AS 90381 - Investigate a language or literature topic and present information in written form. 3 (Internal) AS 90379 - Analyse a visual or oral text. 2 (External)
Learn The title The name of the director. The names of the characters. The set: where and when the text is based. The plot – the beginning and the ending and key events in between The themes. The techniques used in the film, and what effect they have.
Identify and analyse film language accurately; Analyse film image and sequences in detail; Analyse and discuss the use of narrative techniques, including motifs, transitions and editing; Analyse the way visual and verbal film techniques are used to reveal plot, setting, character; Use film terminology accurately and with confidence; Discuss the way the film presents themes; Write an essay about an aspect of the text
Montage – A fast moving sequence in which many shots are combined – can be used to sum up a long process. Special effects – Very important in this film. Computer programming and trick photography used to show things are not always as they seem. Mise en scene – How a shot is put together. What can you see, what is in focus, where is everything in the shot. Zoom – Zoom in, Zoom out – can move closer or further away from an object. Pan – camera movement either right to left or left to right. Sound effects – sounds other than words. Sound mix – combination of dialogue, music and sound effects to make up the sound track. Camera angles and shots
Extreme long shot or establishing shot Long shot Full shot Medium or mid shot Close-up Extreme close-up Overshot or overhead shot High angle shot Low angle shot Undershot
I liked/disliked this film because… This film made me think about… (3 themes/ideas) My favourite character was…because… My least favourite character was…because… I was shocked when/that…. Is there one pivotal scene in this film? Discuss. The ending of the film is/is not satisfying. Explain. Choose one word that you think describes this film and explain why you have chosen that word.
Prejudice – Presentation of segregation in Southern America. Racial violence and hatred. Prejudice was taught from childhood in Mississippi. Standing up for your beliefs – Can have consequences. Standing up for your beliefs can change lives. Make sure what you believe in is the truth. Standing up for your beliefs may be hard, but will give you some self respect and dignity.
About Character About Plot About Theme About Setting What do we know?How do we know it?
What do we know?How do we know it? Theme & Plot: This film is about racism, prejudice and segregation. The coloured race is oppressed and vict0mised. Symbol: Opening shot of drinking fountains. One for whites and one for coloured people. You can the blacks are the oppressed race because their fountain is of a poor standard and the whites fountain is state of the art brand new. Irony/Metaphor: Even though the fountains are segregated, the pipes show that the water comes from the same place – Even though whites and coloured people are segregated, we all come from the same place.
What do we know?How do we know it? Setting & Plot: Film involves destruction and is set in America (oppression of African Americans). Camera shows images of a church burning to the ground. Camera movement - Pan: Building is identified as a church as the camera pans across the graveyard to the burning building, you can see the crosses. Soundtrack: Gospel music is playing, this shows that there is an African American component to the film and alludes to the fact that it is an African American church that has been torched.
What do we know?How do we know it? Plot: There is tension and danger. Three boys (two white, one black) are in trouble. Plot and Theme: The three boys are brutally murdered by a large group of people who want to hide their identity, some were driving a police car. This is because of their race and associations, showing the violence and hatred prejudice can create. Setting: Set in Southern America (the boys are not from these parts) Long Shot: Shows, one car travelling along a dark deserted road. Three cars with their lights off (hiding under cover of darkness) are tailing the other car. Soundtrack: Low drum beats in an ominous tone. POV Shot:From the boys point of view looking out the back window of car as unidentified vehicles advance and nudge back of car. Camera focus and Lighting: Most of the men remain anonymous because the camera shot of them is out of focus and back lit by car headlights to hide their identity. Close-up: of gun shooting one of the boys in the head. Dialogue: (laughter) I done shoot me a nigger we getting into it now …nigger loving Jew boy. Sound Effects: Several gunshots fired. Film Title: Mississippi Burning Dialogue: Unidentified attackers all spoke with a strong southern accent, while boys in the car did not.
What do we know?How do we know it? Character: We meet two of the main characters. FBI agents Anderson and Ward. The two do not seem to get along. Ward: Is in charge. He is a young straight laced agent that is very serous and focused on African American rights. Anderson: He is laid back agent. Seem a bit callous and casual about the case. Although he does not seem to care a great deal you do seem to get the impression that he does not agree with what is happening in the South and the KKK. Setting: Set in Mississippi, where black people are not valued or even acknowledged Camera Shots: Close up of two men travelling in a car. Having a conversation. Close up of file showing pictures and newspaper articles of the violence in the south. Costume: Ward wears a full suit with thick glasses to portray a serious and straight laced image. Anderson is down to his short sleeved shirt, his tie is loose, and is lounging in his chair. Dialogue: How long you been with the bureau …boss Identifies they are with the FBI and Ward is the boss. These klu kluxes are better with their lynching than their lyrics Laughs Anderson. Making fun of KKK, but not addressing the situation in a serious manner. Just read the file Anderson. Shows Ward does not like Andersons clowning around and would like to remain professional. Note the Contrast between the two characters. POV Shot: The Welcome to Mississippi sign is seen from the point of view off the two men in the car as they drive past. This sign shows three white people as a representation of what the town is.
What do we know?How do we know it? Plot & Theme: Mrs Pell arrives home from hospital to find that her house has been vandalised. Although the investigation and subsequent prosecution of the KKK members was a positive step in the war against prejudice and racism in the South, it has not been eliminated and there is still a long way to go. We know that they have made progress because this scene is shown directly after the montage showing the arrests, court cases and sentences for each member of the KKK that were involved in the murder. Camera Shot: Wide angle shot showing Mrs Pells house after it has been vandalised. This is shown through a POV shot when Anderson drives up. Dialogue: Theres enough good people around here that know what I did was right. Montage: showing the arrests, court cases and sentences for each member of the KKK that were involved in the murder.
What do we know?How do we know it? Theme: Progress has been made in the fight against prejudice and racism in Mississippi. The locals have hope now and are moving forward, and starting to rise above segregation. They are ready to rebuild from the devastation. The events of Mississippi Burning were significant in the fight against racism and prejudice and should always be remembered. Contrast: Night time in the opening scene, day time in the closing scene. Parallel: Opening scenes showed the church burning. Closing scene shows congregation standing on the ruins of the burnt out church (burning their church down will not stop them) Camera Pan: across the congregation to show both white and black people worshiping together. Close up: Reinforces that there are both white and black faces. Soundtrack: Gospel song revolves around moving forward and rebuilding Walk on. Contrast: to the lyrics of the gospel song in the opening scene where it was asking for help, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn… Lead me through the storm, through the night, take my hand. Zoom in: on a broken grave stone that reads 1964 Not Forgotten. Sound track: Gospel singing stops, silence and the image fades to black.
What do we know?How do we know it? Character: We meet two of the main characters. FBI agents Anderson and Ward. The two do not seem to get along. Alan Ward: Is in charge. He is a young straight laced agent that is very serous and focused on African American rights. Rupert Anderson: He is laid back cynical agent. Seem a bit callous and casual about the case. Although he does not seem to care a great deal you do seem to get the impression that he does not agree with what is happening in the South and the KKK. Camera Shots: Close up of two men travelling in a car. Having a conversation. Close up of file showing pictures and newspaper articles of the violence in the south. Costume: Ward wears a full suit with thick glasses to portray a serious and straight laced image. Anderson is down to his short sleeved shirt, his tie is loose, and is lounging in his chair. Dialogue: How long you been with the bureau …boss Identifies they are with the FBI and Ward is the boss. These klu kluxes are better with their lynching than their lyrics Laughs Anderson. Making fun of KKK, but not addressing the situation in a serious manner. Just read the file Anderson. Shows Ward does not like Andersons clowning around and would like to remain professional. Note the Contrast between the two characters.
What do we know?How do we know it? Character: Ward and Anderson have a formal relationship. They have very different ways of dealing with the investigation and neither of them agree with the methods that the other uses. Character/Plot: Scene outside of the Hospital after Mrs Pell was beaten. Turning point in both the relationship between Ward and Anderson. Also turning point in the investigation. The characters have reached breaking point and they both struggle for power to solve the case Dialogue: They always address the other as Mr Anderson or Mr Ward Anderson : Would it make any difference if I told you that was the wrong thing to do. Ward: No. Showing they had different views on how to proceed with the case. Anderson Dont put me on your perch, Mr. Ward Ward: Dont drag me into your gutter, Mr. Anderson. Soundtrack: Drum rhythm symbolises conflict in the film. Mise en scene: Stormy weather also intensifies the conflict. Anderson and Ward are wrestling physically. Close ups show each character struggling to gain the upper hand physically, while they argue as to how they will proceed.
What do we know?How do we know it? Character: Although the two characters dont seem to get along. They are fighting for the same thing justice. Anderson does respect Ward in his own way. The two agents overcome their differences to work together for the greater good. This shows they have developed a friendship beyond the formality at the start of the film. Dialogue: Anderson (about Ward): Ballsey little bastard isnt he. Last lines Ward : You wanna drive, Rupert? Anderson: Yeah.
1. Examine the opening images: the white man drinking from one tap, the black boy drinking from another, the burning wooden house, the sound of gospel singing, the car on the road at night, the car being followed. What do you learn from these images? What sort of film are/were you anticipating at this stage? 2. When FBI agents Anderson and Ward drive into Jessup Town, Mississippi, what do the visuals tell you about the town? 3. Sheriff Stuckeys character is established through his appearance, his speech and what he says. Explain. 4. Who were the boys who were killed at the beginning and what was their history? 5. When Special Agent Ward eats in the area of the diner reserved for the blacks, we learn several things. Explain.
6. The film makes great use of editing. That is, excerpts from two separate scenes are shown side by side so that they comment on each other. For example, the scene where the FBI agents are interviewing in the black household cuts to the scene where the white thugs go into the black area looking for Hollis. Why do you think the director uses this technique on this occasion? What effect does it have? 7. Explain what you think is meant by Wards comment to Anderson: Some things are worth dying for and the reply, Some things are worth killing for. 8. Of what significance is Andersons story about his father and the mule? 9. This film makes use of the convention of the mismatched duo who end up learning from each other. Keep a record of the changing and developing
10. In the barbers shop scene the mayor and sheriff try to frighten Anderson off. Examine the camera angles and show how they emphasise the power relationship between the men. 11. What is the effect of the image of the FBI men in suits wading through the swamp? What comment do you think is being made? 12. Comment on the way in which the film makes use of sound-bite interviews with the locals while the search continues for the bodies of the civil rights workers. Why are these included? (Sound- bite interviews are quick comments from individuals who are involved in some way in a particular event) 13. Why does the director include the scene with Pells wife and Betsys child? Note the close-ups of Pells face and Marys face. What do you think one of them is thinking? 14. List the various races that Clayton Townley of the Ku Klux Klan says he stands against. 15. What is the effect of the shot in which Pells wife gives Anderson the information he has been wanting? Why do you think the director used this technique?
16. Two events mark the turning points in the film. The first one is the result of the court case. What is the second one? What change does this second event cause in Ward, in particular? 17. This film uses various methods to create tension. Choose a scene and explain how these techniques add to their tension: cutting/editing music lighting. 18. If asked, Anderson would probably say that the end justifies the means. What are the things that he, Ward or other FBI men do that could be said to be wrong in themselves but which are done for good reasons. What is your response to this particular philosophy; do you think that the end can justify the means? 19. Ward says of the mayor who hangs himself, Anyones guilty who watches this happen and pretends it isnt Is he only talking about the mayor? Explain. 20. How are the final images of the film meant to be optimistic ones? Do you feel optimistic at this stage? 21. What is your response to the film and the issues raised by it? Does it have relevance to your life? To New Zealand?