Film Analysis MYP 8th Grade


James Hadley

Reviews (3)

Ian Song
Ian Song
Ian Song


Features of Close Film Analysis

FILM:_____________________________ TIME:______________________




Brief Summary



  • What tradition or genre is it part of?
  • What are the features determining genre?
  • What other work might it be connected to?
  • Who made this? Why?
  • What can we tell about its’ creators?
  • How does it fit within the director’s other work?
  • Does it share significant narrative or thematic concerns?
  • Does it share particular visual or technical elements?
  • What is the film’s theme?


  • How is this film constructed according to narrative/story being told?
  • Is the narrative organised by plot or time sequence, or some other way?
  • Does the film use other principles than narrative sequence as a structure (for instance, an argument?)
  • What is the nature of our engagement with the story or characters?
Context of Extract in Film    
Sociocultural Context (ECONOMIC)    
  • How is mise-en-scene used to portray specific socioeconomic classes? What about other film elements such as cinematography, editing, sound, etc.?
  •  Are any motifs, symbols or themes used to represent different socioeconomic classes within the film? How and why?
  • Does the socioeconomic status of each character play a significant role in the narrative? How so?
  •  Are people from a particular class portrayed negatively or positively? If so, what seems to be the point of that portrayal?
  • Does the film appear to criticize the socioeconomic status quo? In what ways and what aspects?
  • Is nearly everything of value in this movie something that can be bought or sold? Or does the film portray values that fall outside the realm of economics?
  • Was there any aspect of the film’s production which had a broader economic impact? (e.g. a pioneering use of a new film element, such as digital special effects, which created a whole new market of jobs...this links to institutional contexts as well)

Sociocultural Context (Geographic)

  • How does the film use its specific geographic locations to help tell its story?
  • How are specific film elements (cinematography, sound, genre codes and conventions, etc.) used to cinematically portray the place and space of the film’s geographic location? Is the cinematic portrayal of the location flattering? Negative? Why? (Be sure to always link this discussion to the filmmaker’s intentions(The following questions can also relate to social cultural contexts.)
  • Given what you know about the place or time portrayed in the movie, are there groups of people not shown or barely acknowledged in the movie who are nonetheless significant in the geographic location the film is set within? Why do you think they are not portrayed in this movie?
  • Does the movie use visual cues in lighting, camera angles, editing decisions, costume, makeup, or actors’ gestures – to establish that a character or a group of characters is clearly the ‘other’ – strange, foreign, or menacing type of person who falls outside the ‘normal’ majority? If so, what are the cues and how do they work?
  • Is the movie seemingly content to reinforce traditional stereotypes of minority characters? Or does it seem to be working against them and how so?
Sociocultural Context (Historical)    
  • How do the themes and ideas within the film’s narrative comment on/relate to the period of time which the film was created? How does the story of the film provide historical context about a specific period of history?
  • Is the film’s story a metaphor for a larger historical event/era?
  • Have the filmmakers discussed any deeper historical meanings in the film? What have critics said about the film’s historical context?
  • How are actual historical events or figures represented cinematically (in terms of the look, sound, editing, etc.)? Are they “accurate” or have creative liberties been taken by the filmmakers? Why?
  • Does the film belong to a particular historical film movement (e.g. film noir, the French New Wave, etc.)

Film Criticism



Generic Expectations



Directorial Intention



Rationale for Selection



Camerawork: Angles



Camerawork: Shot Type



Mise-en-Scene: Lighting



Mise-en-Scene: Costume/Makeup/Props



Mise-en-Scene: Setting



Mise-en-Scene: Staging



Mise-en-Scene: Acting/Characterisation



Mise-en-Scene: Space



Mise-en-Scene: Time












Framing & Composition













Key Points to Consider:

  • Am I always referring to the director’s intentions?
  • Am I always analysing the key features and not merely identifying them?
    • Why is this filmic technique used?
    • What is the effect on the audience?

Part 2 – Focused Analysis
IV. Narrative

V. Film Language and Representation
1. How are characters and issues represented?
2. What is the style and effect of acting and performance?
3. How is meaning created by the camera?
a. camera angles?
b. camera shots?
c. camera movement?
4. How is meaning created through use of space (proxemics) and staging?
5. How is meaning created by editing and sequencing?
6. How is meaning created by lighting, shade and colour?
7. How is meaning created by sound and music?
8. How is meaning created by location, set design and mise-en-scene.?
9. Does the film make use of symbols, metaphors, or allegories? If relevant, explain what they are and how do they work within the context of the film?
10. How is meaning created by technical elements such as production design, special effects (matte paintings, models, animation, computer generated images etc.)
11. What emotional information is conveyed through the filmmaking process?

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