The draft must contain:
1.Introduction with thesis statement, At least five body paragraphs, Conclusion and Reference
The paper must be three pages in length and formatted according to APA Style.
Write an eight page film critique of an American feature film of your Choosing. Use the list of
critical analysis questions provided in your textbook as a guide while writing your paper. Do
you need me to send those questions to you?
Areas that must be covered: Storytelling, acting, cinematography, editing, sound, style and
directing, impact of society on the film and vice versa, genre, application of at least one approach
to analysis and interpretation, overall textual themes.
Students must select a film that they have not previously explored in class, either in written
assignments or discussion posts, Students must establish a coherent thesis statement in the
introduction of their paper with a claim that they intend to prove. The body of the essay serves
to support the thesis through an analysis of the film and other relevant material. Avoid simply
rehashing descriptive material from other source, Support your thesis through textual and formal
analysis. Refer to specific shots, scenes, characters, stylistic devices, and thees in the film., As
much as possible, use technical, literary and industry terms o make your points, If needed, you
may use additional resources to support your claims, Suggested sources might include academic
books and articles, film reviews, and personal opinions from reputable film critics and scholars,
information other than production details obtained fro popular sources such as the internet movie
database and Wikipedia is not considered reputable., only use plot information to support the
thematic points of the paper, Include only one to two sentences of plot summary when explaining
each of the required filmic elements, also, students should not choose a film that the authors of
the textbook have analyzed in detail.
Film Critique: Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List is a 1993 drama directed (and produced in part) by Steven Spielberg.
Highly acclaimed, the film was a recipient of several awards all over the world, including seven
Oscars, among them the Best Picture and the Best Director. The film would also win Best Film
and the David Lean Award for Direction. In my opinion, however, Schindler’s List lacks
accuracy and panders to emotionality as part of its public appeal, for example, by determinedly
dismissing Nazism as blatant psychopathy, the narrative evokes false hatred. Likewise, ideology
is side tracked and replaced by ambitions driven by megalomaniac dreams of power and money.
These are themes that quickly find traction in the capitalist western world of today, and are
unrepresentative of fervent Nazism, which appears dissolved in hatred primarily. In fervent
efforts at creating a timeless narrative, the film also fails, having merely created another
distortion as big as the old hollywood one of those “sophisticated Nazi gangsters” (Kolker,
Referential Content in the Film
The referential content the film is supposed to derive from is resolutely more accurate.
The essence of information comes from the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg who was one of the
Schindler’s jews (Schindlerjuden). It was his testimony and motivation which was to birth the
movie in many ways. In the late 70s he was the inspiration for Thomas Keneally to publish
Schindler’s Ark in 1982. This Booker Prize winning novel was the principle storyline behind
Spielberg’s movie. More referential content was derived from the (then) survivors on the
Schindler’s list. Before the book however, the story of Oscar Schindler was not as well known; in
fact Spielberg did not appear convinced if the story was even real. He is reported to have been,
“drawn to the paradoxical nature of [Schindler]… It was about a Nazi saving Jews… What would
drive a man like this to suddenly take everything he had earned and put it all in the service of
saving these lives?” (McBride, 1997).
Perhaps it was the sheer incredulity at the dynamism of the subject matter which engaged
the director’s creativity. On the one hand there was the generally demonic imagery that Nazis
portrayed and on the other, was the savior Schindler, carved out of former. Partly in order to
synchronize these two extremes the director has deviated from the referential themes.
Explicit Content in the Film
Steven Zailian has used ample assistance from explicit content for help with his
screenplay. There were aspects of the adaptation that were cut short and others focused upon.
This imbalance led to a reliance over messages and contexts conveyed in text. However,
Spielberg was against the use of any storyboards to give the film a spontaneous look – which it
Explicitness is most conveyed through the naked brutality in many of the scenes; more of
it comes out from the use of language. Spielberg uses terse German and Italian messages to
improve on the accuracy of expression. But this explicitness of imagery and language is still not
enough to accurately depict the horrors of the holocaust.
Implicit content derives from reflections and is subjective upon the understanding of the
viewer. For example, the opening scene in the movie features the ceremony of Shabbat, giving
way to smoke, symbolic of the times to come. Spielberg says, “to start the film with the candles
being lit…would be a rich bookend, to start the film with a normal Shabbat service before the
juggernaut against the Jews begins.” The ceremony of Shabbat would next be seen when candles
are finally rekindled in Schindler’s factories at the very end, representing for Spielberg, “just a
glint of color, and a glimmer of hope.”
Spielberg betrays an idea of hedonistic nazism in his depiction, a next step continuation
of the age old Hollywood image of Nazis as sophisticated gangsters. Accordingly in depicting
them as money and power hungry, the film lays off of the ever important role of propaganda in
Hitler’s Germany. This reveals a proclivity in the masses of not giving a benefit of doubt as well
as a subtle syndrome of righteousness, in that all foe is not merely amoral, but immoral and
devilish – worthy of being hated and defeated.
Analysis of the Film
The analysis of the film has to be done using a contextualist approach due to the nuances
and remainders that cannot be ignored (Price, 2008). The story concerning the movie is, but, a
very small part of the overall picture and the reality of the war. For an example, Schindler’s
women were rescued from the Auschwitz camp – but without enough context over Auschwitz,
the ordinary viewer will never really know they perhaps cheated death. Likewise, we cannot
evaluate how well the personification is and how fair the treatment, toward any one character,
bound by his very own, unique obligations to his religion, his country, his ethics and his morality!
The movie Schindler’s List enraptures from its riveting mise en scene and credit worthy
storytelling. Perhaps adding to the “flavor” are inaccuracies as well, that enable for us to digest
the “truth”, otherwise stranger than Spielberg’s fiction.
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