You are writing a review and a brief analysis of the film Arrival for a national film journal (e.g., Film Comment, Film Quarterly). You can assume your audience is more informed and curious about the technical and aesthetic aspects of filmmaking than a general audience. Because the film integrates arcane concepts from linguistics you will have to do some research to provide your readers with helpful context. Use this template to structure your review. In the analysis section respond to the prompts I have provided.
An introduction 3
Include a thesis statement, the main thematic thread of your review.
Plot summary and description 4
Include a brief, Wikipedia-style, introduction to linguistics to provide your readers with context.
How does the film’s emphasis on linguistics affect the film’s narrative structure, dialogue and character development?
As Dr. Banks develops an understanding of the heptapods’ perception of time how does it begin to affect her own temporal awareness?
How is the film’s portrayal of Dr. Banks’ personal story integrated into the film’s complicated temporal structure?
Closing evaluation and recommendation. 3
Some information to setup the Week 4 film, Arrival. Accompanying this film is the second long form review assignment. You’ll be writing an analytical review for readers who are interested in film aesthetics and informed about the technical aspects of filmmaking.
This week’s slides are small in number but the film itself is sophisticated and challenging: an examination of the connection between language and the way our minds work in terms of space and (especially) time. The film is both a mood piece and a character study, driven by Amy Adam’s performance. And all of it wrapped within an invaders from outer space genre construct.
The key reading is the 4 Ideas from Linguistics to Help You Appreciate Arrival essay, though most of it is summarized in the slides. The Film of the Week: Arrival article, by Jonathan Romney, provides an analysis of the director’s (Denis Villeneuve) style and information on his previous films. This article was published in Film Comment and will give you a feel for the type of periodical you’re writing for in this week’s scenario.
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