What Are Film Studies

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The majority of people enjoy watching films, and like to make statements about them, whether they are emotive or evaluation statements. Some films make the viewers cry, or get frightened and some the viewers just want them to end quickly as they are so boring or ‘stink’. That is what film studies do, it analysis films beyond reviewers likes or dislikes. Film studies are critical analysis which requires people to move beyond and look for why and how films make them feel the way they do. It requires going far away from the story and look rather at the form of the film and how it is put together. The form of the film is the overall pattern of relationships between elements in the whole film. These contain both narrative and stylistic elements. The narrative of a film is a series of events in terms of cause and effect. For example, the viewers see a shot being fired, then a man fall. The way actions happened make sense to the viewers, the shot caused the fall. The filmmakers can present the story information however they like to the viewers, but they must provide the narrative structure (a beginning, middle and an end). They also (the filmmakers) can choose the process by which narrative is conveyed, which is known as narration. Such narration may be constrained to one character’s point of view (usually in detective films). The filmmakers have also the stylistic elements as well as the narrative techniques; the first stylistic element is (Mise-en-scene) which consists of setting, costume and make up, staging and lighting. It is very important part of filmmaking and in its broadest sense can be taken to be the whole look and feel of the film. The second stylistic element is (cinematography) which is the process of capturing moving images on film and the development of these images. The ‘parlour scene’ from Hitchcock’s Psych uses mise-en-scene and cinematography techniques which made a great effect. The third stylistic element is editing, which is the coordination of...
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