Introduction to Film Analysis

Introduction to Film Analysis

topic : Introduction to Film Analysis

Introduction to Film Analysis

Dr. Leffel

Final Assignment

Due by 12 noonon Friday(*please note: this is a firm deadline, as I have a short window in which to finish grading and submit final grades!)

Shot analysis: The Shining

Choose FIVE individual shots from Kubrick’s The Shining that you will break down and analyze according to the instructions below. Remember, a shot is an uninterrupted run of the camera (look for cuts to indicate when a new shot starts; of course, in this film, Kubrick also uses editing techniques to create a blurring, layered transition effect between many shots. Point is the same: you want five individual shots to analyze). Shot duration (or length) might vary considerably: some shots are only a few seconds long, but others could be twenty, thirty seconds, even a minute or a few minutes long. Make sure that at least ONE of your shots is more than 20 seconds long.

NOTE: you will want to look over and use your Chapter 6, on Cinematography, as a resource to help you complete the assignment. pages 204-222 offer a detailed discussion of various types of shots that will help you compile your list.

For each of the five shots you choose, please address the following:

1. When in the film does the shot occur? Give a short verbal description of no more than a sentence. (For instance, This shot comes in the early scene where the Doctor gives Danny a check-up after his apparent fit or episode).

2. What is the shot’s duration? In other words, how long is the shot? (2 seconds, 25 seconds, 2 minutes, whatever it is).

3. What kind of a shot is it? (Is it a long shot, medium shot, close up, tracking shot, etc. etc.Use your chapter on cinematography to help with this!). Explain your answer. Please note: If you have a long take (shot that lasts over 5 or 6 seconds), the type of shot could change as the shot progresses (e.g., The camera starts at a long shot, then slowly dollies in to a medium shot before panning from the hotel to the mountains.). See also #5 below on camera movement.

4. What is the camera’sposition and/orangle? (high angle, low angle, straight on, bird’s eye view, etc..).Why might this be significant given the larger dynamics of the shot/scene?

5. Describe the camera’s movement (remember, a shot that starts out as a medium shot can end up being a close-up. A medium or long shot might remain consistent for the duration of the shot, but the camera follows the actors around; or the camera might pan back and forth from character to character without cutting, to give a couple of examples. Is it a tracking shot? Steadicam? Handheld? Describe camera movement being as specific as you can.

6. Analyze the shot’smise-en-scene (i.e., visual arrangement and composition) of the shot). How doesmise-en-scene contribute to the shot and create meaning? There is a TON of amazing mise-en-scene going on throughout the film (those carpets! The native-american motifs! Crazy symmetrical compositions, etc..etc..

7. Are there any other examples of cinematic language (or formal techniques) at play in the shot? Anything else you can identify going on in the shot?

8. Finally, write a summary analysis of how the formal techniques you addressed in 1-7 work together to create meaning in each shot. You might want to contextualize the shot in terms of the larger scene in which it is found, or the film’s overall plot, character development, themes and tropes, stylistic trends, etc..etc… Ultimately, for #8 I’m looking for you to make connections between form/style and meaning.

I will be grading these based on the thoroughness of #s 1-7, as well as the originality and depth of your syntheses in #8 and the overall quality of your writing(so make sure to proofread!).

As always, do your best and try to be creative and have fun with this!

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