Essay Preview: Film Theory
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*The films “score”
*Typically, Non-Diegetic Music
*The films “soundtrack”
Can be Diegetic music (musicals like grease, saturday night fever)
* Can also contain non diegetic music (theme songs)
Scholars argue that the use of music soundtracks is increasing in recent and contemporary films
Example “Sounding War in film
*A vast majority of films glorify war through patriotic music or upbeat, uplifting music
Some films can condemn war or at least problematize it through tones.
Thin Red Line, battle scenes included horror movie music, shifting how we interpret the images on screen, challenging our understanding of war.
Mise en Scene
Literally, “putting the scene”
Sometimes translated as:
Making the scene
Creating the scene
Placing on stage
Term was originally associated with German “Expressionism” in 1920s, but later with French “Realism” in the 1930s.
The “look” of a film (or, the “style” of a film)
The mood or “impression” given to the viewer.
Staging a scene through the artful arrangement of:
Composition of shot (viduals)
(Basically, everything that the audiences sees!)
Basically, the Mise en scene can be understood through the way a director (or filmmaker) gives an impression of something that is never vocalized in words.
A classic example of is The Godfather (1972). The opening scene is a wedding.
The wedding is very elegant, and there is a lavish reception on the lush, green lawn… on a beautiful day.
Music is diegetic, and there is a lot of laughter and enjoyment of the moment.
In The thin Red Line (1998) Mise en scene is created through:
Scenes of nature & animals
Unusual, or unexpected camera angles that ceate wonderment (at nature)
Soft, low-volume orchestra music.
A broad approach to restructuring the ways we think about human sexuality… to better represent and construct contemporary sexualities.
A set of ideas that challenge us to rethink what we think we know about human sexualities.
Straight or Gay
Straight l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l Gay
Queer Theory insists that there is a general overlap between all forms of human sexuality…thus, one of its central goals is to continually deconstruct and complicate Western cultures illusory straight-gay binary.
* Queer Theory, then, examines the social construction of all human sexualities (not just LGBT ones), in order to deconstruct the ideologies and institutions of heteronormativity.
One of the goals of “queer criticism” is to illuminate the specific and unique discourses and institutions that impact upon and ultimately construct the shape and experience of any human sexuality. (characters in film)
In the history of cinema, homosexuals (or, “gays”) have typically been represented as:
A gay white man who has AIDS
The queer psycho-killer
Effeminate white male interior decorators
Bitter old mannish matrons who hate men (and everybody else too)
Generally “deviant” people (as compared to “normal” straight people)
Gay man-straight woman buddies
In Film Studies, queer theory allows us to dissect those images and begin to analyze them for the ways in which they maintain (or more rarely critique) the various hierarchical meanings of gender and sexuality.
One of the successes of queer theory and/or New Queer Cinema is that contemporary films are not only marketed to small urban LGBT audiences and small theaters, but instead, the films are marketed as “prestige” pictures…that just happen to have queer content.
According to Benshoff, what is the New Queer Cinema?
Benshoff argues that Brokeback Mountain (2005) is “queer” but not gay. What does he mean by this? How can a film be queer but not gay?