Exploring Film Criticism With A New Perspective

Over the course of the semester how I view films has definitely evolved. When I approach a film I now dive past the surface of what is scene on screen. I think about the development of the story line, I think about how the music helps to develop the mood of the story, and the effects that go into creating a truly good quality film. The effects that allow us to experience worlds that we could originally only visit in our imaginations. When I watch films like “Star Wars”, “Aquaman”, and “Thor Ragnarok” I will now think about the effects that allow us to experience another galaxy, an underwater world, and a whole other planet.

Image result for Star Wars
In a Galaxy Far Far Away..
PC: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/
Image result for aquaman
An Underwater World
PC: https://www.macrumors.com/2019/03/07/leaked-aquaman-movie-4k-itunes-breach/

One of the things that I look for more than anything now, that I originally did not, is story development. When I went and watched “Avengers Endgame” yesterday I found myself sitting in the theater thinking, “Okay this is the inciting incident, this is the climax, and this is the resolution, things are starting to fall into place”. When I was watching the film I unconsciously paid extremely close attention to the music used in the film for certain moments. In the saddest moment of the film I found myself thinking, the composer chose this music to give the movie a sort of mourning mood. I paid attention to specific lines in the film (spoiler alert) “I love you 3,000” which contributed to the overall theme being conveyed as the story developed.

When I was watching the television show “Criminal Minds” I noticed the camera would often choose certain camera angles to provide the point of view of the killer. This type of cinematography I noticed really enhanced the quality of the episode. I noticed this specifically in the episode “Gatekeeper”. In “Gatekeeper” the episode was filmed often, looking from the windows of the building. Filming from the windows allowed the audience to see things from the killers eyes, as he stocked his prey. One of the other things I noticed while viewing the episode was the color theory, which was used when the agents are profiling the killer. There are darker tones being presented in the lighting of the scene. These darker tones triggered my realization that these darker tones were used to contribute to the serious tone trying being presented. The lighting used later in the episode after the baby is born, is bright and peaceful. The lighting in this specific scenes create tones of peace and purity.

Image result for Criminal minds gatekeeper
Peace and Purity
PC: http://www.diariodeseriador.tv/2013/11/review-criminal-minds-s09e07-gatekeeper.html

Even when I am simply watching a television show or movie simply for my own entertainment I unconsciously pay attention to details that I did not before. These details help me to see the bigger picture being shown in films. I am now able to use what I have learned to go past the surface, past the storyline. I can now understand how the cinematography, the special effects, the composition, the character arc, all ties into what is a good quality film. I can notice the message being conveyed just with the colors being used, and the sounds being played in the background. A good story needs a good setup.

-Caitlyn Hamrick

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