Anatomy of Film

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Anatomy of Film

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1. Anatomy of Film Based on text by Bernard F. Dick

2. Film, Movie or Cinema? Movie suggests popular culture Cinema suggests art culture Film encompasses all

3. Reading Critically Jaxtaposition Visual elements Sound elements Context Time & Place Social Interaction

4. 4 Formal Structure Systems Mise-en-scene Cinematography Editing Sound

5. Narrative Film Narrative told through sound and image, that builds to a climax and culminates in a resolution Does not require dialogue Images themselves can tell part of the story and can carry as much weight as words

6. Time-Space Relationships Conflict is heard and seen Visually represents events unfolding—some occurring at the same time

7. Movie Time Must tell a story within a certain period of time Manipulates real time Is elastic—time compressed or prolonged

8. Employs many forms of art Print Dialogue Music Camera movement Settings Costumes Performance

9. Graphics Logos Main titles, credits, precredits sequences and end credits Opening titles and end titles Other print materials: letters, signposts, street signs, newspapers, plaques Minimizes the need for expository dialogue

10. Sound Actual Sounds Sound Effects Noise Silence Commentative Sounds Music Synchronization—sound and image are related contextually, spatially, and temporally Asynchronization—sound and image are related symbolically, metaphorically, or ironically An Introduction to Film Sound:

11. Overlapping Sound Sound or dialogue that either carries over from one scene to the next or anticipates the new scene Can build narrative

12. Sound Overview

13. Voice-Over Narration The Narrating “I” Absurdly overused The Voice of God An authoritative voice that belongs to no character—completely disembodied Weaves in and out of the action, commenting, reflecting, even questioning Imparts a feeling of objectivity Can insinuate itself into the characters, noting their moods and emotional states

14. Voice-Over Narration Epistolary Voice—plot through letters Allows the audience to hear the other characters Plot device whose contents must be heard Subjective Voice—the inner voice of the character

15. Voice-Over Narration The Repetitive Voice The Voice from the Machine Deus ex machina—god from the machine, of Greek theater

16. Film process The Shot The Scene vs. The Sequence Appear to be virtually synonymous Chief difference—there can be scenes within a sequence, but not sequences within scenes

17. Camera Movements

18. The Shot Defined in terms of distance, area or the subjects they contain Types: Close-up Extreme Close-up Long Shot Full Shot Extreme Long Shot Medium Shot Establishing Shot Two-shot, Three-Shot Shot/Reverse Shot Over-the-shoulder shot

19. Shots

20. The Shot High-angle Shot God’s Eye Suggest entrapment or frustration Low-Angle shot Makes subject appear larger Suggests dominance or power Objective-view of camera Point of View Shot

21. The Moving Shot Pan shot—horizontal Tilt shot—vertical Mobile Camera shots Swish pan—unusually rapid & produces momentary blur Tracking Shot—greater area and more detail Dolly Shot Crane Shot

22. The Moving Shot

23. Zooms and Freezes Zoom in/Zoom out camera does not move Represents deceptive motion and distorts size Freeze Frame Stopped motion Suggests stasis Implies immobility, helplessness or indecision

24. The Sequence A group of shots forming a self-contained segment of the film that is, by and large, intelligible in itself Types Linear Sequence Associative Sequence Montage Sequence

25. The Linear Sequence Beginning initiates the action Middle adds to the action End follows and completes the action Elliptical linear sequence Certain details omitted Viewers must make connections

26. The Associative Sequence Scenes linked by an object or a series of objects

27. Montage Sequence A series of shots arranged in a particular order for a particular purpose Rapid succession telescoping an event or several events American Montage: 30s & 40s Collapses time as shots blend together, wipe each other away or are superimposed Calendar pages, headlines, etc.

28. Montage Sequence Feature of both linear and associative sequence Can be unified by images

29. Cuts Verb—terminate a shot Noun—a strip of film Film stages: rough cut ? director’s cut ? final cut

30. Cuts Joining of two separate shots Straight cut—one image replaces another Contrast cut—images are dissimilar Crosscut (Parallel)—2 actions occurring simultaneously Jump cut—break in continuity Form cut—a cut from one object to another of similar shape Match cut—one shot complements or “matches” the other, following smoothly without any break in continuity of time and space

31. Transitions—Bridge Scenes The Fade: Fade-out & Fade-in Denotes demarcation—the end of a narrative sequence The Dissolve denotes continuity by the gradual replacement of one shot by another No sooner said than done

32. Transitions Synecdoche or metonymy: Two images blend in such a way that their union constitutes a symbolic equation However, the result is a metaphorical dissolve A sign replaces the signified

33. Transitions Form Dissolve—merging two images with the same shape or contours Easy on the eyes Can relate to plot The Wipe—Line traveling vertically across the scene More fluid than a cut and faster than a dissolve Ideal for presenting a series of events in quick succession

34. The Iris Masking Shot or Iris Shot—everything blacked out except what is to be seen telescopically Irising In/Irising Out

35. Editing Selecting and arranging the shots based on Their place within the narrative Their contribution to the mood of a particular scene or to the film as a whole Their enhancement of the film’s rhythm their elucidation of the film’s deeper meaning their fulfillment of the filmmaker’s purpose

36. Continuity Editing Assembling shots so that they follow each other smoothly without interruption Preserves the illusion of an ongoing narrative

37. Eisenstein’s Theory of Montage Based on contrast and conflict

38. Continuity Editing Rhythm—variations in speed, movement, and pace Time—parallel cutting depicts two concurrent actions Space—parallel cutting affects sense of space as well Tone—primarily light, shade and color Theme—juxtaposing contrasting shots can deepen a film’s theme

39. Role of the Editor Takes what has been shot and improves on it The director’s alter ego Controls the rhythm and tone Primary purpose is to bring to completion an artistic work already in progress

40. Mise-en-Scène French phrase used to describe the staging of a play In film—composing a shot or a sequence with the same attention to detail (set, lighting, costumes, makeup, positioning of actors within the frame, etc) that a state director lavishes on a play A form of framing—the art of composing a shot

41. Framing Frame—strip of celluloid on which the image is captured Shots can be framed In terms of horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines Geometrically Iconographically In deep or shallow focus From a high or low angle In a frame that has been masked or doubled

42. Framing Tight framing Subject appears to be confined withing the horizontal and vertical borders of the frame Not a hint of offscreen space Gives a feeling of oppression Canted shot—frame looks lopsided Geometrical compositions can be symbolic as well as visually interesting

43. Iconography Framing a shot to imitate a painting or sculpture

44. Focus Deep Focus foreground, middle ground and background are equally visible Conveys a greater sense of depth Minimizes the need to cut from one shot to another Brings out meanings that otherwise not be apparent Shallow Focus Foreground is more distinct than background

45. Takes Long take A shot that lasts more than a minute Steadicam

46. Color & Lighting Color palettes and lighting sets tone and mood Lighting has a direct bearing on the way an image is perceived

47. Special Effects/Visual Effects “Art never improves, but . . . The material of art is never quite the same.” --T. S. Eliot

48. Film Genres The Musical The Western The Crime Film Film Noir Combat Film Comedies Romantic Comedy Screwball Comedy Farce Satire The Reflexive Film The Woman’s Film The Documentary The Horror Film Science-Fiction

49. Subtext Infranarrative A complex structure beneath the narrative consisting of the various associations the narrative evokes in us Film’s dual nature Level of meanings found in Symbols Image patterns References/allusions Reading critically

50. Mythic Associations Operates on an unconscious level, presenting us with Characters questers the enchanted and the enchanter ogres scapegoats monsters talking animals Apparitions Themes The homeward journey The quest Ancestral curses Revenge Patricide Matricide Settings Caves Wastelands Subterranean rivers Enchanted islands Flat-topped mountains Ominous castles Desolate moors Lost worlds

51. Myths Tap into our collective memory Themes of myth are universal Return of the hero The desire for forbidden knowledge The quest for identity Coming of age Rebellion against tyranny Transcends time and place Ultimate truths about life and death, fate and nature, gods and humans

52. Film and Myth Speak the same language—picture language Both are oral and visual Both are intimately associated with dreams Making a mythic association involves remembering a pattern of experience that is universal.

53. Mythic Types The quester The convert The foundling The exile The knight-errant The blessed damsel The earth mother The lost child The eternal child The alien The shadow self—doppelganger The liberator

54. Mythic Themes The descent to the underworld The quest for the grail, sword, ring, or chalice The journey into the unknown The homeward journey The birth of the hero The life force versus the force of reason Wilderness versus civilization The transformation myth The savior myth Good versus evil

55. Visual/Iconic Associations Icon’s dual nature Depicts not just a person but a person who stands out from the ordinary

56. Icons Definition: Greek Icons: Australian Icons: Christian Icons: Cemetery Iconography:

57. Intellectual Associations We relate the film as a whole—not just one aspect of it—to history, to another medium such as literature or opera, to another film, or even to an earlier version of itself. Intertextuality

58. Musical Associations Music has 2 main functions Advances narrative plot device not subtextual Enhances narrative functions as subtext Deepens the narrative by bringing it to another level of interpretation

59. Music Capable of forging ethnic and national connections Has the power to reinforce stereotypes Can evoke certain associations Classical music can constitute the entire subtext

60. The Film Director The Auteur—director as primary creative force behind a film May collaborate with a screenwriter, a cinematographer, a composer, an actor, an editor, a producer, or a studio

61. Literary Techniques Flashback Flash-forward Dramatic foreshadowing Point-of-view Omniscient narrator Implied author Film Adaptation

62. Analyzing Films What techniques did the filmmaker use to create the feeling of a complete film rather than a mere collection of scenes? Could it have been anything other than a film—a novel, a short story, a play, for example—and still have been as effective; or was film the medium in which it reached its level of excellence?

63. Analyzing Films How much of the film is told through images or camera movement, without recourse to dialogue? Does the use of film deepen or enhance the story being told?

64. Analyzing Film Do the camera and the script work together, each doing what it does best, so that word and image are allies rather than enemies? What is the subtext, or infranarrative? How does it enrich the film?

65. Rebel Without a Cause The Director: Nicholas Ray talks about heros: Natalie Wood interview—how she got role:

66. Credits Material taken from Bernard F. Dick’s Anatomy of Film, Fifth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. Presentation by Patricia Burgey

67. On-line Guides Yale Film Studies Film Terms

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