I really learned a lot more in this class than I expected to. I had always watched movies, but after taking this course, I feel like I can really appreciate the value a movie has. I feel like I can look at a film and analyze it stylistically and thematically.
My favorite movies we watched in class in no particular order were Contempt, Modern Times, Spirited Away, and A Clockwork Orange. I felt like these films all had a great balance between stylistic importance, diagetic importance, and thematic importance. These films all opened my eyes to how different elements of a film can come together to send a message, usually sent by the director. These films also made me realize how political filmmaking is. All of the films we watched in class had some sort of inspiration behind them that had something to do with current events, or history, or personal trauma of the writer. My eyes are now open to the world of possibilities and inspirations that go into making a movie.
Particularly, I found it interesting to discuss a certain topic in class, and then have an example of that topic in the film we would watch. All of my favorite films in this class also helped to bolster down our lessons in my head. For example, for Contempt we studied shot spacing, and the brilliant shot spacing of the film really helped me to understand the lessons.
Also, watching foreign films in this class inspired cross the actual borders of film into other countries and cultures. Since watching Yojimbo, I watched several other Kurosawa films, and since watching Contempt, I was inspired to use another french film for one of my papers.
All in all, I really appreciated the values that this class has to offer. I learned a lot about all aspects of film, and even improved my writing and organization skills, from the three papers.
I chose to take this course because I needed an English credit and I love watching and analyzing movies. I thought that I might as well take a class on something i already did every time I walked into a movie theater. I was blown away by how much I didn’t know went into movies (generally I just focused on acting, storyline, lighting, and setting before the class) and how shallow my knowledge of movies really was.
My favorite films we watched were Modern Times and Spirited Away. I’d never seen a black and white or silent film before, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Chaplin film. With Spirited Away, I had watched it as a child and enjoyed looking at it through an analytical viewpoint this time around
My least favorite films were definitely Yojimbo and The French version of Beauty and the Beast. While I recognized their cinematic merits, I just could’t really get into the stories or characters.
The thing I learned most about in the class was movie sound, both diegetic and extra-diegetic. Anytime I watch a movie now I’m always listening to the backing track and analyzing how the director is trying to frame the scene and make the audience feel.
Overall this was a very interesting and instructional class, and I walked away with a new appreciation for older movies and a newly analytical mind for film in general.
Now I can be even more annoying to my friends during movies!
I chose to take this class at the last second because Norse Mythology got cancelled. I fumbled around ISIS to look for a suitable class, and then Film Analysis brushed across the screen. I registered for this class even though I wasn’t the biggest film buff, but man I am happy that I did. This class really exceeded my expectations and has become one of my favorite classes to have taken. This class has widened my view and appreciation for cinema, introduced me to film directors, and taught me of the intricacies of film.
What really surprised me is the depth of and variety of movies we viewed. I wasn’t expecting to watch films dating back the black-and-white silent films. And frankly I quite enjoyed those films. Really shows that older films can still hold their flair to this day.
My favorite films to have viewed in this class would have to be Blade Runner, Kairo, and Spirited Away. Blade Runner introduced me to aspects of film noir and the importance and effects of lighting in film. Kairo really showed that horror is not all about jumpscares and intensely creepy music and can really differ among nations. Spirited Away had an amazing array of animation and was a nice piece of nostalgia for me.
Really this class was a treat. I truly enjoyed every aspect and minute of it. From now on, I’m gonna analyze each and every aspect of film when I’m watching a movie. From the techniques and effects of cinematography(As much as I disliked Contempt, it did give me that), sound, mise-en-scene, etc. I would easily recommend this anybody in need of that extra class.
This was a great class to take for my first semester and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will miss it. But hey! No more blog posts!
Although this might sound cliche, I learned A LOT in this class. Before I would watch movies and well, just watch them. I feel that now I watch a movie, and I’m getting, or trying to get, the purpose of its creation. My favorite films were:
1. Sukiyaki Western Dkango
2. The Tree of Life (WOW is all I got for that one)
3. Spirited Away
4. Modern Times
These movies broaden not only broaden my knowledge on film but also, open my eyes to the number of different genres (sub-genres) directors play with to bring about a film.
I really found the discussion of distinct film properties and techniques before watching a movie that used them very helpful. For example, when we explored the topic of sound and its influence on its viewers and watch a Clockwork Orange. The exercise of hearing it first, then watching with no sound, then putting it together really solidified the topic to me. It also, like many other things discussed in this class, made me more aware of how different aspects of a film go together to portray its message.
I believe something that could be done different is giving more time to make a blog post. I found it hard sometimes to write it the same day right after watching the film. I believe if a little bit more time is given the class could more deeply analyze the film and write a better blog post; better responses to them as well.
Besides that I believe the class is fair overall and I am very glad I can apply it to something I love to do; watch movies. It was nice meeting everyone and having conversations on different films and what makes them stand out. Hope everyone has a great break and rest of the year!
I am glad I took this class.Before I only was able to talk movies but I realized with instruction and placing a deadlines, I was able to do what I was never really capable to do before. Don’t get me wrong I always loved talking about movies and have always been captured by them but now I find that I can actually write about them.
All in all, I am happy that took this class but It was more in depth than I had ever imagined. I am proud that I actually put together 6000 words to write about film and i dont think I would have ever put together so many words if left on my own.
My favorite films were
Those were the movies that resonated the most with me when we saw them. After watching these movies again out of class I found a great appreciation. Yojimbo and Contempt were two films that were so different but made me want to see more Japanese cinema and French cinema.
Before taking this class, I felt as though I had seen if not heard about almost every movie out there. Thankfully, I am not as small minded about the film industry as I had been. This course has given me a new appreciation for the making and analyzing of films. I had not realized how much work went into the entire behind the scenes stuff, but now I will probably end up watching that part of the DVD extras. I was also under the impression that there would be more critiquing of films and their success. I am much happier that instead we broke down the elements of movie making and got to explore what added or took away from the overall feeling of the film. I am also grateful as this class encouraged me to watch movies I would not have seen otherwise, including all of the foreign films and a few of the silent films.
My least favorite movie would have to be Mephisto. I know a lot of people would disagree with this and I can understand why, but personally I did not find it enjoyable. Partially because the movie was only comprehensible through subtitles as I would write a tweet and miss vital parts of the plot, I found it hard to follow. The ending was brilliant though.
It is hard to choose a favorite movie because there were several that we watched that I really enjoyed. I would have to pick either Hugo or Spirited Away. I adore kid movies and especially after seeing how much time and work went into the making of these – I appreciate them that much more.
This class was most enjoyable and if I could I would definitely take it again.
When I first signed up for this class, the movies I expected to watch were more along the lines of “The Godfather”, “Schindler’s List”, and “The Titanic”, but that was not the reality. At first watching movies that were silent, in a different language, or more than forty years old did not interest me, but looking back now I learned a lot. I enjoyed learning about the origins of silent films, Japanese Westerns and Film noir. My least favorite movie would probably be “Pulse”. It was more entertaining than some of the films we watched just because it was more modern and Kristen Bell was in it, but it was a terrible movie. Any film with Kristen Bell as their A list actor will not be academy award material but this film was just bad. It started with the plot which was preposterous. A horror film where a computer program kills people is probably the worst foundation for horror that I have ever heard. People were dropping like flies and the only reason it was slightly entertaining was because it was comical.
My favorite film we watched in class was definitely “A Clockwork Orange.” I was enthralled throughout that entire film and I really enjoyed the thematic elements of the film. The moral battle over taking away someones free will is always something that interests me and that costumes and character attitudes gave the film an eerie feel that kept me attentive. I also enjoyed the self narration which made the movie a lot more creepy and scary.
I really enjoyed this class and even though it was a little difficult for me to remember to post on the blog, I feel like I learned a lot. I learned a new way to watch movies, with an analytical approach with both the thematic elements and the elements of the structure of the film. I would recommend this class to a friend.
Hugo was to say the least, a fascinating movie with a very intricate plot. What I found most interesting was the symbolism. Hugo’s journey to find the key to the automaton and all of the people he met that had an impact on his fathers life is a metaphor for the building of a character. His father was the way he was because of everything that happened and every person he met throughout his life, almost like a mathematical equation. Through Hugo’s journey to find the key he finds out more about his father and exactly why he is who he is. When you look at life in terms of the way this film does, your personality and your character is a culmination of the people you have met and the things that have happened to you in your life along the way. It is a very interesting way to look at things. That in terms of your destiny, everything is so fragile and precise that one thing that maybe did or didn’t happen can change your life completely. Also the automaton is brilliant.
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo was a beautiful film that can easily tap into the heart of any viewer. In my opinion, it took a little bit more time than it should’ve to fully introduce all the characters. I like how Hugo’s tragic past was presented but believe it would’ve had a bigger impact if done in pieces.
I like how the movie plays into the concept of how each part whether in a machine or life comes together to make something whole. From the introduction of the movie as gears turning into the city to the specific heart-shaped key that fits in the back of the automaton. Hugo’s perseverance to find how he “fits” in society and aspiration of becoming more than just a piece within soceity is inspiring.
Another aspect of the film that is eye capturing is the mis-a-scene. From the set designs to the character customes. Every detail was accounted for and played together perfectly. The only thing I was confused about were the british accents in Paris. Was this to appeal to a bigger audience, being funny, or its just a big coincidence that the characters we are involved with are british.
Love and ambition I believe were the main themes of the movie. We really see this in the characters emotions and how they express themselves. I believe with the help of 3D filming it played a huge role it capturing each of the actors expression during the many close ups within the movie. Overall, I enjoyed the film and found the message sent out to the audience really nice. Oh, and Sacha Baron Cohen is the man.
Hugo is another tale of a child stuck in the transition to an adult. The orphan caught up in the workforce is portrayed not only literally, but through the repetitive symbolism of machines.
Hugo asserts his independence early on in the movie. His encounter with Papa Georges proves that the is not new to thievery, and his reluctance to tell Papa Georges his reasoning behind stealing implies that Hugo has no guidance. Despite the lack of guidance, Hugo seems to know what he has to do to survive on his own, because he works hard to avoid the orphan catcher in order to continue tending to the clocks.
We learn that Hugo works the clocks because he feels that it is his duty in the world. He compares the world to a big machine, with every part having a purpose- even him, an orphan. This analogy shows that Hugo has learned the harsh reality of the world- humans are just part of a big machine, working like parts of a clock.
Automatons extend the analogy of the machine even further. The automatons are almost human, yet they only serve one function: to preform their specified tasks. By the end of the movie, even Isabelle has made the the connection between Hugo and the working automaton.