Presentation on theme: "Unit 1: FM1 20% (40% of Weight in AS) Exploring Film Form (80 marks in total) One 1500-word essay on how the micro aspects of a chosen film produce meanings."— Presentation transcript:
Unit 1: FM1 20% (40% of Weight in AS) Exploring Film Form (80 marks in total) One 1500-word essay on how the micro aspects of a chosen film produce meanings and responses (30 marks) One creative project based on a film sequence or short film (50 marks) Unit 2: FM2 30% (60% of weight in AS) British and American Film 2 ½ Hours written paper. Three questions, one from each section Section A: Producers and Audiences (US&UK Film Industry and Film Consumption) Section B: British Film and Genre – British Horror Section C: US Film – Comparative study of Unforgiven and The Searchers Summary of Assessment
Need: An interest in film A notebook (for ideas) A FOLDER!!!! (to sort your notes out) A USB stick (8gb +) Would be nice if you had: BFI library membership A video camera A computer capable of video editing Checklist
1. What is your favourite film and why? 2. Do you prefer going to the cinema or watching a film at home and why? 3. What is the most memorable line delivered in a film? 4. What films did you see over the summer and what made you go to see them? 5. What is it about the cinema experience that people enjoy? 6. Why did you choose Film Studies as a course? 7. If you could choose someone to play you in a film who would it be and why? 8. Do you have a favourite director? Who is it? 9. What one thing would put you off going to see a film and why? 10. What is your least favourite film and why? 11. How do you usually find out about films? Questionnaire…
CANT WE JUST ENJOY FILMS? (Some people think) studying films = Long/Neeky Cinema is a chance of escapist fantasies that will be undermined or devalued in some way by analysis After-the-event discussion of the emotional experience offered by one film compared to another is encouraged and indeed is an important part of the whole experience as far as these fans are concerned. The physical attributes (whether of strength or beauty or some other feature) of one star are readily compared with similar attributes in other stars. The thrills provided in one film are marked against the thrills provided in another. Discussion and debate over the relative merits of one star over another, or one film over another, are endlessly recycled. However, engagement in an academic way with film is seen as detrimental to the experience itself. Hopefully, as a film student you will continue to enjoy these sorts of discussions with your friends since it will form an important foundation to your studies, but you will also be prepared to try out new methods of approach that will often involve being more analytical in your viewing.
Assignment Write a short 250-word review of a film you saw recently for a film magazine or newspaper of your choice. Name the magazine and try to write in an appropriate style. Write a further words describing who you were seeing as your target audience and how you were trying to write the piece. Approx 350 words due – 17 th September
No Problem There is no problem with adopting an attitude towards films that sees them pure entertainment or escapist fantasy since pleasure is clearly an important part of the whole experience of cinema. Pleasure: films clearly give us pleasure in a range of ways, otherwise we would not watch them; yet studying academic subjects is somehow often seen to be at odds with the idea of pleasure However, since pleasure is the thing that beyond all else stimulates our initial interest in films we should not dismiss it out of hand. In fact, the idea of exactly how films provide us with pleasure will be a key approach to film for us. The way in which films give pleasure is most apparent when we consider not just the audiences in general but our own personal response to films. Perhaps this is because the concept of pleasure does not seem to sit well in relation to the idea of study.
The concept of pleasure is clearly important not only in relation to narrative structure but also to the way in which human beings seem to be able to respond to the sheer aesthetic joy of colour, movement, light, shape and size and in particular changing colour, movement, light, shape and size. The best way to think about the ways in which films create pleasure for an audience is to analyse your own enjoyment of films. Pleasure could be provided by (among other things) an exciting or romantic narrative, the escapism of identifying with characters who are unlike us, or by the visual pleasure provided by flashing image on to a big screen. Film Studies academics have spent a long time trying to explain the different pleasures experienced by film spectators, particularly the enjoyment of aspects of film which do not immediately seem pleasurable, such as watching horror films.
Film Studies as a Subject Using films as pure escapist entertainment is one possible approach, but as Film Studies students we are going to be concerned with considering a much greater range of ways of understanding and experiencing film. This will involve recognizing the complexity of our interaction with film and acknowledging that there is no simple way of approaching film. Hopefully you are now beginning to gain some idea as to what Film Studies is and, perhaps, some inkling of what studying film is going to involve.
What does it mean to study a film? How is this done? Dictionary definitions of study often involve the idea of devoting time and thought. So we could suggest studying film would involve spending time thinking about it; but how would we do this and what would we think about? What exactly are we supposed to be contemplating as we are watching a film at the cinema or a DVD or video at home? Initial uncertainties might raise questions such as: Are there particular ways of thinking about film that we should be adopting? What should we be looking for as we watch these films? How will we know if we have found anything worth commenting upon? If we do find something we think is interesting, how should we comment? Is there a particular sort of language, or range of critical terms, that we should be using? Or is this really nothing more than jargon and should jargon be avoided? What is meant when people talk about reading films? In what sense is the activity of watching films akin to reading a book?
Reading Films Reading is often defined as interpreting symbols in relation to intended meaning So, in the straightforward everyday sense of reading, the symbols c, a and t can be combined in that sequence to suggest a certain type of animal that exists in our common, shared experience of the everyday world. The concept reading implies a shared language that is common to the writer and the reader and that enables messages to be transferred, or communicated. It also implies a shared world in some sense and a shared understanding of that world. Thinking about this we might wonder: What symbols might we need to interpret when reading films? How will we know the intended meanings? Do we naturally go through this process as we watch films, or is this a special activity we are going to have to learn in the same way that we learnt to read books in our early years? Is it true to say that films depend upon the existence of a shared language common to both the makers of films and their audiences?
Notes: barcelona open air cinema a laire lliure montjuic