How English Majors Get Down

My little sister asked me to take a look at her film paper the other day, as I have this whole useless education in the field of writing papers, and I have to tell ya, it was a wicked good time. I’ve never had so much fun correcting papers; maybe it was the email format, or the fact that I was at work that made me all goofy. And since I love my baby sister, I will reprint her work and my comments on it here. [Note: all work here copyrighted by Beedoo and Beedoo’s little sister; plagiarism is a crime, people.] I would like it said that I had no idea who these people / films are; I still don’t, and I think that makes for an objective eye. I do know my sister, and she is an egregious comma-nator. I am trying to school her in the art of the semicolon, but Grasshoppa is slow.


If The Cabinet of Calagari is a film, it needs to be in quotation marks or italics.

Why do some film theorists value realism above all other forms of artistic expression?
For some reason, I hate this sentence now. I just don't think you need it anymore.

Siegfried Kracauer, a German theorist and leading specialist on the realist form of cinema, argues that the camera should only emphasize reality and act as a mirror to nature. He also states that by showing this representation of reality, the film heightens the perception of the viewer and creates harmony.
Harmony with what?

However, he also states that the lack of realism in a film can produce larger consequences within its audience than the representation of it can promote.
You have "he also states" in the previous sentence. Also, I read this five times and I still have no clue what it means. Is it math?

Kracauer’s initial views on realism were extremely precise;
You can't be "extremely precise". Also, I put a semicolon here; it works better

he believed that the camera should not change any aspect of reality, but merely emphasize and promote the perception of that reality. Throughout his essay The Establishment of Physical Existence, he states that one ideal aspect of cinematic realism is the use of motion; since the camera is the only medium that can reproduce the reality of movement, it creates a more realistic image for the viewer (Kracauer 303).
This is all good; I’m totally with you.

He also states that the EMPHASIS (um, why is this capped?) of inanimate objects and objects that are usually unseen is also an important aspect of cinematic realism.
I hate the structure here--you're basically repeating the previous sentence.

He believes since although they may not be integral to the plot of a film, they are still part of the film’s reality and therefore must be enhanced. Therefore,
OK, stop it with the "however"s and "therefore"s; just assume we're following you.

for Kracauer, the use of close-ups, and any aesthetic that enhances reality is acceptable for cinematic use. However, he strictly prohibits the use of anything that can not be reproduced within reality; (and...semicolon!) for example, he disapproves of the use of flashbacks and dream sequences, since viewers are unable to look into the mind of others in reality (305-310).
Stop using the word "reality". Decide where you absolutely need it, and then rephrase it elsewhere.

As a result of his precise ideals of realism and how it ("they"--the ideals) create a heightened perception of the world for the viewers, his initial interpretation of the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was extremely biased, and therefore resulted in a poor review of the film’s aesthetic qualities:
This is quote, right? I think you can use my colon, if it is. The one I added—not my colon. Moving on.

[QUOTE from Kracauer]

I love that this is just hanging here, in anticipation of genius. I think you should leave it like this.


(That’s all I have so far. Is it bad?)

No, I like it. Just remember, when you edit--if you can cut it from the sentence and the sentence still makes sense, then cut it. Don't try to pad your paper with extra words, because then it gets long and tedious and your teachers get bored and hate you. Also, get a thesaurus on this thing (you have precise, however, reality, ideals, initial and views on here several times, and profs WILL NOTICE when you repeat yourself).

And don't go crying to Mom and say I hated your paper, either--I don't, and I get what you're trying to transmit. I think you need some synonyms and less commas, is all. Oh, and look over this carefully, because I deleted a bunch of superfluous punctuation (which is the name of my punk tribute band). Let me see it when you're done.


I love her. Was it too harsh? I’ve had way more abrasive things said about my papers, which is why I tried kidding. I think she still hates when I look over her papers, though. I’m probably going to give her an aneurysm. Damn. Now I have to bake her a cake.


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