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In film reviews/essays about a book or film, does the title of the movie/book always have to be highlighted/put in italics?

I know that at the start you have to put the title in italics, e.g.:

Director Tim Burton brings us Edward Scissorhands, which is about...

But do I need to put the title in italics in subsequent paragraphs too? E.g.:

The film techniques used in Edward Scissorhands are....

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Generally, yes; Edward Scissorhands is the film, "Edward Scissorhands" is a character, and you don't want to confuse people. But such matters are governed not by universal rules but by the local rules of the publisher or class to which your review is submitted. This question is therefore Not Constructive. –  StoneyB May 18 '13 at 13:12

1 Answer 1

As a rule of thumb, the answer to your question is YES. You must always use italics or quotation marks or an underline (whatever your style manual dictates is the correct way to do it).

The title of the film and the name of the main character are the same in this case, so you don't want your reader to stop mid-sentence and wonder whether you're talking about the film or the protagonist.

Moreover, italicizing the title the first time isn't conceptually the same as spelling out an abbreviation and then using the only the abbreviation from that point on. Terminological consistency is a virtue; terminological whimsy is a vice to be avoided unless your goal is to confuse the reader.

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+1 But remember Barry G: "Terminological whimsy is no vice in defense of literary liberty!" –  StoneyB May 18 '13 at 13:15
    
@StoneyB: Literary liberty brought us Finegans Wake, The Valley of the Dolls, & The DaVinci Code. 'Nuff said. :-) –  user21497 May 18 '13 at 13:26
    
Well, I was too young to vote, but I was for Lyndon. But I'd vote for FW--or Le Cid, A Doll's House, Sacre du Printemps and many other artistic scandals--any day. –  StoneyB May 18 '13 at 13:41
    
@StoneyB: FW is not in the same literary class as the other two on my list. It's an amazing piece of work, but difficult to get through, so most readers haven't read it. I managed 32 pages on my first attempt. I never made a second. Maybe someday I'll try again. I'm warming up to it. The other two I did manage to get through. Can't remember anything about the 2nd 'cept the author's name, & the 3rd was just a page-turner. But I had more free time then, so I was willing to waste it. The folly of youth, I suppose. –  user21497 May 18 '13 at 14:07

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