Movie Analysis Tips: How to Study Cinematography as an Art

Movie Analysis Tips: How to Study Cinematography as an Art

Some people believe that cinematography as an art doesn’t require attention or critical thinking from viewers. This is one of the reasons why many students find movie analysis assignments very difficult. Here are some tips that can help students with such assignments.

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Movie Analysis: Preliminary Steps

At first, you need to learn that a movie analysis is different from movie reviews that people can read in any magazine. A movie analysis focuses on formal and technical aspects of a film, such as sound, editing, mise-en-scene, lighting, structure of the plot, or setting. By contrast, a movie review focuses mostly on the impressions that a film produces on its viewers. There are several things that you need to do before working on this assignment:

  1. Learn more about the genre of the movie you are analyzing. For instance, if you have to write about Hitchcock’s film Strangers on a Train, you’ll need to read about such a genre as film noir.
  2. In case your movie is based on a novel or a short story, you may find it useful to learn more about the literary origins of the movie.
  3. It is also necessary to write down the names of the movie’s director, actors, scriptwriters, and studio. Students should also specify the release date. You will use this information when compiling a bibliography for your paper.
  4. Apart from that, students should focus on such aspects of a movie as the running time, use of camera, or setting.

So, you can see that the analysis of a movie must be based on some research. If you intend to write a movie analysis essay, you should discuss such issues as:

  1. The setting of the movie. You need to tell where and when the action takes place.
  2. The role that the music plays. Your movie analysis should explain how music supplements the plot. Moreover, you should tell how music bridges various scenes.
  3. The use of special effects, lighting, and color. For example, you can explain how colors are used to describe the main characters.
  4. Professional movie critics often focus on various elements of a plot. So, students can describe the use of flashbacks and flashforwards in the movie and explain how they support the main idea.
  5. The main characters. In this part of your paper, you can assess actors’ performance and determine whether the main characters are convincing or not.
  6. Brief evaluation of the movie. Finally, you need to give a brief assessment of the film, and describe its strengths and weaknesses

By following these tips, you will easily write your paper. Hopefully, you’ll see that movie analysis can be both interesting and enjoyable.