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ASIA 1111 – Hollywood Hanoi: Narrating the Vietnam War - Tran: Finding Articles and Film Reviews

Some Ways to Find Film Reviews

Finding film reviews and film criticism is a matter of knowing where to look. For foreign films, the hunt can be more difficult, because the United States did not traditionally cover foreign film in major newspapers and magazines until the 1970s and 1980s, and even then there was not a major following. What following there was has not often been saved for posterity and can often be found only in print in libraries with dedicated film history or film studies collections.

For the last ten years, you can try several strategies. Start with the archives of major national newspapers, like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. All three of those newspapers have searchable online archives, but only the Times can be depended on to allow full free access to its review archive. Another place to look is ProQuest Newspapers, which is a database that is available through VU using your VuNet credentials. ProQuest will have reviews and criticism from major newspapers that are not available freely at the papers' websites.

ProQuest News and Newspapers is also the place to start to look for film reviews and criticism older than 10 years. Other places to look:

  1. Print compilations. The library has Variety Film Reviews 1907-1996 (call number PN1993 .V36) and New York Times Film Reviews 1913-2000 (call number PN1995 .N4), and Film Review Index 1882-1985 (call number Z5784 .M9 F513). These compilations are all available by request from the library Annex (request form can be accessed by signing into your Acorn account using your VUNet ID). 
  2. Library databases. The library has access to Art Full Text (VUNet ID access only), which collects reviews and criticism from a number of journals in one database. Some of the journals that are covered by Art Full Text include: Film Comment, Film Criticism, Film History, Filmmaker, Film in Review, and Sight & Sound.
  3. The library also has access to Readers Guide Retrospective (VUNet ID access only), which covers 1890-1982 and is a good source for citations to articles from older popular magazines (bot not full-text). The library has in print a large selection of bound-voulme popular magazines, such as Time and Newsweek, that can be called back from the library Annex if you find an article that interests you.

For reviews generally, you can also try the Movie Review Query Engine, which collects reviews from across the web, though be aware that some of the linked articles may be dead, contain reviews that are mostly industry press releases, are too brief or superficial, or from sources (like blogs) that are not necessarily considered useful as source material for academic research.

An excellent source for more details on finding film reviews and film criticism is here:

Strategies for Finding Reviews and Critical Analyses

[Thanks to Frank Lester for putting this page together.]

Resources for Your Paper

These resources are available either as VU library databases or on the World Wide Web.

Please contact Yuh-Fen Benda or Chris Benda if you run into trouble locating articles for a particular film. Our contact information is on the landing page of this guide.