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Because the jargon of film can be quite sophisticated, there are some links below to help you analyze films. Read over the links, and think about your favorite movie: what techniques does it employ that are particularly successful? How does the film elicit certain emotions in the viewer?
Very little of any given film is accidental. That is, each aspect of the production is carefully chosen to convey a certain meaning, and analyzing a film to discover this meaning involves looking closely at a number of elements: sequence, editing, voice-over, lighting, camerawork, and sound, to name a few. This page, hosted by the University of Victoria, Canada, provides a thorough checklist of questions to ask when doing this kind of analysis. It asks viewers to think beyond the plot, and ponder the context of the story being told, the method of telling the story, and the impact the story has on the audience.
What does a film analysis based on technical aspects look like? This article on Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller Psycho explains how a skilled filmmaker manipulates the tools of his trade to tell a story. In this case, it's elements like set design and costume, camera movement and position, the use of the close-up, the absence of dialogue for long stretches of time, and harsh lighting and strategic shadows that create suspense and reveal the unspoken thoughts of the characters.
If you've ever watched the rough cut of a film, before the music and sound effects have been added in, you know just how much sound adds to the effect of a film. It can create tension, trigger emotional responses, and at times scare the living daylights out of an audience. This site proves an exhaustive reference resource for the aural aspect of film. It includes glossaries of industry lingo and technical vocabulary, as well as articles and multimedia interviews