Women in Film:
Over the past
few weeks, we have watched and discussed films that have featured characters
that represent common archetypal images of women in film. We have seen examples
femme fatale (a female version of the
mothers (a variation of the mother/maternal archetype),
daughters (a variation of the rebel archetype), and
assignment, describe and analyze specific representations of one of these
archetypes in a variety of films. In your analysis, you will consider how the
historical, social and political context in which each film you are discussing
was made influenced the specific representation of the archetypal character.
is worth 20% of your final grade.
1) Focus your
one of the following archetypes:
female action hero
Identify specific representations (examples)
of the archetype you have chosen in three different films. Choose one
example (at least) from one of the films we have watched in the course so far (Mildred Pierce, Imitation of Life, Foxy Brown
or Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). Choose
two more examples from films you have watched outside this course. Try to select three examples of the archeype
from films made in different time periods and/or films made in different
2) Write a
report analyzing the three examples of the archetype you have chosen to focus
on. Divide your report into the following sections:
Introduction to the Archetype (4
In your own
words, explain the characteristics of the archetype
you have chosen. In other words, how do you recognize examples of this
archetype when you see them in films? Describe the
relevant features of social identity –
e.g. race, gender expression, ability/disability, socio-economic status/class,
associated with the archetype you have chosen. You do not need to address all
of the criteria listed above in your description; include the information that
is most relevant to the archetype you have chosen.
Note: If you use ideas from other sources – including course
materials and readings – make sure you document each source with both in-text
references and full references at the end of the report.
of specific examples/representations of the archetype (4 marks for each representation = 12
own words, identify and describe each of the three examples/
of the archetype you have chosen.
For each example of the archtype you have
the character you have chosen and the film in which the character appears; and
briefly describe the character’s role in the film.
a specific scene from the film in which the character exemplifies the archetype
she represents (make sure your in-text reference includes the time-stamp for
how the character represents (or
embodies) the archetype, referring to characteristics portrayed in the scene
you described AND in the rest of the film
any ways that the character does NOT conform to expectations for the archetype.
Be specific about the characters deviates from/defies/
the “norms” of the archetype (refer to significant details scenes/moments)
how the social and political context in which the film was made may have
influenced the way the character is represented.
Analysis the examples of the archetype
following questions about your three examples of the archetype:
do all three examples of the archetype you have chosen share in common?
do these similarities suggest about the social function of this archetype? In
other words, what “message” do all three examples of this archetype send to
viewers about this “type” of woman?
what specific ways are the three examples of the archetype you have chosen
do these differences reveal about the social function/message of each
particular example of the archetype?
Length and Format:
assignment will be between 3 and 5 pages long, and must be typed and doubled
spaced. Use the headings above to organize your assignment.
As stated in
the course outline, assignments that are submitted late without previous
discussion with the professor with lose one mark per late day.
these guidelines and the assignment rubric to ensure you are meeting all
you must document all sources including film clips using APA-style
in-text and full references.