After taking this class, I have learned that there are many different techniques of film making such as lighting and camera-work that I have never thought about before when I’ve watched a movie. This class has made me appreciate not only the fact that films are entertaining, but its what goes on behind the scenes that is what makes a film unique. I have a new perspective of films, and I actually pay attention to all the fine details of films and aspects of mise-en-scene.
My favorite film that we watched this semester was Hugo. This film was heart-warming and it made me nostalgic of my childhood; at a time when I could be whoever I wanted and have adventures without a care in the world. I loved the fact that this film also had historical relevance to George Méliès and actually showed footage from many of his films. Since we had learned about silent film in the beginning of the semester, Hugo helped me to have a greater appreciation and admiration of silent film.
My least favorite film was Yojimbo. I thought this film was very boring and the plot was unnecessarily dragged out most of the time. Also, the fact that it was in Japanese was distracting and made it harder to watch. I am not a big fan of western or Japanese films, so it was hard to pay attention to this movie.
I’ll admit this class wasn’t what I expected. I thought we would watch more mainstream popular films, but I think that from a learning perspective, it is better to watch a wide variety of films from every genre and time period. This helped me to better appreciate films in general and realize the importance of the many elements of cinematography.
I’ve been trying to get a seat in this class for 3 semesters now and all I really knew about it was that it was called Film Analysis. I knew I loved films and I loved analyzing things, so how perfect, right? Well it was definitely not what I was expecting, although I had already taken a film class at my high school that had some overlap. I was very glad to see some films again, such as Metropolis (which I probably never would’ve given a second chance on my own). But I really did get a lot more out of it from watching it a second time. I learned a lot more about mise-en-scene as well as technical details that I wasn’t aware of before.
My favorite film of the semester (that I hadn’t seen) was Contempt. Seeing more of the French new wave genre made me realize how much I enjoy it and I intend to see other films similar. Watching this movie in class also gave me a different perspective because I wasn’t watching it purely for entertainment purposes. I found throughout the semester that being critical of the movie and analyzing it really makes the experience completely different. I learned to view movies from a more objective perspective if necessary.
My least favorite film was probably Yojimbo. This may be because I really am not a huge fan of western films, but it really just felt like it was dragging on to me. I felt the urge to make fun of everything because of how predictable it was and that isn’t something that I look forward to in a movie. I’m glad I’ve experienced some western films, but I surely will not be watching any more.
All in all, I really enjoyed this class. Remembering to do the blog posts was a struggle, but that’s nothing personal to this class. I liked the diversity of the class and how much input was given from everybody (although I never really spoke up because you guys are like…really intelligent in the land of movies). I’m sad this class is over!
Good times, gang.
I took Film classes throughout high school and this class was my first choice when creating my schedule for my first semester here in college. Although everything we learned did enhance my perceptiveness to film techniques and such, what I value most of the many things I will take away from this class is the broad scope of films we watched. I was introduced to many directors whose films I am now eager to watch more of: from Kubrick to Godard to Scorsese. Being introduced to some of their films specifically prompted me to write about other works of theirs in two of my papers, and writing those papers was for me a fulfilling experience. I am eager to take more film classes during my time here at UF.
My favorite film is hard to choose, so I will name my several favorites: A Clockwork Orange (which I had previously seen but had a good time analyzing it in class), Contempt, Yojimbo, and I very much enjoyed comparing the three variations of Django.
Although I did not stay in class for yesterday’s screening, I suspect that Tree of Life would have been my least favorite film, solely based on the excruciatingly boring clip we briefly watched today. But of all the other films, I pick the American Pulse as my least favorite, for obvious reasons. Not so obviously, I disliked Beauty and the Beast for its loose ends, which is disappointing because I always have seen myself as a fan of surrealism; now I am unsure about that.
All in all, I immensely enjoyed this class. I am very happy that I chose it—so much so that I am sad that I did not end up waiting to take this class during a later semester, because regarding my future prospective courses, #ENG2300 is going to be hard to outdo.
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.
Although I have always considered myself a cinephile, this course has widened my appreciation for other elements of the art. For example, I have come to acknowledge sound as a more crucial aspect of film. Once believing sound was nothing more than an enhancement of what it is the image is communicating, I now see sound as having its own profound effect. A moment that comes to mind is when we watched an excerpt from Halloween in class with and without sound. What a crucial role sound played here to create the mood so important to the horror. I also came to better appreciate the role genre plays in explaining a film. Although I have held to my belief that a film can be pretty much independent from any genre association, I now see the cultural and critical importance of categorizing films that are readily classifiable.
In terms of a favorite film, what seems most memorable to me is Contempt. I think I picked up on more important cinematic concepts here than I did in any other film. Although I was already familiar with Godard, Contempt was a film that I might not have ever seen, and the unique aspects of his cinematography and staging are techniques I do not see myself ever forgetting. To name some other films just for the sake of relaying my general enjoyment of them, Modern Times, Hugo, and Spirited Away quickly come to mind.
Least favorite is a little more challenging. Obviously, the American version of Pulse is an easy response. As I mentioned in class, I personally did not care for Rosemary’s Baby. I enjoy many aspects of the horror genre, but this film basically took every aspect I don’t care for and compiled it into one film. I didn’t like the satanic realism, the odd imagery, or the discomforting ending. But I can definitely notice the film’s general achievements.
All in all, it’s been a great semester. Definitely my favorite class so far, and I look forward to further studying film here in the future.
When I first heard that this class existed, I decided that even if I couldn’t have it for the fall semester, I would have to have it at some point in my career here at UF. I have always loved movies, even though prior to this class I didn’t even know of many of the great directors of our time (or really any time). When I initially signed up for classes, ENG2300 was full, and I was pretty disappointed. I checked ISIS frequently, and eventually, a space opened up that fit perfectly with my schedule, and I was so excited that I tweeted “GOT FILM ANALYSIS FOR THE FALL YESSSSS”. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this class.
As I’m sure most people were, I was expecting more mainstream films that even I, with my little knowledge of the world of film, would have heard of. At first, I thought maybe I had gotten in over my head, because I knew so little about the movies and techniques we were talking about. As I learned more and more, I became more excited to watch films and apply what I knew so that I could better understand the more subtle messages that come from mise-en-scene and sound. I find that as I re-watch movies I saw before I took this class, I am more attuned to how a film is made and how the world of the film is constructed, and I ultimately get much more out of the viewing experience.
My least favorite film was probably Yojimbo. I understand the value of watching it and comparing it to other films like A Fistful of Dollars, but I felt the storytelling was really lacking and I had trouble paying attention to it after a while. My favorites were probably La Belle et la Bete and Contempt. I really enjoyed the mise-en-scene in both films and the stories were interesting enough to keep me engaged through the whole screen time.
Thanks for an awesome semester! I learned a lot and really enjoyed listening to and reading everyone else’s comments and opinions on the films!
This class has actually ended up being among one of my favorite classes. In all honesty I registered for the class due to the fact that it sounded intriguing, who does not like movies, and I was in need of a course that would help fulfill the writing credit. Now, at the end of the semester, I find myself walking away with more than I could have ever bargained for. I’m not sure I will ever look at movies in the same manner. There is no doubt in my mind that when I sit down to leisurely view a film I am going to end up critiquing every second of it. Hopefully my family and friends do not mind me talking throughout the film from start to finish. I also could not be more thankful that this class forced me to watch several movies that I would never have picked up to watch on my own. It really helped broaden my horizon in terms of cinema and has made me more willing and likely to watch a movie despite the have negative preconceived notions I may have formed. Before this semester, I automatically assumed that black and white films were not ones that I would enjoy because of their age and lack of technology. However, this class definitely cured that ridiculous assumption. Silent films are probably the types of films that I attempted to avoid at all cost before taking this class. I did not think that my attention span and interest could last long enough to pay attention only to things moving on a screen. However I have come to thoroughly enjoy such films after viewing multiple of them during in class screenings. As a result of watching the silent films, my appreciation for sound integrated within films has increased tremendously. Needless to say, I am taking away things from this class that I never expected to and I could not be more thrilled.
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.
Week 16 (December 2-8)
Class Activity Class wrap-up/Final essay questions
Assignments Pursuing Imperfection in Malick’s Eden
Screening Tree of Life
Assignments Finish final essay (due tomorrow)
Class Activity Tree of Life discussion
Assignments Final blog post – class wrap-up – (What have you learned? Favorite film and why? Least favorite film and why?)
Those of you who missed class Friday and/or Monday missed a couple of complete class periods of discussion about how to approach the final essay. I’ve included the basics below, but you need to be sure to read chapter four of your Writing about Film text closely to gain a better understanding of the many possible critical approaches you might apply to your selected film.
Due Wednesday, December 4
2500 words (about 7.5 pages)
Research required, including MLA works cited and in-text citations
For this essay, you will select a single film and apply a critical approach to analyze it. While you will focus on one primary approach, other approaches may overlap – for instance, if you examine Blade Runner in the context of its place in the scifi or cyberpunk genre, you will likely want to do some formal analysis that explains how films of the genre work as well as some historical analysis of where the genre was at the time the film was made and, possibly, where it has gone since.
Chapter seven of Writing about Film will be an invaluable resource in finding the best available research materials to back up your arguments.
As ever, email me if you have any questions.