Cinema 7B Film Analysis Assignment #1

Begin by reading Chapter 10

1. Rent and view one of the films from the list below. You should view the film at

least twice. Take notes as you go and pause and replay scenes that you

don’t understand or that you find particularly interesting.

2. Write a paper which answers the questions below.

a. For minimum credit answer all the questions below. Be sure to

number your answers.

b. More complete answers will receive higher scores.

3. Papers must be type written and double-spaced. No papers will be accepted

by e-mail. Length: Four to Seven pages.

Review Questions:

1. What is the true subject or theme of the film, and what kind of

statement, if any, does the film make about the subject? Which

elements and which scenes contribute most to addressing the theme of

the film?

2. How do all of the separate elements of the film relate to and contribute

to the theme, central purpose, or total effect?

Film Elements:

a. Narrative – The manner in which the story is told. What is the

plot structure? Is it chronological or non-linear? Are there

flashbacks or other narrative devices and why are they used?

b. Acting – the qualities of the performances. Is the acting realistic

or is it mannered? Are the characters dynamic (do they change

as the film progresses)? How?

c. Cinematography – The qualities of the photography and lighting.

Identify specific scenes and camera shots that you thought were

particularly interesting.

d. Editing – The pace and tempo, the use of transitions and the

organization of the narrative. Identify any editing technique you

thought was particularly interesting

e. Art Direction and Design – Locations, sets, effects, props,

costumes and make-up.

3. What scenes in the film show the director’s style and how do they show


4. What were your


reactions to the film? What are your


reasons for liking or disliking the film?

Film List:

Jack Nicholson Films:

Chinatown (1974), The Shinning (1980), Terms of

Endearment (1983), As Good as it Gets (1997), The Pledge (2001)

Mike Nichols Films:

Catch 22 (1970), The Fortune (1975), Working Girl

(1988), Primary Colors (1998), Closer (2004)


Tom Jones (1963), The , Producers (1968), National

Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), City Slickers (1991), Tropic Thunder


Meryl Streep Films:

The Deer Hunter (1978), Sophie’s Choice (1982),

Postcards From the Edge (1990), Adaptation (2002), The Post (2017)

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