Film Analysis Essay
1. Read the chapter on film analysis.
2. Rent and view one of the films from the list below. You should view the film at least twice. Take notes as you go and pause and replay scenes that you don’t understand or that you find particularly interesting.
3. Write a paper which answers the questions below.
a. For minimum credit answer all the questions below. Be sure to number your answers.
b. More complete answers will receive higher scores.
4. Papers must be type written and double-spaced. No papers will be accepted by e-mail. Length: 4 – 7 pages.Review
1. What is the true subject or theme of the film, and what kind of statement, if any, does the film make about the subject? Which elements and which scenes contribute most to addressing the theme of the film?
2. How do all of the separate elements of the film relate to and contribute to the theme, central purpose, or total effect?
a. Narrative – The manner in which the story is told. What is the plot structure? Is it chronological or non-linear? Are there flashbacks or other narrative devices and why are they used?
b. Acting – the qualities of the performances. Is the acting realistic or is it mannered? Are the characters dynamic (do they change as the film progresses)? How?
c. Cinematography – The qualities of the photography and lighting. Identify specific scenes and camera shots that you thought were particularly interesting.
d. Editing – The pace and tempo, the use of transitions and the organization of the narrative. Identify any editing technique you thought was particularly interesting. Art Direction and Design – Locations, sets, effects, props, costumes and make-up.
3. What scenes in the film show the director’s style and how do they show it?
4. What were your personal reactions to the film? What are your personal reasons for liking or disliking the film?
Films By Howard Hawks: Scarface (1932), Barbary Coast (1935), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948)
Films Noir: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Scarlet Street (1945), D.O.A. (1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Big Heat (1953)Comedies: Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Sons of the Dessert (1933), The Thin Man (1934), Holiday (1938), All About Eve (1950),
Adventure Films: Captain Blood (1935), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Beau Geste (1939), The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
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