The purpose of this essay will be to evaluate, critique, and analyze Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. This film is widely regarded as the greatest example of technical and narrative filmmaking, in any language. You will chose a set of criteria to use to analyze the film, its meaning, its themes, its techniques to better understand how it functions, and along the way, argue with the critics that hold such a high opinion of the film.
The introduction of this essay should give the audience background information on the film or filmmakers, put it in context (the time and place of its creation) and end with your thesis, which should argue for a clear opinion about the film and introduces us to the criteria you will use to evaluate the film. Remember to include a title that reflects your feelings about the film.
The body will analyze parts of the film to support your evaluative stance. This should be done by reaching logical conclusions about what it means or its impact on culture or society, but also by using outside sources to support those conclusions. Find a set of criteria against which you can judge the film, such as dialogue, setting, framing and photography, subject matter, theme, character development, visual metaphors, use of sound or music, acting or editing. Throughout the body, try to find ways to incorporate quotes from the film. Avoid summarizing the plot.
The conclusion of the essay should re-emphasize your feelings about the film, but also why it is worth watching or considering. How does it challenge the viewer? How does it inform us?
1. Identify the issues and questions the film raises. Pay close attention to how the form of the film works with the content of the film.
2. Construct an explicit thesis that best suits your audience and purpose.
3. Include MLA formatting, including documentation and in-text citations.
1. The paper must be 3 pages in length, comprised of multiple paragraphs, including an introduction and conclusion.
2. Use 12-point font, Times New Roman (final draft must be typed), double-spaced.
3. MLA formatted with using at least three meaningful sources, including your primary source (Vertigo), and a works cited page. All of your sources must come from the Vertigo Sources folder that can be found under Class Content>Essay One.
Evaluating a Film Outline
Context and background on object and/or topic. You are introducing your audience to a conversation that has already been happening around your topic, so catch us up to speed and give us the definitions and facts we need to understand it.
Thesis Statement (Claim): What do you want us to believe about the film? What is your unique take on the film you have chosen? Which criteria are you using to evaluate the film?
Body: These are things you might focus on as evaluation criteria, but you SHOULD NOT try to write about all of them (choose 2-4):
· Plot: What was the movie about? Was it believable? Interesting? Thought-provoking?
· Themes and Tone: What was the central idea of the movie? Any metaphors?
· Acting and Characters: Did you like how the characters were portrayed? Did the acting support the characters, and help them come to life?
· Direction: Did you like how the director chose to tell the story?
· Score: Did the music support the mood of the movie? Was it too distracting or too subtle? Did it add to the production and work well with the script?
· Cinematography: Were the shots used in a unique way to tell the story? Did the coloring and lighting affect the tone? Was the action coherently shot? How well did the camera move?
· Production Design: Did the sets feel lived-in and believable to the story or characters? Were the costumes suitable for the characters or story?
· Special Effects: Were the special effects believable? Did they align with the era and tone of the movie?
· Editing: Was the editing clean or choppy? Was the flow consistent?
· Pace: Did the movie flow well? Was it too fast or too slow? Was it clearly organized? Did certain scenes drag down the movie?
· Dialogue: Were the conversations believable or necessary? Did the dialogue bring context to plot developments? Did the words match the tone of the movie and personality of the characters?
Paraphrase your thesis, and perhaps answer one or more of these questions:
What does the film want from us? How do the filmmaking techniques impact the audience? Why should it be seen? Why does it stand out?