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Lecture 2- Film Analysis.docx

4 Pages

Film Studies
Course Code
Sandra Annett

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Ch.2 – An Approach to Film Analysis Understanding Audience Expectations: - All viewers have different expectations - The distinction between art and film is artificial… which wrongly suggests that only art films (which many people assume must be dull and academic affairs) are worthy of serious analysis - Viewers form expectations about the kind of film they plan to see (e.g. narrative vs. documentary) - Example: people viewing an avant-garde film might not expect a story at all, but rather a visual art form Avant-garde Film: Also called “experimental film” or “underground cinema”. The goal is not commercial success, but artistic invention. Generally made by one person or a small group, distributed in very limited ways, and presented in specialized venues such as universities, museums, cinema clubs. Expectations & Modes of Organization:  Narrative films are organized by the cause and effect logic of story-telling: they present characters who encounter obstacles as they attempt to achieve their goals  Filmmakers sometimes change these expectations and provide suspense, or mystery for the viewers  Viewers generally expect for there to be a conclusion that resolves conflicts – some movies end as “cliff-hangers” leaving viewers with lingering questions, not closure Closure: A characteristic of conventional narrative form, where the conclusion of the films wraps up all loose ends in a form of resolution, though not necessarily with a happy ending  A viewer of avant-garde films would expect the basic visual film elements of the film medium, such as composition, and editing patterns, will carry great significance, while characters or events are given less important  Film-makers is aware of audience expectations Composition: the arrangement of visual elements (objects, actors, space) in a frame The Orchestration of Detail:  Details usually claim attention b/c they are prominent (e.g. through repetition) Motifs:  When any detail takes on significance through repetition  Example: the Darth Vader theme song in Star Wars, bat signal in Batman  Can provide information about characters or reinforce the significance of an idea  Can encourage spectators to compare and contrast moments over the course of the film Parallels:  Arises when 2 characters, events, or locations, are compared through the use of a narrative element or visual, or sound device  A comparison between 2 different thing
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