Film Intro - Juliet Davis

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OBJECTIVES
Recognize films as
texts to be read.
Identify ways in which “the
viewer contains the
viewed.”
Identify types of film
discourse
(some of which will be
studied in more depth
later)
Identify key aspects of
traditional narrative,
understanding structure
and relationships between
character and action.
Analyze Mise en scène
(visual elements adding
thematic richness)
Identify key production
techniques.
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Suspension of disbelief
Film/Text
“Filters” (age, gender, education, life experience, etc.)
Purpose of viewing (entertainment, education, analysis, etc.)
Discourse (review, criticism, theory?)
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Review: Is it entertaining?
Criticism: How does it reflect culture?
Theory: e.g., What Is entertainment? How do our notions of
entertainment correspond to our notions of pleasure?
(from Latin discursus, meaning "running to and from")
Formal, orderly, and usually extended expression of thought on a subject
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Semiotics: What is being signified
by a particular element (e.g., color)?
Psychoanalytic: Freud was interested
in fantasy and desire, as are films (dreamlike).
Marxist: Considers labor, costs, power,
|conformity to institutions of power
Feminism: Gender issues
(e.g., representation of women in film)
Ethnic Theory: Ethnicity issues
(e.g., representation of people of color in film)
Other . . .
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Two kinds of pleasure Mulvey identifies, based on Freudian theory:
A) scopophilia, which is the pleasure of making someone else
the object of your gaze and
B) identification with the character.
The assumption is that the film viewer is male (or takes a male subject
position), so both of these pleasures are gendered. The woman is
always subjected to a male gaze.
The male is assumed to be the active spectator; the woman the passive
object of spectatorship.
The male relationship with the female image is paradoxical:
attraction and fear (of castration), according to Mulvey’s Freudian
reading..
Ways to escape the fear of castration are to demystify her (punish her,
save her) or fetishize her (see her as the untouchable, glamorous star).
Link to Summary of Laura Mulvey’s
“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”
Mulvey was criticized on the one hand for reinforcing heterosexuality
and on the other hand for assuming a passive, un-negotiating viewer.
Story / Plot
Theories
Aristotle
(Beginning, Middle, End)
Character relationship to plot
Gustav Frytag
(Conflict, Complication,
Climax, Resolution)
Stephen Meadows
(Pause and Effect)
Gustav Freytag
“Placement in the Scene”
Mise en scène
Visual elements adding
thematic richness to the film:
1) Visible Elements
(lighting, location, color,
space, costuming, set
design, etc.)
2) How Elements Relate
to Each Other
(e.g., characters facing one
another, facing camera, etc.
3) How Elements
Are Captured on Film
(camera movement, point of
view)
(lighting, location, color, space, costuming, set design, etc.)
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Think of a film in which color contributed to the theme.
What was the dominant color?
Was the color symbolic?
Is the symbolism typical or established just for the movie?
Sixth Sense (1999)
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15 Minutes (2001)
Schindler’s List (1993)
(e.g., characters facing one another, facing camera, etc.
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Placement of Characters (facing us, facing
each other, back to us, back to each other,
space between them, proximity to objects,
etc.)
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Placement of Other Objects (e.g., in
relationship to characters and each other)
(camera movement, point of view)
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Camera Around Characters (Sound of Music)
Characters Around Camera (Annie Hall)
Characters as Objects to Each Other
Camera from a Character’s Point of View
See www.julietdavis.com/cameraterminology.doc
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Zoom
Pan
Tilt
Track
Dolly in/out
Arc
Roll
Jump cut
Deep focus
Shallow focus
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Dissolve
Fade in
Fade Out
Cut
Wipe
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Match on Action
Eyeline Match
Reaction Shot
Parallel Editing (or “Cross-cutting”)
Flashbacks
Montage
Cutting for Chaos
USE RULE OF THIRDS.
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