Film Worksheet

Film Worksheet
Art Education 1600
Art and Music since 1945

For this assignment, you are to see a film this semester and fill out your worksheet. Use the skills you learned for the Art Worksheet, but now you have to analyze the combination of sound and moving images.

Step 1 Select a Film

Selecting a film to watch is more than picking a movie with favorite actors or a genre you like (science fiction, superheroes, detective mysteries, romance). The film you pick should have enough interesting content to write about. It helps to inform yourself with two kinds of film reviews. First, professional critics have seen many movies and write from a well-informed point of view, but theirs is just one point of view. Beyond the perspective of Professional critic, there are the reviews from moviegoers, like yourselves, who post their responses on blogs and theater websites. Viewer reviews can be just as valid as professional reviews, so long as they explain why they feel the way they do about a film. Both kinds of reviews can help you narrow your choice of a film, and in the end, pick a film you feel like writing about.

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11 pts: State the title of the film you chose and a write brief synopsis of the film in your words (90 to 100 words):


Citations and References

If you decide you use ideas from the film reviews  or any source, write the name of the source here AND Cite the source(s) where you use them:







  1. You must view the film for this worksheet this semester. Because film theaters have closed, you may opt to see a film online. Any fairly recent film will do, or you may opt to see a classic film made in 1945 or later.
  2. Connect your review of the film with the cultural and social ideas we address in class. How do you think audiences relate the narrative on screen with other narratives in the press or entertainment media? Superheroes, for example, save the day when complicated agencies of government and military fail.
  3. Look over the Film Worksheet before you attend the film, so you know what to look for in the film.

Late Paper Policy:

You will lose points for assignments turned in late after the final deadline.

1 day late: 20%

2 days late: -40%

3 days late: -60%

4 days late: -80%

Step 2 Organize your data

This step is about your experience of viewing the film and how the director kept you engaged.

Step2.1: The audience and the space, and you

Your experience as a movieviewer is as important as the film itself.

State where you saw the film.

Analyze and describe the environmental conditions and how your circumstances affected your perception of the film.

25 pts: Type your response below in at least 200 words:


Step 2.2 The director and you

An important part of film critique is how the director holds the audience’s attention

In the classic film Pulp Fiction, the director manipulates the pace of the film, switching between 1) scenes where two characters have a long conversation and the camera is still and 2) lots of action fast camera work. When the film slows down you become aware of how long even one minute can seem, but when the pace picks up, time is compressed and you don’t notice the minutes passing.

All the effects and drama of the film play with your attention span (and your imagination) to help you forget where you are. Every piece of equipment from the huge screen, to the sound system supports the director’s attempts to take you into their world. This is one of the reasons we require you to attend a theater.

So, how do you think the director pulled you into the world of the film you viewed? Were there surprises that kept your attention? Were effects overstated? Were they tiresome or ridiculous?

25 pts: Type your response below in at least 200 words:


Step 2.3 Analyze the film technically

To help you pick out aspects of the film that you can analyze, read the following list and include the vocabulary and examples from the film in your responses. Pick at least two aspects from each category (i.e., Literary, Dramatic, and Cinematic). Scroll down to write your response.

Pick two Narrative aspects

*Narrative (the story, story line, what the storyline is based on; binary oppositions; disruption of an equilibrium and how a new equilibrium sets in).

* Characters (heroes, villains, helpers, main characters, supporting characters, and how characters function and contribute to our understanding of the story).

* Setting (physical environment in which filming occurs, indoor or outdoor setting, its significance).

* Plot

Pick two Production Design aspects

* Acting (the performance of actors, whether it is convincing or not).

* Costumes (formal clothes, informal clothes, their color, and their contribution to the film).

* Make-up (style, color, whether it is exaggerated or plain, the effect it creates, colors).

Pick two Cinematic aspects

* Camera angles, movements, and positions (low camera angle, high camera angle, close-up, extreme close-up, tilted camera, and how these affect our understanding).

* Sound and vision (sound effects, soundtrack music, visual effects).

* Lighting (illumination in a scene. Soft light harsh light and shadow, colors manipulated? ).

Respond below:

  1. Narrative Aspects – Type your response here in at least 100 words (5 pts)


  1. Production Design Aspects – Type your response here in at least 100 words (5 pts)


  1. Cinematic Aspects – Type your response here in at least 100 words (5 pts)


Step 3. Analyze the film

In this step, you will interpret the film and tell the significance of it, along with how you would describe its audience.

Choose THREE of these questions to answer, which best fit your analysis so far.

24 pts: Enter responses after each question, below, each response in at least 200 words. Include examples from step 2.3.


  1. Who is telling the story? Why is it being told? Does it appear to have a purpose? In Jurassic Park, for example, we see the film through the eyes of children as they watch adults face consequences and lose control of prehistoric animals. Other films may have a narrator, whose words tie sections of the film together.

(media agencies, authorial voice, influences from marketing, economics, ideology)




  1. Who is likely to view this film, why? Does it have an audience following and what are they like? (i.e., Trekies that follow Star Trek)



  1. What genre? What genre does this film fit into, and what makes you say that? A ‘genre’ refers to clearly understood type of film, such as a ‘western,’ a ‘romantic comedy,’ a ‘horror,’ or a ‘science fiction’ film (note that some films overlap and combine genres–for example, Alien can be said to be both a science fiction and a horror film). What aspects of the film tell you that it fits into a genre or genres (the narrative, the character types, the production design, the visual language)?




  1. How is it made? What film technologies are used? is the film a one-time story or part of a sequence of films?




  1. How does it convey meaning? Film language is broader than the convention of written literature. Look for codes and conventions, content “between the lines.” Are there symbols we see throughout, but are never put into words? Body language? Other visuals or sounds other than words?





  1. How does it represent its subject – especially with reference to a time period?Do you recognize stereotypes, familiar or strange representations of the past? Does it ridicule or glorify a stereotype? Are characters exaggerated? Diminished?








Step 1. 11 POINTS:

States the title of the film.

Step 2.1. 25 POINTS:

tells how the audience influenced viewing the film.

Tells how conditions in the theater influenced viewing the film.

Meets Word count requirement, give or take 5 words

Step 2.2. 25 POINTS:

Tells how the film kept them engaged, or not.

Includes dramatic (acting, script, etc.) and technical aspects (camera work, music, and other elements of film production).

Meets Word count requirement, give or take 5 words

Step 2.3. 15 POINTS

Discusses at least 2 aspects from each category (Literary, Dramatic, Cinematic)

Meets word count requirements, give or take 5 words.

Step 3. 24 POINTS

Meets Word count requirement, give or take 5 words

Uses evidence from Previous steps (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)

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