Active vs. Passive Viewing • What is the difference between passively watching a movie and actively looking at a movie? • What is the benefit to being an active viewer?
Movies shape the way we see the world, and movies can tell us much about the society that created them.
What is a Movie? • What is the difference between the terms ‘movie,’ ‘film’ and ‘cinema’? • One characteristic all films share is narrative. • Narrative exists when a sequence of imagesisemployed in a cause-and-effect arrangement.
Films are constructed from a series of still images or shots. These shots are then joined or edited to control what and how the viewer sees. How does cinema differ from live theatre in terms of controlling the audience’s eye?
Ways of Looking at Movies • Formal Analysis • Cultural Analysis
Formal Analysis • Breaking down a scene or entire movie to identify the tools and techniques used. • Identify the effect these tools and techniques have on the audience.
Formal Analysis – Cinematic Language Some examples… • “Invisibility” • Fade-out / Fade-in Example 2 Fade Out Fade In - YouTube • Low-angle Shot Citizen Kane - Low Angle Shot - YouTube • Cutting on Action Video Assignment: Match Action - YouTube • How do theses effects affect the audience? "The Limey" Peter Fonda's Death Scenes
Cultural Analysis • “Cultural Invisibility” • Appealing to shared belief systems • The status quo • The illusion of being controversial or provocative
Implicit Meaning • Below the surface of the movie • An association, connection, inference • Based on the explicit meaning • An interpretation of the events – something arguable
Viewer Expectations • Influencing factors: friends, reviews, previews, commercials… • Assumptions: genre, director, actors… • Your interpretation of a movie is affected by how your expectations are manipulated by the movie • Name a movie you went to see where your expectations were not fulfilled. What was your reaction?
Approaches to Cultural analysis • Feminism • Marxism • Post-colonialism • Existentialism • Specific social issues