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Movie and the Society Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 April 2017

Movie and the Society

The pleasure of watching movies is considered vital in our society today. It gives us a temporary escape from reality and allows us to indulge in a world of thrills and chills within the persona of each character in the film that we watch. We also find ourselves contemplating on the identities of characters and somehow see a part of our life in theirs. Typical reaction of movie goers are “good”, “boring”, “exciting” and “O. K. ” People’s judgment is based on their feelings and how the film made them feel that way. Are they triggered with fear during the movie? Did they end up crying?

Did they feel good at the end of the movie and leave the theater with a smile on their faces? This approach in analyzing a movie is not really bad, since feelings and sensual pleasures are part of humanistic approach and initial reaction. An audience tends to react based how they exactly feel right after they’ve seen a film: how they indulge in fantasy on magical movies, how they drop off their seats during suspense and horror films, and how they feel the triumph of heroes and heroic figures on suspense and action films. Movies give us a two- to three-hour experience that we often lack in our daily lives.

They also give us ideas and make us try to imagine what kind of life are we going to experience if we are in the shoes of the characters that we have watched. Movie Construction Movies are not only judged according to our feelings and emotions but also with ideas and assumptions. The plots and story give us a better vision and meaning of our own lives. Most people are not good evaluating, examining, and analyzing movies. Most people don’t bother to think much because they are after the experience of feeling different emotions or they just love the actors and actresses of the film.

As a student who is in line with film studies, I think various bases should be used in analyzing movies. With this learning, we don’t only enjoy the film that we are watching but be more keen observers on the different aspects of movies that filmmakers tend to hide from us; how the film is made and what values are promoted (Kolker, 1999, p. 33). We often forget that films are not only artificial construction where people on screen are only projections from television and made out of cameras and videos.

We should bear in mind that these films are results of thousand hours of writing scripts, directing, acting, shooting, editing, cutting, and splicing. Most filmmakers tries their best and makes them forget that its just a story by making sure that there is no equipments like cameras or microphones seen as a part of the filming context. They also work very hard to keep us from noticing how the film is pieced together from the footage taken in many different places, from many different camera positions, and over a much longer period of time than we experience in watching it.

“Because we’re used to thinking that seeing is believing, that pictures don’t lie, it is easy to feel as if what we are seeing is really happening. ” (Mast, 2008) Basic Terms in Movie Analysis Shots These are streams of images which are not interrupted by editing it is a continuity of scenes and where graphics are formed by series of still frames. In order to be able to think about a film, we have to resist the “suspension of disbelief” in order to pay attention to how the film is put together. Start by noticing when one shot ends and another begins.

In film studies parlance, a “shot” is any “unbroken, unedited length of film. ”(Kolker, 1999, p. 33) In most films shots gives us interpretation regarding scenes and characters. We can see the emotions and predict future events base on shots provided in the film. Like the extreme long shots that gives us the overall scenario where the enemies and soldiers begins a battle. Most of the time shots are cut through editing so that it will appear as one to the viewer but in reality it is taken with series of shots to make up one particular scene.

Once we have enough knowledge in analyzing the shots and editing in the movie we can also understand how the film starts to manipulate us and our feelings through the rest of watching the entire movie. Shorter shots gives us faster pacing of the film and transitions in the events of the characters. “When we get used to fast-paced films like this, films with longer shots and fewer cuts can seem slow and difficult to watch. But, of course, such fast-paced films also make it harder to think!

Films that constantly use close-up shots of the characters create a higher level of intensity and intimacy than do films which focus more on landscape, geography, and other aspects of context. ” (Mast, 2008) If a film always provides us shots of the characters it gives us the notion that these individuals are the most important element in the story and through the rest of the film, places and situations also gives valuable shot as it shapes the lives of the main character. Scenes and Sequences This usually takes place in a single time and place with the characters of the film having a conversation at a given time.

There are times that two scenes are provided in the film alternately showing the viewers different scenarios which often combined or talks about the same topic. “Sometimes a single scene may contain two lines of action, occurring in different spaces or even different times, that are related by means of crosscutting. Scene and sequence can usually be used interchangeably, though the latter term can also refer to a longer segment of film that does not obey the spatial and temporal unities of a single scene. For example, a montage sequence that shows in a few shots a process that occurs over a period of time.

” (Film Analysis Guide 2008) Story/Plot This term refers to the overall order of the film. It is consist of settings, time frame, events and the relations between them. Story on the other hand is more extensive sine it is more straightforward especially if the genre is drama where the story is manipulated by the plot to produce dramatic effects. Often times we tend to interpret easily a film based on the story without giving consideration to other factors in the film. We easily conclude that this film is made merely to frighten or to make us laugh or cry. Without noticing factors like the mise-en-scene.

Mise-en-scene This is the overall projection of the film on an audience perspective. All things are put in the scene which includes the setting, properties, wardrobe, lights, acting,etc. Things like this often manipulates the minds of the viewers as they tend to easily judge the character based on its appearance. This is also one strategy that a film critic may use in determining the role of each character. For example if the character wears red and the rest of the cast wears pink we can easily say that he is the lead character and the whole story will revolve around him.

Props also gives us interpretation regarding future events once they are used as symbolism in the film. With the use of shots and camera angles we can easily predict a future event like a shot of knife then the lead character then the villain. The mise-en-scene is arranged in a way that the viewer can picture out totally what is happening in the film itself. Genres The type of films are recognized and analyzed based also on its genre. This gives the film certain distinctions in terms of “ narrative or stylistic conventions, or merely by their discursive organization in influential criticism.

Genres are made necessary by high volume industrial production. ” (Film Analysis Guide 2008) Focus This is another element of film wherein “the degree of light rays coming from any particular part of an object pass through the lens and re-converge at the same point on a frame of the film negative, creating sharp outlines and distinct textures that match the original object. This optical property of the cinema creates variations in depth of field through shallow focus, deep focus, and techniques such as racking focus.

” (Film Analysis Guide 2008) The sharpness of an image in a film gives the viewer an eye shot of the main subject. Through focus we can also interpret and analyze film since we are given enough exposure of the scenes and we feel the intense feeling of the characters using this technique. Rocking focus makes us feel the thrill during chase scenes between the killers and the main character. Editing After shooting the entire film, clips are gathered and series of shots are combined in a single filmstrip. Here the sequence of scenes are added with transitions and uses cuts to remove unnecessary scenes.

Hard to achieve effects which cannot be provided by means of humanistic approach is enhanced and produced by editing to give film a more enticing effect. Magics and special effects are added to make films more appealing. Hence this also helps us to interpret and analyze movies sometimes if a film is easily cut without giving further ado to the audience it may result negatively on the end of the audience because it was edited but with bad quality. Sound and Light Effects In cinemas, sounds in films does not necessarily need to match the scenes or it needs to be continuous.

“Sound can also be used to reintroduce events from earlier in the story. ” (Film Analysis Guide 2008). It gives viewers interpretation of what that scene is for base on the type of songs that is played during a particular scene. Lights also gives us predicaments as to what is really happening on that particular scene. Like on love scenes lights are always darker and mostly turned off in many movies. While Enhanced light which almost blinds the viewers are provided if there are scenes of triumphs and enjoyment. Ideology and Interpretation of Films

After the given terms and interpretation of film above, “We have come to understand films as artificial constructions that are pieced together by filmmakers, we can more easily begin to ask questions about the ideological agenda of a film what values it promotes. Because films are cultural products shaped by the historical context of their making they can tell us much about the values and commitments of their makers and their audiences. An ideological analysis of a film that appeals to a viewer can also tell about a great deal on ones own conscious or unconscious values.

(Mast, 2008) I believe that the real criteria in evaluating an interpreting a movie is by analyzing not only its components in the technical terms of movie analysis but how it appeals to our consciousness and sensitivity as an individual. Our Values and Social responsibility as impacted by the type of film that we’ve watched. So that later on we will drop comments like “boring” and “OK” and use more helpful words like how the film reinforces you as an individual and how it challenges an assumption regarding a particular topic.

“Instead of dismissing films because they are slow-paced or follow unfamiliar plots or include unusual characters, it may be more inspiring and personally transformative to ask what surprised you about these films and why. For these Studies in Cinema films, in short, it will be worthwhile to move beyond the question “How did I feel? ” to the more difficult question: “What do I think? ” (Mast, 2008) There are some films that makes viewer easily understand bodies of literature. Movies like Romeo and Juliet are arranged and scripted in a way that can be easily understood in literal and lay man’s term.

Unlike the words used in the literary piece it is more innovated in terms of using appropriate words and drops off words that are hard to understand by viewers.


Film Analysis Guide (2008). Yale Film Studies Website. Retrieved January 15, 2008 from: http://classes. yale. edu/film-analysis/ Kolker, Robert (1999). Film, Form and Culture. McGraw Hill College, p. 33. Mast, Gerald J. Biesecker (2008). How to Watch Movies Intelligently. Retrieved January 15, 2008 from: http://www. bluffton. edu/~mastg/Watchingmovies. htm

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