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HUMS 210: Cinema and Society (Dr. Grant): Searching

Warnings & Pitfalls

The film analysis assignment for HUMS 210 requires you to find scholarly film criticism and high-quality film reviews. Many of the publications that provide these types of sources, however, also include other types of content that are NOT appropriate for this assignment. Sometimes the library's search engine will return results that appear relevant, but that are actually not helpful.

Avoid the following types of content:

  • Interviews with actors, directors, or screenwriters;
  • articles about the making of the film (i.e. "behind-the-scenes" stories);
  • articles about the business aspects of the film industry (e.g. contract negotiations, box office reports, sales of subsidiary rights);
  • reports of the film's reception at film festivals or awards shows;
  • passing reference to the film in an article about a different film (e.g. a comparison to an earlier/later/similar work, or a new work by the same director);
  • discussions focused primarily on source material or adaptations (e.g. a review of the book the film is based on or a later tv series inspired by the film); and
  • reviews of auxiliary works (e.g if someone released a book about a film director or a documentary about the making of your film, reviews of that book or that documentary aren't appropriate sources. The book itself might be relevant, but a review of that book isn't).

Important Reminders:

  • A peer-reviewed work of flm criticism from a scholarly journal is very different from a traditional film reivew, but...
  • many scholarly film journals include film reviews in addition to the peer-reviewed articles they publish,
  • so just because you found something in a scholarly journal doesn't automatically mean it's a peer-reviewed article.
  • For additional details about the differences between Scholarly Criticism and Film Reviews, see the "Sources" tab of this guide.

Tutorial Video