The FILM JOURNAL assignment requires a systematic analysis. Your entries will employ film language and reflect your knowledge of the important ideas from the chapters- photography, miseen scène, movement, editing, sound, acting, dramatization, story, writing, and ideology.
To write an analysis of a film, you must watch the film carefully. Your journal analysis should be derived from your personal encounter with the film, not from published criticism. It is not enough to like or dislike the movie; you must determine why it succeeds or fails in reaching out and encompassing you, the viewer. Tell me why!
• Write a brief analysis (500-650 words)Write about the central focus of the film. In other words, tell me, in your own words, what it’s about. But don’t waste too many words on plot. Talk about dramatic structure, symbolism, characterization and conflict.
• What is the filmmaker’s purpose in making the film? Is it to instruct? Make us aware of an issue? Is the filmmaker trying to persuade us to his/her point of view (ideology)? Is the filmmaker merely entertaining us with a story? Is the filmmaker trying to make us think? To scare us out of complacency or scare us just for the thrill of scaring us? Each film and filmmaker is different.
• What did the film look and sound like? What are the aural (sound) and visual elements of the film? Talk about their contribution to the film’s overall success or failure. Keep in mind, the visual and aural qualities and properties of the film medium determines the effectiveness of a motion picture. Examine the filmmaker’s use of camera angles and camera movement, focus, framing, lighting, setting, editing, point of view, special effects, dialogue, and music.
• After exploring these major cinematic elements and describing specific examples of their use, include your personal reactions to the film and explain your reasons for liking or disliking it. Even if the film does not meet your expectations, your analysis should explain how successful the film was in achieving its aims.