As you watch films this semester, the questions below may help to sharpen your analytical viewing skills.
What is the title of this film?
In what year was the film originally released?
List two proximate national or world events that might have shaped the message or audience of this film.
What innovation in media technology that might have influenced this film’s production or distribution?
What country is most responsible for this film’s production?
Another way of thinking about this question: Where did the money (the personnel, the ideas) come from to make this film?
The citizens of which nation(s) constitute this film’s primary audience?
Hint: Websites which track domestic and foreign ticket sales often suggest important or intended audiences.
What kind of movie is this? To what narrative or rhetorical categories does it belong?
You may find this list of film genres helpful.
Which of Christian Metz’s genre phases (primitive, classic, revisionist, parody) might this film represent?
Is this movie typical of its kind? Why or why not?
Choose a member of the film’s creative team and list two examples of his/her influence on the film.
Name two other films for which that person performed a similar creative function.
Choose one formal element from the following list:
- Photography (shots • angles • light & shadow • color • lenses, filters, stocks)
- Mise en Scène/Dramatization (composition • production design: setting, décor, costumes, make-up)
- Movement (subject • camera • editing)
- Editing (structure • pace • scene transitions)
- Sound (dialogue • effects, ambience, atmosphere • music)
Now choose two representative scenes from the film. Describe the contribution of that one formal element to each scene.
What is one message of this film about the way the world is or should be?
Maybe the following questions will help you:
- what is/should be the relationship of individual to society?
- what is/should be the role of science, politics, or history?
- what is/should be the role of culture, religion, government, authority, or finance?
- what is/should be the role of ethnicity, gender, or sexuality?