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Writing for moving images

Task 1: planning to write a film review

As with any kind of writing, you need to start by identifying your genre, purpose, audience and style.

Harold Pinter interviewed on Newsnight Review, a film review programme on TV

The first step is to get familiar the genre (or form), so if you are planning to write a film review, start by reading some published film reviews. You can find film reviews on the BBC website, listed according to film genre.

Notice what each review is doing and ask yourself what is the purpose of each review?

A film review should have a number of purposes:

  • To inform. The review needs to tell people who is in the film, who it is by and where or when readers can see it.
  • To describe. The review should describe the story, characters and some of the action - without spoiling the plot or giving too much away!
  • To analyse. A good review gives an opinion on whether the film is good or not and why.
  • To advise. Finally, the review should tell the reader whether or not to go and see the film.

These different purposes will give you a basic structure for your writing.

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