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Film analysis essay

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  • 1. Beth Melia How to analyse a film To analyse a film there are many different ways to approach it. Two types of analysis are genre analysis as well as the Auteur Theory. Genre analysis directors would make a film that sticks to all the typical codes and conventions of that type of film. Including: codes and conventions, characters, themes, narrative, iconography and the ideological message. For example, the director of Mean Girls- Mark Waters sticks to the genre’s codes and conventions of a teen rom com. Propps character types such as the princess, hero, villain, protagonist, protagonist, are evident in mean girls and the portrayal of these character types is very conventional for the genre of teen rom-com. The narrative of it includes the usual popular girl is fighting with the unpopular girl to get the popular boy. It sticks with Todorov’s equilibrium theory. That the story starts off with everyone happy, then there is disequilibrium, then there is the struggle to repair the equilibrium and finally the equilibrium is resolved. When applying auteur theory the director of a movie doesn’t stick to the codes and conventions of certain genres. They will break the rules when it comes to making films. For example Jared Hess who is the writer and director of the film ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ breaks away from the typical convention of a teen comedy. The ways in which it does this is by keeping the main character, who is a ‘geek’, as a geek and not turning him popular at the end of the film. He doesn’t find love or ‘live happily ever after’, this is also what makes it different to the typical film. One of the only things that are typical is that it is set in a school. Although usually the school is big and modern, the school in this film isn’t. In other films the school is the main setting, whereas in this film it is only shown a few times.
  • 2. Beth Melia Another film that follows conventions of genre is the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’. The codes and conventions are all typical,such as the setting. The setting is based in the rich city of Siena in Italy. This is typical of an action film because films such as ‘Batman’ and ‘2 guns’ (2 guns being set in California). The characters stick to Propps character type’s theory, for example the hero (James Bond), the villain (Dominic), the princess (Camille). James bond is the protagonist, he is made out to be the stronger more powerful character, whereas although Camille seems strong on the inside, we can see deep down she is not as strong as we think as she fears the enemy. In laws of female representation Camille is represented as a sex object and ends up sleeping with James Bond. Sexual objectification of women is a convention of the action thriller scene particularly in James Bond. Themes in James Bond are Revenge, good triumphing over evil, fast cars, power, life and death. In this film there is a conventional linear narrative. An action film that has an auteur director and a non-linear narrative is Pulp Fiction. It breaks conformity when it comes to codes and conventions but still has all the elements of the genre, which is crime drama. For example, it still has the typical iconography; such as guns and drugs. The way it breaks conformity is by making the film non-linear. It jumps from one time to another. When it comes to characters we see that there isn’t one main protagonist. There are a few main characters. This is breaking conformity as usually there is only one main character (in films such as James Bond and Leon). When comparing this film to James Bond the setting is very different. James Bond is set in a rich city and exotic locations, whereas Pulp Fiction is set in a dirty urban city.The main differences
  • 3. Beth Melia between the two films are the narrative. James Bond has a linear narrative, whereas Pulp Fiction has a non-linear, elliptical narrative, it is time disordered and there is a narrative enigma. Something both these films have is sexual objectification towards women. This appeals to the target audience of these films as women are something men want to see.