How Do We Analyse Film?
How do we analyse film? there are many ways and the first I will introduce is genre analysis, In genre analysis
films of the same genre or the natural style of that genre is looked at and compared to the film you are watching,
the things to look out for when doing a genre analysis are:
Codes and Conventions
A movie which is conventional to the action thriller genre is Quantum of Solace, there is a chase in this
conventional Bond movie, the good guy defeats bad guy, good guy gets hot woman, a movie with the same
genre would be Bourne, which has the same style, he gets the woman, defeats the bad guy but this is a little less
conventional than a Bond film, some more conventions of this genre which are in this movie are, guns, suits and
good always triumphs over evil.
The next theory, Auteur Theory, is the directors vision of a movie instead of having a movie in an exact same
genre as other movies the director does a movie in a completely random style or changes the style of a genre in
their own vision. For example a movie which uses this would be Leon which has a similar style to a James Bond
film but has a twist which is where the little girl Matilda begins to fall in love with Leon and alarm or
disorientate out some viewers.
A movie which has an original style is Tim Burton’s is Nightmare before Christmas and Corpses Bride, which
has a gothic kind of style; this style is kept in a lot of his films, Tim Burton and Luc Besson can both be
described as auteur directors, as their work has a very distinctive style.
2. Codes and Conventions
Genre analysis has the 7 key areas which were talked about earlier; these are looked at so that movies can be put
into a genre and to look at what goes into each genre when making a film, but what does each one mean?
Codes and conventions can be split into 3 parts, these are:
Written and audio
Technical consists of camera techniques and shots, so the Quantum of Solace film (under action thriller) would
have quick cuts in shots, fast Moving cameras, shots jumping from in and out of cars, etc, whereas the Friends
with benefits film (under RomCom) uses slower cuts in shots and movement of camera, this is used to help the
film keep the look of that genre.
Symbolic consists of colouring and clothes, using the two films as examples again, Quantum of Solace uses
clothes such as suits and ties, the colouring is usually dark, such as dark rooms and the bad guys wear darker
colours or a darker shade of the same colour as the protagonist (James Bond), whereas Friends with benefit use
casual everyday clothes that anybody wears, (jeans, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, etc), the colouring for this can be
mixed romance scenes can usually occur at night whereas the build up to a romance scene, (such as a date), can
happen in the day and make the colouring brighter, (colouring can be blue and black, etc)
Written and audio consists of music, again using the two films as an example, Quantum of Solace uses the
James Bond theme music which was written for the Bond movies and fits well to the style of the movie also
some other music may be played in other scenes to fit the scene and genre of the movie, whereas, Friends with
benefits may use music written for it but it will be a different style/genre of music and will fit into the scene and
genre of movie but the same applies it may also use other music for certain scenes but not the same type as
Quantum of Solace.
Setting is the area, (country, town, city, street, estate or even planet, galaxy or universe), in which the movie is
set and can also include time, (what year the movie is set in), so a gangster themed movie may be set in the 70‘s
in the ‘hood’ with dirty houses, crack dens, strip clubs, whereas a mobster themed movie may be set in the 80‘s
in London, near Big Ben, buses, may even have strip clubs, big buildings, etc.
Quantum of Solace, ( is set in Siena in Italy, the setting helps this film as the rooftops and area, (scaffolding,
construction work), help for the free-running, chase of foot scene, the mise en scene is showing the buildings
spaced for the jumps and running done, then the glass they smash through is there for the movie down to the
scaffolding, the parts they knock down to stop each other getting the guns, the shots placed perfectly to get this
shown and show how each knock of the scaffolding helps stop the other then they James Bond falls and
coincidently the rope as there is the perfect length so he doesn’t hit the floor but swings right above it and
supports his weight, both grabbing the guns and Bond, (as always), wins for the final shot.
But the mise en scene, shots, setting are all part of what makes up this genre and the last moment, who will win
to get the gun and first shot is also part of the genre, even though the audience knows the protagonist, in this
case James Bond will always win it has then sitting on the edge of their seats, hearts pounding just hoping that
good guy will get the gun first.
Friends with benefits is set in New York, the setting for this kind of movie is cliched and shows the typical mise
en scene it would have in this movie, at work wearing a suit, in the park, dinner at a restraunt at night, by the
lake, in bed/bedroom, etc this genre of movie has a lot of setting places which are in New York, (which is
usually where RomComs are set).
Narrative is the way the story is told to the audience the narration can be a character within the story, known or
anonymous, or can be a person who has completely nothing to do with the story an example of this being The
Grinch (Ron Howard, 2000).
Characters are used to give the audience a protagonist to focus on and follow throughout their journey, even if
the protagonist is a bad guy just by following them in the story the audience can grow attached to them and feel
sorry if something happens to them or doesn’t go their way,
In my opinion Jon Favreau is not an auteur director, my reason being that although he made the Cowboys and
Aliens film, the idea was not original, the idea of this was originally a comic, I am not saying Favreau copied
this idea from a commix, he may have come