What’s the purpose of a film movie review? • The purpose of a film reviewer is to help the reader decide whether or not they should watch, download or buy that movie
Guidelines and tips for writing a good film review: The review should give • enough details about the film that the reader can make • an informed decision, without giving anyway any essentials such as the plot or any surprises.
How to write a movie review 1. Watch the movie 2. Give your opinion 3. Who is your audience? 4. Give an outline 5. Actors 6. Structure 7.Cinematography and lighting 8. Music 9. Read, read and read
A film reviewer also creates a dialogue. They place a movie in the social context of the times. • For example, a good film reviewer in the 80s would have, and did, talk about the sort of hard bodied muscle men, and why movies like Rambo and Terminator were doing so well, why people wanted to see those big, beefy guys battle it out for our country. They put it in the context of the time. • What about today? What’s the context of our time?
Useful vocabulary on Film Reviews Hilarious, touching, overdone, superb, disturbing, well-portrayed, low-key, shrouded, sequel, hinted, core, blockbuster, • convey, suspense, vaunted, emotionally-charged, disjointed, dull, clichéd, avant-garde, shallow, thought-provoking, ponderous, lapsing, over-studied.
CLEMS C camera angles and shots, the “eye” or point of view from which we see all action
CLEMS L lighting, chosen to show people or objects for effect in emotion, mood, and to be symbolic
CLEMS E editing, or what the director chooses to leave in or out
CLEMS M movement of people, objects (vehicles, bullets), natural elements (waves, wind…)
CLEMS S sound-everything the audience can hear, from breathing to horn honking to music
The “Grammar” of Film Written Language Letters are the smallest distinct form of written language Letters make up words Words strung together create a sentence Sentences are put together to create a paragraph Many paragraphs together create a story Film Language A film’s smallest unit is a single Frame, which is like a still photograph Several frame make up Shots in films Shots go together to make up one scene Several scenes make up a Sequence The sequence of scenes create an entire film
Parts of a Film: Some Basic Terms • Frame=a single picture on a length of film • Shot=one continuous recording of an action taken by one camera • Scene= a series of shots, showing action in one location • Sequence= a series of scenes showing a significant aspect ot he plot
Medium Shot (MS) • A much closer view- e.g. a person(s) from the waist up • Our view is limited to things immediately around the person
Medium Close Up (MSC) • Closer still-e.g. mid-chest to head
Close Up (CU) and Extreme Close Up (ECU) • Used for emphasis, to focus on whatever is most significant at the moment • May reveal human emotions (sadness, shock) or private information- e.g contents of a letter, or tension of turning a door handle
Point of View (POV) • When the camera acts like an eye, giving us a particular subjective view- e.g. we see only what a character sees, or over the shoulder of the character
Angles-Three main angles of camera may be used • High Angle • Camera looks down on subject • Can make the person seem small, insignificant, vulnerable or unlikely to win • Low Angle • Camera looks up at subject who then seems large, important, in control • Normal Angle • E.g.-eye level
Editing-Questions to ask yourself • What shots are selected? • How are the shots arranged? • In what order are they placed?
Match Action • Two scenes, shot at different times, are cut together to give the impression of natural continuity
Jump Cut • Opposite of match action • A cut where there’s little continuity
Intercutting • Cutting in action between two, simultaneous scenes • Often used to show contrast or to create suspense
Length • How long is a shot held on the screen? • What tempo and rhythm result?
Jolts per Minute • JPM is the measure of how many cuts occur in a single minute of film • Jolts keep the eye moving and the viewer interested • Many JPM=creates movement, high action, fast-paced • Few JPM=static, monotonous
Transitions • What transitions are used to move from one shot or sequence to the next?
Straight Cut • the simplest transition • when one shot ends, another begins • creates continuous movement
Fade In • shot appears from darkness
Fade Out • shot fades into darkness
Dissolve • one shot fades into the next; for a brief moment, both shots appear on the screen at the same time (superimposition) • like the fade in and fade out, the dissolve is used to show a passage of time
Wipe • a line crosses the screen, moving the next shot over top of the current shot (essentially “pushing” it off screen)
Movement of the Subject • Smooth • Jerky • Sudden • Languid • Constant • Etc.
Boom Shot • Camera moves through space, up and down, on a crane • Follows the action, reveals a scene
Dolly Shot • Camera moves through space, forward or backward from subject, on a cart on wheels • Creates increasing or decreasing intimacy with the subject
Pan Shot • Side to side camera movement using a pivoting tripod • Often used for establishing shots
Tilt Shot • Up and down camera movement using a pivoting tripod • May be used to reveal size
Tracking Shot • Camera moves through space, on a dolly, to follow a moving subject • Makes the subject seem more important than the moving background
Movement of the Lens • Zooming in and out
Movement from Shot to Shot • transitions