Module 6 Bicycle Thieves Film Essay


Workshop 6: The Final EssayFilm 3440J: Practice of Film Criticism Spring 2016Write a complete essay on any of the films we have watched this semester. Your essay should be 3-5 pages long 12 point font, double spaced.Remember that your essay should use 1-2 methodological approaches and should include some outside research.You must cite any outside sources you use in the essay.What should the essay include?1. A strong thesis.2. A clear methodology used to approach the essay.3. Outside research (at least 2 sources)4. Textual evidence (including description of narrative, character, mise-en-scene,cinematography, and editing).5. Proper terminology.Be sure to read both the Course Notes and Writing Spotlight for Module 6, as well as other student’s comments on your post, and other posts on Discussion Board before you begin this assignment.

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Please review all of the Writing Spotlights in Modules 1-6. Below are some tips and things we have seen
come up repeatedly during this semester. You can use them as a checklist during your revision process.
Avoid overly general or vague introductions. Immediately let your reader know what you will be
saying about the film in question. Do not begin with general statements about the world or even
about the film.
Avoid evaluative statements. “I like/don’t like this movie” does not teach your reader anything
new about the film. Other versions of this are telling the reader how many awards the film has
won, or saying that it is an “important/exciting/heart-wrenching” film. While these are all
important starting points for you as a viewer, and should guide your ideas, they are too vague and
evaluative to help the reader learn about the film.
Cite and describe specific examples. Each paragraph should include a description of a piece of
textual evidence in support of your argument. Be sure that your description doers not simply
“name” an element or aspect of the film, but paints a picture of it in the reader’s mind. A surefire way to do this is to review the terminology list and be sure you are using this terminology
in your description of the element. This terminology allows you to show the reader what you are
seeing on the screen.
Review the instructions and grading rubric before you begin writing and during the revision
process. Too often we have read great, interesting, and well thought out papers that missed a
crucial part of the assignment. Be sure this does not happen to you when a full 20 points are on
the line.
This is a writing class. Grammar and spelling count! Be sure that each sentence contains one idea,
and has a concrete character and action.
Do not begin by repeating the assignment. Begin by directly engaging the reader in your ideas.
Pay attention to peer review. We rarely catch our own mistakes. Let other readers guide your
revision. If possible, share your final paper with someone else who you trust to give you honest
advice about your ideas and writing.
Re-watch the film after you are done writing, being sure you accurately describe the elements
you have used and catching anything you missed in your previous viewings that you may want to
add to your paper.
Be creative! Take a chance on an idea that you have, but leave yourself enough time to start over
if it doesn’t work out.
This  week  you  will  be  tasked  with  putting  together  everything  you  have  learned  in  this  class  to  write   a  
complete   critical  essay  on  any   film  we  have  seen  these   past  six  weeks.   As  you  proceed,   please  keep  in  
mind  that  the  writing  process  can  be  broken  down  into  three  phases:  
1.       Preparation/Research.   This   is   the   phase   where   you   gather   the   notes   and   ideas   you  will   use   in  
your  critical  essay.  Generally,  it  will  involve  the  following  steps:  
a.        Prepare  to  Watch  the  Film.  In  this  step,  you  are  gathering  some  information  to  make  your  
first  film  viewing  an  active  and  fruitful  experience.  Read  reviews  and  essays  on  the  film,  
find   out   a  little   about   its   production  and   reception,  etc.   Then    sketch   some  questions   that  
will  guide  you  in  your  viewing.  [See  Module  1  for  more  information  on  this  step].  
b.       Watch   the  Film.   In  this  first  viewing,  you   are  becoming  familiar  with  the  film.  Pay  careful  
attention  to  the  plot,  characters,  themes,  and  formal  elements.  Be  sure  you  have  a  way  
to   take   notes!   Jot   down   some   ideas   to  your   questions  and   mark  the  times  of   any  scenes,  
character,  or  elements  that  you  think   you   will   use   in   your   essay.  [See  Module  2   for  more  
information  on  this  step].  
c.   Organize  your  notes  and  create  an  outline.  Read  over  your  notes  and  decide  what  struck  
you  about  the  film,  and  what  you  will  want  to  write  about.  Create  a  full  outline  of  your  
essay,  including  a  thesis  statement,  indications  on  what  textual  evidence  you  will  use  in  
each  paragraph,  and  notes  on  key   terms  you  will  be  using.   At  this  step,  you  should  select  
a  methodology  that  you  will  focus  on  in  your  essay.    [See  Module  3,  5]  
d.       Re-­‐watch   the   film.  Now   that   you   have   your   thesis   and   outline,   re-­‐watch   the   film  paying  
special   attention   to   the   elements   you   will   be   writing   about,   and   noting   any   additional  
aspects  you  missed  on  your  first  viewing.  
2.       Writing.  At   this   point,   you  are   putting   your   thoughts  and   notes   into   full   ideas.   Although   this   may  
seem   like   you   are   merely   expanding   your   notes   into   sentences,   this   is   in   fact   among   the   most  
creative  and  exciting  parts  of  the  process.  As  you  write,  be  open  to  the  ideas  that  emerge  from  
the  process  and  be  open  to  changing  your  outline  or  even  your  thesis!  However,  when  you  do,  be  
sure  to  go  back  and  revise  what  you  have  already  written  so  that  your  essay  has  the  final  form:  
a.        Introduction.  The  introduction  sets  out  the  central  question  or  thesis  that  your  essay  will  
address,  and  lets  your  reader  know  how  you  will  answer  them.  [See  Module  4]  
b.       Body.  In  the  body  of  the  essay,  you  are  supporting  your  thesis  using  textual  evidence  from  
the  film  itself.  Be  sure  that  each  paragraph  contains  a  description  of  a  specific  scene  or  
formal  element  from  the  film  and  that  you  describe  that  scene  or  element  using  proper  
terminology  and  clearly  explain  to  the  reader  how  it  supports  your  central  argument.  [See  
Module  5]  
c.   Conclusion.  The  conclusion  should  not  simply  repeat  or  reiterate  the  thesis,  but  instead  
explain   how,   overall,   you   have   proven   your   central   thesis,   and   perhaps   ask   some  
questions  that  expand  or  challenge  your  argument.  [See  Module  4]  
3.       Revision.  At  this  stage,  you  are  going  back  over  what  you  have  written.  As  with  the  writing  phase,  
be  open  to  deleting  what  doesn’t  work,  moving  things  around,  or  going  back  to  writing  new  ideas  
that   come   to   you   during   this   process.   There   are   a   number   of   different   things   to   look   out   for:
a.        Coherence/Consistency.   Do   you   lay   out   a   central   thesis   in   the   introduction,   and   does  
every  essay  in  the  body  support  this  thesis  with  a  concrete  example  or  piece  of  textual  
b.       Voice/Tone.  Are  you  being  overly  conversational  and  casual?  Is  your  language  expressing  
the  tone  that  you  want  to  get  across?  
c.         Terminology.  Are  you  using  the  proper  terminology  that  you  have  learned  in  this  course?  
Review  each  of  the  modules  and  the  associated  terminology  to  be  sure  that  you  are  using  
the  proper  terminology  when  called  for  and  that  you  are  using  it  properly.  
d.       Writing.   Check   that   you   are   using   the   active   voice,   that   every   sentence   has   an   active  
character  and  action,  that  your  sentences  are  concise  and  clear,  and  that  your  grammar  
and   spelling   are   impeccable.   Review   each   of   the   Writing   Spotlights   for   tips   on   what   to  
look  for  in  your  writing.  

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Flim essay

Vittorio De Sica

Film industry

Bicycle Thieves Film

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