Section A: World Cinema (35) - 55 minutes
Section B: Spectatorship Topics (35) - 55 minutes
Section C: Close Study (30) - 50 minutes
Total exam time: 165 mins (2hr 45)
5 minutes for checking work
How are the films world cinema films? (top 3 most important points)
What are the themes (apart from Power, poverty, conflict?)
Can you accuse these films of style over substance?
What does it mean by ‘manipulation’ in an exam question?
The best documentaries make you think. Discuss.
Preferred, negotiated, optional readings? Apply!
How many terms can you remember?
Remember one thing a critic has said.
Come up with your own idea about Vertigo.
An urban story can be any ﬁlm in which the city is a
deﬁning presence – in which characters’ lives are
deﬁned by existence within the urban environment.
What/Who is represented?
Drugs, guns, war, poverty, boredom, disenfranchised youth, racism,
violence, apathy, hidden society.
Why represented like that?
Entertainment, shock value, to show the 'real', ability for us to
identify, see the 'unpleasant truth'
It's biased (only one side shown), it forces us to see things we might
not usually, it's shocking, it's different to what we might think/know,
it's hard to watch, it has a political standpoint, provides us with
messages about that society.
• Some questions will be contextual questions (about the context, e.g. World
• It might be a good idea to make reference to other films in passing if you do
• Others will be textual questions (about the micro or macro elements)
Approaches to Exam Responses
City of God:
• Describe the mise-en-scene in each scene (in detail) and discuss what
meaning is conveyed to the viewer in light of your knowledge of the culture of
each social environment.
• Discuss how the environment has changed over the course of time in
some detail - refer to the way that issues of power, poverty and conflict has
changed social structures.
• How does the mise-en-scene reflect and/or reinforce key social
• How does sound reflect or reinforce those key social messages - diegetic
• Who has the power at key points in the narrative?
• How did they gain this power?
• What are the consequences of this struggle for control?
• Consider how friendships, relationships and gender are affected by these
Now try this approach with La Haine.
What is the importance of mise-en-scène and/or sound in creating
meaning and generating response in the films you have studied?
Spectatorship is absolutely central to this section.
How we watch and respond to ﬁlms requires a careful consideration
of our role and behaviour as spectator.
Documentary raises real issues for the spectator, particularly around
watching the ‘real’ as opposed to the ﬁctional.
In addition, as a spectator it is possible to evaluate the different effects
achieved by different styles of documentary and different kinds of
• Section B
• Whatever the question here you have to apply ideas about spectatorship
and readings/responses of the film and how these are influenced by our
Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold immediately
positions the spectator of the film on the boundary of how we expect a
documentary to address its
The primary protagonist, who happens to be Spurlock himself, is
introduced, after an opening montage sequence which bombards us
with example adverts, leading into further examples of product
placement in films, such as Converse in 'i Robot'. He uses a mix of
voice over, non-diegetic music and the visual juxtapositioning of a
series of disparate images.
This postmodern, MTV aesthetic at work here, draws the viewer in
aligning us with his point of view. In this way the work transcends the
expected (documentary) boundaries, combining both entertainment
and factual communication.
Spectatorship and Documentary
How far is it preferable as a spectator to be presented with a
documentary that offers a very definite point of view towards it
• Section C
• A ‘critical approach’ question means things like the idea of an ‘auteur’.
• A ‘critical debate’ question requires you to apply the ideas of critics.
• The exam board are look for an ‘ideas led’ question. So structure your argument in
your plan to ensure this comes across.
As the story unravels we see Scottie portrayed as being rather
obsessive in nature.
He becomes the pursuer who chases Madeleine into somewhat
extreme circumstances, which are eventually out of both his and
her control, such the scene at old Fort Point where he rescues
her from the supposed drowning.
It is this pursuit of Madeleine that Mulvey sees as Scottie’s erotic
obsession based on a castration anxiety (Mulvey 23). It is for this
reason that the camera resorts to framing women as icons or
objects to be looked at, interrupting the film’s narrative flow.
Rather than being subjects, women in classical Hollywood film
function instead as objects of visual pleasure.
Single Film: Close Critical Study
How far has critical debate about your chosen film
shaped and altered your response?
How important is it that students are aware of critical writing on
their chosen close study ﬁlm?
This section is described as a “critical study”. The primary energy for
this will come from the student’s own application of learning.
However, reading, reﬂecting upon and debating a variety of critical
writing on the chosen ﬁlm is also invited.
It is expected that students will go into the examination aware of the
major debates surrounding their chosen ﬁlm and will
have established their own critical views in the context of this