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Reading_Films_Critically - Films,likeliterarytexts, ,...

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Reading Films Critically Films, like literary texts, can be decoded or “read” to uncover multiple levels of meaning. While cinema uses language to communicate meaning, it also adds visual imagery, movement and sound. The rhetoric of film becomes more complex than the rhetoric of literature; “figures of speech” become “figures of speech, image, sound and movement.” Like literary texts, motion pictures employ different narrative styles and use punctuation devices to create meaning by linking and separating parts of the film. To enrich you understanding of the language of motion pictures, this (very brief, very incomplete, but hopefully somewhat useful) guide names and describes some central elements of the rhetoric of cinema. This is meant to make you more aware of the things that are taking place on the screen so you will be more likely to see and hear them, and can be useful shorthand for you in describing what you see. ELEMENTS OF FILM : In literary texts, we speak of the contributing part as words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters. In film, we speak of: Frame : A single photograph from a strip of film. A “freeze frame” is a shot that is reprinted a number of times on the filmstrip which, when projects, gives the illusion of a still photograph. Shot (take ): A single unedited, uncut strip of film; images are recorded continuously from the time the camera starts to the time it stops. Scene : A unit of film composed of a number of interrelated shots, joined by an editor. A scene is usually unified by a location, incident or minor dramatic climax. Sequence : A unit of film usually composed of a number of interrelated scenes, and leading to a major climax. THE CAMERA: FRAMING, ANGLE, POSITION AND FOCUS: Framing : The use of the edges of the film frame to select and compose what will be visible on screen.
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