How do we analyse film


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How do we analyse film

  1. 1. LO1-How Do We Analyse Film?There are different ways to analyse a film such as genre analysis and auteur theory. Genre analysisconsists of 7 key areas when analysing a film. These include:  Codes and convention The codes and conventions of Teen Horror are a male monster/serial killer preying normally on attractive females using weapons such as a knife, axe and chainsaw. The film Ginger snaps beats the conventions of a teen horror because the monster in this case is a woman. She changes from an unattractive geek, to a beautiful werewolf.  Location Teen Horrors often take place in a school, at a prom, or at a holiday camp. In ginger snaps the location is in a school.  Character In teen horror stereotypical social groups are always seen. There are normally popular attractive females, Jocks, and geeks. The killer is normally male, and the people who normally survive are the least expected.  Iconography In teen horror films the knife often represents male sexuality and is seen as phallic. However Ginger snaps breaks this convention by having a woman being the scary character preying on men. The adults in Ginger Snaps are unhelpful which is typical for a teen horror.  Narrative After the girl is bitten by a werewolf she becomes more attractive and wants sexual relationships with men. She becomes more beautiful after she is turned into a “monster” as a way of luring men to her so that she can kill them.  Themes The themes in Ginger Snaps are Love, family, friendship and death.  Ideological message Sex is seen as a bad thing, as the men are killed once they are lured into the girls trap.The typical conventions in a werewolf movie are the full moon, shape shifting, gore and romanceand all these things are seen in Ginger Snaps.
  2. 2. Auteur is French for “author” and a filmmaker who puts theirindividual distinctive mark on their films is an Auteur. The 1994 film“Leon” directed by Luc Besson fits in with the crime thriller genrehowever Besson put his own stamp on the film which makes him an“Auteur”. The film begins with an establishing shot of the locationwhich is New York. Leon fits in with the crime thriller genre as muchof the film is dark, corrupt and dangerous. The characters are seedy,with deep dark pasts and some appear psychotic. The film is set inNew York’s Little Italy which is the seedy underbelly of the large cityNew York. The film could be seen as conventional as it has similartraits to a crime thriller, such as guns, criminals, psychoticindividuals, corrupt police, people involved in twisted relationships(The Child’s attraction to Leon) and innocent victims. However whatmakes Besson an auteur is that he brings an emotional side to thefilm by showing Leon becoming a 12 year old child’s guardian whenher family are brutally murdered leaving her on her own. Leon takes her in and cares for her, and heruncomfortable attraction to him wouldn’t be found in a normal crime thriller. The film wasprevented from being shown by the BBFC unless parts of the film were cut out due to howuncomfortable her attraction to Leon is to watch. Leon is seen as the protagonist and is trying tohelp the child get her revenge against the psychotic man who brutally murdered her family.Quantum of Solace directed by Marc Forster is a conventional thriller. It has similarities to Leon suchas the opening sequence in Quantum of Solace shows an establishing shot similar to Leon however itshows an exotic location rather than a shot of New York.Quantum of Solace has the conventions of an action thrillersuch as the fast cars, suits, guns and crime. Quantum of Solaceis a generic example of an action thriller which contrasts withLeon which is unconventional.Narrative structure of this movie pulp fiction is a non linearstructure yet the story still seemed to flow and people couldstill understand. He was one of the first to successfully employthis structure. His selection of music to accompany the actionis always very iconic and helps to develop an image around acharacter, theme or tone to a scene.The dialogue in his films is always very blunt with many usesof politically incorrect terminology in an attempt to add somerealism and authenticity to a character. Tarantino has aparticular love for Japanese cinema which heavily influencesaspects of his films and whilst many people claim that anAuteur has to be unique in fact all Auteurs are students of film and film making techniques that theyare in fact influenced themselves by other film makers. Tarantino’s love for Japanese cinema isclearly shown in his Kill Bill films. Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction are all examples of work ofan Auteur. They all break away from the normal codes and conventions and stun the audience.
  3. 3. At the opening scene of Cowboys and Aliens you can tell straight away that the film is a westernbecause it is set in a desert and you can see a tumble weed which is normally seen in western films.Cowboys and Aliens is a hybrid film between two genres which are Western and Sci-fi. Some of themain conventions of a western film are horses, characters dressed in boots and cowboy hats, andthe characters have guns which are also conventions of a western film.It is clear that the film is also sci-fi because of the spaceships and aliens.Cowboys and Aliens is a 2011 science fiction western film. It wasdirected by Jon Favreau. It is a hybrid genre of science fiction andwestern and stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. The film posterrepresents the hybrid genre because of the typical cowboys with hatsand guns and the alien weapon around his wrist. This hybridity maysuggest that Jon Favreau is an auteur. However there is intertextualitywith star wars directed by George Lucas (1977) because both films starHarrison Ford who plays Han Solo in star wars, who uses the samephrases in both films. This could suggest that he is an auteur.There is also intertextuality with the film Westworld directed by Michael Critchton in 1973. It is ascience fiction-thriller about a futuristic Western-themed amusement park which is similar tocowboys and aliens because both films are a hybrid genre. It can be argued that because of thisFavreau is not an auteur as the idea of using the hybrid genre of sci-fi and western has already beendone by Michael Critchton. Also Cowboys and Aliens originally came from a graphic novel with thesame name, which Jon Favreau used as his inspiration for his film.