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X2 directed by Bryan Singer

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A visual text study for year 10. The students study film techniques, characters, themes and symbolism in the film.

A visual text study for year 10. The students study film techniques, characters, themes and symbolism in the film.


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  • 1. X2 (2003) Directed by Bryan Singer Christine Wells
  • 2. PlotPlot • Use the BeforeNow app to create a 10 point timeline to show the main events in the film. • Include stills from the film to help show the plot. • Describe what is happening in each picture and include dialogue where appropriate.
  • 3. Learning Intentions Gathering: •To identify camera shots and angles. •To identify and describe key features of a visual text such as characters, themes and symbolism. Processing: •To explain and provide evidence for each camera shot or angle. •To explain and provide evidence for key features of a visual text. Applying: •To analyse key features of a visual text and evaluate how well film techniques support and communicate these features. •To analyse and evaluate the director’s intention.
  • 4. Success Criteria Processing •To demonstrate knowledge of key features of the text through class activities and discussion. Applying •To demonstrate knowledge of different types of camera shots and angles through creating a Keynote presentation. •To demonstrate knowledge of the key features of a visual text in 2-3 detailed analytical essays.
  • 5. After watching the click view presentation on camera shots andAfter watching the click view presentation on camera shots and angles, work in pairs to use iMovie to record an example of eachangles, work in pairs to use iMovie to record an example of each shot/angle and label it.shot/angle and label it.  Establishing shot  Long shot  High angle  Low angle  Medium close up  Mid shot  Close up  Extreme close up  Extreme long shot  Dutch tilt Gathering Processing Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing
  • 6. Film techniques (visual features)Film techniques (visual features) View the opening scene. Record notes in the following chart: Character Film Technique Purpose – how does it help the viewer? Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing Gathering Processing
  • 7. Characters:WolverineCharacters:Wolverine  Locate 3-4 pictures of Wolverine and import into PicCollage.  Around the outside, write down as many adjectives as you can.  For 3 of your adjectives, write down a film technique that helps to show this characteristic.  For example: Strong and powerful. A mid shot shows Wolverine standing with his claws drawn ready to fight. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Gathering Processing
  • 8. WolverineWolverine 1. How old is Wolverine approximately? 2. Describe what he looks like – what does he wear etc. 3. Research and explain what Wolverine’s power is and how he got it. 4. What are some of the things that Wolverine worries about? Identify and explain an example from the film. 5. Who inspires and supports Wolverine? Give at least 2 examples and explain how. 6. Create a flow chart to describe Wolverine’s journey in the film. 7. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Wolverine with another character. Gathering Processing Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self
  • 9. Characters: MagnetoCharacters: Magneto  Locate 3-4 pictures of Magneto and import into PicCollage.  Around the outside, write down as many adjectives as you can.  For 3 of your adjectives, write down a film technique that helps to show this characteristic.  For example: Evil. A close up shows the expression on Magneto’s face when he tells Professor X to kill all humans. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Gathering Processing
  • 10. MagnetoMagneto 1. How old is Magneto approximately? 2. Describe what he looks like – what does he wear etc. 3. Research and explain what Magneto’s power is and how he got it. 4. What are some of the things that Magneto thinks about? Identify and explain an example from the film. 5. Explain how Magneto changes throughout the film. What causes these changes? 6. Create a flow chart to describe Magneto’s journey in the film. 7. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Magneto with another character. Don’t compare with Wolverine if you have already! Gathering Processing Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self
  • 11. Characters: Jean GreyCharacters: Jean Grey  Locate 3-4 pictures of Jean Grey and import into PicCollage.  Around the outside, write down as many adjectives as you can.  For 3 of your adjectives, write down a film technique that helps to show this characteristic.  For example: Unconfident. A close shot shows the doubt on Jean’s face as she tries to use her power. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Gathering Processing
  • 12. Jean GreyJean Grey 1. How old is Jean Grey approximately? 2. Describe what she looks like – what does he wear etc. 3. Research and explain how Jean Grey got her power. 4. What are some of the things that she thinks about? Identify and explain an example from the film. 5. Explain how Jean Grey changes throughout the film. What causes these changes? 6. Create a flow chart to describe her journey in the film. 7. Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Jean Grey with another character. Gathering Processing Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self
  • 13. Important relationshipsImportant relationships In pairs, complete the following: 1.List the important relationships in the film. 2. Choose one and answer the following: Describe what kind of relationship they have. List 3 reasons why you believe it was important. For each reason, describe an event in the film which supports this reason. Thinking Relating to others Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing Gathering Processing
  • 14. Essay 1Essay 1 Using the information that you have gathered; choose one of the following essay questions to answer: 1.Explain how film techniques have helped you to understand a main character. OR 2. Describe the relationship between 2 main characters and explain why it was important. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Processing Applying
  • 15. Themes: Alienation from societyThemes: Alienation from society The X men can be compared to any group in society that feels alienated such as the gay community, religious groups and those with a physical disability. Magneto, the antagonist promotes 'mutant' pride and is very vocal about this. Professor X would rather see the Xmen living peacefully alongside. The film mostly promotes a peaceful and non violent integration like Martin Luther King as opposed to the violence and anger of the Black Panthers and similar groups.Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Gathering
  • 16. Themes:Themes: Alienation from societyAlienation from society As a class, watch chapter and complete the chart: Event How is alienation from society shown? Film technique 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing Gathering Processing
  • 17. Themes: Alienation from societyThemes: Alienation from society Complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Professor X’s and Magneto’s attitudes towards the treatment of mutants. Thinking Relating to others Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing Gathering Processing Professor X Magneto
  • 18. Themes: Uniqueness and IndividualityThemes: Uniqueness and Individuality Some of the characters feel unconfident or frustrated about their power such as Jean Grey who is unsure whether she can use her power and Rogue who can't touch anyone. Pyro is angry about being a mutant and can't control his gift. He goes over to the dark side and joins Magneto. Wolverine is unsure who he is and where he is from and has identity issues. Nightcrawler has spent his life in a circus being treated like a freak. His faith helps him to cope with this. In contrast, Storm and Cyclops are confident and proud of their powers and are positive role models to the others. Iceman has accepted his uniqueness and ‘comes out’ to his parents who find it hard to accept. The film celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of its characters. The director wants the viewer to realise that it is ok to be different and that uniqueness should be seen as an asset not a liability. Most of the characters show pride in who they are and value each other's individuality. He shows us that when we are confident about who we are, others will celebrate our uniqueness and individuality with us.
  • 19. Themes: Uniqueness and IndividualityThemes: Uniqueness and Individuality Gathering Processing Applying Character Power & example Attitude to power Director’s message
  • 20. SymbolsSymbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colours used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The symbols we will look at are: 1. X 2. Phoenix 3. Cerebro
  • 21. Symbols: XSymbols: X A symbol used in this way is an identifier of a political or religious ideology. For example, Christians have the cross and the Nazis used the swastika. It is a statement of identity. Professor X uses it to identify his group of mutants. It unifies them and marks them as students and followers of him. Symbols can be used positively or negatively. Gang patches are symbols that have now been banned in NZ. This is one way of eroding or negating a groups identity. Gathering
  • 22. Symbols: The PhoenixSymbols: The Phoenix In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. In X-men Jean Grey gives her life to save the others and we see a phoenix rising after this. This symbolises that she will be reborn as a stronger more powerful mutant. Gathering
  • 23. Symbols: CerebroSymbols: Cerebro  Cerebro is a device used to detect humans, specifically mutants. Using Cerebro can be extremely dangerous, and telepaths without well-trained, disciplined minds put themselves at great risk when attempting to use it. This is due to the psychic feedback that users experience when operating Cerebro. As the device greatly enhances natural psychic ability, users who are unprepared for this increased psychic input can be quickly and easily overwhelmed, resulting in insanity, coma, permanent brain damage or even death.  Cerebro represents communication with everyone which can be used for good or for evil. Professor X is fooled into using it to locate all the mutants so that Stryker can kill them. Magneto helps him only to try and use it to kill all the humans.  Cerebro is similar to the internet because the internet connects most of the worlds population. It can be used for good such as campaigns to raise awareness or fundraise for worthy causes. Or it can be used negatively to mobilise people for unworthy campaigns. Gathering
  • 24. Use Phoster or PicCollage to create a poster which includes the following: A picture of each symbol An explanation of why each symbol is used. A description of where we see each symbol. Identify the character(s) that you would associate with each symbol. Identify which theme you would associate with each symbol. SymbolsSymbols Thinking Relating to others Using language, text and symbols Managing self Participating and contributing Gathering Processing
  • 25. Essay 2Essay 2 Using the information that you have gathered; answer the following essay question: Identify a key theme in the text and explain how visual and/or verbal techniques helped you understand the theme. Thinking Using language, text and symbols Managing self Processing Applying
  • 26. BibliographyBibliography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X2_(film) Thanks to Lewis Bostock for ideas and discussion.