Perspectives On Film

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Question: Tips: Question: How can I read a film from different perspectives? TIPS: Reading or interpreting a film is an important skill in English. When you first see the film, the most obvious interpretation will be to read the film literally, as the director wants you to see it. For example you might read it as a story about love or a story about a detective or a story about soldiers at war. However, a film is a created work of art and if you look more deeply into the film, there are many ways you can read it. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ Like all texts, film can be read in more ways than just the literal one. When studying film, we can draw upon ideas which will enable the viewer to analyse the sub-text of the film. Cinema studies concepts concentrate on the codes, implied ideas and allusions in a text. ________________________________________ ________________________________________ Concepts for Reading a Film • Try applying the following concepts to the film. Answer and consider the questions in each section and apply those ideas to the particular film you are studying. 1. The Concept of Absence. Cinema is about illusion and therefore what is missing from the screen is ‘present’ in some ways in the viewer’s mind. This applies particularly to character and gender depiction within film text. o Examine the characters represented in the film you are studying. Can you identify their class, gender, colour, ethnicity, ideology? Are there any patterns to these aspects of the characters? What can you conclude from the absence of females in a film, as is the case with The Shawshank Redemption? What about the absence of a leading action man in the Alien series? Think about this especially in terms of Feminist Screen Theory. Since a film maker must make choices about what to include in the film, they

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