Skip to Main Content

FILM 219 - Methods of Film Analysis

This course emphasizes the reading and writing of film criticism. This guide focuses on tools and techniques that aid your discovery and incorporation of the literature of film criticism, both popular and scholarly, into your work for this course.
Subjects: Film Studies Tags: Film Criticism

Library Catalog

Library Catalog (HELIN and beyond)

     A large body of critical material, as well as excellent background sources, are published in books and in collections of essays.  Here are some sample strategies based on the three large units into which the course is divided (some examples are live links and some are not):

AUTHORSHIP - searching the director as Author and as the Subject (of other people's writing)

  • Kubrick, Stanley (Kubrick as author/creator of his own works)
   --In addition to the director's films, interviews and autobiographical material often appear under the AUTHOR entry in the Library Catalog.  Consider using the filters to limit to BOOK and eliminate copies of the films from the results.

Kubrick, Stanley. (Kubrick as SUBJECT)

--This Subject Heading should give results such as biographies and other writings about Kubrick where criticism may be contained, but does not predominate


--critical analysis of the author (director/creator) of the film appears under the author's name as a SUBJECT, often qualified by "criticism and interpretation" to distinguish it from biography

GENRE - searching film types or genres

     A few selected examples of Subject Headings which are film genres:
       Action and Adventure films (of which Science Fiction films are a sub-type)
       Fantasy films (of which Horror films are a sub-type)
   Horror films (of which Vampire films are a sub-type)
Vampire films
       Gangster films
           within which Mafia in motion pictures is a theme
NATIONAL CINEMA - using geographic subdivisions
 GENRE and NATIONAL CINEMA are sometimes combined in a single Subject Heading, for example:

Books in the General Collection - genre focused

Film Review Collections

v.1 (1907/1920) - v.24 (1995/1996)
REF PN 1995 .V34 1983
Film reviews originally published in Variety, the newspaper of the "entertainment" industry since a time before films could talk and recordings were still cylinders! If you wanted to know whether "Hix Nix Pix in Stix" [translation: unsophisticated rural audiences gave a poor reception to a film when it played in theaters outside major cities] before 1995, you had to read Variety.


(1913 - 1982)
REF PN 1995 .N4
The New York Times - justly renowned for the writing of its arts and culture critics -  has been reviewing commercially released films since the days of the silents, both in short "initial release" reviews and often in subsequent analytical critiques.