Film Project (310/485)

For this project you’ll choose your own film.

Your task is to very thoughtfully choose a scene from your film that not only lends itself to a thorough formal analysis, but that relates in undeniably meaningful ways to the film as a whole. Your scene should also resonate with some of the major themes of the course.

The scene you pick should not be longer than 3 or 4 minutes.

Here’s how to begin:

1. Review the Yale Film Analysis Guide and Villarejo’s “The Language of Film”. These readings constitute the theoretical foundation of your response to the assignment.

2. Turn off your phone and put it away, then screen the film. Take notes.

3. Pick a scene.

4. Watch your film again.

5. Now write a formal analysis (3-4 pages). In other words, deconstruct the scene using the key concepts of film studies. Remember the four major categories: mise-en-scène, camera work, editing, sound.  While you don’t necessarily need to undertake a shot-by-shot analysis (though you’re welcome to do so) you should absolutely note the time signature of the shots you do discuss. How do the scene’s formal choices emphasize its dramatic content? What and how does the scene signify?

6. Minimum length: 1000 words.