Film Appreciation

physical reality is the source of all raw materials of film, minimum of distortion, documentary style, open form

high degree of manipulation, a stylization of reality, emphasize techniques and expressiveness, closed form. Real Deff: A style of filmmaking in which asethetic forms take precedence over the subject matter as content Time and space as oridnarily percieved are often distorted. Emphasis on essential, symbolic characteristics of objects and people.

the amount of subject matter that’s included within the frame of the screen

medium shot
contains a figure from the knees or waist up

concentrates on a relatively small object

long shot
distance between the audience and the theatre

extreme long shot
establishing shot, tells you what world you’re in

extreme close-up
show only a person’s eyes or mouth

deep focus shot
long shot consisting of a number of focal distances photographed in depth

determined by where the camera is placed, not the subject photographed

bird’s-eye view
photographing a scene from directly overhead

high angle
placed on a crane, not so extreme, not so disorientating

low angle
increase height, opposite of high angle, useful for suggesting vertically. heighten the importance of a subject

oblique angle
lateral tilt of the camera. suggest tension, transition, and impending movements. ex. drunk

the artist and technician responsible for the film’s lighting and photography, an expert with lights, lenses, cameras, film stocks, and photographic processes who designs and tests different effects until they match the director’s intentions for the film, then oversees the actual shooting

cool colors
(blue, green, violet) suggest tranquility, aloofness, and serenity. tendancy to recede an image

warm colors
(red, yellow, orange) suggest aggressiveness, violence, and stimulation

film noir
a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. low-key and high contrast lighting

The area of the film image that compels the viewer’s most immediate attention, usually because of a prominent visual constrast

A pre visualization technique in which shots are sketched in advance and in sequence, allowing the filmmakers to outline the mis en scene and construct the editing community before production begins

Mise en scene
“Placing on stage,” the arrangement of all the visual elements of a theatrical production within a given playing area.

The dividing line between the edges of the screen image and the enclosing darkness of the theater.

aspect ratio
frame’s horizontal and vertical dimensions

standard aspect ratio
(television) 1:33:1

widescreen aspect ratio

Center Frame
where the dominant visual effects are placed in the frame

Top of Frame
suggests ideas dealing with power, authority, and aspiration

Left and Right Edges of Frame
suggests insignificance

Darkness in frame
suggests the unknown, the unseen, and the fearful

subsidiary contrasts
A subordinate element of the film image, complementing or contrasting with the dominant contrast. In other words, what you see after the dominant

Intrinsic interest
the audience, through the context of a story, knows that an object is more important dramatically than it appears visually.

Territorial Space
the way we respond to objects and people within a given area is a constant source of information in life as well as in movies.

full-front territorial space
most intamate

provides high degree of intimacy but with less emotional involvement

unaware of being observed, lost in his or her own thoughts

three-quarter turn
useful for conveying a character’s unfriendly or anti-social feelings

back to camera
character’s alienation from the world, sense of concealment, mystery

loosely framed shots
sense of freedom

proxemic patterns
The spatial relationships among characters within the mise en scene, and the apparent distance of the camera from the subject photographed

intimate distances
physical involvement, of love, comfort and tenderness between individuals

personal distance
perserve the privacy between individuals

social distance
usually reserved impersonal buisness and casual social gatherings

public distance
formal and rather detatched

Open Forms
use primarily by realistic filmmakers, these techniques are likely to be unobtrusive, with an emphasis on informal compositions and apparently haphazard designs. the frame is exploited to suggest a temporary masking, a window the arbitrarily cuts off part of the action

closed forms
A visual style that inclines toward self-conscious designs and carefully harmonized compositions. The frame is exploited to suggest a self-sufficient universe that encloses all the necessary visual information, usually in an aesthetically appealing manner

anticipatory setups
implies fatality or determinism

characteristics of mise en scene
dominant, lighting key, shot and camera proxemics, angle, color values, lens/filter/stock, subsidiary contrasts, density, composition, form, framing, depth, character placement, and staging positions

the use of well-known cultural symbol or complex of symbols in an artistic representation. in movies, it can involve a star’s persona, the preestablishment conventions of a genre (like the shootout in the western), the use of archetypal characters and situations, and such stylistic features as lighting, settings, costuming, props, and so on

A variation of a specific shot. The final shot is often selected from a number of possible takes

cutting to continuity
Classic// A type of editing in which the shots are arranged to preserve the fluidity of an action without showing all of it. An unobtrusive condensation of a continuous action.

establishing shot
usually an extreme long shot or long shot offered at the beginning of a scene, providing the viewer with the context of the subsequent closer shots

classical cutting
A style of editing in which a sequence of shots is determined by a scene’s dramatic and emotional emphasis rather than by physical action alone.

thematic montage
A type of editing in which separate shots are linked together not by their literal continuity in reality but by symbolic association. ex)Law and order shows

Any unobtrusive technique, object, or thematic idea that systematically repeated throughout the film

sound montage
the dialogue of one character overlaps with that of another

sounds the characters can hear

sounds they can’t hear

cinema verite (direct cinema)
A method of documentary filming using aletory methods that don’t interfere with the way events takes place in reality. such movies are made with a minnimum of equipment

implicit meanings behind the language of a film or play script

associated with documentaries, in which off screen narrators provides the audience with factual information. gives movies a sense of off-screen narration of a sense of objectivity and often an air of predestination

A non-synchronized spoken commentary in a movie, often used to convey a character’s thoughts or memories

script of a film



in the first-person novel is the main character of a movie

“The design and intention of narrative, what shapes a story and gives it a certain direction or intention of meaning

“open city” (1945)
began the italian neorealism movement

are generally journalists who describe the contents and general tone of a movie, with only incidental emphasis on aesthetic evaluation

are also journalists for the most part, but their emphasis is more on evaluation than on mere content description

are usually professional academics, often the authors of books on how movies can be studied on a more philosophical level

critics focus on three areas
The work of art, the artist, and the audience

Italian Neo-Realism
emphasis on value of ordinary people, compassionate point of view, emphasis on emotion; documentary visual style

Auteur Theory
stresses the importance of the director as the “author” of the film; emphasizes the director as the principle creator of a film stamping his or her own personal style.

Andre Bazin and Francois Truffaut
the first two who recognized the Auteur Theory.

Director as an Autheur
technical competence, A distinguishable “personality”, interior meaning- an autheurs work will reflect personal psychological, social, or other thematic elements that are part of the director’s personal belief system or obssessions.

belief that no single film theory can be applied to all films, analyze films to most appropriate contexts, combine multiple theories when reviewing a film.

the study of how various codes function within a single structure

systematic classification of types of codes used in cinema and how it “signifies”

a body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture; can refer to a given set of values implicit in any human enterprise

“Triumph of the Will” (1935)
a marvel of artistic photopgraphy and meticulous editing, Fascist in ideaology

The Left-Center-Right Model
Left us more communist, center is centrist, and right is more fascist

Neutral- Ideaology
escapist films, light entertainment; they inhabit a vague but benevolent setting, favor story, and place emphasis on action, pleasure, and entertainment values for their own sake. Issues of right and wrong are treated superficially, with little or no analysis

protagonist and antagonist represent conflicting value systems, which are implied but never overtly stated or dwelled on; while there is a slant, manipulation is not obvious. This category includes the majority of fiction films.

Explicit- Ideaology
aim to teach or persuade as much as to entertain; these may be overtly patriotic or political or may have a sociological emphasis. Typically, an admirable character will articulate the important values.

Spike Lee
He is prolific in multiple film genres, outspoken, and arguably one of the most talented directors working today

Objects to the portrayal of women as sex objects

Filmmaker’s attitude toward the dramatic material, Atmosphere created through cinematic techniques, Activing styles and style in general, Genre, Narration, and music

Actor Classifications
Extras, NonProfessional performers, Trained professionals or charactor actors, Personality Stars

provides a sense of crowd, functions as “landscape of set”

Nonprofessional Performers
Amateur players chosen not necessarily because of their acting ability, but because of their authentic apearence, documentary and independent films

Trained professionals or Character Actors
Screen and Stage performers capable of playing a wide variety of roles; Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, and Meryl Streep

Personality Stars
valued for their box office draw, charisma and personality type; defined and recognizable persona

Stage Actors
project their voices to be heard in the back row, while conveying chracterization through body language

Movie Actors
less restricted by vocal requirements, have the opportunuity for retakes of action

Film Openness
Nicole Kidman, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn possessed; reveals not only an outer beauty but an inner quality the camera and audiences cannot resist

The “Golden Age” of the Star System and the Majors (MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, RKO)

Clark Gable
1930 top leading man of the decade

The Method
focuses on an interior style of acting; Live the part, use of emotional recall, Emphasis on subconsious – the psychology of the character, Never take the script at face value- think subtext, Research background, Emphasis on accurate recreation of externals

Realist: The French New Wave
1960s brought realist thought to the technique of acting; Godard and Truffaut, new wave directors

sells the rights to his or her work, it can be used as is or changed at will

Ernest Lehman’s screenplay of Hitcock’s North by Northwest
provides the director clearly defined actions, the raw materials for the shots

figurative comparisons
Motifs, Symbol, Metaphor, Allegory, Allusions, Homage

Point of View Types
The first person (onscreen or offscreen characters), the omniscient (withhold information to build audience suspence), the third person, the objective

The Truman Show
Jim Carrey

Sunset Blvd
William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

The Matrix
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne

Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman

Cat on a hot tin Roof
Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman

Bringing home baby
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant

Dead Again
Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson

The Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz

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