Friday, 16 May 2008
So, what are you going to do to make sure you write the perfect Contemporary British Cinema answer in the Issues and Debates paper then?
1. Know at least THREE films inside out. And two or more others for back up. Make sure your big three provide contrast. So, some of the low budget gritty realism of Bullet Boy, London to Brighton or This Is England. One of the big shiny high budget Working Title features (either the 'British history lite for the US market' of Elizabeth or the idealised sunny London middle class nirvana of Love Actually).
2. You should be confident that you know your big three synoptically. That is in terms of:
-Media forms and conventions
3. Read widely around some of the issues that currently affect British Cinema. Check the MediaGuardian and other online newspaper pages, the Working Title webpage, sight and sound magazine for what is going on...and the links to britfilms etc (on the right)
4. Choose your question carefully (you anwser one of two questions for each topic) and plan and structure your answer accordingly. Spend 5-8 mins planning you response before writing. This will add clarity and provide a more measured response. Work on 6-8 main body paragraphs along with a brief intro and conclusion. Refer to the question throughout.
5. Have an opinion. It is an issues and debates paper after all so debate the issues! Just make sure you have ample evidence to back up your argument otherwise you sound ill-informed and like you are just having a rant.
6. Learn some quotes. Get on IMDB if you were too lazy to write them down during class.
7. Relax. You should know this stuff by now - it is just a matter of recall and calmly going about answering the question. Breathe 'low and slow' and if you feel yourself tensing up 'stop, drop and flop'.
8. Spend one hour only on each question. Time management is important.
9. Plan and write some answers to past paper questions (OCR site). Bring them to either of us for marking and feedback.
10. Study hard (short term pain for long term gain) and then you can relax like Gal/Ray (above) and hang out by the pool during summer knowing you gave it your best. Just watch out for boulders.
Posted by Mr. M at 14:35