how to analyze a film
The narrator is the person telling the story.
- Can you see a pattern to how the scenes are cut?
- How would you describe the pace/tempo of the film?
There’s a lot of advice out there about writing film reviews from a critic’s perspective, each with varying degrees of advice. I’ve been analyzing movies critically for six years, and I’ve personally found that reviews don’t need to be complicated. Rather, they need to be honest and encourage discussion. Here are the steps I take from start to finish, when screening films.
Without being affected by the trailers, marketing, and other reviews before watching a movie, you can really put your best foot forward to creating your authentic opinion and turning that into a movie review people can trust.
Not only does film entertain, it also informs and educates people about the world around them. Most importantly, film persuades them to see the world in a certain way. Most are not aware of this persuasion or influence, but if you are, trust me, it’s so much fun to recognise, analyse and criticise the way films persuade its audience into thinking about things in a certain way. It greatly adds to the experience of watching a film, and it is what I enjoy about film most of all.
This is the first part in an eight-part series on how to analyse movies.
- Happiness – upbeat, uptempo, fast, bright, major keys
- Sadness – downbeat, slow, minor keys, slow violins
- Anxiety – uneven tempo, simple percussion
A film’s editing style says a lot about how we feel about the action happening on screen. A film with an edit every 10 seconds will appear to move more slowly than films with an edit every 2 seconds. Most films will mix this up, using long uninterrupted shots to instill calmness or focus in the audience, and shorter shots to make the audience feel anxious or otherwise uneasy.
Knowing how to organise your film analysis essay is half the battle. Therefore, just follow this structure and you’ll be able to start writing without a hitch right away.
That’s why you should try to evaluate how music reflects the mood of the film or the impact it has on what is happening on the screen. Is it supportive or distracting?