Your selection can be a full length feature film or a documentary of your own choosing. It must be at least
30 minutes in length. Be sure to watch the film immediately before writing this essay and consider jotting
notes as you watch the film. Do not rely on your memory of a film you have previously seen. If you do, it will
be obvious because this review requires close examination of the technical aspects of film.
2. After finding and reading a research source for integration in your essay (and carefully viewing the film),
write a new thread using the following instructions:
In the FIRST paragraph (at least 150 words):
What is the title of your selected film?
Who is the director and what year was it released?
Is it considered a “classic”?
Identify any technical features of the film.
What is the genre of the film (e.g. western, romantic comedy, film noir, documentary, etc.)?
In the SECOND paragraph (at least 150 words):
Summarize the main plot and/or conflict in the film. Be sure to identify the main character(s) here.
Using the themes and concepts noted in Section 9.7 in your textbook (in the section A Word on Critical
Viewing), identify at least three of these themes and explain how they apply to your selected film.
Indicate any “social issue,” if any, that is addressed in the film.
Identify at least one “camera technique” or “use of sound” in the film, and explain how it affects the viewer.
In the THIRD paragraph (at least 150 words):
Evaluate its “craft.” Is this a good example of this type of art? Is it well presented? What are its points of
value? Does it have a message? Did we learn something from the characters and/or theme of this film? In
what ways did the film resemble literature, theater, or art?
What types of reviews did this film receive based on your research of other reviews or scholarly
In the end, what type of aesthetic experience did you have? Was it mostly an Apollonian or Dionysian
Would you recommend this work of art to others? If so (or not), why?
Consider stretching yourself for this assignment. You may want to watch one of the classic films that were
mentioned in the lecture video or text. Or if you have never watched a documentary, consider watching
one. If foreign films are new to you, consider that some of today’s best cinema is being created outside of
this country. Don’t let subtitles scare you. After viewing the film for just a couple of minutes you will forget
that you are reading subtitles and it will seem as if you are watching the film in English. But avoid films that
are dubbed in English because often the dubbing is poor and makes for a bad film experience.
Below are a few suggestions for documentaries and foreign films that you might enjoy. All are available on
Netflix and similar streaming services:
Documentaries (Suggested only-You can select your own film if you do not want to view any of the
The Thin Blue Line
Man on Wire
The Queen of Versailles
How to Survive a Plague
Paris is Burning
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Foreign Films (Suggested only-You can select your own film if you do not want to view any of the
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
Tell No One
Shall We Dance?