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Short Guide to Writing about Film

by
Edition:
8th
ISBN13:

9780205236398

ISBN10:
0205236391
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/7/2011
Publisher(s):
Longman
List Price: $57.80

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This is the 8th edition with a publication date of 7/7/2011.
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Summary

This best-selling text is a succinct guide to thinking critically and writing precisely about film.   Both an introduction to film study and a practical writing guide, this brief text introduces students to major film theories as well as film terminology, enabling them to write more thoughtfully and critically. With numerous student and professional examples, this engaging and practical guide progresses from taking notes and writing first drafts to creating polished essays and comprehensive research projects. Moving from movie reviews to theoretical and critical essays, the text demonstrates how an analysis of a film can become more subtle and rigorous as part of a compositional process.

Table of Contents

Preface  

 

I.    Writing about the Movies  

Why Write about the Movies?  

Your Audience and the Aims of Film Criticism  

    The Screening Report  

    The Movie Review 

    The Theoretical Essay  

    The Critical Essay  

Opinion and Evaluation  

Exercises  

 

2–Beginning to Think, Preparing to Watch, and Starting to Write  

Subject Matter and Meaning  

Silent Dialogue: Talking Back to the Movies  

Taking Notes  

Visual Memory and Reflection  

Exercises  

 

3–Film Terms and Topics for Film Analysis and Writing 

Themes  

Film and the Other Arts 

    Narrative  

    Characters  

    Point of View  

    Comparative Essays  

Mise-en-Scène and Realism  

    Realism  

    Elements of Mise-en-Scène  

Composition and the Image  

    The Shot      

    The Edited Image  

Sound  

Sample Essay  

Exercises  

 

4–Six Approaches to Writing about Film  

Film History  

National Cinemas  

Genres  

Auteurs  

Kinds of Formalism  

Ideology  

Sample Essays  

Exercises  

 

5–Style and Structure in Writing  

The Right Words  

    Concrete Language  

    Denotation and Connotation  

    Tone  

    Repetitions and Clichés  

Effective Sentences  

    Economy  

    Varied Sentence Structures  

Coherent Paragraphs  

Introductory Paragraphs  

Concluding Paragraphs  

Revisions and Proofreading  

Checklist for Writing an Effective Essay  

Exercises  

 

6–Researching the Movies  

How to Begin Research 

The Materials of Research  

    Primary Sources  

    Video, DVDs, and Digital Downloads  

    Scripts  

    Secondary Sources: Books, Indexes, Journals, and Electronic Sources  

Film Research on the Internet  

Taking Notes on Secondary Sources  

Writing the Paper  

Sample Essays  

Exercises 

 

7–Manuscript Form  

Manuscript Copy  

Last-Minute Corrections  

Quotations  

Acknowledging Sources

    Common Knowledge 

Documenting Sources  

    Notes for Documentation  

    Works Cited 

    Notes Supplying Additional Commentary  

Common Conventions of Usage  

    Names  

    Titles  

    Foreign Words and Quotation Marks  

    Sexist Language  

    Spelling 

Last Words  

 

Appendix: Symbols Commonly Used In Marking Papers  

Glossary of Film Terms  

Works Cited 

Credits  

Index  



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