Developing your own Criterion
Before you can successfully evaluate a movie or album, you first need to establish your critical criteria. This will provide you with a critical framework in which you can consider the piece. To that end, I have provided some .pdf files of reading selections from several philosophers. Browse each reading selection to see which one appeals to you. (Of course, you will also want to think about what type of work you want to review: a movie or an album?)
Philosopher writing on the Aesthetic value of drama: The Poetics by Aristotle Chapters 5-15 (V-XV)
Philosophers writing on the Aesthetic value of music: The Republic, Book III by Plato
Once you have decided on music or drama, read the selection closely, and then isolate three of the philosopher’s criteria that you will take and make your own. For example, if you are going to review an album, then you may want to select three points from Plato’s Republic that you will use to guide your evaluation of the album.
Writing the Review
The review itself should be 250-300 words. Your evaluation must be rooted in your three-point criteria, although – and this is important – you do not directly state what that criteria is. Remember that you are writing for an audience that might be interested in putting down their hard-earned cash to see the film, or buy the album. To give you some examples of what a short critical review should look like, here is a film review from Harry Knowles from Ain’t it Cool News, and an album review from the British writer/blogger Sid Smith. Note that both writers are at once critical and fair-minded: that’s the tone you should strive for.
Once the review is done, on to Part Two of the assignment. You will write a 400-500 word essay that discusses how you selected your aesthetic criteria, why these three criteria were important to you, what was about the philosopher’s ideas that appealed to you and how this approach effected the way you will now consider movies or music. It is expected that you will quote from the philosopher’s work and discuss why the given passage was significant in helping you develop your own aesthetic criteria.
So, in summary, your paper will include the following
1. A 250-300 critical review of a dramatic movie or a musical album
2. A reflective essay that explain how you developed your aesthetic criteria
3. MLA in-text citations, and work cited format
IMPORTANT: while this paper has several parts, it should be submitted as ONE DOCUMENT.