Film Theory


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This is a sample lesson plan which I created and utilized to teach high school students Film Theory concepts using films of their choice.

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Film Theory

  1. 1. Movie Criticism and Film Theory Mrs. Kellie-Ann Cripe
  2. 2. Character● Can be revealed through their actions, speech and appearance.● Can be discovered by comments of other characters and interaction with other characters.● Can be flat (one- sided) or round (fully developed
  3. 3. Protagonist● Is the main character in a work of literature or movie.● Can sometimes be the narrator
  4. 4. Antagonist● The character in a story who is in conflict with the main character. ● Can be another character, nature, fate, society or even the protaganist
  5. 5. Character Foil● Traits are in direct contrast to protagonist● Highlights traits of protagonist by opposition, can be minor or major character.
  6. 6. Stereotype● Demonstrates common traits of a group rather than being individual● Sometimes derogatory in nature
  7. 7. Setting● The time and the place of the story.● A story can be set in a realistic or imaginary place and can occur in the past, present,or future.● Setting affects the characters and storyline in unique ways
  8. 8. Setting Types● Integral Setting is essential to the plot and influences characters.● Backdrop Setting relatively unimportant to the plot and characters just a background
  9. 9. Mood● A feeling or emotion that a story stirs in the viewer.
  10. 10. Point Of View ● The vantage point in which the story is told. ● First Person- ‘I’ ● Third Person- ‘He, she it” ● Omniscient -knows everything ● Objective - presents without comment or emotion
  11. 11. Foreshadowing● An author’s way of hinting to the reader of what is to come in the story.
  12. 12. Theme● The main idea that the film wishes to share with the audience● Rarely stated directly, inferred by the audience● Universal in nature applying to society, human nature● Can often be applied to individuals watching the film as they relate to it.
  13. 13. Sample Themes● Acceptance ● Good Versus Evil● Betrayal ● Justice● Coming of Age ● Love● Destiny ● Perserverance● Duty ● Power● Faith ● Redemption● Freedom ● Revenge● Friendship ● Transformation
  14. 14. Conflict● A struggle between opposing forces; conflicts can be external or internal.
  15. 15. External Conflict● Struggle with outside forces● Person-vs-fate● Person-vs-person● Person-vs-nature● Person-vs-society● Person-vs-technology
  16. 16. Internal Conflict ● Takes place in the character’s mind. ● Character often pulled by two courses of action or by conflicting emotions
  17. 17. Plot● The series of events in sequential order.● What happens 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on.● The plot centers on at least one major problem called a conflict.
  18. 18. Timing of Plot● Chronological - Events are told in the order of occurance.● Flashback/Flashforward - Events are told out of order either jumping ahead or back at various points in the story.● Time Lapse - Story skips a time period that seems unusual compared to rest of plot
  19. 19. Five Main Parts of the Plot Climax● Not all stories fit this pattern.● The exposition may Falling Rising appear in the Action Action middle of the story instead of the beginning.● A story can end Resolution Exposition with a climax, leaving no falling action.
  20. 20. Exposition● The opening film often provides background information that the audience needs to know.● It introduces the characters, describes the setting, and may recap important events before the action of the story.
  21. 21. Rising Action● The chain of events become more complex. The Rising actions and feelings Action of the characters intensify as their problems become more complicated.
  22. 22. Climax● The highest point of interest● Where most action takes place in the store● Involves an important event, decision, or discovery that affects the final outcome.
  23. 23. Falling Action ● Following the Falling climax, the intensity action of the story may subside. ● The falling action describes the results of the major events as the action winds down.
  24. 24. Resolution● The final part of the story.● It tells how the story ends. All the loose ends are tied up.● May also set the stage for future stories or sequels.
  25. 25. Film Elements● Film Score● Lighting● Costumes● Sound Effects● Special Effects● Filming● Editing
  26. 26. Additional Questions● How does the movie portray Men? Women? Children?●● Product Placements/Advertising?●● What is the protagonist main strength and flaw?●● What character do you most relate to? Admire? Despise?●● Is there a portrayal of faith or religion? Is it positive, negative, neutral?●● How do the values and themes compare to your own values and beliefs?●