Class 22: Film Language

We will continue with our viewing of John Ford’s Stagecoach. After we finish the film, we will have a brief discussion applying the homework reading (from Bordwell’s Film Art) to our understanding of the film, and how to approach all serious film criticism.

  • The important things to note about Bordwell’s analysis:
  • the emphasis on film form: the structures and patterns used to reinforce the storytelling and the film’s themes
  • Use of editing: dissolves, cuts, etc.
  • Use of film form, editing to emphasize characterization
  • Use of traditional editing techniques, with exceptions


(to be completed and posted on blog by Monday evening):
Using the handout from the previous class (The Language of Film Analysis), create a minimum 20 shot scene depicting a conversation between you and a parent(s) after they have had their parent-teacher interview with me. To be accurate, you should include a brief description of what is happening, the type of shot (distance, angle, etc.), and the type of transition between each shot.

An example:


Shot 3: Close-up on my forehead, sweat beading down it.


Shot 4: Medium shot of my two parents. My mom says, “We talked to Mr. Hutton tonight. He seems awesome!”


Shot 5: Medium shot of me. I say “I really don’t think so”.


Remember to establish your scene and conclude it. Present it on your blog they way I have done here. Call the post “Parent-Teacher Interview Scene”


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