Week 3 Racial Dynamics Represented in The Film Paper Moon Paper


Instructions: In one to two paragraphs (300-400 words), answer ONLY ONE of the following four questions in relation to Paper Moon (Bogdanovich, 1973), making sure to reference at least one scene in the film. There is no time limit and you are allowed one submission before the deadline. Be sure that your submission is entered either using the text box or uploaded as a PDF, DOC, or TXT file.

NOTE: Late reflections are accepted for grading for up to two weeks after the initial due date or by the end of Finals Week, whichever comes first. However, please note that the later the reflection, the greater the grade deduction. The lowest reflection grade (1 out of a total of 6 weekly reflections) will be dropped. Plagiarism—submitting work that is not the student’s own, whether lifted from a printed source or from the internet, or submitting writing by someone else (e.g., a tutor or friend), will warrant a reduced or failing grade, depending on the severity of the plagiarism involved.

Answer ONE of the following questions in your reflection:

Question 1:

In lecture 3C, Professor Lim talks about the importance of the relationships between the various characters in Paper Moon (Bogdanovich, 1973). Combining this with our ongoing discussion of cinematography, discuss how an element of cinematography (for example, mobile framing, deep or shallow space, distance or angle of framing, or long take) expresses something about the relationship between two of the characters in the film in one specific scene.

Question 2:

Reflect on the racial dynamics represented in Paper Moon. With reference to one scene and one formal device, (for example, costume; two-shot; tracking shot; long take; the shot of the “Harem Slave” sign behind Trixie and Imogene, or any other formal device that you consider significant to the scene you’re discussing), explore the issue of racial blackness and/or whiteness in Paper Moon, especially with regards to character relationships. You may want to revisit Professor Lim’s discussion of the film in Lecture 3C.

Question 3:

As Professor Lim discusses in lecture 3C, Paper Moon (Bogdanovich, 1973) is part of a cycle of “tomboy films.” Discuss how the filmmaker uses costume in relation to at least one device of mise-en-scene or cinematography to represent Addie’s character development.

Question 4:

As emphasized by the film’s title, the paper moon, which is an important prop motif in Paper Moon, is flat. Reflect on one aspect of the film that exemplifies flatness or two-dimensionality — a prop motif (for example, the paper moon or the photograph of Addie), the shallow-space composition, or the flatness of the Kansas setting. How is this idea of two-dimensionality contrasted or complicated by the film’s exploration of three-dimensionality through its deep space, deep focus cinematography?


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