Documentary/Film Analysis Worksheet
Students are required to compose one documentary/film critiques on selected films viewed in class. Critiques should be well written, following standard rules of grammar and composition, and developing consistent, cohesive ideas over several paragraphs. Much of your grade will be determined by the clarity and correctness of your writing.
A critique, however, is somewhat different from a review. A critique is an analytical essay on a documentary/film, in which you give your opinion on the aesthetics, content, and quality of the film and then give your reasons for your opinion. Do not limit yourself to reacting to the film (“I loved it !”) and do not use generic terms like “incredible,” “wonderful,” “marvelous,” etc.
Unlike a review, you assume that the reader has already seen the movie; you do not need to give an extensive plot summary; you do not need to hide plot information so as not to spoil the surprise of the viewer; and you do need to be consistently analytical and critical.
**** Outstanding—It has ambitions to be more than an entertainment. It has a strong storyline. It is not only well made, but it has a strong emotional impact on the viewer. A must-see documentary/film for everyone!
*** Good— A documentary/film that does not have quite the same quality, content, or emotional impact as the previous category. It is interesting and does hold your attention. There are subjects that come about that require more explanation, but overall, it was well done.
It may, however, be quite ordinary, there is really no new information provided, and the documentary/film seems to be all over the place. There is a clear bias that seems to be representative of like-minded viewers. It is probably well made, but has deficiencies in characterization, content, that are obvious to the discerning viewer. Overall, it is worth watching for a better understanding of the subject, however, it is not considered “a must see.”
* Poor—Storyline is predictable, no imagination, intended to be offensive, poorly constructed; characters are superficial; dialogue is confusing; the purpose of the documentary/film is self-serving and provides no substance or educative value. In fact, if this wasn’t required by the course, you would probably walk out.
STUDENT NAME: ______________________________ DATE: _____________________
STUDENT ID #: ________________________________ Course: ____________________
|Name of Director:|
|Name of Writer(s):||Year Released:
|INITIAL ANALYSIS/FIRST 30 MINUTES
Subject/Theme In less than two (2) paragraphs, state what you believe to be the overall theme (implicit meaning) or point of the documentary/film.
Directions: Answer each question below. These responses are your own and shall not be taken from another source unless that source is provided to strengthen your position. Each response requires 100 word minimum.
1. Describe the main character (s) personality. What was it about that character or characters that stood out to you?
2. In the beginning, what is your opinion of Clark Davis? Did your opinion ever change? If so, at what point in the movie? Why?
3. Why do you think Juan befriends Clark Davis? Why do you think he risks his standing with the other inmates and defend Davis even after Davis confessed to being a pedophile since he was 15?
4. What did you think when the Correctional Officer known as Mr. Nett, exposed Clark Davis’ crimes in front of other inmates? Did this incident put Davis’ life in danger?
5. What scene(s) do you consider the most memorable? Why?
6. What emotions does the documentary/film evoke in its viewers? Who would you consider the villains in this film? Who were the heroes (if any)? Explain your answer in detail.
7. In your own words, what is/are the central message(s) of this film? Be specific. Use examples from the film to support your choice.
8. Knowing high probability that pedophiles have of being assaulted in general population, do you think Correctional officials should have placed Davis in protective custody? Why?
10. Do you think the inmates felt wat happened to Davis Clark was justice? Why?
11. After watching the documentary/film, what was your overall impression? Explain in detail?
12. The textbook tells us that sexual offenders are given parole all the time. If you were a probation officer, and Davis was assigned to you, what type of supervision would you place him under? What are some of the concerns when supervising sex offenders, particularly pedophiles?
Subject/Theme Now that you have seen the documentary/film in its entirety, In less than two (2) pages, state what you now believe to be the overall theme or point of the documentary/film. Justify your response using past experiences, research, articles, journals, etc,
|Element of Film||Makes a complete and detailed description of the subject matter and/or element seen in a work.||Makes a detailed description of most of the subject matter and/or elements seen in a work.||Makes a detailed description of some of the subject matter and/or elements seen in a work.||Descriptions are not detailed or complete.|
Analysis of Theme
|Accurately describes several dominant elements or principles used by the artist and accurately relates how they are used by the artist to reinforce the theme, meaning, mood, or feeling of the artwork.||Accurately describes a couple of dominant elements and principles used by the artist and accurately relates how these are used by the artist to reinforce the theme, meaning, mood, or feeling of the artwork.||Describes some dominant elements and principles used by the artist, but has difficulty describing how these relate to the meaning or feeling of the artwork.||Has trouble picking out the dominant elements.|
Forms a somewhat reasonable hypothesis about the symbolic or metaphorical meaning and is able to support this with evidence from the work.
Student identifies the literal meaning of the work.
Student can relate how the work makes him/her feel personally.
Student finds it difficult to interpret the meaning of the work.
|Uses multiple criteria to judge the artwork, such as composition, expression, creativity, design, communication of ideas.||Uses 1-2 criteria to judge the artwork.||Tries to use aesthetic criteria to judge artwork but does not apply the criteria accurately.||Evaluates work as good or bad based on personal taste.|
|Clarity of Argument||Clear thesis, back by multiple (3-4) arguments||Thesis clear, but not arguments support the thesis||Thesis unclear, not arguments support the thesis||No thesis; arguments make no sense|
|Few grammatical mistakes; readable style||Some grammatical mistakes; somewhat easy to read||Many grammatical mistakes; somewhat difficult to read||Indecipherable|