The Art Of Film Watching Essay

2946 words - 12 pages

One of our favorite past times in America is going to the movies. The United States has the oldest film industry, and the largest in terms of revenue (All Art Schools, 2010). The film industry is big business. Every week new movies come out in the theater or on Digital Video Disc (DVD), and when you talk to anyone about their weekend they usually say, they went to see or watched a movie. As we watch the film we become our own critics, by analyzing and attempting to explain what we’ve seen. Watching a film can bring out an unlimited amount of emotions and an overwhelming sense of reality. And, analyzing a film allows you to reach valid conclusions, meaning and value by capturing the experience of the film in our minds, as it sharpens our overall critical judgments. But, the greatest benefit to film analysis is the new channels of awareness and the depths of understanding (Boggs and Petrie, 2008). This paper will describe what analyzing a movie requires, the effectiveness of the dialogue and the storyline, the setting and background, the performance of the actors, the editing of the movie, the director’s input on the film, and my personal criteria for analyzing a film.
Analyzing film has been around since the making of movies in the early 1900s. Here in the United States film really blossomed in the 1920’s. Production of films started on the West Coast in Hollywood. The earliest films were organized into genres or types, with storylines, settings, costumes, and characters (Dirks, 2010). Films are made to entertain, and when viewers watch the film they find themselves drawn into the characters personality and the plot. Because of film’s popularity many people use films as an agent of communication, education, and learning (Morato, 2008). When films are seen for the first time viewers can easily get caught up in the overwhelming sense of reality which can make analyzing a film more challenging. Therefore, film analysis requires us to respond with a high degree of objectivity and critical detachment. To do this the viewer must become totally immersed in the experience of a film, and should become familiar with the basic techniques of film production (Boggs and Petrie, 2008).
To develop good analyzing skills the viewer should watch a film at least two times. Whether in the home or in the theater subsequent viewings allow the viewer to focus their full attention on the how’s and whys of the filmmaker’s art, and studying movies allows us to explore outside our initial immediate response (Boggs and Petrie, 2008). The film should be watched in an environment with great seating and the highest quality projection and audio equipment (Boggs and Petrie, 2008). The real analytical approach to the art of watching films is to see and understand the films meaning and value of the whole film. While analyzing a film the viewers approach should be joyous and intuitive (Boggs and Petrie, 2008). The viewer does not have to be overly critical in...

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