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Film 3440J: Film Criticism Practicum Fall 2015

Workshop 4: Introduction and Conclusion

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Select an element of either mise-en-scène or cinematography that you find particularly important or interesting in the film The Bicycle Thieves.

Write an introductory paragraph and a conclusion paragraph of a potential critical essay explaining the motivation, function, and meaning of the element you have selected for thefilm as a whole. Remember that you are not writing the full essay! This assignment only asks you to submit the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.

Please consult this week’s reading in the textbook, A SHORT GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT FILM, for sample intro and conclusion paragraphs. Keep in mind that if you are using the 7th edition of the textbook, you should refer to pgs. 126-130.

Keep the following in mind:

1. Although you are not writing the full essay, a strong introduction and conclusion not only states the thesis statement but also lets the reader know how you will prove your thesis. Therefore, you need to have some idea about the shape of the thesis as a whole. You may benefit from outlining the potential essay.

2. Your thesis statement will explain the function and importance of the element you have selected for the film as a whole.

3. Consult the information about neorealism in the “Film Background” section of Module 4. The film Bicycle Thieves is an impotant example of this film movement, and the webpage describes a number of ways that neorealism used mise-en-scène and cinematography for specific effects.

4. Your conclusion should not merely restate the thesis, but also explain how different pieces of evidence contributed to your argument and, ideally, open your reader up to new questions.

5. Keep in mind the lessons from previous Writing Spotlights. Since this is the first time you are being asked to write full critical paragraphs in the class, we will be paying attention not only to the strengths of the intro and conclusion, but also to your ability to apply lessons in writing active sentences, using concrete characters, including subjects and verbs, etc.

6. Build on your work. Since this week’s Discussion Board assignment is to discuss the motivation of a filmic element, feel free to turn that into your thesis and then build on it to write a fleshed out introduction and conclusion.

7. When in doubt, ask for help!

We look forward to reading your ideas about this important film in film history

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