The Cinematic Essay

In other words, you’re looking down on another character.

This type of shot is often used to illustrate superiority or power of one character over another.

Think about movies like Lord of the Rings and the Christian symbolism involved.

Think about the classic film Citizen Kane and the sled as a symbol of Kane’s childhood. The Disney movie Cinderella exemplifies the theme of love conquers all.

Now think about how the story would change if told from different viewpoints.

If told from the point of view of the astronauts, the movie becomes a horror movie, with humans no longer in control, being forced to live as slaves.Okay, so “literary terms” isn’t technically a technique exclusive to film, but in many literature classes you’re asked to analyze films.If you’re asked to critique a film as a piece of literature, you better believe your prof is going to want to see a detailed discussion of literary devices.If you’re looking for help with that, read How to Analyze a Movie for Dramatic Effect. Genre refers to a type of film (or piece of literature) that follows a specific style and usually focuses on a specific subject.A few examples of genres are western, romantic comedy (a.k.a. Genres can sometimes become formulaic, so if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. They’re all basically light-hearted comedies, and the characters have to overcome a number of obstacles in order to find their true love.This type of low lighting creates dark, moody scenes and strong shadows on actors’ faces.Check out the scene below from the film Out of the Past.And Luke interacting with Darth Vader in Star Wars?This is clearly a great example of foreshadowing (even though we may have not realized it until much later in the movie).Camera angles might include eye-level shots, aerial shots, or high or low shots.Eye-level shots are common as they generally put the viewer at the same level as the characters.


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