Writing Film and Television Criticism
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Communication
Course Number: NFLM 3078
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Media Studies
  • Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
  • Radio & Television
The landscape of film and television criticism has changed dramatically in the last decade, expanding from print to an ever-growing Internet. The line between film and television has also blurred, with television gaining new respect and film becoming accessible in more ways than ever. This course considers criticism in the context of that new landscape. Students read, analyze, and evaluate recent criticism in both genres—from substantive essays to general-interest reviews and blogs—and apply those analytical tools to their own writing, learning to create strong critical arguments and developing a lucid, lively, individual style. Questions to be considered include: How does critical writing vary, both in style and in content, according to the needs of the audience? What are the different demands of a first-day review and of a more reflective critical essay that puts a work in cultural or historical context? Of what value are episodic reviews of television series? Is there such a thing as “auteur TV,” television that reflects a unified creative vision? How should one evaluate classic films and television shows, some of which have decades of criticism behind them? Students watch assigned films and television shows outside of class and discuss and evaluate assigned readings in class. The goal for students is to develop sharp analytical skills and to write criticism expressing original opinions, presenting well-reasoned arguments, and reflecting a personal voice. The instructor is a prominent film and TV critic, formerly chief television critic for the New York Times
Course Open to: Degree Students