For Older, Classic Films
If you have chosen an older classic film, there will be many scholarly journal articles to choose from.
For More Recent Films
There won’t be as many scholarly articles on the film itself. So broaden your search.
Search for articles about the director or production company. This works best for directors or production companies who have done several films
Search for articles on themes raised by the film. Again, all the articles don’t have to be about the same theme! Searching by theme can sometimes be very easy, such as searching for articles on particular genres of film (horror, comedy, animated/animation). But other times it can be frustrating to determine the best keywords for a particular theme, such as class issues. (Try "social classes.")
Databases for Film Studies
Try these databases in this order, narrowing to scholarly/peer-reviewed. Each database has it's strengths and weaknesses.
Refresher if you aren't sure if the articles you find are scholarly...
Who wrote it? Authority? Credentials?
Most of the scholarly articles are written by professors, people with PhDs, or working on their PhD. Occasionally you will find an article written by a film critic. Note who employs the critic (major newspaper or magazine?) and if the critic has written any books.
Is it lengthy?
If the article is only a few pages long, it's unlikely to be a scholarly article. You'll run into news articles or book/film reviews in the scholarly journals, and they tend to be short with no, or just a few, references. Those sources are not what you want to use for the Annotated Bibliography.
Are there references? Bibliography at the end of the article?
The vast majority of scholarly articles have references, but you will run into rare exceptions where it is an in-depth analysis (5+ pages), but there aren't any references. In those cases, double-check it is from a scholarly journal, and the authority of the author.
If you are still in doubt, contact me.
When you are searching in one of the library databases and the article in question isn't available full text right there, look for the button or hyperlink that says Check for Full Text.
Step 1: If the article is available online, it will say Fulltext available at the top. (It looks like a hyperlink, but it is a link to take you to the page you're already on.) Under View It, you will see links to the databases that have the article. In the example above the article is available in JSTOR and ProQuest databases.
Step 2: If the article is not available full text, it will say Check availability. To see if we have it in print or microfilm, scroll down to Find in a Library. If we do have at least one issue of the source, the page will look like the image above.
You can request that the library scan you a copy of the article! Just click on the link Request a scan of a chapter or excerpt, and it's the same as requesting it via Interlibrary Loan (Step 3.)
Step 3: If the article is not available full text, and we do not have it in print/microfilm, go back up to View It and click the link Request this article using Interlibrary Loan (in the middle under Can't find it? -- see image below). You will need to log in using your NetID/SSO. Verify that the fields were filled out correctly and click the red Submit Request button. Articles usually a few days. You will be notified via your EWU email that the article is available for you to download. (Directions are in the email.)
You might want to use some non-scholarly sources as background information, to help you understand the scholarly articles.
Step 1 - Check to see if your film is one of the 200 in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Films below. The entries are of high quality, and make for a great starting point.
You can find books and ebooks on major directors, genres of films (horror, science fiction, animation, etc.), films from X country, films from a particular decade, or analysis of major themes (racism, feminism, war, adaptations, etc.). Some really major, classic films (especially ones that are revolutionary) may have books just on the one film. Do remember that it takes years to get a book published.
Books or individual book chapters may count towards the scholarly sources if the book is published by a university press, and/or the author(s) has scholarly credentials. And there has to be a bibliography or list of references.
Because the library is closed this quarter, and the Summit borrowing system is shut down, the library can scan a chapter of a book you find in the catalog. Just click on the link Request a scan of a chapter or excerpt, and it's the same as requesting it via Interlibrary Loan. Give us a day or two, except requests on Friday won't be handled until Monday.
The film studies books come in two forms.
Need a refresher on searching the EWU Library Catalog? See Help with Searching the EWU Library Catalog.