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Department of Film & Electronic Arts Critical Essay Contest 2005-2010

From 2005 to 2010, the Critical Essay contest honored the best student scholarship produced in the FEA Department's critical studies courses. A faculty committee judged the essays on the basis of their quality and accuracy of research, incisiveness of critical thought, and clarity and effectiveness of presentation.

Award Winners:


1st place:
Michael Rossetti, "The Illusion of Art in Blowup"

2nd place:
Alison Black, "Smells Like Sensationalism: Did Nick Broomfield's Kurt and Courtney Kill Itself... or Was It Murdered?"

3rd place:
Megan Welch, "Alleviating Fears: The Method and Magic of Science Fiction"


1st place:
Michael Rossetti, "Come and See the Lessons of War"

2nd place:
Mary Fecteau, "Jung, Italian Style: The Psychology of Jung in Fellini's 8 1/2"

3rd place:
Kenneth Sato, "Don't Look Back: Another Side of Documentary Film"


1st place:
William Giacchi, "Ecstatic Truth in Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man"

Mary Fecteau, "Let's All Have a Good Laugh: Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties"
Eric Kim, "He Came, He Saw, He Restructured: Elem Klimov's Revision of Soviet World War II Mythmaking"
David Miller, "House Rules: Louis Malle's Atlantic City"

Honorable Mention:
Amy Bartlett, "Nature vs. Nurture: Joey vs. Tom in A History of Violence"
D'Wayne Clinton, "Let It Bleed: Hybridized Direct Cinema and Gimme Shelter"
Nathan Cooke, "The Classical Gangster Film and Boyz N The Hood"
Doris Leung, "A Gangsta's Life: Taking a Look Back at A History of Violence"
Sarah Noone, "Dialectics of Liberation: Carolee Schneemann's Fuses"
Art Serna, "The Chicano Revision: Gangs, Genre, and the Prison Life in American Me"
Michael Thielvoldt, "Au revoir, l'innocence: Themes and Color Schemes in Louis Malle's Au revoir, les enfants"


1st Place:
Michelle Ton, "Girl, Interrupting: A Feminist Dislocation of the Male Narrativity, Gaze and Spectator in Agnes Varda's Vagabond"

Kenneth Cooper, "More Than the Sum of Its Parts: 'Travelin' Thru' the Marketing and Critical Reception of Transamerica"
Paul T. Layland, "A Half-Formed Female: The Problem of Nikita"
Christopher J. Rock, "Come and See: The Horsemen of War"
David C. Smith, "The Docs, They Are A-Changin': Offering Intimacy Through Postured Objectivity in D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back"

Honorable Mention:
Lindsey Clemons, "Observing Grey Gardens"
Michele Geary, "Degeneration of the German Spirit: Mephisto and The Damned"
Doris Leung, "The False Romantic Promise: A Contemporary Analysis of Documentary in The Bridge"
Ursula Loscalzo, "Emotion, Tradition, and Silence: Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story"
John Matsuya, "The Way You Look Tonight: Women of Musicals as Subjects of the Gaze"
Paul Morales, "Boyz N the Hood: Continuing the Legacy of the Classical Gangster Film"
Ardrian Newell, "Born Into Brothels: A Romanticized Look"
Kristi Peterson, "A History of Violence: A Few Nods and a Nudge in the Ribs"
Benjamin Stagg, "Past and Present Collide: The Films of Bergman, Fellini, and Allen"
Michael Thielvoldt, "Cinema Enigma: A Discursive Analysis of Federico Fellini's Cinema"


First Place:
Michelle Ton, "Ambiguity, Class, and the Circumstantial: Understanding the Nazi Collaborator in Louis Malle's Lacombe, Lucien"

Neil Corbin, "Michael Haneke's Cache: Re-Visioning Multiculturalism, Postmodernism, and the Algerian War"
Holly Garland, "The Excess of Sex, 1980s Style: 9 1/2 Weeks as Backlash Film"
Kelvin Ho, "A Time to Remember, A Time to Reflect: Hou Hsiao-hsien's A Time to Live, A Time to Die"
Andrew Pearson, "Wandering Amidst a Russian Purgatory: Historical Commentary and the Loss of Innocence in Elem Klimov's Come and See"

Honorable Mention:
Stacy Astenius, "Le scaphandre et le papillon: The Phenomenological Construct of Manhood in a Postmodern World"
Austin Butler, "Getting Out of South Central L.A.: School, Sports, or Death" [on Boyz N the Hood]
Kenta Ikeda, "Thinking Godard: Pierrot le fou"
James Kislingbury, "It Came in Outer Space! Rampant Horror and Human Sexuality in Alien"
Ursula Loscalzo, "Everyday Evils: Louis Malle's Cinematic Emancipation of Guilt, Stereotypes, and a Nation's History" [on Lacombe, Lucien and Au revoir, les enfants]
Kristi Peterson, "A Frightening Dystopia, A Scanner Darkly: A Phenomenological Reading of a Postmodern Text"
David Phill, "Shadow of a Gangster" [on Atlantic City]


First Place:
Megan De Leon, "The Mad Man: Our Guide Through the 'Pursuit of Happiness'"

Austin Butler, "The Thought Machine: Gus Van Sant's Elephant and Its Polysemy"
Kelvin Ho, "The Suicide Bomber and Her Bananas: Deconstructing a Masculine Genre in Post-9/11 America in Julia Loktev's Day Night Day Night"
Devin Hughes, "Sex, Murder, and Martinis: The Shifting Identities of Nick and Nora Charles, Screwball's Ideal Marriage"
David Phill, "Once more unto the hood, dear friends: Identification and Distance in the Critical Reception of John Singleton's Baby Boy"
Allegra Ringo, "History as Competing Narratives in Capturing the Friedmans"

Honorable Mention:
Lesley Elizondo, "The Irony of Mephisto and Its Portrayal of Self-Deception during the Nazi Uprising"
Holly Garland, "Pain, Pleasure, and Female Desire: Queer Heterosexuality in Secretary"
Cheryl Klewicki, "Verisimilitude, Ambiguity, and Transitory Realism in Juliet of the Spirits"
Andrew Pearson, "Dylan in the Half-Light: Direct Cinema in D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back"
Alex Valencia, "A New Frontier Experience: A Postmodern and Phenomenological Analysis of Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man"