BCA 101 Analytical Report Guidelines and Directions
One of the major assignments for BCA 101 is writing a succinct, focused analytical report on a film not viewed in class. For the purposes of this assignment, any
feature-length fiction film, shown in theaters can be the subject of your analysis, as long as it follows the release-date parameters stipulated in class and in your
syllabus. Your report will be organized strictly according to the following format, in which you will provide relevant information and/or critical observations on each
important element of the film, based on the questions under each part, as listed below:
Name of Student:
Student ID #:
Title of Film: Apocalypse Now
Year of Original Release: 1970’s
Studio Affiliation (original) and Company Releasing the Film:
Plot of Film:
Provide a brief summary of the storyline (including and settings and time period), with some indication of how the events of the plot are organized, especially if the
structure of the film contributes to an overall understanding of the meaning of the movie. Be concise!
As specifically as you can, succinctly address the major ideas the film is trying to convey. Avoid vague generalizations that could apply to almost any movie.
Describe and discuss the important images and visual and aural motifs that help the viewer understand the meaning of the film or the motivations and behavior of the
Characterization and Performances:
Briefly describe the important characters of the film and how their behavior and motivation and reactions to the events of the plot help the viewer understand the
meaning of the movie. If a certain part (especially a leading role) is played by a well-known star, how does the persona (popular image) of that star contribute to (or
detract from) the audience’s understanding or appreciation of that character’s thematic function? For example, is the entire movie meant to be a vehicle for or a
showcase of the particular talents of the lead performer? On the other hand, is the star playing against type? If so, what is the film trying to convey by casting a
star against type?
Quote important or striking lines of dialogue and explain their relevance in regards to them or character development.
Cinematography and Visual Design:
How are color or black and white motifs or patterns utilized to convey theme, mood, or motivation?
Sound and Music:
How are sound effects and musical motifs used to convey theme, mood, or motivation? If songs are utilized, do the lyrics comment on the action within a scene?
Direction and Editing:
How does the director’s visual style, in relation to all the cinematic elements discussed above, help to convey or reinforce meaning and mood? How would you describe
the tone or point of view that the filmmaker is taking toward his or her material?
Genre and Cultural/Historical Considerations:
If the film is an example of a well-defined popular genre (e.g. horror, musical, western, comedy, suspense, gangster, action, mystery, sci-fi, etc.), how does it
fulfill or fail to fulfill the expectations that audiences might bring to the material? How does the movie reflect, reinforce, or challenge the audience’s values,
attitudes, social and political assumptions, and tastes in regard to fulfilling these expectations? Does the film provide a significant contribution to the development
of that genre thematically or stylistically? If so, explain why.
Did you personally enjoy the film? What does your personal reaction to this product tell you about your own tastes, attitudes, values, and political or social
You should consult at least three outside sources. Cite those sources here using APA bibliographic form. When using outside sources, you should cite the sources
parenthetically within the text of the paper, too. Cite sources by using the last name of the author, and the year the source was published. In text citations should
look like this:
Smith argues that this film is an example of a traditional Western in that it reinforces the frontier myth (Smith, 1995). Then you would go on to write your next
sentence like this. And so on.
Be sure not to plagiarize! Even if you’re paraphrasing information from a source, you must cite your source. If you use anything word-for-word from a source, you must
put that direct quote in quotation marks.
Use only academically sound sources. Do NOT use Wikipedia and similar on-line sources. Limit yourself to books, journal articles and trade publications.
Other things to think about when writing this analytical report:
The analytical report should be anywhere from 5-10 pages long. It should be typed, double-spaced, and use 12-point font with standard margins.
The paper must be turned in on time. Late papers will receive a 2 point grade deduction for each day the paper is late. Papers may not be turned in more than 3 days
The paper is worth a total of 25 points (25% of your grade in the course).