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2017 03 571


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U of Calgary Smartphone Movie Making Class 2017

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2017 03 571

  1. 1. Theoretical Stances of Film Studies | Categories of Genre Style and Genre II Mise-en-scène, Camera Angles, Proxemics Aesthetics I - Photography
  2. 2. Theory is the handmaiden of art, not vice versa. Louis Giannetti What is Film Theory? Film practice is art/beauty/glimpses of truth but … Movies, (and theatre art and literature and dance …) can be explored from a variety of theoretic perspectives. A theory is an intellectual grid: some theories are interested in the wider context; social, political, philosophical implications; some theories explore the essential nature and basic properties.
  3. 3. Various theoretical takes Here are (at least) five other ways of looking at film. 1. Style and Genre (Our chosen path) 2. Auteur Theory 3. Literary Theory 4. Realist Theory 5. Marxist Theory 6. Structuralism and Semiology | Ideology and Culture
  4. 4. Various theoretical takes Here are seven different ways of looking at Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. 1. A style and genre critic might analyse the picture within a Classical Style (Fiction mode) because of its dramatic unity. Furthermore, it might be found to be an example of the Genre of War (anti-war), popular in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. 2. An auteur critic might regard it as a typical FFC film. An industry historian might look at the commercial content and the money it made for the studio and the investors. 3. A literary theorist interested in the relationship of movies to literature might focus on the script, based on Joseph Conrad’s celebrated novel, Heart of Darkness. 4. A realist theorist might concern her/himself with “excavating reality” emphasizing the moral or ethical facts and bias of the subject matter over “plot.” 5. Furthermore, a Marxist theorist might condemn the movie as a parable of greed and capitalism. 6. A semiotic theoretician might use cultural codes to analyse the binary opposites of traditional and modern values to analyse a deep ideological structure. It might also be looked at as a Martin Sheen/Marlon Brando star vehicle, exploiting the stars’ iconography.
  5. 5. Styles and Modes of Cinema And examples from the New School REALISM CLASSICISM FORMALISM Documentary F I C T I O N Expressionism FUZ V1 FUZ V2 Tough Crimes NB. These are not airtight categories and often overlap. Styles Modes Tangerine + Rideshare SCPA Faculty Doco + Searching for Sugarman Dolly Diva Non-Fiction Non-Fiction
  6. 6. What About Genre? • Definition: A recognizable type of movie, characterized by certain pre-established conventions. • Genre was developed by French directors François Truffault, Jean-Luc Godard and their Cahiers du cinema associates in the mid-50s. Simultaneously with their Auteur Theory, they also developed the theory of film genre. • Believed that the genius of American cinema was its repository of ready-made forms saying “The tradition of genres in a base of operations for creative freedom.”
  7. 7. Categories: Genre
  8. 8. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 15 pt. Systematic Mise-en-scène Analysis . 1. Dominant. What is our eye attracted to? 2. Lighting Styles and Key: High-key, low-key, painterly, linear? 3. Shot and Camera Proxemics: What type of shot? How far away? 4. Shot Angles. High, low, neutral. 5. Colour values. What is dominant colour? Colour symbolism? 6. Lens/filter/stock. How do these distort or comment on photography? 7. Subsidiary contrasts. What are the eye-stops after the dominant? 8. Density. How much visual information is packed into the image? Is texture stark, moderate, or highly detailed? “Photographic considerations” Aesthetics of Filmmaking – Old School and New School
  9. 9. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis15 pt. Systematic Mise-en-scène Analysis 9. Composition. How is the 2-D space segmented and organized? What is the underlying design? 10. Form. Open or closed? Does the image suggest a window that arbitrarily isolates a fragment of the scene? Or is it self contained? 11. Framing. Tight or loose? How much room do the characters have to move around? 12. Depth. On how many planes is the image composed? Does the background and foreground comment on the midground? 13. Character placement. What parts of the framed space are occupied? 14. Staging positions. Which way to they look vis-à-vis the camera 15.Character proxemics. How much space between characters? Continued …
  10. 10. Camera Shots (Proxemics) Cinematography affects “tone” or general atmosphere of a film. Eg long shot or establishing shot, in Lawrence of Arabia. Requires a wide angle lens to capture objects at several focal distances and photographed in depth. “Anamorphic” ratio. Aesthetics of Filmmaking -- Photography
  11. 11. Long, Full, Medium Closeup Extreme Closeup Shots. Proxemics. In this scene of Il Bueno, il brutto, il cattivo, watch for the transition between long shot or establishing shot to the full shot to the medium shot to the closeup to the extreme close up. (Start 4’22”) Aesthetics of Filmmaking
  12. 12. Il Bueno, il brutto, il cattivo aka The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) DOP (Cinematographer): Writing credits Luciano Vincenzoni &Sergio Leone Genre: Action / Western / Drama (more) Music: Ennio Morricone Tagline: For Three Men The Civil War Wasn't Hell. It Was Practice! Plot Outline: Three gunmen set out to find a hidden fortune. Who will walk away with the cash? User Comments: The best of Eastwood's "spaghetti westerns" Cast overview, first billed only: Clint Eastwood .... Joe Lee Van Cleef .... Sentenza Elli Wallach .... Tuco From imdb
  13. 13. Camera Angles Aesthetics of Filmmaking Five basic angles in cinema: 1. The bird’s eye view 2. The high angle 3. The eye-level shot 4. The low angle 5. The worm’s eye view
  14. 14. Camera Angles Aesthetics of Filmmaking Watch how the “status” of the characters change in Psycho scene through use of high and low angles.
  15. 15. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) DOP (Cinematographer): John L. Russell Writing credits Robert Bloch (novel) Joseph Stefano (screenplay) Genre: Horror / Thriller Tagline: A new- and altogether different- screen excitement!!! Plot Outline: A young female embezzeler arrives at the Bates Motel which has terrible secrets of its own. This shows extra goodies about the movie. Cast: Anthony Perkins .... Norman Bates Janet Leigh .... Marion Crane Vera Miles .... Lila Crane John Gavin .... Sam Loomis From imdb
  16. 16. Light and Dark Styles of lighting: High Key, Comedies, musicals, bright even light with few shadows. Examples? High Contrast, Harsh shafts of light, dramatic streaks of blackness. Examples? Painterly style of light eg. Girl with the Pearl Earring. Soft- focus, sensuous, romantic. Linear style is austere, deglamourized, razor-sharp deep focus. This form is favoured by realists. Aesthetics of Filmmaking
  17. 17. Colour Expressionism Colour is a subconscious element in film. Strongly emotional in appeal, expressive and atmospheric rather than conspicuous or intellectual. Psychologists have discovered that people actively attempt to interpret the lines of a composition but accept colour passively, permitting it to suggest moods. Some filmmakers deliberately alternate episodes in black and white with sequences in colour. Memento (Nolan, 2010). Aesthetics of Filmmaking