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Writing the AFI Intro Paragraph

Writing the AFI Intro Paragraph

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Writing the AFI Intro Paragraph

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  1. Writing the AFI Intro Paragraph

  2. General Requirements • Format your intro. paragraph according to MLA guidelines (four-line heading, last name and page number in corner, creative title centered, TNR font, double-spaced) • The title of your movie should be italicized • Use third-person pronouns--no I! • Your intro. paragraph should be at least seven sentences long (more on this to follow)

  3. Opening the Intro: the Hook • Just like for previous essays you've written, this paper needs to open in an exciting way to hook the reader's attention. • Ideas for the hook: • Quoterelated to the film (no need to officially cite unless this is from your actual research) • Interesting fact about the movie (Cite if this is unknown to most, beyond common knowledge) • Statistic about the movie(Cite if this is beyond common knowledge)

  4. Example Hooks • Quote: Irish playwright Samuel Beckett once said, “I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.” • Interesting fact: The fact that Vertigo, a 1950s film, holds he 9thposition on the 2007 AFI Film List bespeaks of the quality and lasting impact of this superb Alfred Hitchcock mystery. • Stat: Some films fail to make enough money to cover the cost of production itself; this was not the case for the 1958 movie Vertigo, which grossed $2.8 million to offset its $2.5-million cost (Canning par. 6).

  5. Explain and Connect the Hook • What does the hook mean? • How does it relate to your movie and the point that you are making in your thesis? • Explain the hook and connect it to your paper's topic: why this movie is so great? • The idea is to start leading the way, sentence by sentence, to your thesis

  6. Example Explanation and Connection • After Quote: The feeling of vertigo—a severe dizziness that is, as Beckett points out, often difficult to cope with and understand– is at the center of the1958 Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. • After Quote: This film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was not as well-received when it was released but has gained in popularity over the years. • After Stat: Quite obviously, this film has something about it that makes viewers want to see it—sometimes again and again.

  7. Context: At least 3 sentences • Provide necessary background and context • What does he average reader need to know about your movie? • Consider including the following: • Director (unless you have mentioned this in an earlier sentence) • Placement of movie on the Top 100 List (what number it is ranked) • Key actors/actresses • Brief plot summary (not too many details; only what the reader needs to know) • Conflicts • Context and plot should be written in the present tense.

  8. Example Context • This film, coming in at #9 on the AFI Top 100 list, stars James Stewart as former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, and Kim Novak as Madeline, the wife of a friend of Scottie’s. Scottie suffers from vertigo and has, therefore, retired from the police force; however, he is hired to investigate Madeline’s whereabouts, for her husband thinks she has been acting insane. In the midst of romance, lust, nightmares, and confused identities, Scottie falls in love with Madeline, only to be robbed of his love when Madeline kills herself. After Madeline’s death, the suspense kicks in, as Scottie meets a woman who looks exactly like his former love. As the story unfolds, the plot becomes less about suicide and more about murder—and Scottie must work to get to the bottom of it.

  9. Bridge Sentence • This sentence creates a smooth transition--a bridge--from the context to the thesis. • Think of a bigger idea, outside the plot, that will lead naturally to your thesis statement. • Consider addressing thematic ideas, lasting impact, what the film is most known for, etc. • Be sure you are NOT addressing the same ideas presented in the next sentence (your thesis)

  10. Example Bridges • All in all, this suspenseful mystery brings surprises at every turn. • While the movie’s plot surely adds to its esteem, several other aspects make this one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films.

  11. Transition + Thesis • Choose a natural transitional word or phrase to take the reader from the bridge to your thesis • Be sure your thesis is worded according to Mrs. sikora's suggestions on the Thesis Organizer Worksheet

  12. Example Thesis • To be sure, the film Vertigo is truly deserving of its position on the AFI Top 100 List because of its exploration of the universal theme of desire, its unique use of colors and lighting to symbolize love and lust, and its interesting camera angles that evoke a sense of dreams and dizziness.

  13. Re-read the entire intro • Re-read the intro: • Does it read logically and smoothly? If not, how can you create a more cohesive intro? • Are there spots that are choppy or abrupt? Fix them. Smooth it out! • Do you have at least seven sentences, following the criteria in this PowerPoint? • Make sure you don't have any first-person pronouns! • Make sure every reference to your movie is italicized.

  14. Putting it all together • Irish playwright Samuel Beckett once said, “I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.” The feeling of vertigo—a severe dizziness that is, as Beckett points out, often difficult to cope with and understand– is at the center of the1958 Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. This film, coming in at #9 on the AFI Top 100 list, stars James Stewart as former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, and Kim Novak as Madeline, the wife of a friend of Scottie’s. Scottie suffers from vertigo and has, therefore, retired from the police force; however, he is hired to investigate Madeline’s whereabouts, for her husband thinks she has been acting insane. In the midst of romance, lust, nightmares, and confused identities, Scottie falls in love with Madeline, only to be robbed of his love when Madeline kills herself. After Madeline’s death, the suspense kicks in, as Scottie meets a woman who looks exactly like Madeline. As the story unfolds, the plot becomes less about suicide and more about murder—and Scottie must work to get to the bottom of it. While the movie’s plot surely adds to its esteem, several other aspects make this one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films. To be sure, the film Vertigo is truly deserving of its position on the AFI Top 100 List because of its exploration of the universal theme of desire, its unique use of colors and lighting to symbolize love and lust, and its interesting camera angles that evoke a sense of dreams and dizziness.