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FR435 Formative Essay Titles

o In addition to the summative assignment that you may be REQUIRED to submit for this module, you have the OPTION to write a formative assignment from the list of questions given below. Please note that formative assignments are for training purposes only and do not count as part of your final degree classification. We strongly recommend that you submit a formative assignment as it will enable you to hone the skills developed in this module and to prepare for your summative assessment(s)

o You may, If you wish, discuss the same text/thinker in a summative assignment as you have discussed in a piece of formative assignment, but you must not reproduce in part or whole any of your formative assignment in your summative assignment.

o Deadline for formative assignment: All formative assignments must be submitted to your module tutor by the beginning of week 8 in terms 1 and/or term 2. Tutors will return your marked assignment by the end of term.


Please write 1500 words on one of the following:

1. Sue Harris claims that: ‘Blier’s preferred modes of gender representation, which […] frequently result in unconventional male characterisation in the films, equally extend to female representation, and […] these modes of representation, grounded as they are in established popular expressive forms, are intrinsic to Blier’s key aim of the subversion of narrative and cultural assumptions about performance’ (p.106, ‘Bending Gender’). Discuss this claim in reference to Les Valseuses.

2. Does Cet obscur objet du désir successfully critique or merely tend to reproduce the gendered patterns of film spectatorship, as well as the typical images of women, that Laura Mulvey has associated with mainstream narrative cinema?

3. Critically assess Sarah Cooper’s claim that the films of the Dardenne brothers invite a Levinasian, ethical model of spectatorial engagement with reference to L’Enfant, paying particular attention to the film’s representation of gender.

4. Discuss Gazon maudit’s potentially transgressive status with regard to pre-existing gendered codes of authorship and representation in mainstream French cinema.

5. In what ways might A ma soeur! resist ‘merely reproducing and reifying onscreen the gendered power imbalance of socio-sexual reality’ (Downing, ‘Postmodern Porn,’ p. 267 )?

6. Analyse the roles played by (romantic) comedy and melodrama in negotiating the ‘crisis of masculinity’ in Ma femme est une actrice.