CSULB FEA Department Office: UTC 104      Phone: 562-985-5404     Fax: 562-985-5405

Department of Film & Electronic Arts Critical Essay Contest

The Critical Essay Contest awards the best student scholarship produced in the FEA department's critical studies courses. A faculty committee judges the essays on the basis of their quality and accuracy of research, incisiveness of critical thought, and clarity and effectiveness of presentation. Awards are announced at the Student Film Showcase at the end of Spring semester.

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"

Kristin Oken awarded prizes totalling $500 at the Anatol Center
Kristin Oken - 2009-2010 winner of both College of the Arts and university-wide Internship Essay Competitions - pictured receiving $500 awards at the Anatol Center.