In this assignment, choose one of the films you have viewed so far and be a movie critic and report your findings to the public.
â?¢ Address the following:
o Describe the mise en scéne of the film.
o Do you feel the editing was appropriate? Why?
o Was the sound use effective or ineffective? Why?
o What feelings, if any, did the score elicit?
o Describe the filmâ??s cinematography.
o How was the film placed in context?
o What personal influences or biases do you have that affected your opinion?
o Identify the filmâ??s genre.
o Was this film enjoyable? Why or why not?
o How has this class changed your opinion on film?
o What would your recommendation and star ratingâ?"on a scale of one being bad and four being goodâ?"be for this movie?
â?¢ Format your critique consistent with APA guidelines.
â?¢ Use examples to support your writing.
I'm happy to help you organize your thoughts for your Movie Critic Paper!
First, you should decide what movie you'd like to review. For the purposes of writing your essay, keep in mind that the best movie to write about may not have been your favorite movie. Instead, it might be easier to critique a movie that you did not like or a movie that you feel exemplifies the listed film elements in the best (or worst) way.
That said, let's take a closer look at these film elements. The following definitions are taken from the glossary of: Film: An Introduction by William H. Phillips (Boston: Bedford, 2002).
This french word means "staging." It refers to the composition of the image. Specifically, mise-en-scene is "the arrangement of setting and subjects within the frame."
The easiest way to think of mise-en-scene is to compare it to how a stage director might place things on a stage. The stage director deliberately organizes the actors and sets on the theatre stage so that may be viewed by the audience. Moreover, he lights the actors and sets in a way that best enhances the scene or story. In the same way, the movie director deliberately arranges actors, sets and lighting on the film set. So, you can think of the film frame or movie screen like the visible area of the theatre stage. The viewer sees what he sees because the director intends for it to be seen.
Therefore, the first question one should ask when critiquing mise-en-scene is: Why did the director place the actors and sets within the frame in this way? What is he trying to communicate? Is he trying to create a certain effect?
Then consider some of the other elements that might contribute to the director's vision, such as lighting and type of camera shot.
Some more specific questions that might help you evaluate the mise-en-scene are:
- Are the sets and characters lit naturally or artificially? What color is the light? Does the light symbolically represent something? How does the lighting make me (the viewer) feel? Why would the director use the lighting in this way?
- Do set pieces obstruct the view of a character? Why? For example, Woody Allen is known for hiding his actors behind door frames. As a result, the audience will instinctively lean to look around the door frame. This creates a sense of intrigue in the viewer. Does the director of your film do this or something similar?
- Do the settings in the movie (such as wide-open landscapes or claustrophobic elevators) imply a feeling? Does this feeling accentuate a character's mood or personality? Or does this feeling reflect the story's theme or meaning?
- Similarly, does the framing of the shot (is it zoomed-in, tight, off-center, broad, etc?) accentuate the mood of a character or scene? For example, a criminal interrogation scene has ...
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