Film Criticism

The week five written assignment is your final film critique. This is the culmination of the work you’ve been doing in this class, your chance to focus all the techniques and elements we’ve been studying on the thorough analysis of one feature length film. You can incorporate your week’s two and three papers factoring in your instructor’s feedback into your final analysis, but be sure that the parts you might choose to incorporate flow seamlessly into one another and serve your ultimate argument.

Make sure to read through the guidelines carefully, noting all the different required elements. And take a look ahead at the rubric so you know exactly how your work will be assessed. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you work on your paper.

Choose a film to analyze from AFI’s top 100 films list. Stick to this list, and pick a film you are familiar with or have easy access to, as you will probably need to watch it several times to hone your points. Remember, the lessons you’ve learned throughout this course. For example, you’ll be called upon to explain the difference between story and plot in the particular film you’ve chosen.

You’ll also look at specific aesthetic choices. While we’ve discussed those throughout the class, you’ll have to explain them and apply them to the film you’ve chosen. If you choose to incorporate earlier assignments, be sure to expand on these to show your growing understanding and application of the concepts. Don’t forget to get specific. Whether you’re talking about lighting, or editing, or any other cinematic techniques, be sure to drill down and reference specific scenes or shots to help make your point.

Here are a few more tips to remember. You were asked to consider the social or personal impact of a specific film. The guidelines scaffold some different ways to think about this, but be sure to think broadly. This is an important part of the paper, one where outside resources might be especially helpful.

See the sample paper we’ve uploaded in the assignment prompt. This is a model of good student work, what your professors are looking for, and the type of comments we will make. Also keep in mind that the titles of films should always be italicized.

Click into the Ashford library English 225 study guide. It’s a portal dedicated to the kinds of articles, essays, and books that will be the most helpful resources as you work on your written assignment. Try to budget your time so that you can take advantage of the various resources offered by the Ashford Writing Center to ensure that your paper is written and polished. Remember, the week five written assignment is a chance to really apply your understanding of the concepts and skills we’ve been working so hard to master over the last few weeks. Give yourself an opportunity to succeed by preparing yourself thoroughly and working diligently to complete the paper.

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