The American Film Institute has a few suggestions for what you might want to write about America if you want to keep a job writing about movies.
“The American Film critic,” the institute says on its website, “has earned its place in film history by challenging the conventions and stereotypes of the media landscape, which have been shaped and re-shaped by the power of the film industry.”
And if you’re interested in how to do that, here are the steps you should take.
Find a movie.
As I said above, the best way to do this is to find a movie you think is a good movie.
“This is especially important when you’re writing about a topic like film,” the American Film Council explains.
“If you’re trying to write a book about movies, then you have to make sure you have a book that is relevant to the subject matter.”
So go ahead and pick something like “American Psycho” or “The King’s Speech” or any of the other great classics.
Then, write a novelization or summary of that movie.
If you’re not writing about the movie, then pick something that’s about the subject and that’s the one you’re looking to write.
You may have to use the words “the subject” and “the movie” interchangeably.
For example, you may write about “The New Jersey Shore,” but if you do, you need to refer to the movie as “The Jersey Shore.”
“A film is the culmination of all the elements of a human life,” says American Film Studies director Scott Tarkington.
“So the film is not just a collection of action, or some other kind of film.
It’s a series of events, and that means that it has a narrative arc.
It has a story and it has emotions.
That’s what film is.”
You can read more about this topic in The New York Times book, “How to Write an American Book About Movies,” by Robert Siegel.
Find your subject.
American Film Critics’ Guide to the American Cinema suggests that the best film-related books for writing about America are the ones that explore the subject in some depth, that explore how movies work and what they mean to American culture.
But the institute also says, “The critical literature is not a substitute for a critical study.
It is, rather, a supplement to the film studies literature, and should be used as a guide for filmmakers and for readers of film.”
In other words, you might be better off picking up a book like “The Man Who Killed Celine Dion” and then working your way through the movie’s history.
And if that doesn’t work, then maybe you should just skip to the end of the book and write a one-sentence summary.
“We think it’s important that the film critic write in the style of a film scholar, but it’s also important that he or she be sensitive to the fact that the critical literature has become so important and that we’ve become so polarized on this issue that it is hard to do,” says Tarkinton.
“What I’m trying to say is, if you don’t like the tone of the films you’re watching, then it’s really hard to write an effective book about them.”
Choose your subject carefully.
“I try to write what I want to read about America,” Tarkatton says.
“There are no ‘right’ movies to write on.
There are no right movies to read.”
But in order to write something that might interest you, you’ll want to understand the movie better.
For that, you should read as much of the literature on movies as you can.
For instance, if your goal is to write more about how movies affect Americans and how they shape American culture, you can read a lot of books like “A Film History of America: From Cinema to Modernity” by Robert Kiyosaki, which includes essays on such films as “Sideways” and other classics like “Schindler’s List.”
Or you can start with some of the books about the history of cinema by filmmakers like Michael Moore, who wrote “A Life in Film” in 2009.
“That’s what I’m doing with this book,” says Moore.
“You don’t need to know anything about the movies in order for me to tell you about them.
So, in that sense, it’s a good book.”
And it’s good for you, too, says TARKINGTON.
“Most film critics don’t know much about the films they review,” he says.
And when they do, they often get a lot wrong.
“A lot of what I write will not be the kind of thing that I’d like to read, so I’ll take the most recent movie that I like and then I’ll write a longer piece on it.
That way, it’ll be a more accurate, objective, balanced look at the film.” So