Monday, February 25, 2008

Film review due Thursday -- student sample

So you've seen how the pros do it with the review of No Country for Old Men, now take a quick look at how your peers do it. Here's a link to a review done last semester. Note how it starts strongly, even though it's nothing fancy:
In the wake of World War II and the fall of Korea and China to the communist empire abroad, the American media became obsessed with the penetration of communists into the United States. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962) is an example of this fear felt by many Americans, at the
threat of losing the basic principles on which their country was founded.

The writer sets up the historical context of the film in one sentence, then mentions how the film fits into that context in the next. A few sentences of plot summary follows (note how both the character's and actor's names are used). After that, the writer spends most of his time talking about the thematic content of the film, since that is what most significant, though he also mentions a particular special effect as well. All in all, a very solid review.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There Will Be Blogs

So in case you're wondering what you're supposed to be doing for journal #1, I'm posting a few links to good examples from last semester:

Here's a good one on Eastern Promises -- note that it includes a link to the review, quoted excerpts from the review, and an image (the trailer). You should include all of those in your entry (video is optional, but include at least a still image).

And here's another one on Michael Moore's Sicko -- again, it has all three of those items mentioned above that help make the entry more engaging for the reader. In case you need any refreshers on how to do things like include an image, etc., here's a link to the Blogger help site, which is very user-friendly.

Also, note that the the writing isn't stiff or formal -- you can feel the
writer's personality, which is one of the great things about blogs. Yes, I know this is an assignment, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun with it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

"I've been teaching the same class for the last 5 years, and in no way is that depressing."

I really mean that, too, because it's not the same class every year. Not only do you, the students, change, but every semester I tweak at least a few things in a never-ending effort to create the best possible class experience for you. I alter assignments, I swap out films, and this year, for the first time, I'm adding a class blog. My Edline page will be the home for checking your grades and the assignment calendar, as well as printing out assignments if you (perish the thought) lose your first copy. But this is the place to go for regular updates about the goings-on of recent classes, important links, polls, and sometimes, just fun posts that I whimsically add. The most important feature of this page, though, is that it will house the links for all of your blogs. This way, you'll be easily connected, not just to the blogs belonging to students in your class, but all The Art of Film I classes. The goal of the blog project is to generate an ongoing, illuminating and fun conversation about film. In order to do that, you'll have to check back here frequently. For now, check out some of the links, participate in the poll, or even comment on this entry. Stay classy.
Post your blog info in the comments to this post. Don't use your last names, just first name and last initial. Don't forget to title your blog, too.