Activity: Written Movie Review

Here is a very short text from http://metropolis.co.jp/ that shows nicely the Generic Structure Potential (GSP) of Written Movie Reviews:

“The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”

The premise is strained in this Disney film about the holocaust, but the approach is fresh, the acting believable and somehow it all works.

Opens Sunday.

The text starts with a simple title. I think this simplicity is an important point as it indicates that this is a short summary rather than full-length review, which often have a small evaluative sub-heading:

The Tree of Life
Family story imbued with a new perspective

Shanghai
One of the best movies you’ve never heard of

The title is then followed by a general evaluation of the film as a whole (the premise is strained), which could be called an Ideational Evaluation, I guess. Then comes a Description of the story (film about the holocaust) and a detailed evaluation of different elements within the film (the approach, the acting). The end of the text is signalled by the author’s opinion of the film, or Interpersonal Evaluation (somehow it all works).

The GSP of movie review texts would thus be:

  • {Heading
  • (Sub-heading)}
  • {Ideational Evaluation – general
  • Description
  • Ideational Evaluation – detailed
  • Interpersonal Evaluation}
  • {Details}
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About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
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