MLA Documentation of Films: Works Cited references
At minimum, on your Works Cited page, provide the following information: the title (underlined or italicized), the director (“Dir.”) and the lead actors or narrator (“Perf.” or “Narr.”), the distributor, the year of the films release, and the medium (“Videocassette,” “DVD,” or “Film”). For example,
O. Dir. Tim Blake Nelson. Perf. Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett. Lions Gate, 2001. DVD.
Othello. Dir. Oliver Parker. Perf. Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Kenneth Branagh. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1995. Videocassette.
Additional information should be provided as well, if you are referencing particular aspects of the movie in your discussion; for example, if you are citing textual differences between the movie and the play, be sure to provide screenplay credits:
Othello. Adapted and directed by Oliver Parker. Perf. Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Kenneth Brannagh. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1995. Videocassette.
Sense and Sensibility. Screenplay by Emma Thompson. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant. Videocassette. Columbia Pictures, 1995.
If using special features or bonus material from a DVD, begin with the title of the feature and any significant contributors, then continue citing as above. If the special material appears on a bonus disc, include the number of the disc as well:
“Sweeny's London.” Prod. Eric Young. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Dir. Tim Burton. Dreamworks, 2007. DVD. Disc 2.
If citing an online film or video clip,
treat it as you would any short work from a website:
Provide all of the information concerning original production (as above), but include the date posted, YouTube (italicized or underlined), the word “Web,” and the date accessed. You may also include the URL, but like all citations for web sources in the current version of MLA format, this is optional:
The Rocking Horse Winner. Dir. Anthony Pelissier. Perf. John Howard Davies, Valerie Hobson, John Mills. Two Cities Films, 1949. 22 Dec. 2011. YouTube. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUZVV_MrIc>.
If you are watching streaming video, for example, from Amazon.com, provide as much of the original information as possible, as well as the online information. In general, in other words, try to be logical about what aspects of the film you need to document.
MLA Documentation of Films: In-Text Citations
Within the body of the paper, it is preferable—and easier—to acknowledge the work in your text, rather than in a parenthetical citation:
“Emma Thompson’s screenplay for Sense and Sensibility adds several scenes not in the novel, further developing Elinor as the major character.”
Research Essays and MLA Documentation: Some General Resources:
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