Presentation on theme: "Principles of Film Form"— Presentation transcript:
1 Principles of Film Form CHAPTER TWOPrinciples ofFilm Form
2 Film FormMovies are highly organized, and deliberately assembled and sculpted by filmmakers.The synthesis of elemental systems – mise-en-scène, sound, narrative, editing, and others – constitutes a movie’s overall form.
3 Elemental SystemsMise-en-scène – The visual design elements of a movieSound – Dialogue, music, ambience, and effect tracksNarrative – Story structured into acts that establish, develop, and resolve character conflictsEditing – The juxtaposition of individual shots to create a sequenceShots – The product of one uninterrupted run of the cameraSequences – A series of shots unified by theme or purposeScenes – Complete units of plot action
4 Form and ContentContent – the subject of an artwork (what it is about)Form – means by which the subject is expressed and experienced (the how it is presented)Works of art need both content and formThey are interrelated, interdependent, and interactiveIn movies, form is cinematic language
5 Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus. Praxiteles (fourth century BCE) Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus. Praxiteles (fourth century BCE). Form and content are two aspects of the entire formal system of a work of art.
6 Walking Man II. Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) Walking Man II. Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966). What is the relationship between the form of an artwork and its content?
7 Self-Portrait. Keith Haring (1958–1990) Self-Portrait. Keith Haring (1958–1990). Although all three works depict the male figure, their forms are vastly different.
8 Form and ExpectationsThe narrative form is a formal arrangement of events that make up the story in a film. Certain events produce likely actions or outcomes.Our expectations provoke us to ask predictive questions about the film’s outcome.Other film elements work with the formal elements to generate patterns.
10 Unsatisfied expectations in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Unsatisfied expectations in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Clyde (Warren Beatty) brandishes his gun threateningly and phallically, but the beautiful Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) is surprised when Clyde rebuffs her sexual attraction to him and demurs: “I ain’t much of a lover boy”.
11 MacGuffinMacGuffin – an object, document, or secret within a story that is of vital importance to the characters, and thus motivates their actions and the conflict, but that turns out to be less significant to the overall narrative than we might at first expect
12 Narrative PatternsWe instinctively search for patterns and progressions in all art formsPatterns provide an element of structureOur natural interpretation of parallel editing patterns is that the two things are happening at the same timePatterns ground us in the familiar and acquaint us with the unfamiliarRepeating narrative patterns emphasizes their content
29 Fundamentals of Film Form Movies depend on lightMovies provide an illusion of movementMovies manipulate space and time in unique ways
30 Fundamentals of Film Form: Light Light is the essential element in the creation and consumption of motion picturesLight – a source of illumination and a key formal element manipulated to create mood, reveal character, and convey meaningLighting – crafted interplay between motion-picture light and shadow
31 Light Qualities Focus attention on significant details Enhance the texture, depth, emotions, and mood of a shotProvide patterns of meaningSymbolically compliment or contradict the other formal elements of a movieAffect the way we think about a character
36 Fundamentals of Film Form: Illusion of Movement Persistence of vision – the process by which the human brain retains an image for a fraction of a second longer than the eye records it (apparent motion)Phi phenomenon – the illusion of movement created by events that succeed each other rapidlyCritical flicker fusion – occurs when a single light flickers on and off with such speed that the individual pulses of light fuse together to give the illusion of continuous light
38 Fundamentals of Film Form: Manipulation of Space and Time Movies are a spatial and temporal art formOn the movie screen, space and time are relative to each other, and we can’t separate them or perceive one without the other
39 Theories of Space and Time Erwin Panofsky – “Dynamization of Space” / “Spacialization of Time”Co-expressibility – the viewer’s relationship with flexible onscreen space versus the fixed space of a staged performanceMediation – the process by which a formal element, whether human or technological, transfers something from one place to another
46 Manipulating Time Through Editing The manipulation of time (as well as space) is a function of editingParallel structure – by using crosscutting and parallel editing multiple actions appear to be occurring at the same instantCondensing timeRearranging time by organizing story events in nonchronological orderExpanding time by fragmenting the preceding moment overlap editing, or the freeze-frame
51 Realism and Antirealism Realism – a tendency to view or represent things as they really areRealistic films attempt to immerse us in a world that is convincingly depicted on its own termsAntirealism – an interest in or concern for the abstract, speculative, or fantasticMovies can be both realistic and antirealistic, especially in science fiction, action, and thrillers
59 Cinematic LanguageThe accepted systems, methods, or conventions by which the movies communicate with the viewerConventions are flexible (example: dissolves)Viewers identify with the camera’s lensCinematic conventions and individual experiences shape the “reality” depicted by films.
60 Review1. Which is the best description of the difference between content and form?a. Content is the subject of an artwork, and form is the means through which that subject is expressed.b. Content is the meaning of the movie, and form is what happens in the story.c. Content refers to a movie’s look, and form refers to its genre.d. Content refers to individual scenes or shots, and form refers to the movie as a whole.ANS: a REF: Form and Content, Ch. 2, p. 28
61 Review2. The manipulation of time and space is a function of what filmic element?a. Processingb. Fusingc. Postproductiond. EditingANS: d REF: Film Form, Ch. 2, p. 28
62 Review3. The analysis and shot breakdown in this chapter of the “ice-break” scene from D.W. Griffith’s Way Down East (1920) reveals what formal pattern?a. Repeated close-ups to emphasize Lillian Gish’s beautyb. The technique of parallel editingc. The contrasting of light and darkd. Repeated long shots to establish settingANS: b REF: Patterns, Ch. 2, p. 35
63 Review4. The process by which the human brain retains an image for a fraction of a second longer than the eye records it is called:a. Apparent motionb. The phi phenomenonc. Critical flicker fusiond. Persistence of visionANS: d REF: Fundamentals of Film Form, Ch. 2, p. 42
64 Review5. Between 1895 and 1905, what two directions were established for film?a. Naturalism and melodramab. Tragedy and comedyc. Realism and antirealismd. Naturalism and fantasyANS: c REF: Realism and Antirealism, Ch. 2, p. 50
65 Review 6. “A convincing appearance of truth” best defines: a. verisimilitudeb. naturalismc. fantasyd. suspension of disbeliefANS: a REF: Realism and Antirealism, Ch. 2, p. 52
66 Review 7. The viewer’s perception of cinematic space is determined by: a. lightingb. the camera’s lensc. actingd. the number of shots within a scene or sequenceANS: b REF: Cinematic Language, Ch. 2, p. 54