Film Theory

In class, we looked at what film theory is. There are many different theories that have had an effect on cinema, each changing the way that the audience reads film. I was looking at Marxist film theory, the theory of capitalism and communism in film. A socio-political theory that was developed to be anti-capatilist.

Being able to breakdown a film into its repertoire of elements allows us to see if it follows its conventions of the genre. This can be useful when doing textual analysis on a film, the repertoire gives it an identity and with this we can analyse what the film is showing/trying to convey.

The Corpus→

The Repertoire of Elements↓

Film1: John Ford – Stagecoach (1939) Film 2: Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Film 3: Rango 2011
Typical Locations Deserts, old towns, mountains, open land
Characters / Groups Cowboys, American country folk, townspeople, 
Conflicts & Themes Treasure hunting, cowboys VS Indians, resistance to change, outlaws and banditos. 
Filmic Technique Cowboy shots, sweeping landscapes, birds-eye views, extreme close up reaction shots.
Iconography /  Mise-en-Scene Pistols, horses, native Americans, saloons, 
The shape of the story Beginning

A cowboy rides into town, as a lone wolf


Has a conflict with sn antagonist

Possible romance 


Rides out of town, into the sunset.

Film Movements

In class, we researched an important film movement. I researched into New Queer Cinema, a movement in the 80s and 90s that re-explored normative in cinema.

Current New Queer Cinema

Pose is a modern example of New Queer cinema, it explores the social conventions of a New queer cinema film in the same way as Paris Is Burning, and has been heavily influenced by it. Pose is a fiction-documentary series that explores the life of queer new yorkers during the aids pandemic in a camp and hard hitting way.

Textual Analysis Recap

Slumdog Millionaire 2008, Danny Boyle, is a Romance Drama set in the slums of Mumbai India during the 1990s and also the early 2000s. The film explores the dejected poverty and privation of impoverished people of India and principally the suffering of the Muslim children during the Hindi-Muslim religious violence, where approximately 10,000 people died. We see two protagonists, Salim and Latika, young adults who take different paths who appear in the visionary flashbacks of Jamal on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, these flashbacks cause the narrative to be non-linear.

In this scene, we are shown the brutal violence the Muslim people of Mumbai had to ordeal. This is exemplified by the repetition of their mother being killed. The first time we are shown, it is in normal speed and shot normally, the second time we see it we are shown it as a POV of Salim. This is done to show how that moment is embedded into his memories, that he can see this memory again and again in his head, Boyle uses this repetition to show this.

Boyle uses a wipe transition between Salim’s memory and the present. A wipe transition is typically used to establish a change in the narrative and or storyline. Boyle uses this to bring his memories into the present and to show that it still affects him till the present. The slow wipe acts as an overlay, the shot becomes more intense and visual. Salim’s shell shocked face parallel the horrors that persist in his brain, this gives the audience the feeling of extra space within the film as well as an association between the memories and the person.

Horror Narrative

Narrative analysis of Nosferatu 1922- F.W Murnau


Film Title: Nosferatu (1922) Mernau or Let the Right One In (2008) Alfredson (Delete as applicable)
The characters? 

Who are the central characters in the narrative? 

Central Protagonist(s)

Jonathan harker

Ellen hunter

(Monster) Villain

Count orlok

The rats?


ellen hunter

The ship’s captain and crew.

Donor / Helper

Ellen hunter- she distracts him but then dies.


Where does the story happen?

Is the setting important to the story?





The shipping village is where they figure out that the plague is coming from the rats.

Transylvania is where the count’s castle is, and where the majority of the story takes place.


Which character do we identify with?

What do they learn & how do they change?


Jonathan hunter- acts cowardly and naive to the situation until his love one is in danger and then rushes to save her- even though he doesn’t in the end

What do they learn?

That the count is a vampire and that the rats represent the plague.


What event / character’s action upsets the world of the story?

What is the significant event, early in the film, which changes the world for the central protagonist?

The Count wants to drink Jonathan’s blood, and it is revealed to him that he is a vampire and in danger.

Rising Action

How does the situation get worse for the characters towards the midpoint crisis?

What is the midpoint event in the narrative?

The count travels to wisborg, via boat bringing rats with him.

How does the situation get worse?

The rats spread the disease and the count puts people in danger by sucking their blood.

Falling Action

How do the characters work towards a resolution to the problem

How do the central protagonists try to protect themselves and fight the monster?

Ellen calls  for professor Bulwer who discovers that behind the plague the rats are to blame. But behind the rats there is an evil power lurking and he has this whole lecture on parasitism.

Resolution (Denouement)

How is the world of the story fixed? 

What event in the narrative fixes the world for the central protagonists?

Ellen invites the count in to suck her blood, he gets distracted and burns in the sun (which is so dumb that his one weakness he just completley forgets about, and where was the garlic?!)


The moral to the tale, an underlying message or theme?

What is the audience supposed to learn?

What ideas are revealed in the final outcome? How is evil defeated and how is the world a ‘better’ place?

Xenophobia- threat from foreihn things.

Dangers with sexuality.

The plague/occult

Fear in the not human

Morning and night/ movement of time

Genre, The Repertoire of Elements

Suckablood (2012) Hendricks



The Repertoire of Elements

Generic Feature Description Link to other macro concepts
Story being trapped or imprisoned, murder/serial killer. supernatural. Narrative
Themes death, fear, isolation, trapped 
Characters killer, monsters, demons, ghosts, the dumb one that gets killed first Representation
Setting old buildings, normally run down or cursed. inside the woods or a log cabin by the lake
Mise-en-scene (Iconography) Masks, blood, shadows/silhouettes.  Film Language
Production Techniques dark, shadowy low key lighting, eerie music. 

Editing Textual Analysis

Editing Textual Analysis

Top London policeman, Nicholas Angel is sent to a quiet country village as punishment for being too good. But the village is not all it seems! Numerous deaths lead Angel into a final showdown with the villagers in ‘God’s Country’. The sequence is from the end of the film – the final shoot out between Angel, his sidekick Danny and the villainous villagers.

Continuity of screen space

The scene begins with an establishing shot, this follows the convention of shot sequences. This opening shot, ”Welcome to Stanford”, sets the scene for the audience telling us where we are. The audience needs its spatial awareness in order to not feel jarring. 

Continuity of time

The scene begins with a fade into the establishing shot, this is a gentle transition into the scene and implies a passing of time.

When the school children get out the cans, there is a jump cut between the other cuts to create the craziness of the children grabbing at the cans. 


At 01:13, there is a montage where Angel gets suited up for battle, it gives us a quick visual representation of the character and his motives, also implying a passage of time. The music playing also excites the audience and increases tension and expectations for the battle. 

Rhythm & Style

Majority of the action sequences in the scene use a rhythmic 4/4 beat to cut in time with the music which keeps the audience in sync and keeps up the pace in the scene. A couple of hidden wipes by people walking through the frame also keep rhythm and passes time easily without having to spell out everything to the audience. A wipe when it cuts from the police station to the protagonist on his horse shows the time passing best. 

Editing Analysis Table JOJ

Batman Context and Critical Reception

Batman Context and Critical Reception


Turner, P2013. Dark Knight, Dark Ideas. The Media Magazine. 44(2), pp. 37-41.

Significant Event in Politics / Society Details Relevance to The Dark Knight
2000 election,  republican george bush. Al gore won the votes but did not have the victoral votes to be president. Bush stopped the recount. Missile defence system. Oil and stem cell kyoto environmental carbon emission protocol. Tax cut to stimulate the economy.
9/11in the trades centre, In 2001. al qaeda terrorist attack.  Shared trauma, terrorists targeted because “we like freedom, and they don’t.” civil liberties?the bush doctrine, no distinction between the countries and their terrorists, afghan air strike, taliban osama bin laden,iran iraq and north korea, terrorist.    The fear of terriorism on society. 
Patriotic act Can be spied on because of the act. Warentless enhanced interrogation legal, but considered torture in other countries. Prison camps.  The way Batman attacks the joker when he is finally caught, torturing and being physical, eventually using sy equipment.”ecoming the evil he was trying to defeat” 
Response to hurricane katrina.  Wealth, class divide. Financial crisis. The poor are poor. New orleans needed recovery and bush not 

In the early 2000’s America began its “War on Terrorism” where many tragic events shaped TV and Film. Many socio-political issues such as the 2000 and 2004 Amerian election when George W. Bush was elected shaped and redefinded the superhero genre.


“just as The Dark Knight was a touching tribute
to an embattled George W. Bush, who chose
to be seen as a villain in order to be the hero,
Rises is a love letter to an imperfect America
that in the end always does the right thing.”

“Bruce Wayne became the terrorist and
Batman became both torturer and operator
of a mass surveillance system; it was exactly
the point that in fighting the villain, he
became the villain.”

“America is the vigilante that has to free
itself of the shackles of international laws
in order to fight evil wherever it finds it,
and mete out its own brand of justice and
revenge for the 9/11 attacks.”