Cinema 7B Film Analysis Assignment #1
Begin by reading Chapter 10
1. Rent and view one of the films from the list below. You should view the film at
least twice. Take notes as you go and pause and replay scenes that you
don’t understand or that you find particularly interesting.
2. Write a paper which answers the questions below.
a. For minimum credit answer all the questions below. Be sure to
number your answers.
b. More complete answers will receive higher scores.
3. Papers must be type written and double-spaced. No papers will be accepted
by e-mail. Length: Four to Seven pages.
1. What is the true subject or theme of the film, and what kind of
statement, if any, does the film make about the subject? Which
elements and which scenes contribute most to addressing the theme of
2. How do all of the separate elements of the film relate to and contribute
to the theme, central purpose, or total effect?
a. Narrative – The manner in which the story is told. What is the
plot structure? Is it chronological or non-linear? Are there
flashbacks or other narrative devices and why are they used?
b. Acting – the qualities of the performances. Is the acting realistic
or is it mannered? Are the characters dynamic (do they change
as the film progresses)? How?
c. Cinematography – The qualities of the photography and lighting.
Identify specific scenes and camera shots that you thought were
d. Editing – The pace and tempo, the use of transitions and the
organization of the narrative. Identify any editing technique you
thought was particularly interesting
e. Art Direction and Design – Locations, sets, effects, props,
costumes and make-up.
3. What scenes in the film show the director’s style and how do they show
4. What were your
reactions to the film? What are your
reasons for liking or disliking the film?
Jack Nicholson Films:
Chinatown (1974), The Shinning (1980), Terms of
Endearment (1983), As Good as it Gets (1997), The Pledge (2001)
Mike Nichols Films:
Catch 22 (1970), The Fortune (1975), Working Girl
(1988), Primary Colors (1998), Closer (2004)
Tom Jones (1963), The , Producers (1968), National
Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), City Slickers (1991), Tropic Thunder
Meryl Streep Films:
The Deer Hunter (1978), Sophie’s Choice (1982),
Postcards From the Edge (1990), Adaptation (2002), The Post (2017)