Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Revised Investigative Proposal

October 26th, 2011 by Kaitlin Stevens · No Comments · Uncategorized

Kaitlin Stevens
Assignment #3: Investigative Proposal
Robert DeNiro: Arguably one of the most legendary actors of our time. He has played and mastered many different roles in various movie genres. It’s rather obvious that DeNiro consistently plays “bad guy” roles – but that could depend on what your definition of a “bad guy” is. Anyway, no matter what role it is that DeNiro is playing it is certain that he will perfect it and make it unforgettable. He is known for method acting with his characters by heavily studying their backgrounds, which would explain why he always seems to give an exceptional performance. He consistently works with director Martin Scorsese, playing gangster roles. My question is: Which Scorsese gangster role did DeNiro do a better job of grasping and bringing to life – Jimmy Conway from Goodfellas, Vito Corleone from The Godfather Part 2, or Sam Ace Rothstein from Casino?
Obviously all of the roles aforementioned were legendary ones. DeNiro is an unbelievably talented actor. However, it is obvious that one of the roles had to be more significant in his career than the other. By investigating and analyzing this specific subject, I will be learning more about one of my favorite actors (one of America’s favorite actors for that matter) and digging deep into what traits he possesses that make him such an impressive actor. I will be able to pinpoint the certain characteristics DeNiro masters in his acting method.
I plan on watching each movies numerous times and using skills I’ve learned in both this class and my Film History class to examine and interpret the qualities both characters possess, and the qualities that separate them from each other, therefore making one “better” than the other. I will read multiple reviews on tje movies by acclaimed critics and try to understand their opinions on both characters and performances to determine which they seem to prefer. In addition, I will read the books that the movies are based on to get a better sense of what the characters are really like and offer my opinion and arguments on which character DeNiro did a better job of grasping and why.
As I stated in the previous paragraph, some resources I will use are movie reviews and the books the films are based on. I also plan on researching the director of the films, Martin Scorsese, and seeing if I can use any opinions or statements of his to help get an answer to my proposed question. I am going to research the making of both of the films in depth to see which film DeNiro put more work and effort into. I believe that by researching this topic I will be able to give DeNiro fans and just people who are curious about his work a better sense of which role could be classified as his “defining role”, and additionally figure out which role he enjoyed playing more and why.

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