Session 1A film elements: Film Appreciation Course (Hum 3)

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Elements of Film,

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Session 1A film elements: Film Appreciation Course (Hum 3)

  1. 1. Mimetic Elements of Film Film Appreciation/ Film Principles Mass Communication Department Ateneo de Davao University
  2. 2. What is a movie?What is a movie?  Ideally, you are watching something and listening to something.
  3. 3. What is a movie?  Visual: colors, shapes, forms and movement;  Aural: language and sound with rhythms, harmonies and melodies; Hero
  4. 4. What is a movie?  Concretely, we watch:  People, either alone or together  Scenery  Events  Concretely, we listen to:  Monologues  Conversations  Narration  Sound effects (SFX)  Music  Silence Y Tu Mama Tambien
  5. 5. What is a movie?  Stories about people  in certain locations  that present a number of ideas  In an aesthetic manner Lucia Y Sexo
  6. 6. Suspension of Disbelief  Suspension of disbelief is an aesthetic theory intended to characterize people's relationships to art.  Coined by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817.  Refers to the willingness of a person to accept as true the premises of a work of fiction, even if they are fantastic or impossible. Transformers
  7. 7. Suspension of Disbelief  The willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises.  A quid pro quo: the audience tacitly agrees to provisionally suspend their judgment in exchange for the promise of entertainment. The Piano
  8. 8. Elements of Film  Story/ Plot  Character/ Charaterization  Setting/ Milieu  Theme/ Message  Style Sex and Music
  9. 9. A. Story  The rendering and ordering of the events and actions, particularly towards the achievement of some particular artistic or emotional effect  In other words it's what mostly happened in the film.
  10. 10. A. Story - Cause and Effect  Level 1: Cause and Effect  Consists of a stimulus and response, also referred to as action and reaction, or cause and effect. (Bickham 1993, pp. 12-22)
  11. 11. A. Story - Scene and Sequel  Level 2: Scene and Sequel  Structured in scenes and sequels, with scenes providing drama and sequels providing an aftermath. (Bickham 1993, pp. 23-62)
  12. 12. A. Story - Beginning, Middle, End  Level 3: Beginning, Middle and End  The larger structure of story is often divided into three parts: beginning, middle, and ending.
  13. 13. A. Story  Basis of successful films  Clear beginning, middle and end  Tightly knit
  14. 14. A. Story Arc in Film 1. Initial situation – the beginning. It is the first incident that makes the story move. 2. Conflict or Problem – goal which the main character of the story has to achieve. 3. Complication or Rising action – obstacles which the main character has to overcome. 4. Climax – highest point of interest of the story. 5. Dénouement or Resolution – what happens to the character after overcoming all obstacles and reaching his goal, or failing to achieve the desired result and not reaching his goal. 6. Conclusion – the end result
  15. 15. Surprise and Suspense  Surprise: when something happens and you don’t expect it  Suspense: when you expect it and it doesn’t happen.
  16. 16. Forms  Plot-driven: in which a preconceived storyline is the main thrust, with the characters' behavior being moulded by this inevitable sequence of events.  Character-driven: in which the character is the main focus of the work.
  17. 17. B. Character  A person (persona), in particular as portrayed by an actor; or as appears in a film, whether a fictional character or historic figure  Action vs character  American movies depend heavily on character for full effect, even at the expense of storyline.
  18. 18. B. Driver Characters  Protagonist: "... the driver of the story: the one who forces the action." Defined by "Pursue" and "Consideration" characteristics. (Jungian equivalent: Hero)  Antagonist: "... the character directly opposed to the Protagonist." "Prevent" & "Re-consideration". (Jungian equivalent: Shadow)  Guardian: "... a teacher or helper who aids the Protagonist..." "Help" & "Conscience” (Jungian equivalent: Wise Old Man or Wise Old Woman, also sometimes referred to collectively as The Mentor)  Contagonist: "... hinders and deludes the Protagonist..." "Hinder" & "Temptation"
  19. 19. B. Passenger Characters  Reason: "... makes its decisions and takes action on the basis of logic..." "Control" & "Logic"  Emotion: "... responds with its feelings without thinking..." "Uncontrolled" & "Feeling"  Sidekick: "... unfailing in its loyalty and support." "Support" & "Faith"  Skeptic: "... doubts everything..." "Oppose" & "Disbelief” (Jung's Trickster archetype often overlaps here, since its purpose is to question and rebel against the established way of doing things)
  20. 20. B. Character  A single character may fulfill more than one archetypal role.  A single character may also have many traits and feelings.  A complex character may blend characteristics from different archetypes, just as real people embody aspects of each archetype.
  21. 21. B. Character  According to one writer/psychologist, “Though in stories the archetypes are...fragmented into individual characters, in real life each of us carries qualities of each archetype. If we didn't, we wouldn't be able to relate to characters who represent the archetypes we were missing.”  A Primer on Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Carolyn Kaufman at Archetype Writing: The Fiction Writers' Guide to Psychology
  22. 22. C. Setting  The setting of a film is the time, location and circumstances in which it takes place.  Provides the main backdrop for the story  Sometimes setting is referred to as milieu, to include a context (such as society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story.  Can set the tone of a story.
  23. 23. C. Setting  Studio shoots vs real locations  Travelogues  Setting is not a matter of locale alone, it adds texture to the story.
  24. 24. D. Theme  A broad idea in a story, or a message or lesson conveyed by the film.  Usually about life, society or human nature.  Fundamental and often universal ideas explored in the film.  Usually implied rather than explicitly stated.  Deep thematic content is not required in film; however, some film critics would say that all stories inherently project some kind of outlook on life that can be taken as a theme, regardless of whether or not this is the intent of the author.
  25. 25. D. Theme  T message of the film  A film means something, whether or not the filmmaker intends it.  Interpretation -- supplying meaning- is the job of the audience.
  26. 26. D. Themes  The skeleton on which action, character and setting are arranged.  Bare bones are missing: audience will know it
  27. 27. Themes vs Motif  Themes differ from motifs in that themes are ideas conveyed by a film.  Motifs are repeated symbols that represent those ideas.  Leit-motif: reiteration of those theme.
  28. 28. D. Themes  Themes arise from the interplay of the plot, the characters, and the attitude the director takes to them,  The same story can be given very different themes in the hands of different directors. Dreamers, Bertolucci
  29. 29. E. Style  Personal touch of the director  Less visible to amateur viewers  Style of the director  European films: personal communication of the director
  30. 30. E. Style  The word "style" came from Latin stilus = a writing instrument (compare stylus), and originally meant a style of writing.  The spelling was influenced by Greek στυλος = "column".
  31. 31. F. Sex and Music  Sex: savior of borderline case movies  Music: mortar that fills in the cracks

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