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Film Review

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Be sure to check out film terminology!

In writing your film review, remember that your writing is intended to be persuasive. Additionally, your writing should demonstrate clearly that you not only viewed the film, but also read the novel or play which formed the basis of the film.

Paragraph 1: Offer your overall impression of the film while mentioning the movie's title, director, and key actors.

Paragraph 2: Summarize the plot of the film, noting differences from the original novel or play.

Paragraph 3: How did the actors portray key character roles? Did they fulfill your expectations given your knowledge of the original novel or play?

Paragraph 4: Were any particular film techniques used in key scenes? How did the film techniques and music enhance the setting and themes of the film?

Paragraph 5: Address how well the film represents the themes of the novel or play. Offer evidence for your opinion. Remember to mention use of symbols and literary devices. Do they "transfer" from the novel/play into the movie well?

Paragraph 6: Ending paragraph--your last opportunity to convince the reader. Offer a clincher that tells the reader to attend the film or not.

Film Terminology

General Terms

Shot: continuous, unedited piece of film of any length

Scene: a series of shots that together form a complete episode or unit of the narrative

Storyboard: Drawn up when designing a production. Plans AV text and shows how each shot relates to sound track. (Think comic strip with directions - like a rough draft or outline for a film.)

Montage: The editing together of a large number of shots with no intention of creating a continuous reality. A montage is often used to compress time, and montage shots are linked through a unified sound - either a voiceover or a piece of music.

Parallel action: narrative strategy that crosscuts between two or more separate actions to create the illusion that they are occurring simultaneously


Long Shot: Overall view from a distance of whole scene often used as an establishing shot - to set scene. Person - will show whole body.

Medium or Mid Shot: Middle distance shot - can give background information while still focusing on subject. Person - usually shows waist to head.

Close Up: Focuses on detail / expression / reaction. Person - shows either head or head and shoulders.




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