Intro to Film Analysis

Throughout the course, you have studied a range of texts, varying in both length and complexity. In the final unit of the course, you will increase your appreciation of films as complex texts worthy of careful consideration.

Film analysis requires viewers to engage in active viewing. An active viewer is aware of personal feelings while watching the film and considers how the director’s decisions elicited those reactions.

There are no accidents in film! Every moment you see on screen has been planned and executed with purpose and intent by the director.

It is no secret: It is expensive to produce a film. Consider not only the actors and actresses, but also those behind the scenes contributing their expertise to the final product you see on “the big screen.” 

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Behind the spotlight, there are countless others who are responsible for building the sets, laying down tracks for the camera to follow, designing and creating costumes, and building the props that viewers see in each and every moment of the film. Producing a film requires careful planning to coordinate everyone’s time and resources efficiently.

Just as authors use literary elements such as irony, directors employ cinematic techniques to influence the viewer's sense of the context, the characters, and the plot of the film.

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View the short video Introduction to Film. As you watch, consider the following:
  • What does it mean to be an active viewer?
  • Why is it important to watch a movie and specific scenes more than once when actively viewing a film?
  • What role do cinematic techniques play in the effectiveness of a film?