Reasons for Writing About Film
▪ Motion picture reviews in magazines, newspapers, or television often are written for one of these reasons:
1. To describe details of acting, direction, music, plot, or theme that make the movie worth seeing or not, in the opinion of the reviewer.
2. To evaluate the movie in terms of the reviewer’s critical standards.
▪ Essays are assigned in this course, however, for a different reason: to stimulate you to develop your ideas about movies.
▪ Keep in mind that movies function on several levels:
1. For the motion picture industry, movies provide employment and investment opportunities.
2. For directors, actors, cinematographers, musicians, and technicians, movies provide opportunities for artistic expression.
3. For the audience, movies provide entertainment and retreat from the routine of everyday life.
4. For those of us who study artistic works in the field of humanities art, music, literature, religion, philosophy, drama, film movies also provide an opportunity to explore a director’s and writer’s view of life, of character, of action in the face of challenges. Studying movies provides an opportunity to explore our responses beyond our initial immediate responses. While watching a western such as Unforgiven, we may find ourselves caught up in the action of a gunfight between a young man who can barely see unless what he is looking at is directly in front of and close to him and a scoundrel who cut the face of a woman who had laughed at him. Later, on reflection, we may find ourselves thinking about the theme of blindness. Writing about this theme may cause us to develop ideas about who in the film can truly see or understand his own actions, his own motivations.
▪ Before writing about movies, reflect on the similarities movies and short stories or novels use to present ideas. Movies and books both use character and plot development:...