The “Eclectic” or “Popular” Film Review You may choose any theatrically released film of your liking. Your review should be 1100-1500 words or more in length and should be written in first person (use “I”). You should assume authority over the analysis of your chosen film (i.e. write as an expert) and this paper should not use any outside sources. This should be your interpretation of one cinematic text and you should comment on all of the various film elements that make this particular film noteworthy.
The primary function of this paper is to either encourage your readers to see this film or to avoid it at all costs. Consider the general public (i.e. people of both sexes, all races, all classes, and of average intelligence) as your target audience. You should persuade your readers through this review and it should be very clear exactly how and why you recommend or disapprove of this film. To do this you should: 1. Establish what you appreciate in a good movie. What are the ingredients of a good film? List these on a separate piece of paper under the heading Ingredients of a Good Film and attach this list to your review. Then, measure this film by those criteria you have established and explain these one-by-one in the body of your review. 2. Briefly compare your film to other films (2 or 3) in the same genre. 3. Briefly compare your film to other films (1 or 2) with similar themes, similar motifs and/or from the same director or starring the same actor. 4. Consider the points on the Eclectic Analysis Checklist I provided in PAL. Evaluate your chosen film on each of these element, but focus on just two (see below for more about this). 5. Lastly, do not forget to give your review a catchy/snazzy title.
Your review should be an evaluation/interpretation of a selected film using both your Ingredients of a Good Film list and my Eclectic Analysis (Film Review) Checklist as criteria for evaluation and interpretation. This assignment is all about you and your interpretation of the film. Provide only a very brief plot summary in the beginning (without any major spoilers!), but do not use very much space on summary. This is a review, not a summarization. Recognize that themes and motifs in your chosen film are just as important as aesthetic techniques and you want to give adequate coverage to both content and form in your review.
In doing this, I would suggest focusing on just two of the film elements we have discussed in this class (that are listed in the Eclectic Analysis (Film Review) Checklist), but also be sure to briefly mention at least three other elements from the Eclectic Analysis (Film Review) Checklist to support whatever value claims you make about the film. Ask yourself: How do all of the elements fit together to create the whole? How are specific techniques within the film elements (form) used to create ideas (content)? What is particularly interesting about this film? What brings this film to life? What genre does this film belong to and how does this film compare to other films in this genre (or, if an older film, how does it compare to other films from that era)? How is the film’s setting important? What social themes does the film address?
The purpose of this assignment is to show me you can apply and combine/synthesize the various elements, concepts, and techniques you have learned into a provocative film review. Writing this review is intended as partial fulfillment of three of the Student Learning Outcomes for this FIL 1000 course: 1. Critically analyze a film for the technical and historic aspects of the film. 3. Demonstrate knowledge of basic film production techniques and components of films. 4. Connect selected films to specific genres and/or film movements and convey the historic and socio-cultural relevance of these specific genres and/or film movements. I expect to see an appropriate amount of “college-level” sophistication in your writing, but I want you to write this review as if you were a film critic writing for popular media. The goal is to assert evaluative claims about a film you appreciate (or hate) and to analyze both the film’s form (elements and techniques) and its content (narrative, themes, and ideology) to support your claims.