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Introduction to Film 
Analysis
Course Goal = Film Analysis
Course Goal = Film Analysis 
• Identify major elements of film art 
• Recognize how those elements work 
together 
• Exami...
Course Goal = Film Analysis 
• Write about film 
• Make and argue for interpretive claims 
about films
ideas for film analysis 
1. Expectations influence filmmakers’ 
choices and viewers’ experiences of 
films 
2. Filmmakers ...
1. Expectations
2. The Orchestration of Detail 
• Motifs 
• Parallels 
• Details and Structure
Motif 
Any detail that takes on significance through 
repetition.
Parallel 
A similarity established between two characters 
or situations that invites the viewer to compare 
the two.
Motifs and Parallels in 
Chinatown
Motif: Photographs
Motif: Eyes, Sight, Spying
Motif: Water
Motif: Chinatown
Parallels 
• Jake gets shot at in his car; Evelyn gets shot at 
in her car 
• Jake has broken sunglasses; Noah Cross has 
...
Are these the only ways that films can create 
meaning?
The World Beyond the Film
The World Beyond the Film
Intertextual References: Genre
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
Motifs in Chinatown
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Motifs in Chinatown

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Motifs in Chinatown

  1. 1. Introduction to Film Analysis
  2. 2. Course Goal = Film Analysis
  3. 3. Course Goal = Film Analysis • Identify major elements of film art • Recognize how those elements work together • Examine a film’s organization and visual style • Recognize historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts • Understand how films are made
  4. 4. Course Goal = Film Analysis • Write about film • Make and argue for interpretive claims about films
  5. 5. ideas for film analysis 1. Expectations influence filmmakers’ choices and viewers’ experiences of films 2. Filmmakers present information, elicit emotions, and suggest ideas by orchestrating details in a systematic way.
  6. 6. 1. Expectations
  7. 7. 2. The Orchestration of Detail • Motifs • Parallels • Details and Structure
  8. 8. Motif Any detail that takes on significance through repetition.
  9. 9. Parallel A similarity established between two characters or situations that invites the viewer to compare the two.
  10. 10. Motifs and Parallels in Chinatown
  11. 11. Motif: Photographs
  12. 12. Motif: Eyes, Sight, Spying
  13. 13. Motif: Water
  14. 14. Motif: Chinatown
  15. 15. Parallels • Jake gets shot at in his car; Evelyn gets shot at in her car • Jake has broken sunglasses; Noah Cross has broken bifocals • Jake loses shoe; Mulrawy’s body found missing one shoe • Curly’s wife has black eye; Evelyn gets eye shot out
  16. 16. Are these the only ways that films can create meaning?
  17. 17. The World Beyond the Film
  18. 18. The World Beyond the Film
  19. 19. Intertextual References: Genre

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