Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Writing, Blogging, Tweeting About Movies

ENGL 124.401
instructor(s):

Everyone’s a movie critic but not everyone is master of the many forms and platforms that contemporary film criticism takes. Does a movie like Bridesmaids profit from frame analysis? Can one tweet a review of a sensory experience like Tree of Life in 140 characters or less? How do you take films diverse as Hugo, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, and War Horse and extract a theme for an essay that gives readers the flavor of how movies reflect contemporary times? (One answer: all three are set in part during the run-up to World War I. Another: Each deals with the disruptions of war and European dis-union.)

When should you tweet, when should you blog and when should you write an extended film review? Are the differences among these three forms?

Students accepted in the course are expected to see five assigned movies during the semester on their own time and write up to 1,000 words per week plus read assigned articles and blogs. The final will be three reviews of the same movie, one in essay form, one in blog form and one as a tweet. Attendance and class participation constitute 1/3 of the final grade.