Film analysing article


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Film analysing article

  1. 1. There are many different ways of analysing films and two of the main methods for analysingfilms are auteur theory and genre analysis, these are both contrasting examples. Genreanalysis is basically looking at the individual elements of a film, setting, character, codes andconventions, themes etc. Looking at whether or not the elements are generally the same asmost other films of that particular genre and whether or not the individual elements breakthe convention. For example, the main character in an action film is usually a strong manwho is considered handsome and is usually muscly, but in the film Leon, the main characteris quite old and would not be considered handsome, this breaks convention of the actiongenre. Auteur theory basically means a director is an ‘author’. It means the director isgenerally the creator of the film, they create the meaning/ideological message, theygenerally make a film to look good and original rather than make it just for the commercialvalue. Auteurs are known for their individual style and the way they use originality andmake a film their own. Directors such as Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Francis FordCoppola (Apocalypse Now) and Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street) are considered to beauteurs for their originality in their films. Not many of those films were particularly successin terms of commercial value but are all well known for their individual style and gave thoseparticular directors the reputation of auteur.Genre analysis looks at seven individual aspects of a film which are probably the mostimportant aspects in terms of analysing films. The first one is codes and conventions whicharethings in a film which are a vital part of any genre, they let you know what genre it isbecause they are specific to that genre. For example in an the James Bond film Quantum ofSolace, an action film, it usually involves police, uniforms, guns, cars etc. These are allconventions of an action film and at least one would be seen in the majority of actionfilms.The second aspect is the setting, very important for genre analysis which is basicallyjust where the film takes place. Each genre has a typical setting, for example an action filmsuch as Quantum of Solace would take big place in a big city, usually in America but Londonin this case, things such as large buildings, busy streets, shady back alleys would be used in atypical action movie. Character is analysing the main characters, the protagonist, sidekick,antagonist, love interest, father figure etc. Character analysis is looking at aspects of acharacter and seeing if they fit the characters you would generally see in the specific genre.For example in an action film such as Quantum of Solace, you would expect the maincharacter (protagonist) to be quite muscly, attractive to women, possibly rich and usually abit older than the kind of character you would see in a comedy movie. In a comedy film youwould expect the character to be a teenager and quite often they are seen as an outcast sowould have a distinctive feature which causes them to be outcasted. Themes in genreanalysis include elements such as love, friendship, hate etc. Typically in an action film, themain theme would be hate because the antagonist has a hatred of something causing themto be evil. Also it could be friendship in films where the protagonist has a sidekick. In acomedy film it could be love because a lot of comedy films involve a love interest and alsofriendship because there is always a group of friends involved. Narrative is a basic outline of
  2. 2. the story and other narratives within a story. For example in a comedy film, typically thenarrative would involve a road trip, or someone moving to a new school or trying to winback a girl, not all comedy films have this narrative but they are very common for comedyfilms. In an action film, quite often the plot is straightforward, it usually involves a villaintaking something away from a protagonist or doing something he disagrees with him whichcauses him to track him down.Iconography analysis is things in a film that are well known forbeing in a certain film or film series. For example in James Bond films, everyone recognizesthe expensive suits, the Aston Martin cars and generally the smart male protagonist theme.In a film such as Back to the Future, everyone would recognize the Delorean and wouldthink of the film if they were to see one. Ideological message is basically messages that afilm gives out, a lot of the time they depend on when the film is set, in movies set in the pastthere is sometimes a lot of racism because it was common back in that day. In Quantum ofSolace and other Bond films an ideological message is something such as British armydominance, they show James Bond as being the best at what he does and beating enemiesof other nationalities, which represents the British army as being the best and beating othernations at war. Also there is the objectifying of women,it is very common in James Bondfilms as they are known for being quite sexist.