Directions: Answer questions 1 through 7 with your actor in mind. In other words, if you are focusing on Marilyn Monroe’s persona for Paper #1, you would answer the 7 questions about her.
Think of 2 or 3 films featuring the actor/actress you chose as the subject for your first paper. Ask yourself these questions about his/her character in each film.
- What qualities, strengths and flaws does the main character possess that are unique, odd, frustrating, infuriating, hilarious, heartrending, touching, inspiring? Name a few key qualities that make the character… accessible/sympathetic/compelling/endearing/revolting/memorable.
- Are these qualities visible in / linked to the character’s costume? His/her hair? His/her makeup? The way the actor playing him/her acts/walks? Is blocked/staged? Is lit? How do the props and setting enhance/highlight the main character’s key qualities? Does the cinematography highlight these qualities? How so? 2B. Give examples. Think of a scene in the beginning, middle and end of the film where the mise-en-scene highlights these qualities.
- Do these character qualities drive the plot and/or story in some ways? If so, think of a scene in the beginning of the film where these qualities come into play – cause something to happen. Next, think of a scene in the middle of the film where these qualities come into play. Lastly, think of a scene in the end of the film.
- Do these qualities figure into the character’s personal history, his/her present occupation (or lack thereof)? His/her love life? His/her future plans?
- How does the genre(s) of the film lend itself/themselves to highlighting these qualities/strengths/weaknesses?