Monmount County Private School – Film Critique Class
In this 7-week course, students will watch and analyze two foreign films: “The 400 Blows” (in French) by Director Francois Truffaut, and “SlumdogMillionnaire” an Anglo-Indian film by Director Danny Boyle (in English).
The purpose of this class is to introduce and sensitize students to cultural elements different from their own. As we watch these films, students will begin to learn how to look at each film as an art form. In order to see more than what the usual audience sees, students will be introduced to the idea of color, music, camera movements, emotions, the actors’ performance, the storyline, and the overall message the Director wishes to impart.
After viewing each film and discussing it through the lens of a critic, students were required to write down their impressions touching on the following points:
- All movies have a hero and an enemy. A movie critic analyzes the hero and the enemy and how the story develops around them.
- Find the color scheme. A color scheme defines emotions, personalities or places. Is the color a metaphor for something else?
- Write about what message the director was trying to send.
- Pay attention to the music. Music and sounds are used to define the character’s feelings and growth. Talk about how it sets the mood of the film.
- Look at the camera movements in each scene. Are they unusual, and what effect do they have on the viewer?
- Time: is the story in the Past, Present, or Future? Is it a period film?
- Write about the different emotions you felt during the movie. Did you identify with the story? Did the story make you feel sad, happy, frightened, etc.? Did you find yourself wishing you could “save” the main character?
- Discuss costumes and how appropriate they were for the era.
- The actors: Were their performances convincing? Were any of the actors very good or very poor in their acting ability? Did you identify with any one actor?
Through class discussion, the students improved their ability to analyze films in all of the respects listed above. They will now view films with a more honed and trained eye for these details.
TEACHER: Marie Badarani