March 29, 2010
The process of analyzing film is a very complex and challenging task. The term analysis means breaking up the whole to discover the nature, proportion, function, and interrelationship of the parts (Boggs & Petrie, 2008). In using this process a viewer is better able to make conclusions on a film’s meaning and overall value. This paper will provide key elements of cinematic production and how they impact the film as a whole.
The first element we will examine is theme. The theme is a film’s overall focus that connects it together. It can be focused on the plot, emotional effect, style, or even a specific character. An example of a film with focus on character is Forrest Gump. The movie follows the life of a good-hearted simpleton, and how his actions affect the lives of others throughout the film. Through the use of both action and dialogue the viewer gets a better understanding of the main character. This brings the viewer into the film on a personal level. In leads to a profound overall emotional effect on the audience (Zemeckis, 1994).
Another important element of a film is its dramatic structure. Much the same way a literary story is put together, so is a film. The structure is as follows: exposition (character introduction), complication (dramatic body), climax (exciting point), and denouement (end calm).(Boggs & Petrie, 2008) When used in order a film is considered to be linear in structure. An example of a film that uses strict linear structure is Rocky. The film tells the story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated muscle for a loan shark and semi-pro boxer. As the film progresses, there is complication brought about by Rocky’s chance at the heavyweight title. The film climaxes with the main character “going the distance” with his opponent. The final resolution is the main characters emotional connection to the film’s love interest (Avildsen, 1976).
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