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Pr1   how do we analyse film
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Pr1   how do we analyse film
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Pr1 how do we analyse film

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  • 1. How Do We Analyse Film? There are many areas of analysis when it comes to analysing a film. These include codes & conventions, themes, character, narrative, setting and iconography. There are many types of analysis when studying film, two of these are the genre theory and the auteur theory. An example of a film that follows the genre theory is Quantum of Solace because it conforms to the genre and uses the typical codes and conventions of an action/spy thriller film. Quantum of Solace uses propp’s character roles conforming to the genre. For example, James Bond is the typical hero who helps in keeping the country safe which is a clear example of the genre theory. An example of a film director that uses the auteur theory is Luc Besson who directed the film Leon; an action thriller that uses different codes and conventions than other action thriller films. Auteur theory is when a director uses the opposite conventions of the genre, for example, in action thriller films there is usually a hero that saves the world and sometimes ‘princess’ in terms of propp’s character roles. In terms of genre theory, Quantum of Solace is a great example of this because the director has used the typical codes & conventions, themes, character, setting and narrative of an action/spy film. In terms of codes and conventions, guns, suits, luxury cars and sexually objectified female representation has been used which conforms the genre of the film. These elements have been incorporated within the film therefore the audience know what genre the film is. These elements are also used because the director knows that these things are successful within the genre and it’s what the audience want to see. Female representation in the film is very stereotypical. The women in the James Bond films are often seen as more of a sexual object rather than a character. They are usually used in the film to benefit the audience rather than the storyline as they are sexually objectified. When thinking about setting, Quantum of solace uses wealthy and rich locations like Lake Garda in Italy during the car chase at the start of the film and also in the mise en scene. Rich locations have been chosen within the film because it suits the codes and conventions in terms of the luxury cars and expensive suits and watches. When thinking more about character, it is obvious that this film follows the genre theory. James Bond, being the main character in the film, seen as the protagonist, is always smartly dressed in designer suits with good looks and he also carries the persona of a “tough guy” throughout the film. These are all conventions of typical Action/Spy Thriller films. The themes in the film conform to the genre of the film. There is a “save the world” theme where when the equilibrium is restored in the narrative, the main character has saved the world in a way. “Good over Evil” is also a popular theme which occurs in many Action/Spy Thriller films just like this one. This is a theme in Quantum of Solace because James Bond protects the country therefore at the end defeats the evil and restores peace. The film follows a conventional linear narrative and follows Todorov’s narrative theory. This is when the beginning of the film is calm which is known as the equilibrium. Something then happens in the film which is called the disruption of the equilibrium or disequilibrium. The storyline then changes to the climax of the film when the characters try to repair the damage of the disruption followed by the equilibrium being restored at the end of the film, often when the good beats evil.
  • 2. This type of narrative conforms to the genre and doesn’t break conformity because this is the usual narrative that action and spy thriller films follow. When thinking about iconography, there are many things in the film that show British power. This includes the Aston Martin which is a British manufacturer of luxury cars. The car has been used as product placement where a company gives a film a product to promote the brand however this car has been used to show how successful the country is and helps the theme fit into place of British dominance. To sum up the analysis of Quantum of Solace, the ideological message to the audience is that good will prevail and win over evil, a successful and popular convention of action and spy thriller films. On the other hand, Leon follows the auteur theory. The director, Luc Besson is an auteur director and goes against all of the typical codes and conventions that are usually incorporated in films of the action/thriller genre. Leon: The Professional is an action/thriller film directed by auteur director, Luc Besson in 1994. It is about a professional assassin that rescues a young girl, Mathilda, whose parents were killed in a police raid. At the beginning of the film, the usual and typical conventions were used such as the location, being a wealthy and luxorious apartment was used in the opening scene. However, the film then breaks the conventions of a typical action/thriller film, which makes the film follow the auteur theory. In terms of conventions, they are all the opposite to what you would typically find in films of this genre, like James Bond. Firstly, with Propp’s character roles, the ‘hero’ is still the main character but he doesn’t look like the typical ‘hero’. Leon dresses down and seems like a normal man in New York, whereas the ‘hero’ in other action/thriller films dress smartly, like James Bond who wears a suit in everyday normal life. The female representation in Leon is also different. In James Bond and other films of this nature, females are used as sex objects and they aren’t really seen as being an important and developed character in the film. They are used in the film to satisfy the needs of the primary audience. In Leon, however, the female representation is very different. Mathilda, the young girl that Leon takes in is seen as a strong female presence throughout the film in the way she acts and speaks. Overall, Leon breaks all of the conventions in action and thriller films because the film is directed by auteur director, Luc Besson, who follows the auteur theory which is where the director gives a film an individual style and usually breaks the typical conventions of films in the particular genre.
  • 3. Pulp Fiction is another action/crime thriller made in 1994 and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It follows the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife and a pair of diner bandits who intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. Pulp fiction also goes against Todorov’s narrative theory as the ending of the film is also used at the start. Films usually follow the linear narrative but Pulp Fiction has used a non-linear narrative as it goes end-start- middle-end. In terms of characters, propp’s character roles, they are used in a different way. The two hit men are seen as the heros in the end of the film although they are portrayed as villains throughout. This is because the audience get to know the two hit men during the film and they grow to like them. The gangster’s wife is represented as a strong character in the film as she is confident and self-assured. This is because the film follows the auteur theory and the female representation is the opposite of how it would be if the film followed the genre theory. Overall, I think Tarantino is a talented and successful director because his films stand out from others like having non-linear narratives and using the characters effectively in films, as shown in Pulp Fiction.

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