• 1st Discussion Post: Find a review of Lost in Translation online and summarize it, in 1 paragraph. Your summary should include the following:

1. Indicate where you found the review (URL or citation).

2. Did the reviewer like the film? Why or why not? What were the film’s strengths and weaknesses, according to the reviewer.

3. How did the reviewer support their opinion of the film?

4. Do you agree with the reviewer’s opinion of the film? Why or why not?

Overview 2

Workshop 1: Film Criticism Reading Response

Length: 1-2 pages


1. Read the following critical essay on Lost in Translation (Coppola, 2003).

“Neon Gothic: Lost in Translation”


Note that although the essay discusses a number of different ideas about the film, a well constructed critical essay has a central argument or main point that it wants to get across to the reader.

Hint: The central argument is often found in the introduction.

In a critical essay, parts of a film that are described and analyzed to offer support for a central claim are called textual evidence.

Remember that in your answer you should not only list 2 pieces of textual evidence, but also explain how they are being used to support the main idea of the essay.

Some writing styles and their intended audiences are listed below to help guide you in answering this question:

Conversational writing is writing that is casual, often staying close to the way people speak. It may use more informal grammar, be less strict about its choice of words, and

use first person pronouns. Conversational writing aims to draw the reader into a discussion, and is often addressed to a general audience that is not intimately familiar with the film being discussed.

Formal writing is the kind of writing most often found in newspapers and prestigious film reviews. It uses standard grammar and clear, direct sentences. Its main aim is to clearly present the material in a way that an educated reader with some familiarity with the film being discussed will understand.

Theoretical writing uses a specialized terminology shared by a limited group of users. In the example of film criticism, that group of uses is usually people who study film, such as film professors or advanced students. Theoretical writing assumes that the reader already has a lot of knowledge about both the film being discussed and the questions being raised. Its central goal is to intervene in a debate.

3. Submit your answers as a Microsoft Word or compatible document in the Course Module for Week 1.


1. You may find some of the reading difficult. That’s OK! This week’s assignment will help you get the important information from the essay. If you are still having a hard time, ask your facilitator for help with the terms of ideas you are having a hard time with. The goal is not to fully understand the article, but to get the sense of how a critical essay is organized.

2. These questions don’t have a single correct answer. Different readers may convincingly argue about different central arguments or different writing styles. What is important is that you can defend your answer with specific material taken from the reading

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