Narrative cinema’s penchant for creating a seemingly whole story universe proves to be largely a mirage—a skilled trick of seamless editing, genre formulas, and carefully crafted mise-en-scene and cinematography.  This mirage leads viewers to follow the narrative’s path while ignoring omissions, loose ends, or fissures.

In this semester’s production challenge, Film/Media Studies faculty have selected three narrative mysteries—something the films’ plots do not explain or explore.  You must select one of the films below and create a two-minute video that solves, explains, or addresses the narrative ellipses.

- any currently enrolled Bucknell University student may enter
– entries must consist of original video footage shot during spring 2014
– entries shall include one graphic match, two close-ups, and at least one use of off-screen diegetic sound
– entries cannot include any music
– entries must run two minutes exactly.  Please add a 4-second title screen at the film’s beginning with your name(s), the source film, and the date (for a total running time of 2:04)
– you may work individually or with a group of Bucknell University students.

You must submit this entry form by Monday, March 17 at 4pm. Final film submission is due Monday, April 14 by 4pm.  Entries may be turned in to the English Department, Vaughan Literature 121.

Please use the following parameters for your finished film:
Frame size:                    1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720
Frame rate:                   24 fps
Export format:             QuickTime ProRes 422 or H264


Rita-Hayworth-GildaGILDA (Charles Vidor, 1946, US).  Half way through the film, Gilda (Rita Hayworth) meets someone at the Hotel Centenario.  The film, however, omits any details of the meeting.  Who does she meet at the hotel (or does she even go to the hotel)?  How does it change what we think of her character and the film’s story?

Screening March 18 at 2pm at The Campus Theatre; on reserve for ENGL 234


ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Douglas Sirk, 1955, US).  Laura Mulvey’s essay about All That Heaven Allows (1955) tempts us with a nuance regarding the film’s ending:allheaven

Although All That Heaven Allows does, on the face of it, have a happy ending, its “happiness” is twisted with more than a touch of characteristically Sirkian irony.

For example, we never learn how Ron (Rock Hudson) is pulled from the grip of freezing death. When a friend rushes to Cary (Jane Wyman) with news of the accident, she says, “I’ll tell you all about it on the way [to Ron’s bedside].”  What is Cary told?  Set your scene in the front seat of the car of their midnight drive or at the rock face after Ron’s fall earlier that day.  Who (or what? !) comes to Ron’s aid?

Screening Friday, February 14 at 2pm at The Campus Theatre; on reserve for ENGL 130

PSYCHO (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960, US).  In the opening sequence, Marion (Janet Leigh) discusses building ‘respectability’ into her relationship with Sam (John Gavin) by hosting him for dinner “in my house, with my mother’s picture on the mantle, and my sister helping me boil a big steak for three.”  Of course, the film moves forward in quite a differentpsycho4a direction but imagine if the scene did occur.  What’s the story of Marion and Lila’s living arrangements?  What might we learn about Marion’s mother, if we had never learned about Norman’s?

Screening Monday, April 7 at the Campus Theatre, 7pm; on reserve for ENGL 238


Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 12 most recent pages you have visited in If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.