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A2 FILM STUDIES
Working in pairs, chose a film that you both know welland, without discussing our ideas, both write down whatyou would see as the central message of the film Compare your answers. Are they the same or different? Justify your opinion with examples from the film and experiences from your life that led to your interpretation of the films meaning.
Identify Key Terms: Film as Communication Cinematic Language Analyse several short films and film extracts and identify how meaning has been constructed by the filmmakers Evaluate the success of short film ‘Desserts’ in making meaning for the spectator
Film is fundamentally a form of communication, Filmmakers encode meaning What are theand as such it can be said to involve the in to their films limits to thistransmission of messages with senders point of view?(filmmakers, producers etc) encoding messagesand receivers (audience, spectators) de-coding This view point limitsthem. the number of meanings anIn other words, the filmmakers are attempting to audience member may take from a filmalter the state of mind of another person You either ‘get’ theFrom this point of view it can be said that a message or you don’tspecific meaning is placed in to a text and it is upto the receivers to discover the meaning and The spectator ‘de-codes’ thetherefore, share an understanding of the world film and receives thewith the sender meaning of the film
Another way of looking at communication would beto see it as an interactive processFilms could be said to create meaning by interactingwith the spectator to produce a variety of readingsThe spectator has now become the most importantfactor in the production of meaningWe no longer have to consider the single meaning ofa film but the many meanings and the relationshipbetween the film and the spectator
Watch the following Martin Scorsese short‘The Big Shave’ (1968)Make notes on your own personal responseto the filmWhat do you think this short film ‘means’?How have the micro elements (camera /mise-en-scene) been used to elicitemotional responses? Why did you respond to the film in this way?
Whichever approach to film we take we should notethat both are dependent on the idea that there isshared knowledge between the producer and thespectatorThis shared knowledge is the ’Cinematic Language’Watch the introduction scene from Metropois (1926:Dir: Fritz Lang) Analyse the 5 Micro Elements from FM1 and write a short description of what is happening, who these characters are and what ever else you can learn about this world
We do not need to have the situation explained to us in wordsbecause it has been explained using the cinematic languageIt is the combination of :• the ordered formation of the workers• the nature of their shared movements• the uniformity of their dark clothing• their movement into an enclosed cage-like space• their transportation in a downward direction that gives us a sense of theoppressed• Cutting between the subterranean workers, tightly packed together andthe rich and luxurious environment of the social elites
As we have seen film is not ‘the real’ – it does notshow us the real world, instead it is a representationof ‘the real’ – a constructFilms are built by filmmakers from a series ofcomponent parts that we can identify, (microelements etc) and since they have been constructedwe can take them apart and see how they have beenput togetherAs a result we de-construct films and attempt tosuggest reasons why choices have been made andexplore possible meaningsWe may also consider why certain spectators will respond incertain ways
Watch the following trailer in pairs and make notes onhow it has been constructedConsider the micro elements and themes portrayed 1. On your handout is a list of four possible readings of the trailer2. Pick the 1 reading that you feel is the true meaning of the filmWrite a short paragraph analysing the micro elements and The Game how meaning is constructed. Provide specific Dir; David Fincher examples to support your points. (1997) Compare your notes with a partner Are they different or the same? What influenced your reading or response to the extract?
Watch the following short film and make notes on how ithas been constructedWrite a short paragraph analysing the micro elements and how meaning is constructed. Provide specific examples to support your points. Compare your notes with a partner Are they different or the same?What influenced your reading or response to the extract? You must consider all of the micro elements and HOW THE SPECTATOR IS POSITIONED
Film is a form of communication, a method ofcreating meaning and transmitting thatmeaning to an audienceA film is a construction that has beenassembled using a wide variety of techniquesFilmmakers can use various techniques tomanipulate an audience and create emotionalresponsesTo be successful in your exam you must show an awareness of thisand analysis the micro elements of our chosen films to demonstratehow meaning is made for individual spectators