Writing Response To A Short Guide to Writing About Film


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Writing Response To A Short Guide to Writing About Film

The words “writing about film”, to my mind, conjure up the Siskel & Ebert-like desiccation of film that one usually finds in a review column. Needless to say, such “writing” can hardly be found appealing to one who looks for more than the appreciation or dislike of a performance or the absurdity of story. In “A Short Guide to Writing About Film,” I discovered that writing on film should and can be a far cry from such drivel. It is a staunch review of technique in relation to writing specifically on film. Obvious technique, to be sure, but if approached the proper manner, these reminders can be quite useful in articulating the often hard-to-capture meaning or imagery in film.

The author states that the goal of his book is three-fold. The primary two are; that it would be a time-saver for instructors who have difficulty dealing with the common writing problems of their students, and that it would help to alleviate students anxiety about writing by clarifying points that many instructors presume their pupils all know. He does this by setting down guidelines for approaching writing, doing pertinent research, and conveying it, along with analysis, in the medium of stylistic film essays. He provides an abundance of examples of structures, styles, and terms used in this area of writ. The guidelines I found to be extremely useful, for they pertain not just to writing about film, but to any sort of analytical writing. They helped me realize the qualities that my own writing lacks, and I must come to master if I am to articulately present my own subjective experience on paper.

The third part of the book’s purpose is that by attaining the first two, “it would encourage more enjoyable and articulate communication between the two [Professor and pupil]” (pg. X). To do so, Corrigan endeavors to excite readers with the possibilities that lay in writing: sharing experiences, analyzing themes and imagery, and simply writing about the most popular and entertaining medium around.

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In short, author Timothy Corrigan provides readers, both students & teachers alike, with an excellent resource that serves not only as an intricate set of “how to” guidelines for writing on or responding to film, but also as a guide to enjoying an enhanced film experience. Consequently, I believe that these aspects make this book a necessary companion for a student of any film course.


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