I did my research through wikipedia and I learned what film analysis is. Flim analysis is the process by which a film is “graded” on in terms of sound, editing, cinematography, and mise-en-scene. Mise-en-scene is the stage design and where the actors are in the scenes. Cinematography is the motion of art in pictures. Flim analysis is very much like film theory. There are also different types of analysis that has to deal with film like iconic, semiotic, psychoanalytical approach, and shot by shot.  

Each one of these has categories that they focus on. Iconic deals with the image, pictures, and sound. One thing that iconic really looks for is the light, composition, and the mood of the film. Which the film critics do not use iconic as a stand-alone approach but a part of the analysis. They also use other analysis like semiotic.

Semiotic which is the study of meaning making, signs, and symbols. Semiotic is very similar to the field of linguistics however, semiotic has three different branches to it which would be: semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics.

Semantics- relations between signs and things to which they refer.

Syntactics- relations with signs in formal structures

Pragmatics- relations between signs and sign- using agents.

Of course, you can always use the shot by shot analysis which they start this process by talking about the techniques that was used in the shot like the different kind of camera angles. There is close- up, long shots, pan shots, etc. They also look at the background frame, foreground as well as eyeline match.


I read Storytelling which is also a part of film analysis. Here is what I learned:

In this article they start off by talking about how film analysis is easier than we think, especially looking at the bad editing. Bad editing will stick out more because use as humans are so used to good editing that we barely pay attention to it. However, the bad editing will catch everyone’s eye.

There are steps needed even before the movie starts that you can do to help analysis. The first step would be to look at the questions that you have been asked to answer so it will be easier while you watch the film. The next step would be to know many times to watch a film, which should be at least two times. First time watching it you should just watch it through without taking notes to enjoy the film and then the second time you should be analyzing the film.

There should always be a research plan like knowing the background of the film. Then of course you need to look at film terms that are important to analyzing a film.

  • Track-The camera moves with character on screen following their movement.
  • Eyeline match-This is an editing technique that shows a character looking and then shows the object of their gaze in the next shot. Camera is following line of sight.
  • Tilt-This is when the camera moves up-ward.
  • Zoom-A lens adjustment means an object is brought closer, making the items bigger and takes more of the screen.

In this article, they also talk about the different types of film analysis, which we already discussed in the previous article. However, in this article they also talk about narrative analysis which is an examination of the story elements which includes the character, plot, and structure. The author of this article also brings up cultural/historical analysis to examine a relationship to the film through its cultural, historical, or theoretical contexts. Like asking a question along with, what period was this supposed to represent?

Below is a list of different elements to be searching for when analyzing films.

  • Flim facts
    • Title of film
    • Year film it was produced
    • Nationality
    • Name of actors and directors
  • Genre
    • Romantic, historical, detective, thriller, adventure, horror, or science fiction
    • Sub-grouping: action,, comedy, tragedy, war, and western
  • Setting
    • Present, past, or future
    • Time of day, weather, environment, geography
  • Plot and structure
    • Important sequences
    • Plot structure
    • Flashbacks
    • Several plots running parallel
    • Suspense bult up
    • Foreshadow
  • Conflict
    • Internal where the character suffers inwardly
    • External caused by surrounding or environment to find himself/herself in
  • Characterization
    • Through dialogue
    • How the speak
    • Physical appearance
    • Interaction
    • Static characters who do not change
    • Development by the end
    • Qualities
    • Stereotypes
  • Narrator and point of view
    • Narrator in story
    • Eyes the story is being told
    • Told in first person
    • Off screen narrator
  • Imagery
    • Symbols
    • Images used in film like color and object
  • Theme
    • Universal ideas that shine through in the film
  • Cinematic effects
    • Use of camera
    • Lighting
    • Editing


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