“Choose 1 scene from American Beauty and analyse its effectiveness.” Your chosen scene should not be longer than 5 minutes You must cover representation of characters; narrative theory; representation theory and genre, technical aspects of the language and audience You should aim to write in as much detail as you can (approx 2 sides of A4) You could sign up to www.scribd.com , publish your essay and then embed it onto your blog
Genre Which genre(s) does the film fit? Rememberwww.filmsite.org for definitions. Which codes and conventions will audiences recognise? Are there any visual or aural iconographies apparent in your chosen scene?
Narrative Theory Analyse the narrative structure of your clip by explaining where it comes in relation to the film. See “Telling Stories – The Media’s Use of Narrative” sheet Link to Todorov (exposition, problem, complication, climax, resolution) p.1 Link to Propp’s character roles if relevant p.2 Link to Levi Strauss’ binary oppositions p.3 Link to Barthes’ codes p.3 and ppt and how these codes offer gratifications for audiences Link to Syd Field if relevant
Representation of characters Analyse the characters in your chosen scene using the “Representing the World” handout -* Questions we would ask when analysing representations (p.1) * Representing the Real media language choices (lighting, music, editing, camera work and mise en scene) (p.2)
Representation theory If relevant link scene to Laura Mulvey’s “Male Gaze” theory
Media Language This should have been covered in your discussion of representation Also consider denotations and connotations Refer to “Media Language 1: The Moving Image” handout for a reminder of key terms and their definitions. You must comment on camera angles/movement; editing; lighting; sound; mise en scene
Audience Consider who the target audience would be for the film generally and how they are positioned in relation to the characters in your scene.
Essay plan Into – background to film; bring in genre; introduce chosen scene Relevant narrative theories Representation of characters and media language Audience Conclusion – sum up effectiveness of chosen scene