Each will be a paper of NO LESS THAN ONE AND NO MORE THAN TWO PAGES. Each paper MUST do the following…
First: write an essay of no more than 2 and no less than 1 pages, double spaced, no smaller than 11-point font, normal margins, and PROOFREAD effectively. All papers must have your name on them…title pages are preferred, but they don’t count as words or pages against the assignment.
BLACKBOARD WILL NOT READ ANY PROGRAM BESIDES MS WORD. Please write all papers in MS Word. Corrupted files, files in other formats, or files that will not open will simply be deleted and no points awarded. Submit al papers via blackboard assignments tab with the file extension .doc or .docx.
PAPERS WILL BE WORTH 5 POINTS EACH, PASS/FAIL, NO PARTIAL CREDIT. You CANNOT earn more than 15 points in extra credit. They will all be applied to the first exam score unless I note otherwise!
The essay should review the event, lecture, exhibit, panel, discussion, or film for the following points: international relations relevance generally, theoretical possibilities, and any coverage of concepts or events from readings and lecture. In other words, only write about what the film is about and how it matters to our class. Generally the papers should be NO MORE THAN HALF devoted to explaining the point of the film, the argument of the speaker, the topic of the lecture, etc. The OTHER HALF MUST RELATE THE EVENT, FILM, SPEAKER, ETC. to things we have discussed and learned in the course; NOTE HOW THIS MATTERS TO THE STUDY OF IR AS DICUSSED IN THE READINGS, LECTURE, and TEXT OF THE CLASS. Again, HALF YOUR PAPER MUST BE ABOUT HOW THE FILM OR LECTURE RELATES DIRECTLY TO WHAT WE HAVE DISCUSSED IN CLASS!! This means that any essay that does not do this will NOT GET THE CREDIT. Generally, a paper will describe what you saw (film’s plot, point of the discussion or speaker, where and when, etc.) and then will go into some detail about HOW IT RELATES DIRECTLY TO CLASS. This is usually a 50-50 split.
PAPERS SHOULD BE SENT TO the BLACKBOARD PAGE. DO NOT CUT AND PASTE or TYPE THE PAPER IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL…I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY OTHER METHOD OF PAPER DELIVERY…AT ALL…SO DON’T TRY IT. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THEM TO ME! AGAIN, they are turned in to BLACKBOARD. There is an assignment titled EXTRA CREDIT. Open that tab and follow the directions to upload your paper from there. DO NOT FAIL TO SUBMIT THESE PROPERLY…you ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE.
The extra credit papers will be accepted starting on Tuesday, December 3, and no extra credit papers will be accepted after 11:00 AM, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013. Don’t wait until the last second because NO LATE PAPERS will be accepted. For any event or participation or speaker you will write a paper that 50% details what you did/saw/watched and 50% notes HOW IT IS RELEVANT TO THE COURSE. Make sure you find ACTUAL relevance–don’t make stuff up.
Speakers are TBA—there are a number of speakers and events all semester that have been and will be announced as eligible for extra credit. We cannot guarantee speakers, but the films are always accepted.
**** You may only do 2 films for extra credit. To get 15 points you will have to do at LEAST one attendance event: Dinner and a Movie, lecture, conference, etc. NO MORE THAN 2 films will be accepted.
The films are below. Oh yeah, PROOFREAD ALL PAPERS. Papers that are poorly written may not get the credit!
Here are the films for the extra credit assignment. You may select another film ONLY if I approve that film. Certainly this is not a complete list, but I have seen these films and I recommend them, although not all with the same degree of support. Choose wisely—a film that is barely relevant will likely require a stronger analysis than a more clearly salient production. Remember, you may only acquire 15 total points of extra credit.
IR FILMS (** denotes a recommended selection)
Academy Award nominated documentary about American soldiers stationed in a combat-heavy position in Afghanistan…very serious look at modern combat conditions **
No Man’s Land
Danis Tanovic’s Academy Award ®-winning satire of the war in the Balkans is an astounding balancing act, an acidic black comedy grounded in the brutality and horror of war. **
Welcome to Sarajevo, 1997. Michael Winterbottom’s film about Bosnia is interesting, noting the relationship between the horrors of what was happening, the seemingly inept international negotiations to end the tragedy, and the hardened cynicism of the correspondents that covered the war. **
The Last Just Man, 2000. Steven Silver’s account of the Rwandan genocide as told by Canadian Lt. General Romeo Dallaire. This is highly recommended, but not a pleasant story to watch. **
Hearts and Minds. 1991. 115 min. VT P399
Examines the American consciousness that led to involvement in Vietnam. Includes interviews with General William Westmoreland, Robert Kennedy, former Secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford, Senator William Fulbright, Walt Rostow, and Daniel Ellsberg, as well as American Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese leaders. Presidents Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon are shown in rare footage. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 1974. **
13 Days. Recent Kevin Costner film on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Does a great job looking at crisis decision-making, foreign policy models, Cold War, etc. **
Charlie Wilson’s War, 2007 Tom Hanks portrays true life congressman Charlie Wilson, who seems to single-handedly provide American support to the anti-Sovient Afghan forces in the 1980’s Cold War.
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964 parody of nuclear deterrence—Stanley Kubrick directed, starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott. One of the greatest and funniest films ever! **
Paths of Glory. 1957
A chilling lucidity illuminates every frame of this World War I drama from the great, Bronx-born director Stanley Kubrick, whose icy, cerebral vision is on stunning display here. Paths of Glory (1957) tells the story of a failed French attack on the Germans during World War I and the ensuing court-martial of three French soldiers charged with cowardice. **
All Quiet on the Western Front. 1930
One of the most powerful anti-war statements ever put on film, this gut-wrenching story concerns a group of friends who join the Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their fiery patriotism is quickly turned to horror and misery by the harsh realities of combat.
The Year of Living Dangerously. 1982
Peter Weir, Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt. Early 1960’s Jakarta, Indonesia and a love story set in the anti-communist uprisings from Sukarno to Suharto. A good film…
The Killing Fields. 1984
The Killing Fields is a romanticized adaptation of an eyewitness magazine story by New York Times correspondent Sidney Schanberg, who was in Cambodia in 1975 when it fell under the control of the Communist Khmer Rouge. **
One little glitch threatens the world with a thermonuclear nightmare in Sidney Lumet’s definitive cold-war drama, Fail-Safe. **
The Missiles of October. 1974
The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis is the subject of this made-for-TV effort. Starring William Devane as President John Kennedy, the movie explores the events of the 13-day period when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war. **
Salvador may be Oliver Stone’s best film, even if it is one of his least known and commercially disappointing. Released in the same year as Stone’s more acclaimed Platoon, Salvador takes a rare, politically volatile subject: the U.S.-backed war in El Salvador and gives audiences a thrill-a-minute ride through the eyes of its unlikely protagonist, photographer Richard Boyle (James Woods).
Heaven and Earth 1993
One of few films examining the Vietnam War from different perspectives. Heaven and Earth begins in the central Vietnamese village of Ky La during the 1950s.
Regis Wargnier’s epic about French Indochina — from the years of French colonial imperialism to the days when American presence made itself felt and the country became known as Vietnam
Starring: Diego Abatantuono, Claudio Bigagli
Director: Gabriele Salvatores
Synopsis: Bittersweet, low-key tale of Italian soldiers "going native" after being marooned on a tiny Greek island during WWII.
Triumph of the Will 1934
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Synopsis: Notorious Nazi documentary chronicling Hitler’s 1934 Nuremberg rallies is considered a powerful example of cinematic propaganda. It is not an exciting film, but very moving in its slowness **
Tora, Tora, Tora. 1970
Description: This movie describes the events surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The film tells the story from both the Japanese and the American points of view.
The Atomic Café, 1982. A clever montage of 1940s/1950s news clips and Civil Defense and military training films overlaid with offbeat contemporary songs about The Bomb. The creators of THE ATOMIC CAFE produced a film that will amaze the post-Cold War generation and cause those who lived during that period to ask, "Could that be us?" Craziness! **
Testament, 1983, This is the story of a nuclear attack, yet there are no images of destruction – no fire, destroyed buildings etc. Jane Alexander gives a touching performance as a mother trying to keep her family hopeful in spite of radiation sickness and lack of food. This is a very heart-wrenching film. Not totally realistic perhaps due to the dramatic effects, but US-centric. For a more realistic and terribly sobering account, see Threads. **
Threads, 1984, British docu-drama about the immediate aftermath of a nuclear exchange between NATO and the Soviet Union after the Soviets invade the Middle East to seize oil fields. This is VERY frightening, generally regarded as highly plausible, and not for everyone. It is also difficult to find, but very much worth the impact. **
30 Frames A Second: The WTO in Seattle, 2000, Independent film, is a compelling first-person account of the events that unfolded during the week the World Trade Organization came to Seattle in November of 1999.
Hotel Rwanda—2004, True story of a hotel manager’s harrowing experience in the Rwandan genocide. **
Sometimes in April (currently on HBO) Rwandan genocide in HBO film; very well done **
Syriana (2005) Good adapation of the Bob Bauer book.
Fahrenheit 9/11 [videorecording] / Lions Gate Films and IFC Films and The Fellowship Adventure Group present a Dog Eat Dog Films production, a film by Michael Moore ; producers, Jim Czarnecki, Kathleen Glynn ; written, produced and directed by Michael Moore.
The Hunt for Red October—Cold war, defection, submarines and nuclear warheads…pretty good fun **
Blackhawk Down: Be careful with this one—find the IR relevance beyond that there is a war going on.
Gallipoli—1981, Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.
Life and Debt— Using Jamaica as an example of a country that has been under the tutelage of the IMF/WB, this film dissects the "mechanism of debt" that has been destroying local industry and agriculture in developing countries (2001). **
The Girl in the Café—2003. Light relationship film with UK Diplomat who is a representative to an international aid conference and brings his new girlfriend—who speaks up in the middle of dinner. Intriguing.
Fog of War—2004 A film about the former US Secretary of Defence and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war. Winner of 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary
Crimson Tide: More Cold War submarine tension…
Why We Fight? Applies Eisenhower and Military Industrial Complex to the current war in Iraq
Fat Man and Little Boy—1989 Paul Newman, John Cusack—dramatic interpretation of the development of the bomb
CNN Presents: The Cold War—Multiple part series on the Cold War with in depth coverage of many different facets of the tensions between the US and the USSR from 1945 to 1991.
The Commanding Heights: Film/DVD series on the WTO and free trade.
Generation Kill: The HBO adaptation of the bestselling book by Evan Wright
The International: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts… International Banking and arms trade, a good choice, not a great choice…
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy…Cold War in full bloom
Argo: Interesting historical sidebar of the Iran hostage crisis.
THE VIDEO FAN on Strawberry Street has many of the more hard to find titles. Netflix can be your friend here…especially with instant downloads and streaming video. Also, VCU libraries may have some of these films on DVD or even videotape…and they are free to watch!
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