I have added an essay question that you might like to try:
Classic movies linger in the mind long after the final credits have rolled. With reference to aspects of production as well as the story itself, discuss the ways in which a feature film you have studied could be considered a classic.
In answering this question you will need to be able to discuss why you think American Beauty is a classic film. Classic films are often distinguished or unique works of cinema that have transcended time and trends, with indefinable quality. Classic films are often universal favourites that hold up after repeated rescreenings. Therefore you will need to have your reasons reasons why American Beauty is memorable. Why should it be put in the company of films such as:
- Citizen Kane (1941)
- Gone With The Wind (1939)
- Casablanca (1942)
- Psycho (1960)
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
You might like to discuss characterisation, themes and why they are relevant, how the film has been put together (sequencing of shots), script, music, the narrative structure and pace. How successful has Sam Mendes been in using these features? How has the film caught and sustained the viewer’s interest?