Film Analysis Essay Suggested Length: 4 to 5 pages Writers Workshop (Intermediate) Rode 2010

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1 Film Analysis Essay Suggested Length: 4 to 5 pages Writers Workshop (Intermediate) Rode 2010 Alfred Hitchcock s Rear Window (1954) Director Dirctor Alfred Hitchcock Director of Photography Robert Burks Composer Franz Waxman Writers Cornell Woolrich and John Michael Hayes Main Characters Actors & Actresses Roles L. B. Jeff Jeffries Jimmy Stewart main character Lisa Freemont Grace Kelly Jeff s girlfriend Stella Simmons Thelma Ritter Jeff s nurse & physical therapist Thomas J. Doyle Wendell Corey Jeff s friend from the war/detective Lars Thorwald Raymond Burr suspect: second floor right apartment Anna Thorwald Irene Winston suspect s wife Tertiary Characters Actors & Actresses Locations Miss Torso Georgine Darcy seond floor left apartment Miss Lonely Hearts Judith Evelyn lower right apartment the sculptress Jesslyn Fax lower left apartment the songwriter Ross Bagdasarian far right studio with large windows the newlyweds Havis Davenport and Rand Harper far left window with shade down the couple on fire escape Sara Berner and Frank Cady top floor (on fire escape) the fire escape couple s dog (not named in the credits) in elevator basket Use First Mention Rule in your paper: The first time you name the character in your paper: After that, refer to him or her as: L. B. Jeff Jeffries (Jimmy Sewart) Jeff Lisa Freemont (Grace Kelly) Lisa Stella Simmons (Thelma Ritter) Stella Thomas J. Doyle (Wendell Corey) Tom Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) Thorwald Anna Thorwald (Irene Winston) Anna Miss Lonely Hearts (Judith Evelyn) Miss Lonely Hearts Miss Torso (Georgine Darcy) Miss Torso the songwriter (Ross Bagdasarian) the songwriter the newlyweds (Havis Davenport and Rand Harper) the newlyweds, the bride, or the groom the sculptress (Jesslyn Fax) the sculptress the couple on fire escape (Sara Berner and Frank Cady) the couple on the fire escape the fire escape couple s dog the dog

2 Film Analysis Essay Guidelines & Organization Your Thesis Statement Your goal is to prove that the viewer is being somehow manipulated by those who have created various elements of the film. The idea of viewer manipulation must be included in your thesis. The Focus of the Paper: Choose 3 Elements Required Pick One Pick One * camera work * lighting * point of view (may include shadows, * rising action & suspense reflections, or color) * mood & atmosphere * setting & stage craft * sound * specific props (may include diegetic music) Your Paper s Title More than just the movie s title Unique to your paper Hints at the overall point of your paper Clever and witty is always good Introduction Begin with an attention getter (or lead). Give a brief plot summary; include main characters and actors names; do not tell the whole story (provide exposition, hook, and just the beginning, if any, of the rising action). In the intro, name only characters that you will mention later in body paragraphs. Use First Mention Rule format (see the table at the bottom of the first page). Include the film title and the year the film was made. Name the director and the director of photography. Create an original and interesting thesis statement based on the topic of viewer manipulation. Be sure to use transitions between ideas throughout the intro, so sentences flow smoothly. Body Paragraphs Open body paragraphs with a clear topic sentence and include transitions. Explain how director/writers/composer/actors manipulate viewers using one particular element. Give specific details from specific scenes in the movie for support in the body. o In the scene where (name characters) are (describe action) o ANALYZE each example and explain the EFFECT of that element on the viewer. Close each paragraph with a conclusion sentence that ties back into the thesis. Conclusion Restate the thesis in a new, fresh way. Summarize the main points you made in the body without repeating them word for word. Tie together all three elements: o Explain HOW these three elements work together. o Explain the EFFECT of all three on the viewer. Come up with a unique closing line.

3 CAMERA WORK TERMS (requirement: use three or more in your paper) Long shot Across the courtyard into other apartments without any zoom effect Medium shot Shows only upper body of actor who is speaking Close-up Focuses on one object, no background, to stress significance or importance of an object Extreme close-up For added emphasis or intimacy Reaction shot As one character is speaking, or as an action is happening, the camera turns to show the reaction of another character who is affected by the speech or the action, but who is not speaking at that point Subjective shot The audience sees what the character sees and identifies strongly with the character s perspective and feelings Quick shot Less than a second Average shot More than a second, but less than a minute Lengthy shot More than a minute Panning Camera moves across a scene slowly, left to right, or right to left, up to down, or down to up Zoom A shift in the focal length of the camera lens, impression that the camera is getting closer to or farther from the object or character Slow motion Action slowed down for emphasis, usually denoting tragedy Eye level shot No angles, angles imply judgment, audience forms own opinion High angle shot Overhead, not as high, setting seems more important than characters Low angle shot Opposite of high-angle, objects seem taller, violent scenes can look confusing, character commands fear and respect Oblique angle shot Camera tilted, object/character appears to be about to fall over, used for point-of-view shots, suggests tension, instability, movement, anxiety Bird s eye view Photographed from above, the viewer is like a god looking down from a morally superior setting

4 SOUND & LIGHTING TERMS SOUND Dialogue Two or more characters speaking to one another Sound Effects Added sounds to enhance the drama, mood, or action Soundtrack or underscoring Musical score dubbed in to enhance the drama, mood, or action Diegetic music music generated from the setting that the characters can hear, which would be playing if the scene were happening in real life; may establish setting and character or may be linked to specific action in the scene LIGHTING (Ask: What is the location of the light source and what is the effect? ) Back lighting light source is behind the subject; subjects appear dark and mysterious Side lighting Light source is off camera, from stage left or stage right; subjects appear solid, the lighting adds depth Front lighting Light source is between viewer and subject, lighting subject from the front softens the subjects faces, and flattens their features Key lighting Light source might be natural: the moon or a street light, or subtle off-camera light; the scene is soaked with shadows, characters move in and out of shadows Dim lighting Often gives a romantic or mysterious appearance of characters or scenes Eye light Precise light is pointed into subject s eyes, to add sparkle to their eyes; often used to show characters in love Full-body lighting Focuses on the characters body language

5 ELEMENTS of LITERATURE (which also apply to film) PLOT Expressed through dialogue and action in film Six Plot Steps: exposition, hook, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution ; suspense relies heavily on plot CHARACTERS Same as cast in film Major, minor, development, casting, skills Round, flat, static, dynamic Protagonist: hero or heroine, Antagonist: opponents or adversaries SETTING Similar to stage craft in film: time, place, atmosphere irrelevant or crucial? POINT OF VIEW Usually omniscient in film: can be first person narrator, second person, limited, omniscient STYLE Motifs musical, visual, verbal Symbols, mood, symbolism, foreshadowing THEME Message, lesson, main idea, statement major theme and sub-themes ELEMENTS of FILM SCRIPT & STAGE DIRECTIONS Similar to plot in literature; often several subplots as well as a main plot CAST Same as characters in literature; the characters and the names of actors who play each part STAGE CRAFT Similar to setting in literature; composition of the set, materials, props, location CINEMATOGRAPHY Shots, angles, sweeps, zooming, sequence and speeds of shots LIGHTING To create atmosphere, tone, symbolism COLOR B&W creates dark and light, shadow and shade, contrast always ask for what reason did the director choose color? Atmosphere, tone, and symbols in the use of color SOUND Sound track, sound effects, Fx (Special Effects) GENRE Fiction: science fiction, drama, adventure, horror, mystery, comedy, romance, romantic comedy, western Non-fiction: documentary

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