Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Due date for review assignment

The review assignment is due on Tuesday, March 10.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Long-term writing assignment

The idea is for you to interact with the reviews of others. I often read movie reviews of films I haven't seen and may not ever see; I enjoy the act of critical examination, even if ultimately it's not a movie I'll see or that even interests me. (I also like reading book reviews, of course, but additionally I get a kick out of critical reviews of new buildings or painting exhibitions. I have no ability to paint or design architecture, but the kind of craft that goes into any of these forms is analogous to the craft that goes into writing, which is my own specialty.)

I want you to "interact with" two reviews by professional reviewers. Pick something you've seen recently (though you may want to see it again) or go see something new in the next week or so. I want to hear your thoughts on the movie, but I want to read them as a kind of argument or discussion you're having with these other reviewers. (It is to be written in essay form, however—not in dialogue form or some sort of free form.) Use proper form when quoting or paraphrasing the other reviewers.

On the side this page is a link to the Internet Movie Database ( Any movie may be found there; from any movie's site, you can, lower down on the page, link to "External reviews." You should be reading reviews from major newspapers (San Francisco ChronicleLos Angeles TimesChicago Sun-Times, The New York Times) or magazines (SalonRolling Stone, the New Yorker (available at, not from unaffiliated reviewers or from someone's amateur blog.

This assignment will be 500-750 words. Due date to be determined.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Writing assignment on NOSFERATU

Annotate both the Klein [sorry; I'd previous written "Clark"; thanks to Amina for correcting me] and Ebert pieces on Nosferatu. Once you've done that:

What points do you find most interesting or challenging about either essay? Do you disagree with anything in either essay? What did you enjoy and/or especially appreciate about the film? Have you seen other silent films? Which ones?