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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction to Film Analysis

Chapter 1 Introduction

Cinema: A Confluence of Artistry, Industry, and Technology

How This Book is Organized

Technical Tips

Chapter 2 An approach to Film Analysis

Understanding Audience Expectations

The Orchestration of Detail

Creating Meaning Through the World Beyond the Film

The Goal of Film Analysis: Articulating Meaning

The Importance of Developing Interpretive Claims

Film Analysis: Reading Significant Details

Historical References in Devil in a Blue Dress

Chapter 3 Writing About Film

Getting Started

Four Types of Writing About Film

The Scene Analysis Paper: The Big Heat

The Film Analysis: Steamboat Bill Jr.

The Research Paper: The Conversation and Enemy of the State

The Popular Review: Sin City

Part Two: Film Analysis

Chapter 4 Narrative Form

Defining Narrative

Narrative Structure

Techniques in Practice: Narrative Structure in Stagecoach

Variations on Narrative Conventions: Beyond Structure

Perspective and Meaning

Techniques in Practice: Noticing Shifts in Perspective

Film Analysis: Analyzing Narrative Structure

The Narrative Complexity of Rashomon

Chapter 5 Mise en Scène


Techniques in Practice: Same Film, Different Settings

Techniques in Practice: Same Setting, Different Film

The Human Figure

Techniques in Practice: Figure Placement in Citizen Kane

Techniques in Practice: Physicality in Raging Bull and Ali



Two Approaches to Mise en Scène

Film Analysis: The Functions of Space

Spatial Opposition in Thelma and Louise

Chapter 6 Cinematography

Camerawork: The Camera in Time and Space

Techniques in Practice: Patterns of Camera Placement and Movement — Do the Right Thing

Lenses and Filters: The Frame in Depth

Techniques in Practice: Lenses and the Creation of Space — Paths of Glory and M*A*S*H

Film Stock

Special Visual Effects

Digital Cinema: Post-production

Digital Cinematography and Film Style

Film Analysis: Cinematography in Documentary Films

Cinematography in Two Documentaries: Triumph of the Will and Night and Fog

Chapter 7 Editing

The Attributes of Editing: Collage, Tempo and Timing

Techniques in Practice: Using Contrasting Imagery and Timing to Romanticize the Outlaws in Bonnie and Clyde

Story-Centered Editing and the Construction of Meaning

Beyond Narrative: Creating Meaning Outside the Narrative

Techniques in Practice: Soviet Montage Aesthetic in The Godfather

Film Analysis: Classical Editing

Editing in Notorious

Chapter 8 Sound

Film Sound: A Brief History

Freeing Sound from Image

The Relationship Between Sound and Image

Three Components of Film Sound

Techniques in Practice: Sound Effects and the Construction of Class in Days of Heaven

Techniques in Practice: Bernard Herrmann’s Score and Travis Bickle’s Troubled Masculinity in Taxi Driver

Film Analysis: Sound and Language

Language, Nationality, and Class in The Grand Illusion

Chapter 9 Alternatives to Narrative Fiction Film: Documentary and Avant-garde Films

Three Modes of Filmmaking: A Comparison

Documentary Film: “The Creative Treatment of Reality”

Documentary Form

Ethics and Ethnography

Avant-garde Film

Techniques in Practice: Interpreting Abstract Films

Conducting Research on Documentary and Avant-garde Films: Locating Sources

Film Analysis: Interpreting Avant-garde Films

Editing in Meshes of the Afternoon

Part Three: Cinema and Culture

Chapter 10 Social Context and Film Style

Hollywood’s Industrial Context: The Studio System as Dream Factory

International Art Cinema

Italian Neorealism

Third Cinema

Chapter 11 Film and Ideology

Ideology and Film Analysis

Ideology and Film Spectatorship

Anti-Communist Witch Hunts and Hollywood Cinema

Racial Ideology and American Cinema

Gender and Cinema

Sexuality and Cinema

Disability and Cinema

Chapter 12 Film Stardom as a Cultural Phenomenon

Stars and the Movie Industry

The Dynamics of Performance

The Star Persona

Stardom and Ideology

Stars and Subcultures

Chapter 13 Genre

What Makes a Genre?

Major American Genres

Genre, Film Production and Audiences

Chapter 14 Film Authorship

The Idea of the Auteur: From Cahiers du Cinéma to the Sarris-Kael Debate

Auteur as Marketing Strategy: Old and New Hollywood

Studio-era Auteurs: Welles and Hitchcock

Blockbuster Auteurs: Spielberg and Lucas

Using the Auteur Approach to Interpret and Evaluate Films

Readings in Auteur Criticism

Ousmane Sembene

Kathryn Bigelow

Ang Lee

Wong Kar Wai

Jafar Panahi

Chapter 15 Cinema as Industry: Economics and Technology

The Changing Structure of the Film Industry

Films as Products

Film and the New Technology



Picture Credits