Florida International University Movie Comparison and Contrasting Essay

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Watch Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game, his 1940 classic about goings-on at a French country estate. Then you may choose from ONE (1) of the four other films below. After watching The Rules of the Game and the film of your choice, use the knowledge you have learned thus far in class to compare and contrast the two films using FOUR (4) the elements of film grammar.


Use IMDB or Wikipedia to read synopses.

The Rules of the Game (1960), directed by Jean Renoir (REQUIRED).

Then choose ONE (1) of the following:

La Dolce Vita (1960), directed by Federico Fellini (Italy)

Amores Perros (2000), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico)

Marie Antoinette (2006), directed by Sofia Coppola (United States)

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017), directed by Robin Campillo (France).


It will be up to you to come up with arguments/theses that encompasses both films.

You will need to compare and contrast several elements of the films, developing a multi-perspective analysis of local, global, international, and communication issues throughout the films.

One other source besides Stephen Prince’s Movies and Meaning is required. You cannot cite IMDB or Wikipedia. Do some research on the director. If you have time to watch another of his or her films, I encourage you.

  • You will then write a 4-5 double-spaced page paper that analyzes and exposes what you have learned from the course about the grammar of film. These pages do not include the title or reference page.

As your paper will analyze films directed/written by people from different countries, it is crucial to dissect how these filmmakers approach the elements of filmmaking to tell a narrative. You must choose FOUR of the following elements:

Film Structure




  • Acting


  • Genre

Visual effects

Make sure you explain each component you choose in detail and defend your arguments with sources!

  • Be sure to write your paper in APA format citing the text when necessary. Include an abstract, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion and reference page. The paper will be submitted to the Turnitin Dropbox on Canvas.


  • I will deduct points for poor grammar, informality of expression, and failure to comply with APA style. If you don’t have a manual, use this online style guide.

Don’t be informal. You’re writing a paper, not a discussion. Don’t offer opinions that sound like social media posts. Writing, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown had incredible performances!” will get you points knocked off.

Use topic sentences. These are the first sentences of your paragraphs, the organizing ideas. For example: “Thanks to its use of deep focus and Walter Murch’s sound design, Apocalypse Now recreates the experience of barely surviving a war in Southeast Asia.”

You must cite Movies and meaning and any relevant secondary sources. If you have seen movies to which you can compare The Rules of the Game and the other film of your choice, also cite them. Your paper will be richer if it demonstrates a familiarity with film as a cross-generational conversation.


To watch these films, you can visit Swank or Kanopy or use your own streaming service 


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