The Critical Review—of an author OR filmmaker
For this paper, you MUST choose to focus on ONE author (and their written text) OR ONE filmmaker (and the film they translated to the Big Screen).
FOR EXAMPLE: Tracy Letts and August: Osage County OR Director John Wells and his interpretation of August: Osage County.
THE CRITICAL REVIEW—WHAT IT IS:
This assignment is a Critical Review/Exploration of ONE SINGLE author or you may choose to focus on ONE FILMMAKER and their work.
Said differently, choose to focus on EITHER the author who wrote the text that inspired the film, OR choose the filmmaker who translated the written text to the big screen.
The paper is not meant to be a criticism of the artist and their artistry; rather, it is your chance to make some thoughtful reflections on who the artist is and what they have produced. It is also an opportunity for you to conduct a deep-dive into the WRITTEN text OR its FILM version that impacted you the most and how your chosen artist has been received in their artistic community by reviewers and audiences.
PLACING YOUR PAPER IN CONTEXT—Making Things Clear:
This semester, we covered myriad texts and films penned/created by noted artists. These works have explored the human condition, voices of dissonance and resistance, and the evolution of identity, gender constructs, culture and traditions, and race and racism—among other themes.
At the same time, these texts have endeavored to engage us in conversations about our constantly transitioning world and our respective places within it. In short, in reading and viewing these texts, their creators have taught us something uniquely specific about ourselves and the world we all share, and, in doing so, these authors have also revealed something of themselves to us.
WHAT TO DO/WHAT TO WRITE:
Your essay MUST focus on ONE text (short story, novel excerpts) AND its author—OR you may focus on ONE filmmaker and the film they translated to the big screen. For example: Margot Shetterly and Hidden Figures (the novel)—OR Hidden Figures (the film) and its Director Theodore Melfi.
When you have made your choice (from the many texts we’ve studied this semester), follow the steps outlined below:
SECTION 1 OF YOUR PAPER: Select an author and a text OR filmmaker and film whose work truly moved and spoke to you this semester. Then, locate 3 credentialed outside sources (more if needed) that provide informative background on the author OR filmmaker and the kinds of work they have produced over the years. This information can/should include the author/filmmaker’s background: where they are from and the impact this may have had on their art and artistic process. Quoting is mandatory.
SECTION 2 OF YOUR PAPER: Your paper should also include critiques/reviews of the author’s OR filmmaker’s work. Here, your essay should explore what the critics/reviewers say/reveal as they study and comment on works presented by the author OR filmmaker. Also, explore what these critics/reviewers reveal about the author OR filmmaker’s artistic failures/successes. How did/does the author OR filmmaker feel about their failures/successes? You may include any thoughts they revealed (in articles/essays) about their work and what they hope to contribute to their artform. QUOTING IS MANDATORY—using one of your THREE sources for material/as a resource.
SECTION 3 OF YOUR PAPER: Your paper should address/explore reoccurring themes and ideas that continue to present themselves in the writer’s OR filmmaker’s work. In this section, you must explore why these themes persist and what they hope to accomplish by addressing them. You should use sections from your selected work (the written text OR selected film) to prove your point. QUOTING IS MANDATORY—using one of your THREE sources for material/as a resource.
SECTION 4 OF YOUR ESSAY: Finally, explore your chosen written text OR film, making certain to explore the following areas of interest:
WHY THIS TEXT/AUTHOR OR WHY THIS FILM/DIRECTOR? Begin this section by sharing why this text was most compelling above everything and everyone else we’ve studied this semester.
Plot and theme—what does the text reveal/show reader/audience? In short, in your opinion, what did/does the author OR filmmaker want us to take away from the work?
How does the author OR filmmaker use their central character or idea to tell a specific story or to express a point of view? How successful or unsuccessful is the development of the main character and why—in your opinion? Here, I am asking you to explain and explore what the texts means to you and WHY.
Be sure to explore the selected text fully, quoting from it to support your ideas.
A MLA WORKS CITED PAGE IS MANDATORY!
This paper will undergo two forms of plagiarism review.
Be sure to attribute your sources. Make sure that your voice dominates and moves the flow of the paper.
Use the posted tutorials for help with constructing an essay, punctuation, paragraph development, incorporating quotes (short and long, construction a Works Cited Page (MLA Style