Reviews

Please note that these instructions are aimed at Lehigh University students working in the Lehigh library system.  Others can use them as a model but will need to modify them for their local environments.

Guidelines             Resources

Help

START IMMEDIATELY LOOKING FOR REVIEWS SO THAT YOU CAN PLACE INTER-LIBRARY LOAN REQUESTS, IF ANY, IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR THEM TO ARRIVE.

Guidelines

-- There is a difference between the film reviews that appear in newspapers and magazines, on television, and on the web around the appearance of a film and more scholarly articles and books that appear other times.  We will search for the so-called scholarly material later.  For now, our assignment is reviews.

-- Reviews are important, for they provide snapshots of contemporary public reception, and, in fact, they often help shape that reception.

-- Your job is to provide a list of reviews with short annotations (say 50-100 words).

-- How to find reviews?   See below:  you will use Lehigh online resources such as Lexis-Nexis and other databases, the IMDb and other online databases outside Lehigh, plus print resources in the library.  The idea is that there may be several resources applicable to your film, and you should try them all.

-- Search all of the possible resources for reviews on your film.  Don't assume that one reference source will list them all.  The date your film was released will affect what resources you should use.  Not all older material will be available online, for instance.

-- Be sure to check for reviews in both newspapers and magazines (Lexis-Nexis, for instance, searches these fields separately).

-- Be sure to check for reviews in such major newspapers as the New York Times and in such major magazines as Time, for these are in many ways the most powerful voices in our culture.

-- Check for holdings of your item in the Lehigh library online catalog, ASA.  When checking, be sure to enter the full title of the publication, not the abbreviation some reference books will use.

--To find ASA, Lehigh's online catalog:

Lehigh home page > Libraries (top navigation bar, right side)> Online Catalogs> ASA, Lehigh's Library Catalog
-- If our library does not have the publications in which the reviews appear, use Inter-library Loan and any other suggestions Kathe Morrow might give you.

-- To find Inter-Library Loan:

Lehigh home page > Libraries (top navigation bar, center right side) >  Library Services > Requests (from left menu) > Inter-Library loan/Document Delivery (from center column) > fill out as much information as you can on the form
-- Sometimes Inter-library loan can take a while.  Prepare ahead for a possible time lag.  Identify material to be secured that way, and order it immediately.

-- Include all substantive reviews that you find (disregard ones that simply summarize the plot, for instance, unless you feel they appear in a very important publication or unless there are no substantive ones).

-- There is no set number of reviews.  The number will vary from film to film.

-- Reviews of silent era films may be very hard to locate and/or to get; be prepared to be happy if you find one.

-- If you have citations to reviews that you cannot annotate because you cannot obtain them, simply list the citations in alphabetical order after your annotated ones under the title "Other Reviews."

-- If you have found many reviews (say, more than 10) and you cannot or do not want to annotate them all, annotate the best reviews or the ones in the most prominent publications, and list the other citations in alphabetical order after your annotated ones under the title "Other Reviews."

-- Introduce your list with a paragraph or so providing an overview of the reception of the film as evidenced by the reviews: was the film favorably received or not?  why? what issues, especially relating to the historical subject, receive attention?  What stood out to contemporary reviewers? etc.

-- Consider incorporating direct quotes where they will add contemporary flavor and immediacy (if you quote put the page number -- just the number, no "p." etc. -- in parentheses if the review is longer than one page).

-- Put all important and striking quotes into a sound bite file right away.  It's easier to do this now than to come back at the end.

-- Use MLA format for your citation:

                     See the Lehigh "FOOTNOTE AND CITATION STYLE GUIDES" page at:
                    http://www.lehigh.edu/library/footnote/footnote.html

Especially recommended is: http://www.lib.duke.edu/libguide/citing.htm

The authority is the 1999 MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers by Joseph Gibaldi (808.02 M689ml 1999 ), on both Linderman and Fairchild reserve.  The section you want is "Documentation: Preparing the List of Works Cited."

-- If a review available online originally appeared in a print publication, give the print citation not the online one (not everybody will have access to the web, or access at all times, and web addresses can change or disappear).

-- Put all your citations in alphabetical order in a works cited file right away.  It's easier to do this now than at the end.

-- Assignment format:

-- your introductory paragraph or paragraphs
-- skip a line
-- each review in alphabetical order by reviewer's last name
-- skip a line between the citation and the annotation
-- the citation is VW, 14 pt, bold
-- the annotation is VW, 12 pt
-- File-naming protocol:  yourlehighID-reviews (e.g, ejg1-reviews).

PLEASE START ALL YOUR FILE NAMES, EVEN FOR INDIVIDUAL IMAGES, WITH
YOUR ID SO THAT THEY ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE SHOULD ANY CONFUSION
 WITH THE FILES OF OTHER OCCUR!!!!!

START IMMEDIATELY LOOKING FOR REVIEWS SO THAT YOU CAN PLACE INTER-LIBRARY LOAN REQUESTS, IF ANY, IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR THEM TO ARRIVE.

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Example:

Reviews

Reviewers of Nicolas Echevarria's Cabeza de Vaca offer a broad range of opinions about the film's merits or deficiencies. Most reviewers note that the film contains powerful visual imagery and compelling evocations of Native cultures. But there is a decided lack of consensus about the film's merits as an accurate representation of Cabeza de Vaca's original narrative of his eight--year sojourn in the American South and Southwest. Several reviewers criticize the film's slow pace and the acting of Juan Diego who plays Cabeza de Vaca, claiming that Diego tends to overact. The main critique about the movie by the critics who note disappointment about the film's depiction of the historical subject is that the film fails to offer little narrative at all compared to the rich narrative of Cabeza de Vaca's original work.  The cinematic evocation of Cabeza de Vaca's profound sense of psychic dislocation during his captivity by natives draws a positive response from most of the critics. Most note that Cabeza de Vaca is director Echevarria's first feature film and reflects his past work in Mexico as a ethnological documentary film-maker. The emphasis on native mysticism in the film draws praise from many reviewers, as well as Echevarria's detailed depiction of exotic, alien natives and shamanic rituals.  Several critics, however, take issue with what they claim is the film's underlying "politically correct" pro-native / anti-Spanish imperialism message.  The overall sentiment is that Cabeza de Vaca is an uneven but highly compelling film.

Arnold, William.  "Foreign Adventure Movies Leave Much to Be Explored." Seattle Post-Intelligencer  14 August 1992: 11.

Arnold offers a negative review of the film.  He suggests that the movie is based on a compelling historical premise, but is an overall exercise in tedium for the viewer.  Arnold's main critique is that the film fails to develop Cabeza de Vaca "as a fascinating character."  The reviewer says that director Echevarria lacks the necessary storytelling and visual skills to create a compelling cinematic experience.


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Resources for Finding Reviews:
*** Best place to start:  The Lehigh Infodome Film Studies page
http://www.lehigh.edu/library/infodome/humanities/filmstudies.html
 
Academic Index (InfoTrac)

                    Covers years 1980 to present. Contains citations and full text articles

Art Abstracts

Covers film journals, 1984--
Lehigh home page > Libraries (top navigation bar, right side) > Electronic Resources > Databases > Art Abstracts in alphabetical list
Art Index
Covers film journals, 1930-1989
Linderman, first floor, Index section 016.7 A78
Film Review Index
Linderman Reference first floor: 791.43 F4872
Vol 1:1882-1949; Vol 2: 1950-1985
The Film Index: A Bibliography (Vol 1)
Linderman Reference first floor: 791.4016 W956f
For material before 1936
Film Review Annual
Linderman 3rd Floor (Rotunda) 791.43 F4871
Covers 1982-present
Not just a list; prints the reviews (but you may need to get the full        citation elsewhere)
A Guide to Critical Reviews: Part IV, The Screenplay  (Vol 1: A-J; Vol : K-Z)
Linderman Reference first floor 809.2016 S163g (vol 4, pts 1-2)
Covers 1927-1963
See Supplement One for 1963-1980: Linderman Reference
        809.2016 S163g 1973
Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Lexis/Nexis

                    Covers huge amount of newspaper and journal material from 80's to the
                    present.

Periodicals Abstracts (Proquest) (probably good back 10-15 years):

Lehigh home page > Libraries (top navigation bar, right side) > Electronic Resources > Databases > Periodicals Abstracts (Proquest) > PA Research II
Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, retrospective
Covers 1890-1982
START IMMEDIATELY LOOKING FOR REVIEWS SO THAT YOU CAN PLACE INTER-LIBRARY LOAN REQUESTS, IF ANY, IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR THEM TO ARRIVE.

Need help?  Librarian Kathe Morrow (kem6, 83041, office on first floor Linderman rotunda) is available to  meet with you individually on your specific projects.  Tell her you are in Gallagher's class and part of the Reel American History project.