Critical Film Review Guidelines
In class, over the course of the next couple class periods, we will watch a feature film relevant
to our discussion of culture. Your assignment is to write
a two to three page review of that film using the following guidelines.
The review is due on the next class period after we finish viewing the
film (check the syllabus for the date). Your review must be typed,
double-spaced, and in 12 point font, with one-inch margins. No cover
pages or report covers, please, but be sure your name, the course name
and the date is in the upper left corner of the paper.
Begin by making notes on the following topics:
Place of the film in his work
Purpose of the film: consider
these elements as they apply
of the plot to convey purpose
Cinematic techniquesused to achieve
the director's purpose:
Space: Is the camera/viewer in
or outside of the space/ scene? What kind of activity/movement
is contained in the scene? How is geographical space presented?
Time (pace, tempo): What is happening
and how fast? In what parts is the tempo fast? slow? And why?
What is the historical time or time span?
Light: Brightness, or color intensity?
Relationship of light to mood and atmosphere? Inside Light?
For the title put: Title of film (italicized),
by Film-maker (name of film director), date released
Range of colors?
Intensity of colors?
Relationship to movement or specific characters?
In the feature film written review you must (using good essay format):
- Identify the purpose and point of view with a thumbnail of the content/narrative
(at least one fat paragraph).
- Briefly summarize the narrative of the film and explain it relevance to our discussion of this culture.
- Discuss specifically how the film-maker uses space, time, light, and
color to enhance/convey his message/purpose. Devote at least a paragraph
to each of these topics and give specific examples from the film to make
your points clear to the reader.
- Evaluate, with specific points, the extent to which the film-maker achieves
his purpose and present your critical response to the film (what you felt
worked/didn't, what you liked/didn't, and why).
- Provide a works cited page listing any outside sources you consulted
(ie: for information on the director or his work). Be sure you have
any direct quotes, paraphrases, etc. Consult the Chicago
Manual of Style or the MLA Handbook for appropriate style guidelines.
(Note: even internet sources must be documented!)
This page last updated, Oct. 2002.
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