How to Critique a Film Properly
To do custom movie critique, you must select the appropriate means. Work on the film can be undertaken with the help of the following key questions.
- What? Content analysis: action, situations, problems, characters, conflicts, and emotions.
- Who? Analysis of the structure: the interaction of the characters, the position of the narrator, drama, plot, turning points, and climax.
- Why? Analysis of expressions and influence: morality, content, and ideology.
- How? Cinematic analysis: composition, aesthetics, and style of narration.
Basing on your experience with the analysis of the text, you can easily consider the dramatic aspects of the film. It will serve as a starting point for analyzing the moments that reflect the film’s dramaturgy (the plot, the turning points, the climax, and the denouement of the film). You can also conduct primary analysis of conflicts and characters. Make a list of the most important shots and scenes.
The cinematic analysis also contributes to a detailed analysis of a single scene or frame. In order to navigate the storytelling, you can make a protocol. Scene protocol is the division of a film into various episodes, while separate plans remain combined.
To get started, look at the compositional tools related to the camera (plan, angle, and camera movement), and their influence on the audience. Various plans can be opposed and compared. Finally, you can consider cinematographic tools from the point of view of scenery, light, tone, and installation. The main thing is to identify the relationship of form and content.
Along with a receptive-analytical approach, the film offers to the diverse game and compositional possibilities. Stage quality of the film and its production process can be used as a teaching situation. With the help of a specific action, the audience gets acquainted with the cinematic means of the composition. Now people are not just spectators; they look at the film from a different angle.
The evaluation method provides critics with the opportunity to express their impressions of the watched film, discuss the content of the movie, its cinematographic language in the dialogues, as well as get acquainted with various points of view and perception. In a written analysis, students consider the content, drama, and means of compositional expressiveness of the film, the special features of the cinematic language and the advertising character of movie posters and trailers.
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After watching the movie, your observations can serve as a starting point for analyzing the film. It is necessary to explain the relationship between form and content. The aesthetic concept of the film always influences its content, and vice versa, the content influences the choice of cinematographic means. The choice of a particular angle of shooting or movement of the camera, a specific music or lighting decision affects the content of the film, its interpretation, and impact.
Conflict situations or relationships between numerous characters allow students to visualize their ideas about them well. They look at these connections and form their view on the dramatic composition of the film, as well as on the different perspectives of the characters. The story develops due to a certain plot and people, as well as conflicts, which are shown from different points of view. Interestingly, it is not possible to distinguish between right or wrong positions. Characteristics of the characters are suited for visualizing the connections between them and the variety of standpoints.
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Divide the Movie into Parts
Cinematic action can be divided into small fragments, so-called episodes. On the one hand, the general course of action becomes clear; on the other, the individual steps in the development of the plot of the film get understandable. It must be remembered that it is not necessary to divide the film into too small fragments. This method can be considered as a preparation for writing a film analysis. Thus, students can improve their analytical skills, reducing the content of the action to the most basic elements and making a generalization.