Film Analysis

Assignment Details | Film and Film Poster Analysis
Review: CDA, Chapter 5, pp. 133-184; LDKH, pp. 114-156
Read: CDA, Chapters 6 & 10, pp. 186-236 and 333-346; LDKH, Parts 3-5, pp. 41-98
Do: (1) Film Analysis (essay) and (2) Film Poster Analysis (5-7 minute oral presentation)
Submit: See below.
Submission Due Date: Draft Film Analysis in class on Monday, 4 March 2013
Submission Due Date: Final Version of Film Analysis through Bb links below by 11:59 PM on Monday, 11 March 2013
Presentation Dates: In class on Monday and Wednesday, 11 and 13 March 2013
Submission Due Date: Film Poster Analysis Oral Presentation through Bb links below by 11:59 PM on Friday, 15 March 2013
Assignment Description and Instructions | Film and Film Poster Analysis
Curiosity, research and analysis. Curiosity involves critical thinking, research and exploration — it involves the asking of
questions about things obvious and not so obvious in order to extend and deepen understanding.
For our purposes, analysis is the process of breaking apart a text, e.g., film, essay, novel, image, etc. and identifying persuasive
strategies or appeals (i.e., logos, pathos, ethos and kairos) in order to understand its purpose, context and audience as well as
determine if the text has achieved its purpose and evaluate the effectiveness of its strategies.
General Instructions
Selecting and Viewing: Using the “Film List” attached above, you will select a film. You will view the film — I recommend three
viewings, i.e., once to see the film; once again to take notes and really see the filmic elements you need to analyze; and, once
more with subtitles to pay close attention to dialogue and take more notes.
Researching and Analyzing: Then, you will write an essay in which you analyze the selected film for its purpose, context and
audience. Moreover, you will discuss one favorable and one unfavorable review of the film by a film critic, looking especially for
how your sense of the film’s effectiveness matches that which the critics’ have indicated. Furthermore, you will also analyze its
use and the effectiveness of persuasive strategies (or appeals) in achieving and communicating the film’s purpose and context to
its audience.
Analyzing and Presenting: Next, you will select and analyze three posters associated with the film you have selected ( i.e.,
movie posters are advertisements that were used to promote the film) in the same manner as you did the film, i.e., purpose,
audience, context, review and appeals. Finally, you will prepare and present your film poster analysis using a Prezi (,
PPT or Keynote presentation — 5-7 minute maximum.
The film and film poster analysis assignment has two components, i.e., a film analysis and the oral presentation of the film
poster analysis. We will discuss each of these assignments in class; nevertheless, you are expected to work on and complete
them outside of class in order to submit them by the deadlines. In general, my expectations are simple. Your analyses need to
reveal your understanding of the ways in which visual media present arguments using multiple types of appeals. You will draft
and revise the film analysis. You will present your analysis of film posters to the class and submit it to me for evaluation.
Film Analysis Essay
The film analysis essay or critique is your opportunity to analyze a film (from the list above) for its purpose, context, audience and
Film and Film Poster Analysis Assignment Sheet
Dr. Helen Doss | English 102
In preparation for your film analysis:
1. Read CDA, Chapter 5, pp. 133-184; LDKH, pp. 41-98 and pp. 114-156
2. Review the six sample film analyses (see the set of links below)
3. Select a film from the “Film List” attached above
4. Review the “Optional Film Analysis Worksheet” attached above
5. Review the elements and kinds of questions we discussed in reference to Se7en and Training Day — these will help you
think of ways to analyze specific scenes in which arguments are presented for the audience’s consumption
6. Use the LexisNexis Academic All News Database search feature (Wright College Library database) and/or for one favorable and one not favorable film review of your selected film
7. Here’s a YouTube link to help you search the LexisNexis database:
Watch Video
Compose a film analysis essay that is/includes:
1. 750-1000 words minimum — you may exceed this limit
2. Includes basic information about the film, some of which you may find at, including the following:
1. Title
2. Release date
3. Director
4. Writer
5. Original text on which the film is based (if applicable)
6. Studio
7. Budget and Gross Sales
8. Genre/sub-genre
9. Plot (briefly stated)
10. Central characters including actors names
11. Central problem or conflict in the film
12. Main point or thesis of the film
13. Clear indication of whether and how the film is successful in presenting and convincing its audience of its
thesis — this is your thesis or position on the film, i.e., the point you’ll try to prove in your essay
3. Then, write an analysis or a critique, which should include a discussion of the:
1. Connection between the title of the film and its central message
2. Film reviews, one favorable and the other not favorable — you must use four to six quotes and/or
paraphrases from the reviews
3. 3-5 key scenes in the film in which logos, pathos, ethos and kairos are present — you must discuss all four
appeals and how each one works within the scene.
4. Finish the essay with a conclusion, which indicates whether the film’s presentation of its point of view is convincing and
Film Poster Analysis Presentation
The film poster analysis presentation is your opportunity to analyze three film posters, associated with the film you have selected
( i.e., movie posters are advertisements that were used to promote the film) in the same manner as you did the film, i.e., purpose,
audience, context, review and appeals.
In preparation for your film poster analysis:
1. Review CDA, Chapters 6 & 10, pp. 186-236 and 333-346
2. Select three different film posters designed to advertise the film you selected for the film analysis — in order to locate the
film posters for analysis you may conduct a Google image search using the film’s title; search;
search; search; and/or search
3. Then, prepare a Prezi, PPT or Keynote presentation in which you present the posters and an analysis of their use of
visual rhetoric. You will need to provide a brief plot summary of the film at the beginning of your presentation. You
should indicate the effectiveness of each poster based upon its use of the visual appeals.
4. The presentation will be made in front of the class; it should be 5-7 minutes maximum.
Film and Film Poster Analysis Assignment Sheet
Dr. Helen Doss | English 102

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