Deep focus shot from Citizen Kane.

Exercise 6: Film Analysis

This exercise is due on Monday, Dec. 7. For this exercise, you will need pencils and the E-Z Storyboard Form®.

Do the following:

FIRST, view this film clip from Ali: Fear Eats at the Soul (1974), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Then write a short paragraph analyzing the meaning you see in each of the following:

  1. Set, props: What do these tell you about the context of this scene? Where are the two main figures and what is happening to them?
  2. Color: What colors are significant? Why do you think did Fassbinder choose these?
  3. Lighting: Describe the lighting and tell how it contributes to the mood of the scene.
  4. Actors, including how they are made up and their costumes: What type of people are the two main characters? What is their relationship?
  5. Framing, camera position and depth of field: How do these things contribute to telling the story?
  6. Camera position and movement: How does Fassbinder use the camera emphasize the action in the scene? What is he trying to say with camera movement, especially the more dramatic movement near the end of the scene?

SECOND, Make a list of the five best films you have seen in the last year or so, ranked from one to five. What are your criteria for evaluating a film; what makes a film “good”? Are your judgments made along generally accepted criteria, or are they a matter of personal opinion or taste?

THIRD, take the top film on your list and describe it in terms of the style of film making. Pick a particularly important scene and describe it in terms of the number of shots and the types of shots. Is this scene a montage, or does it more closely fit the mise en scène style?