Discussing Film Form

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I was very impressed with my Discover 101 students today, who seemed really to get into the film analysis portion of our class–we watched the first ten minutes of Night of the Living Dead, and used it as a springboard for discussing some of the basic concepts of film analysis, locating patterns, key elements in the film, variations in the established patterns, and the four levels of meaning we’ll be working with throughout the term.

Almost everyone spoke, and had good things to say; a small handful were quiet, so I’ll have to draw them out next class! In general, there was an initial leap toward the grandly symbolic, so another thing we’ll have to continue to focus on is concreteness and specificity. Next class we’ll talk more about narrative development, plot patterns and segmentation, characterization, cause and effect.

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