Film Essays and Expectations


If you found this site, you are probably taking a film class right now. You might have started out very excited. It seemed like a fun class. Watch movies and write about them. Then maybe you wrote your first paper or took your first exam and you were more than a bit disappointed. That tends to happen in film classes. The problem is that no matter how much filmmakers and academics (including myself) think of at least a certain amount of films as highbrow entertainment, the reality of the situation is that films began as lowbrow entertainment and the majority of films out there still qualify as lowbrow entertainment. This is also known as Mass Entertainment. And if you think about Mass Entertainment, you do not think of it as something that might belong in a museum. You think of it as something you stream and watch on your computer, tablet, phone or television. You might even bother going to the movie theater if you really want to see the movie; however, your perception of this mass media work might not be serious. In fact, your professor, at some point might not have even taken the film you have to write on seriously.

What you need to understand is that once that film title goes on your syllabus, it becomes a piece of work that you have to study, as objectively as possible. So, do yourself and your professor a favor: throw out any attitude about the films on your syllabus as just pure entertainment and instead, think of them as an object of artistic study. The sooner you take the films seriously, the sooner your understanding of the films will expand and hopefully, your grades will go up.


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