Film Analysis

Core Concepts of Film Analysis

                                                  Student Name

                                                Professor Name

                                                  School Name


    “ What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?”- Alfred Hitchcock

      The art of storytelling has been a central component of human culture for the entire history of human existence. For millennia, stories, legends and fables were passed down orally from one generation to the next. These stories carried the weight of their respective cultures with them; it is how culture itself was passed along and kept alive. These legends and mythologies functioned on multiple levels; the plot and characters served as vessels for the underlying meaning of the story. The manner in which stories have been told has changed with advancements in technology, from the written word all the way up to the relatively new medium of film. Filmmakers can now bring to bear virtually any thematic and visual elements conceivable, but the basic functions of good storytelling remain the same as the earliest mythologies. Put simply, the act of examining and analyzing the elements that comprise a film allow us to better understand the underlying meaning of that film.
          At the root of most films is the central plot, the surface story. Some films seem not to have much “meaning,” in the sense that they may be simple, direct stories with familiar plotlines and narrative devices. We have seen untold numbers of “boy meets girl” films; those plotlines are as old as time. Still, even the simplest of stories carry an underlying meaning, in that they reinforce or transmit basic components of our culture, affirming social mores and offering the comfort of the familiar. In other cases, the plot of a film may be convoluted and inscrutable, requiring intense concentration or even...