Film Studies

Film Studies

Our Department

Film is widely acknowledged as the major art form of the 20th century and today film continues to be an important part of most people’s cultural experience. This course has been designed to build upon your own experience of film – both as consumers and creators – and to encourage your understanding of just how complex this experience is within an increasingly globalised, interconnected environment. Starting with familiar mainstream films, you will study not just films but also how they are experienced, the importance of visual representation in today’s global society and the place film has in communicating ideas, attitudes and cultural beliefs, both now and in the past. You don’t need to know a lot about film to take this course. It builds upon personal experiences of film and the knowledge, understanding and skills you will have gained at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 in a wide range of subjects including English where, at Key Stage 3, you were given opportunities to analyse and evaluate a range of moving image and media material.  

 

 

Our Department Prayer

Lord,

Help us in our study of Film to develop an enjoyment and appreciation of the different art forms that people create.

Through this we hope you can enable us to learn from other people and to understand and celebrate different cultures and ways of life.

 

Amen.

Who are we?

Mr J Hutchison

Mr A Reading

Any queries please email Mr J Hutchison on: hutchisonj@saintsa.co.uk

Gospel Value Representation

Film Studies demonstrates these Gospel values:

 Dignity and Compassion

 Purity and Holiness

 Truth and Justice

 Tolerance and Peace

 Humility and Gentleness

 Forgiveness and Mercy

 Service and Sacrifice

 

 Faithfulness and Integrity

By developing empathy and compassion for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or opinions.

  

 

How will it benefit me?

  • Film Studies is an academic subject and is offered at most universities including Cambridge
  • It complements other subjects like English literature, history and art
  • You will develop a whole range of literacy, communication, analytical, production, IT and other transferable skills

Films we Study

GCSE:

ET, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, let the Right One In, District 9, Attck the Block, Juno

Alevel:

Pulp Fiction, Pan's labrynth, Blade Runner, Spione, Casablanca, Wild Tales, La La Land, Sisters in LAw, Shaun of the Dead, Sightseers, Frances Ha

Core Study Areas in Detail

For all film form elements:

  • Consider how elements communicate messages and values – representations and ideologies
  • Consider the impact of the element on spectator alignment
  • Consider how the element is indicative of an auteur approach

Cinematography

  • Camera shots – POV, focus, depth of field, expressive and canted angles, handheld, steadicam
  • Composition, inc. balanced and unbalanced shots
  • Subjective camera, shifts in focus, filters
  • 3 point lighting and expressive lighting
  • Conveying messages and values – character, atmosphere, connotation, alignment

Editing

  • Continuity editing
  • Role of editing in creating meaning, inc. Kuleshov effect
  • Montage and stylised editing, eg. jump cuts
  • How editing implies character relationships and patterned repetitions
  • Visual effects
  • How editing conveys messages and values and aligns the spectator

Mise-en-scene

  • Setting, props, costume, make-up
  • Staging, movement, off-screen space
  • Naturalistic and expressive mise-en-scene
  • Connotations
  • Motifs
  • Staging, movement and off-screen space
  • Different interpretations and contribution to ideologies

Sound

  • Vocal (dialogue and narration), environmental (ambient, foley), music, silence
  • Diegetic, non diegetic
  • Parallel and contrapuntal sound
  • Multitrack sound mixing, layering, asynchronous, sound design
  • How sound is used expressively
  • How sound conveys character and narrative development

Performance

  • Non-verbal communication, physical expression and vocal delivery
  • Interaction between actors
  • Performance styles, inc. method and improvisational styles of acting
  • The significance of casting
  • The role of directing as a choreography of stage movement
  • The relationship between performance and cinematography

Representation

1.How does the film challenge or reinforce stereotypes and attitudes towards certain groups?

2.What is emphasised by the representation?

3.What does the representation neglect to tell us?

4.Are any groups under-represented or omitted?

5.What are the dominant messages of the film and how are these reinforced by the representations?

 

Context

1.What does the film suggest about attitudes to gender and ethnicity within that society at that time?

2.Were the filmmakers restricted by any contextual factors?

3.What major political movements were taking place at the time of production and how have these shaped the film texts?

4.Does the film engage with politics directly or is it in the subtext?

5.What creative or artistic trends were occurring at the time of the film’s production?

6.Is the film typical of films from its country of origin at that time?

7.How was the film funded and what impact has that had on how it was made?

8.What studio produced and made the film and how has this shaped the film’s content?

9.What technologies were available and what impact does that have on the film?

 

Aesthetics

1.How is film form used to create aesthetic effect?

2.Does the narrative pause to allow the spectator to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the film?

3.Is the aesthetic effect typical of the filmmaker?

4.How is the look of the film created?

5.Does the beauty of this moment also propel the narrative?

6.Does the strong aesthetic effect suggest something about the film’s key messages?

7.How does sound design contribute to effect and spectator response?

8.How is the choreography of actors managed?

9.How does set design contribute to the film?

10.How is the pace of the film managed?