Film Studies Macro Refresher

Macro study refers to the big picture – the big ideas surrounding the whole film.

Genre, Narrative & Representation

You will need to come to some quick and early conclusions about your chosen film as a whole under these three headings. Here is a copy of a document similar to one which you will get to complete immediately after watching the films.

  • Which genre(s) best describes the film?
    • What features of other films within that genre are similar?
    • What features of other films within that genre are different?
  • How does genre shapes the audience’s expectations about how to read the film?

The Repertoire of Element


Is the study of stories & not just a description of plot / story.

  • What is the narrative structure of the film
  • How is the audience positioned in relation to the narrative?
  • Is there a narrator and can they be trusted? Do they have an agenda?
  • What is the protagonists narrative journey and what is their epiphany?
  • How do conflicts drive the narrative and shape the themes?
  • Does the film use motifs (sound and visual) as key moments in the narrative?

Representation & Ideology
  • The ideas and issues surrounding a character, place or event
    • An image and an idea
  • How a character is representative of a wider group
  • What the film suggests is ‘normal’ behaviour


Create a Quizlet which tests you on the following macro terms:

  • Repertoire of Elements
  • Convention / Conventional
  • Generic
  • Predictable Pleasure
  • Audience Expectations
  • Iconography
  • Filmic Technique
  • Binary Opposition
  • Narrative (audience) Positioning
  • Untrustworthy Narrator
  • Exposition
  • Denouement
  • Climax (Act 2)
  • Character Narrative Journey
  • Narrative Range
  • Motif
  • Theme
  • Ideology
  • Stereotype
  • Archetype
  • Subverting Expectations
  • Verisimilitude
  • Realistic
  • Expressive

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