Introduction to Film: Film Analysis 2

Please read these instructions carefully. Missing or incomplete answers will result in reduced points.

INSTRUCTIONS: For this analysis assignment, students are asked to analyze in detail (using examples and descriptions of elements from each film):

ONE Film produced between 1950-1967 (See LIST A)

ONE Film produced between 1968-2000 (See LIST B)

As you watch these films, you are strongly encouraged to read the analysis questions beforehand and make notes that will help you complete the analysis.

Also, you are required to ADD IMAGES (such as .jpg or .png images) from each film to your analysis document. There are a few ways to do so:

  • stop a film’s frame while streaming and use a screen capture/snipping tool to capture, save, copy, and paste to the document using Insert –> Pictures in the Word program
  • take a photo from a TV/computer monitor showing a stopped film image
  • use an image search of the film (you will be limited to images posted from other sources) to find an appropriate shot to analyze

If you are having difficulty Adding Images to the document, email me. I can accept images sent as separate attachments if necessary.

Also:

    • Answer the questions fully and in depth. One- or two-sentence answers are not adequate. Use detailed examples. Be specific. I do not want a summary of information found on websites.

    • All answers must be written using college-level English.

    • Type your answers in the space below each question. The space will expand to fit your answers. Keep the format and text as is, please – don’t delete the questions or text.

    • Submit your work as an attachment through the Film Analysis #2 assignment in Canvas – do not email it unless we have communicated in advance.

Finally: Avoid Plagiarism. Students passing off another source’s writing or ideas as their own will receive an automatic zero on this 50-point assignment. Avoid this and you will be fine.

Let’s begin!

PART ONE: FILM from List A (1950-1967)

(Make sure you fill in all the required areas. Type directly onto the document.)

YOUR NAME:

TITLE AND PRODUCTION YEAR OF FILM #1:

1. For the previous Film Analysis paper, you watched and discussed films from the silent era (1920s) and Hollywood’s Golden Age (1930s-1940s). Now consider the film you chose from the 1950s-1960s (from List A). What elements have changed and how are they different when contrasted with those films from earlier eras? Please be specific and take examples from your chosen film. Obviously there is now synchronous sound and likely a color picture. But how is the cinematography, acting, story content, editing, and design different here from the earlier movies, and why? How do you see filmmaking evolving and changing over the decades?

Answer:

2. One interesting aspect of this era is that the Hays censorship code was technically still in effect for U.S. films (lasting until 1968). But between 1950 and 1968, studios and filmmakers were increasingly challenging the code’s regulations as audiences were becoming disillusioned with unrealistic, sanitized content. Choose and describe two examples from your film that you feel were influenced by the Hays Code. For each example, explain how you think the filmmaker is reacting to this regulation – is it complying with or challenging the Code? Would each scene have been allowed two decades earlier, in your opinion? Why or why not? If adding a still image helps you discuss your examples, please do so.

Answer:

3. As with the prior analysis, I want you to consider and discuss this film’s visual style. (Please think about shot composition, editing, costume and set design, lighting, and other visual elements.) How does the style help support the story and the genre? Please choose or create one still image that represents the film’s visual style and paste it below (required); then discuss how the specific elements you see in the image help tell the story and create the mood.

Answer:

PART TWO: FILM from List B (1968-2000)

TITLE AND PRODUCTION YEAR OF FILM #2:

1. I would like you to consider the genre of the second film you chose. Identify it (it might be a hybrid, like an action-comedy or a romantic drama) and discuss how story, acting, and visual style contribute to this genre. Please be specific and include examples from the film. Include a still image if it helps us better understand the genre (optional).

Answer:

2. Take a moment to research and consider what was happening socially and culturally the year this film was made. In your opinion, what elements of this movie show it to be a product of its time? What is it connecting with or reflecting culturally? (Hint: think about story, setting, and tone, for example. Why might the filmmakers have chosen to tell that story in that year? Was it speaking to a real-world issue or concern?) Include an image if it helps you support your answer (optional).

Answer:

3. Please identify and describe in detail two post-production elements featured in this film. (Choose a specific element from a specific scene and describe it. Remember that this can include anything added during the editing and mixing process, including music/sound effects, visual effects, editing and transition choices, title credits, etc.) How do these elements help tell the story or support the film’s tone? Do you feel like these elements would appear and be used this way in a film from the 1950s-1960s era, or are they used in a more contemporary way? In your opinion, what makes them classic or contemporary?

Answer:

4. Think back to our discussion of verisimilitude and realism / antirealism from Module 03. Contrasted with your film choice from List A, does this film have greater verisimilitude (does the world feel more realistic) or less? Why? What choices have the filmmakers used to make the film world feel realistic or antirealistic? Provide two examples and identify the specific elements that contribute to the level of verisimilitude. Include at least one still image below that represents your view and briefly explain why (required).

Answer:

PART THREE: STUDENT OPINION

[I am going to ask the same two questions from the previous Film Analysis, as your responses will be equally intriguing using the two films chosen from these eras.]

1. Of the two films, which was more engaging for you as a viewer? Why? Your answer can explore differences in technology, genre, theme, acting, or other factors. I ask you to critically consider both movies and answer in detail why one film approach felt more successful than the other.

Answer:

2. What surprised you about one or both of the films you viewed for this analysis? Perhaps it was a storytelling or technology advancement; perhaps a theme or issue was approached in an unexpected way. What surprised you, and was this a realization that attracted you or distanced you from the film? Attach an optional film image if it helps to explain your discovery.  

Answer:

Please carefully proofread and edit your answers, check for attached images for Part One: Question 3 and Part Two: Question 4 (resized as needed), save and upload the document under the Film Analysis #2 assignment in Canvas.

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