Description INST 110I: Introduction to International Engagement Prof. Quirino de Brito Suggestions for Successful Completion of your Film Essays There are many styles and approaches to writing about movies.



INST 110I: Introduction to International Engagement 

Prof. Quirino de Brito

Suggestions for Successful Completion of your Film Essays 


There are many styles and approaches to writing about movies. For example, in “A Short Guide to Writing About Film”, Timothy Corrigan (2012) lists five main styles: 1. The Screening Report; 2. The Movie Review; 3. The Theoretical Essay; 4. The Critical Essay; and 5. Opinion and Evaluation. While the purpose of these guidelines is NOT to discuss all 5 strategies for writing about films, I would like to highlight a few important points, which will help you complete your assignment successfully:

  1. In INST 110I we will prioritize items #s 2 (The Movie Review) and 4 (The Critical Essay).
    . A movie review (written for a large audience: i.e. newspaper reviews) allows, among many things, for a comprehensive look at a particular film (example: “Outsourced”);
    . The critical essay provides comparisons with other films and puts in check the reality of the screen against the background of life, and living. The critical essay falls between the theoretical essay and the movie review.
  2. Although we will not adhere to a particular style (please feel free to mix and bland styles as you write your own essay), I recommend that you avoid #s 1: The Screening Report, and
    5: Opinion and Evaluation (above). Academic writing is NOT about opinion. Our intent in INST 110I is to produce a thoughtful, intellectual exercise (outcome); such exercise will help us to grasp the relevance and significance of the film, and whether its content/message facilitates a better understanding of what we do, how live.

Thus the suggestions presented here are meant to help you to reflect on some of the main themes articulated explicitly or implicitly throughout the film. Be original, be creative. Tell me what the movie is about, how the story makes sense to you: was the story interesting? How does the content of the movie relate to our readings in INST 110I, the discussions carried out in class? In a nutshell, please try the following:


We will be viewing and analyzing two movies, during Fall 2017: “Outsourced” and “Lost in Translation.” Both movies have been uploaded to Blackboard Learn [under FILMS].

  1. View the film once (if necessary, view it again)
    FYI: “Outsourced” (2006), directed by John Jeffcoat, is the first movie we will view this semester.
  2. Write a critique [two pages maximum; double-spaced] of the movie, by highlighting:

a- A quick summary encompassing the film’s storyline, plot, relevance;

b- Critical points of contact with the materials covered in INST 110I so far; and
c. The extent to which the movie has implicit/explicit connections with communication across culture [our major them this semester].