Film Analysis Film focuses Theme Ideas Casablanca
What makes analyzing a good movie difficult?
It becomes difficult to tease out the focus of a good movie because all of its elements are balanced and work well together.
How can you tell what the focus of a film is?
Which of the elements is most pronouced in the movie? They will all be present (most likely), but what seems most emphasized?
Define theme
Theme connotes an idea that is the central message or universal truth at the heart of the work.
Define and give your own example of a movie where Moral Implications is the focus.
The example from class: Liar Liar
The film seeks to make moral statements that are intended primarily to convince us of the wisdom or practicality of a moral principle… The key here is to make sure a single moral principle is a play
What is the setting of Casablanca?
Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II
What makes analyzing a bad movie difficult?
The elements of bad movies are poorly balanced. This makes it difficult to get at the focus of the movie.
What are the five different focuses of a movie?
(1)ideas, (2)plot, (3)emotional effect or mood, (4)character, (5)style or texture
How does what a movie is about change how it is made?
Location, special effects, actors, props, music, content, advertising of the movie and title style can all be manipulated to help convey the theme.
Define and give your own example of a movie where The Truth of Human Nature is the focus:
The example from class: Lord of the Flies
Quite different from films that focus on unique characters are those that focus on universal or representative characters… that characterize aspects of mankind as a whole… and truths about “our” nature.
What is the theme of Casablanca?
It focus on a man torn between, “Love and virtue”… He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her resistance leader husband continue to fight the Nazis.
What is a receptive viewer?
A receptive viewer is open to watching and analyzing movies that are out of their own comfort zone. They can appreciate what is done well in a movie that they don't like. They understand what is done poorly in movies they like.
Give your Own example of a movie that fits each of the following: Plot, Emotional effect or mood, Character, Style/texture/structure, Ideas
True or False:
A univeral theme does NOT have to relate to people 50 years after the movie is made. Universal themes are interesting only to certain people.
A universal theme is one of lasting interest. It is NOT just meaningful here and now, but to all human beings in all ages.
True or False:
A film that focuses on social problems is always serious (example from class=
These films center on clear social problems, exposing social vices and follies or criticizes social institutions. A social problem may be attacked in a comical-light hearted manner or treated with harsh condemnation, not of man, but social instituti
What is the focus of Casablanca? (what category and/or subcatagory)
Ideas: Love v. Virtue.
Possible subcategories:
complexity of human relationships
coming of age/loss of innocence
What are the six different levels you can use to deepen your response to a film?
humanistic level
socio-cultural level
historical level
ethical and moral level
technical level
personal/emotional level
What are the six different categories of Ideas that films can focus on?
Moral implications, the truth of human nature, social problems, struggle for dignity, complexity of human relationships, coming of age/loss of innocence and moral or philosophical riddle.
What makes a theme powerful?
True or false:
In movies where the focus is the Struggle for Human Dignity a triumphant victory is always achieved.
False: A triumphant victory is sometimes but not always achieved. The respect is for the fight the character puts up.
These films portray a basic conflict or tension between two opposing sides of human nature… (the surrender to animal instincts, to wallo
How can we account for Casablanca's continued popularity when it was made in 1942?
Its theme continues to be as powerful today as it was then. Therefore, it has universality
What is the value of Film Analysis?
Sharpening your understanding of how movies work, deepening your appreciation for movies from an intellectual perspective and deepening your love of movies.
Give an example from class OR your own example of a movie for three of the categories of ideas that films can focus on.
Moral implications, the truth of human nature, social problems, struggle for dignity, complexity of human relationships, coming of age/loss of innocence and moral/philosohpical riddle.
What are challenges to identifying a theme?
Identifying the theme of a film is often difficult, and not likely to reveal itself in a flash of light midway through the screening.

Identifying the theme can be considered both the beginning and the end of film analysis.

In our quest for theme, we mus
Define and give your own example of a movie where the focus is a moral/philosophical riddle. Example from class: 2001 space oddesy.
Here, the filmmaker attempts to suggest or mystify instead of communicate clearly, often posing moral or philosophical questions… without clear answers. These films often employ strong symbolic images and require intellectual analysis by the audience
Explain the influence of each major film focus category in Casablanca (Plot, Emotional effect/mood, Ideas, Character, Style/texture/structure)... Don't get too detailed here, I'm looking for more of a general reponse.
Plot: Exciting, fast paced.
Emotional effect or mood: excitement, romance, struggle , anger
Character: Many main characters, with each having their own characteristics. They may each represent a struggle/idea
Idea: Love v. Virtue
Style,Texture, Structure

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