Whether it is a Hollywood blockbuster or an independent low-budget movie, there are several elements that contribute to the overall quality of a film. “Film analysis…allows us to reach valid conclusions on a movie’s meaning and value; it helps us to capture the experience of a film in our minds; and it sharpens our critical judgments overall” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 8). The true purpose of film analysis, however, is to “open up new channels of awareness and new depths of understanding” (Boggs & Petrie, p. 8). This paper will discuss how to analyze an entire film, the various elements that make up an analysis, and what I determine to be my own set of personal criteria for analyzing a film.
“The properties that make film the most powerful and realistic of the arts also make analysis challenging” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, pg 5). These properties “require [viewers] to respond sensitively to the simultaneous and continuous interplay of image, sound, and movement on the screen” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, pg 5). In order to examine these properties, it helps to develop the proper habits of analytical viewing; “we should see a film at least twice whenever possible” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, pg 6). We must remember, however, “that film analysis does not end when the film is over. In a sense, this is when it really begins” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, pg 6).
However, there are some people who feel that films should not be analyzed at all; that it is “a destroyer of beauty, claiming that it kills our love for the object under study” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008, p. 6). “According to this view, it is better to accept all art intuitively, emotionally, and subjectively, so that our response is full, warm, and vibrant, uncluttered by the intellect.” (Boggs & Petrie, p. 6-7). Boggs & Petrie, authors of The Art of Watching Films, state:
The analytical approach is essential to the art of watching films, for it enables us to see and understand how each part functions to contribute its...