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GED3401 Audiovisual Criticism through Movie Making: Home

Course Description

This course is a practical and theoretical investigation into how to “write with video” about audiovisual media. Traditionally, media criticism and scholarship has assumed a written form and therefore faced the difficulty of translating the images and sounds of its original object into words. But with the explosion of digital platforms for distributing videos online and easily accessible equipment, critics are increasingly able to present their insights directly—to show with the work itself rather than tell through description. The course examines audiovisual media in two senses: as a topic of critical reflection and as a mode of presentation. It introduces students to the traditional concerns of media criticism, such as interpretation, evaluation, formal analysis, and socio-political reflection, and situates them in contemporary media industries and their surrounding discourses. It examines rhetorical strategies for conveying original thoughts about film and media texts—both verbally and audiovisually. Like the written essay, video form creates its own challenges, including how to select materials and combine them with voice-over, text, music, visual effects, or other video techniques. Students will view and evaluate examples of this mode of criticism and work from those models to construct their own analyses and interpretations of film, television, or any other media works.

Recommended Books

A Short Guide to Writing about Film

This book is both an introduction to film study and a practical writing guide. It introduces major film theories as well as film terminology, and progresses from taking notes and writing first drafts to creating polished essays and comprehensive research projects. The book begins with discussion of the aims of film criticism and writing preparation. It then presents film terms and topics for film analysis and writing, including mise-en-scéne, point-of-view, composition, realism. It also explores the six most important approaches to film analysis and writing about film- film history, national cinemas, genres, auteurs, kinds of formalism, and ideology. Other topics such as style and structure in writing are also included.

Recommended Databases