Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fourth into Fifth Week Prompt

So you've been to the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and been the first ever audience for their production of Sherlock Holmes: The Last Adventure. If you were to "Go with your gut," as McLeese urges, "But do your research," how would you approach a review of this show?
I didn't assign a formal review for this show because it's a conflict of interest in oh so many ways for you to review a show for which your professor plays a central role. However, I would like for you to reflect upon the experience in an informal blog post. You may or may not exclude my performance--it's up to you.

What I'm really interested in is how you would approach the review. What kind of context would you put the show in? There are so many adaptations of Sherlock Holmes--and this is but one of them. Can or should you compare them?

What expectations did you have of the show and why? Did the show meet, exceed, or fall short of them? How?

What about the various elements of the show: the script, the acting, the blocking (the positions and large movements of the actors, generally set by the director), the sets, the lighting, the sound, the costumes, the directing? Can you separate them from each other as they show up on stage?

Would reviewing theatre be more challenging for you than reviewing film? Why or why not? Would you feel a different responsibility with the power you might have? And what kind of standards would you hold the shows to? Given, for example, that the Civic is a community theatre staffed largely by volunteers, would you review their work differently than, say, Broadway touring company shows put on at Miller Auditorium? Why or why not? Does the role of the critic change given a different medium/art form? Feel free to reference the chapter in McLeese as you see fit.

Please post no later than Wednesday at noon. Really looking forward to reading what you have to say about this. And remember, you're welcome to use first person in this informal blog post, but do make sure to edit and proofread your work before publishing online, OK?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fourth Week Assignment

1. Write your 400-word review of "The Queen of Versailles" and turn it in by EMAILING it to me by 8 a.m. on Monday. Please embed the text in the body of your email and attach it as a WORD (.doc) file, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. Also, post it to your blog.

2. Read Chapter 5 on theater in McLeese.

3. Read the New York Times Arts sections.

4. By Wednesday, write and publish an informal blog post. Make at least two comments on other class blogs.

5. Figure out how and with whom you're traveling to The Civic Theatre on the corner of Park and South Streets. Remember that's where class meets fourth week Wednesday. Plan to arrive at 7:10 p.m.

6. Come see me during office hours!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Assignment for Third Week

1. Read the Arts sections of the NYTimes every weekday. Pay particular attention to the reviews. Read and analyze them for craft. Note what you think is effective and what is not and why.

2. Read Ch. 6 in McLeese.

3. Based on what you learned in class, the feedback you received in workshop, and the knowledge you gained from reading Chapter 6 in McLeese, thoroughly revise your film review. Post your revision on your blog and email it as a .doc attachment (and embed in the body) to me by Monday at 8 a.m.

4. Read NYTimes defenses posted by Britt and Maggie, and Joe and Patricia.

5. Come see me during office hours!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominations Announced!

Dang, Lincoln!

Given this, I'm adding Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty to the list of movies you can review for Monday. Just remember: you need to freshly view whichever film you choose to review for class.

More sass less irony

Someone besides me is calling for a moratorium on irony.

Is the age of hipsterdom finally over?
When do you feel you can get to your honest opinion and share it? When do you feel it's stifled?

Literary website The Omnivore recently founded a prize to reward the "angriest, funniest, most trenchant" review published in a newspaper or magazine. It aims is to raise the profile of book critics and "promote integrity and wit in literary journalism."

Just a little inspiration to get your budding sass and honest opinions flowing for your first assignment due Monday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NYTimes Defense Lineup

200 words on blogs written collaboratively. 10-15 minute class presentation/discussion. Read the links presented ahead of time.

Week 2: Jon and Zac, Ben and Aidan

Week 3: Britt and Maggie, Joe and Patricia

Week 6: Isa and Ana, Kelsey and Steph

Week 7: Alaina and Guy, Mara and Colin

Week 9: Aliera and Nicole

Welcome to Arts Journalism

If you are checking out this blog, you are more than likely registered for the arts journalism class offered at Kalamazoo College this term. Welcome!

Here's what you need to do before next week's class:

1. Thoroughly reread the syllabus and email me with questions. Note: my regular office hours will start 2nd week.

2. Continue working on your blog for this class.
Make sure you title it something appropriately professional and arts journalism-ish, put up a photo of yourself that is in no way compromising were a potential employer (or your professor) to see it, become a follower of my blog, create a class blogroll in which you can link to others in the class, and consider adding an RSS feed or other gadget in addition to tweaking its design.

3. Go see a movie!
Your options are: Les Miserable, The Hobbit, or The Ganster Squad. All three are (or will be by Thursday) showing in the Kalamazoo area, though since the Rave downtown closed, you'll either need to drive, ride with someone who drives, or take the bus to Kalamazoo Goodrich 10 or Crossroads Celebration Cinema.

4. Write about the movie you saw.
In order to do this, you need to take notes during the viewing (so if you've already seen the film, go see it again, or choose a different film to write about). Your review should be 400 words long, and it is due Monday, Jan. 14 at 8 a.m. Email it to me at (embedded in the body rather than as an attachment) AND post it to your blog.

5. Read each others' reviews on the blogs (check and comment on them by Wednesday morning).

6. Start picking up your New York Times subscription on Monday and thoroughly read the Arts Section every Monday through Friday.  This is your main written text for this class and is required. The only way you're getting out of it is if you're required in another class to subscribe.

7. Read the introduction and Chapter One of McLeese.

8. Most importantly, have fun with it!