CHOOSE ONE FROM TWO TOPIC:
1. Specificity theory is an argument that seeks to differentiate the cinema from other media to rigorously determine what it formally does best. Panofsky(“Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures,”), Arnheim(“Film and Reality” and “The Making of a Film,”), Bazin( “Theater and Cinema,”), and Munsterberg(The Film: A Psychological Study) tried to articulate the unique qualities of film by separating the medium from theater and other formats. Although Sergei Eisenstein’s writings were intended to do the same, the delivery seems to complicate (or perhaps compromise) specificity. In this paper, discuss Eisenstein(“Beyond the Shot,” 13-24; “The Dramaturgy of Film Form,” 24-40) and Panofsky’s attempts to theorize medium specificity, while noting the moments of adulteration in their argument. Do their views comport with the tenets of specificity? Be sure to clearly define the stakes of specificity theory via Arnheim and Carroll (possibly Clement Greenberg) in your paper.
2.Carefully read Andre Bazin’s “Theater and Cinema” and analyze either the first 90 minutes of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (1982) or The Magic Flute (1975) (both available on Box). Describe in detail what Bazin’s observation of how the cinema portrays the world as opposed to the theater, and explain how his argument formally manifests in Bergman’s film.