONFUSED ABOUT CONTEXTUALIZING THE INTERVIEW The bulk of your written report will come from your interviewee's accounts, and you are encouraged to make direct quotations (verifying that they are accurate). However, you are also expected to contextualize your interviewee's experiences by identifying where and when these experiences took place. Additionally, you are expected to make connections between the accounts your interviewee gives you and the historical background we have covered in class lectures, readings, and discussions. Consider: Do the interviewee's experiences comment upon a period or film movement we have covered in class? Do these experiences confirm, complicate, and/or contradict the "canonical" or film-movement version of film history as we have covered it? What new perspectives does the interviewee offer for this period? What did you learn that we haven't covered? WHAT TO COVER IN THE WRITTEN REPORT The report likely will not have time or space to cover all of your interviewee's responses. Prioritize what is most insightful, revealing, or original details that you learned from your interview. But again, these specific details should be contextualized within a broader understanding of the period. IF YOU WANT TO CITE ADDITIONAL SOURCES Again, the bulk of the written report should rely upon the interview, but you are welcome to reference course readings or other published sources as relevant for context. Be sure to properly cite other sources. BE SURE TO PROOFREAD YOUR WRITTEN REPORT AND TO VERIFY THAT YOU QUOTE YOUR INTERVIEWEE ACCURATELY. I have prepare 10 interview questions already, you may add two more if you want. Here are the qestions; 1. In the history of film making, there was this time when films shifted from theatre/studies/television watching to what has been called view at home. Were you in the US during this time? 2. Could you share with me some of your favorite actors, genres and generations during this time? What made these actors, genres and generations appealing, was it style, filmography, aesthetics or what? 3. Did you go to cinemas during the previous years and what films did you specifically go to watch? What was it like going to cinema at that time, was film for everybody or theatres targeted a specific segment in the society? 4. Do you have any films that were appealing to you? What characteristics made the films appealing? 5. Can you highlight what the norm of watching film looked like at that time? 6. What were the movie theatres like, could you give an overview? 7. How was the society regulated in terms of age and gender? For example, how was watching done in a way that made films for children available and also those for adults? 8. Why do you think the VHS system became the new norm when people had developed a culture of watching movies from one? 9. Do you think that the electronic system of today like technology have made watching movies a better experience as compared to the past? 10. How does film going differ when you compare your time an‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‍‌‍‍d the modern time?

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