Film Diary [FD]

Please use the Film Diary Discussion Forum to keep and post an annotated record of your film viewing this semester.

By the time this class ends, you probably will have screened at least twenty films and clips, and this diary should help you as a mnemonic device for remembering and comparing your viewing experiences; it also will enable me to see your cinematic activity, and your classmates to compare your entries with their own diary listings.

If you watch other films during the period of the course that are not assigned or suggested by me, please still feel free to list them here, even if they may not fall within the subject area[s] of this course. I will trust your judgment as to what choices you make regarding what entries you record. In other words, this is not, strictly speaking, a TV journal, so you don’t want to list sitcoms, newscasts, music videos, etc., but if there are dramas or documentaries or series that you see or follow, and that you think make sense to list here in terms of your critical viewing of them, then don’t hesitate to do so (especially as they relate to the interplay of visual culture and its mass media artifacts).

At the very least, for films record the title, director, year, and country of origin [most for this class will be U.S.], and then feel free to include whatever other info you want (actors, writers, cinematographer, etc.). Also write a brief description/impression/response (at least one or two substantive paragraphs, 100+ words minimum) of the film and your response to it. It would also be helpful to include a link to the film, such as to IMDB [International Movie Data Base], netflix, or amazon.com, so that anyone who reviews your diary may connect directly to a synopsis and more information about the film in question.

You can use this Diary as “talking (or writing) notes” for class Discussions, and as a record of your viewing over the course of the semester (if you have already listed films in a similar manner in other Discussion Forums, simply copy and paste those notes in your diary if you’d like).

[If you watched a clip from a longer film, indicate that with “clip” or “excerpt” in brackets. While Porter’s GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY or any number of Méliès films (for examples) may be short, you still should consider them as “real movies” and take them as seriously as you do a “feature film” with a more conventional running time.]

In the Film Diary Discussion Forum Topic create a “Reply” with your name as the subject, and consistently post your film diary entries under this entry as you update the diary; feel free to comment within each other’s Film Diaries, but keep your films under your own name.

You should update your Film Diary at least once a week. Simply respond to yourself through your own Diary (which will be your name inside the Film Diary Forum/Topic); your first entry will be the first in your Diary. For each update, enter “Film Diary Update Week Two,” etc., in the subject line. (If you update more than once in the same week, then title the second entry for that week “Update Week Two #2,” etc.)

VERY IMPORTANT: at the very least your Film Diary should include the two (or more) feature films you have chosen to view from that week’s assigned list; over the course of the semester you will write Film Reports for two of the assigned films [see below]. Even if you are writing a Film Report on a particular title, it should also be listed in the Film Diary, as a record of which two assigned feature films you view each week; rather than writing in your Film Diary about the two films you will write Reports about, after you list the basic credits for the film in your Diary, simply type something like, “See FR1 for my response to this film.”

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