midterm 1 Flashcards Preview

film studies 1st midterm > midterm 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in midterm 1 Deck (30)
Loading flashcards...

name the three categories of people who critique movies

1. reviewers
2. critics
3. theorists


list the three areas of inquiry on which critics and theorists focus their attention

1 the work of art
2. the artist
3. the audience


list the five ideological characteristics of the neorealist style of film

1. a New Democratic spirit, with emphasis on the value of ordinary people such as labourers, peasants, and factory workers
2. a compassionate POV and a refusal to make facile moral judgements
3. a preoccupation with italys fascit past and its aftermath of wartime devastation, poverty, unemployment, prostitution, and the black market
4. a blending of Christian and marxist humanism
5. an emphasis on emotions rather than abstract ideas


list the 6 stylistic features of the neorealist style of film

1. an avoidance of neatly plotted stories in favour of loose, episodic structures that evolve organically from the situation of the characters
2. a documentary visual style
3. the use of actual locations - usually exteriors- rather than studio sets
4. the use of nonprofessional actors, sometimes even for principal roles
5. an avoidance of literary dialogue in favour of conversational speech, including diabetics
6. an avoidance of artifice in the editing, camera work, and lighting in favour of a simple styleless style


describe how formalist film theories approach space, time and reality in film

in real life, space and time are continuous. through editing, filmmakers can chop up space and time and arrange them in a meaningful manner to create a continuity that doesn't exist in raw nature


explain what makes an auteur, and describe how auteur theory revolutionized film criticism

a strong director - with personal visual style, the Boyd of work can be assessed by a body of work rather that lookeing at each "text" individually


identify what it means to be an eclectic critic, and describe the benefits and faults of an eclectic approach to film criticism

benefits is that its informative, even if not agreed because it is well argued and their personal belief is forcibly written.
Faults: extremely subjective so people say these critics are biased on mere impressionism.


summarize the techniques of structuralism and semiology, and explain their relation to various scientific disciplines

unit of signification - from structural linguistics
auteurism, genre studies, ideology, stylistic analyses


define historiography and outline the four types of film history

the theory of history - the assumptions, principles, and methodologies of historical study.
1. aesthetic film histories - film as are
2. technological film histories- motion pictures as inventions and machines
3. economic histories - film as industry
4. social histories - movies as a reflection of the audiences values, desires and fears


identify the 3 broad categories of ideological explicitness, and explain how ideology serves as a "disguised language" in film

1. neutral
2. implicit
3.explicitcharacters rarely articulate their political credos, but in most cases, we can piece together their ideological values and assumptions on the basis of their casual remarks about these topics.


illustrated how a film's ideology can be differentiated and divided into the left - centre - right model traditionally used by journalists and political scientists

We can differentiate a film’s ideology by focusing on some key institutions and values and analyzing how the characters relate to them.


contrast the ideologies found in the bipolar categories listed in the chapter, and position them on the left - centre - right model

Democratic vs. hierarchical - left similarities among peoples, right emphasizes the differences.
environment vs. heredity - left believe that human behavior is learned and can be changed, right believes character is born and inherited.
relative vs. absolute - left must be flexible and able to adjust, right are absolute in judging human behavior
sucular vs. religion - left believes religion is private and right believes it is a privileged status


explain how a culture, religion, and ethnicity influence the ideology and presentation of values in film

Every nation has a characteristic way of looking at life, a set of values that is typical of a given culture, which is how they look at their movies. Religious values involve many of the same complexities. Even religions that purport to be universal, like Roman Catholicism, are radically different from country to country. These differences are reflected in their movies. Movies with an ethnic slant usually dramatize the tensions between the dominant culture and the beleaguered values of a minority community.


summarize the achievements of the Women's Movement within the field of cinema, both on screen and behind the scenes

Today there are about two dozen women directors working in the mainstream Hollywood film industry, and their presence has made a difference: The range of female roles has broadened considerably since the 1960s. in the movies women were portrayed as "second" to men, inappropriate for a woman to be centre of attention, only in love stories.


evaluate the history of homosexuality in cinema, both on screen and off screen, and explain why the progress of gay rights has varied from the advancements of other rights groups

homosexuals kept a low profile until the 1960s. many actors and actresses kept quiet, even though actresses were praised almost for it.
they were called names until recently in film


describe the importance of tone in a movie, and describe how elements like genre, narration, and music contribute to the tone

Tone can strongly affect our responses to a given set of values.
Genre can contribute to tone usually before it begins, like if its a comedy the audience knows the movie is playful. Music can set different tones like scary or light. A voice-over narrator can be useful for setting a tone that’s different from an objective presentation of a scene, creating a double perspective on the events.


recognize the distinctions between the three principal styles of film and the three types of movies, and evaluate how the style affects the presentation of the story

3 principal styles - realism, classicism, and formalism. 3 types of movies - documentaries, fiction, and avant grade films. Realistic films can shade into the documentary, formalist have a personal quality suggesting the traditional domain of the avant -garde, classical cinema can be viewed as an intermediate style that avoids the extremes of realism and formalism


list the 6 basic categories of film shots and their purpose in developing the scene

1. the extreme long shot - to serve as spatial frames of reference for the closer shots
2. the long shot -
3. the full shot
4. the medium shot- use full for shooting exposition scenes, for carrying movement, and for dialogue
5. the close up - elevates the importance of things, often suggesting symbolic significance
6. the extreme close up - variation of above but closer


describe the five basic angles in the cinema and what contextual information the audience derives from each choice

1. the birds-eye view - a shot from overhead, audience views as abstract
2. the high angle - the photograph is shot from above, audience gets a sense of overview for the scene
3. eye-level shots -the placement of the camera is approx five to 6 ft from the ground, made to feel real, audience gets a sense of what is normal
4.the low angle - the subject is photographed from below, audience senses confusion or fear
5. oblique angle-a shot photographed by a tilted camera. subject seems to be tilted on a diagonal, audience feels tension, transition and movement, anxiety.


outline the various types of lighting styles used in films and the symbolic connotations of each

high key - bright illumination, with few shadows, seen in comedies and musicals.
high contrast - harsh shafts of light and dramatics streaks of blackness, seen in tragedies and melodramas.
low key - diffused shadows and atmospheric pools of light, seen in mysteries, thrillers, and gangster films


explain the way directors consciously use colors to symbolically enhance the film's dramatic content

In general, cool colors (blue, green, violet) tend to suggest tranquility, aloofness, and serenity. Cool colors also have a tendency to recede in an image. Warm colors (red, yellow, orange) suggest aggressiveness, violence, and stimulation. They tend to come forward in most images.


identify how lenses, filters and stocks can intensify given qualities within a shot, and suppress others

Formalist filmmakers often prefer lenses and filters that intensify certain qualities and suppress others. Cloud formations, for example, can be exaggerated threateningly or softly diffused, depending on what kind of lens or filter is used. Different shapes, colors, and lighting intensities can be radically altered through the use of specific optical modifiers


evaluate the changes that digital technologies have had on film production, editing, presentation, and distribution

film production has gone from film strips to memory cards and hard drives, instead of re-taping or cutting filmstrip we can edit just on the computer and pressing a button, Today, a single Imax print costs a mere $150, compared to the cost of a celluloid print, which averaged $30,000.


assess the role of cinematographers in the filmmaking process and identify how they are able to consolidate the various elements of film photography

they need to look at the visual style of the director, the mood of the film, angle, composition.


identify the two main screen aspect ratios and evaluate how directors have used masks and other techniques in order to both enhance and overcome them

the 1.85:1 (standard) and 2.35:1 (widescreen). masking is used to temporarily alter the dimensions of the screen, iris is used to open up or close in on a subject


analyze the way the human eye perceives a composition and the way design and the geography of the frame is used to enhance a thematic idea

The eye can detect as many as seven or eight major elements of a composition simultaneously. In most cases, however, the eye doesn’t wander promiscuously over the surface of an image but is guided to specific areas in sequence. The director accomplishes this through the use of a dominant contrast,


describe how the three visual planes suggest depth in a scene and how the use of this territory can act as a means of communication

the three visual planes - foreground, mid ground and background suggest depth because by placing an object for example in the mid ground, you will need some sort of background and that helps explain the object in the mid groundSpace is a medium of communication, and the way we respond to objects and people within a given area is a constant source of information in life as well as in movies


diagram the five basic positions in which an actor can be photographed, and describe the different psychological undertones of each

1.full front-facing the camera - sense of intimacy
2. the quarter turn - high degree of intimacy, but with less emotional involvement
3. profile - looking off frame left or right
4. the three quarter turn - anonymous, conveying unfriendliness
5. back to camera - used in conveying a sense of concealment, mystery like we want to see more


explain the four main proxemic patterns in film and culture, and describe how the distances between characters can be used to establish the nature of their relationships

1. intimate - the distance of physical involvement - of love, comfort and tenderness.
2. personal - reserved for friends, not lovers, preserves the privacy between individuals
3. social - served for personal business or casual social gatherings.
4. public - formal and detached, exaggerated gestures and raised voices


illustrate why open and closed forms serve as two distinct attitudes about reality and list the circumstances in which they each prove most effective

each has its own stylistic and technical characters. in general realist filmmakers tend to use open forms and formalists lean toward closed. open forms tend to be stylistically recessive, whereas closed forms are generally self-conscious and visually appealing