Thursday, November 9, 2017

Key Concepts for Chapter 2

There will be a very brief Reading Reward (quiz) on Monday, 11/13 on some of the key concepts from Chapter 2 of our textbook, Understanding Movies. The best way to prepare is to thoroughly read Chapter 2, completing the fill-in-the-blank handout (that you received last week) as you go, and focusing on the following terms and concepts:
  • Mise en scéne
  • Aspect ratio
  • The dominant
  • Open form vs. closed form
  • Proxemic patterns
  • Classical composition
Good luck!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Test on Wednesday, November 8

The test will focus on Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run, Alfred Hitchcock's Psychoand Weijun Chen's Please Vote For Me. Be sure to look over your notes, your homework assignments, and all Viewing Guides and handouts. Also, know how to define "rhetoric" and be able to give an example of "rhetoric of the moving image." Along with the general plot, key quotes, and character developments of our films, be sure to focus on these areas in your review:

  • In Run Lola Run: 5 visual aesthetics; the formalistic aspects of the film's style and story structure; epigraphs; birds-eye view shot; split screen; Butterfly Effect; motifs (spirals, clocks, etc.), montage; flash forward; red filter; freeze frame; web of life plot; and Lola as hero. Be able to cite specific examples of these concepts from the film to prove your point.
  • In Psycho: shooting day for night; voyeurism; MacGuffin; parallel editing or crosscutting; director's cameo; motifs of mirrors and birds; the shower scene; the characterization of Norman Bates; the final image; and the groundbreaking features of the film in general. Be able to cite specific examples of these concepts from the film to prove your point.
  • In Please Vote For MeDocumentary Style Spectrum: What are the qualities of a formalistic documentary vs. a realistic one? Similarities in the 3 candidates’ home lives; candidates’ strengths and weaknesses; who wins the election and what factors help that person? Documentary as genre: what's the purpose of a documentary? What did this film enlighten you about? The effect created by parallel editing or crosscutting. Be able to cite specific examples of these concepts from the film to prove your point.

This is only a general guide and not necessarily a complete list of everything we learned and everything you should study!

Extra help will be offered after school at 2:35 p.m. on Monday, 11/6 in room 452.

The approximate test breakdown: 60% multiple choice / 20% mini essay on documentary style / 20% short answers

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reflecting on Your Reading Project Book

By now you've finished (or almost finished!) reading the film-related book you chose to read a few weeks ago, and now it's time to reflect back.

In a well-written reflection of 2-3 pages (typed and double-spaced) you should describe your reading experience. The most thorough reflections will consider the following:


  • What kind of a reader are you? How much do you read for pleasure? What's your general attitude toward reading? Have your reading habits changed as you've gotten older?
  • Was anything new about this experience? First book you've ever read on an iPad/Kindle? First time you've read a nonfiction book or book about film?
  • What're your book's title and author?
  • How did you choose your book? Where did you find it? Was it recommended by someone?
  • What is the subject of the book?
  • What expectations did you have? Did the book meet those expectations? Why or why not?
  • What insights into the world of film have you gained? Give specifics and develop your examples. Use a direct quote to add specificity.
  • Describe the experience of reading the book? Was it a quick read? Was it challenging? Was it pleasurable or not? Why?
If you've read a book that was adapted into a film then you've also watched the film and should discuss
  • More than what's missing in the film that was in the book. Is there a pattern in what was cut? A sub-plot? An entire major character? What was the effect of the changes?
  • Was material added? What's the effect of the new material?
  • Do some research! Was the author any way involved in making the film?
  • Describe the experience of reading the book versus seeing the film. Which did you prefer and why
Aside from being well-written, your reflection should be original, honest, and informal. It should also be typed, double-spaced and submitted to Turnitin.com by 11:59 p.m on Sunday, 10/29.

For an "A" you also need to effectively utilize a parenthetical statement, exercise some sentence length variety, and try one of the four openings as taught in class and, in the heading of your essay, state which opening you're using. For example:

Jane Doe
RotMI Reading Project Reflection
ANECDOTAL OPENING

Friday, October 6, 2017

Test on Wednesday, 10/11

The test will focus on Gus Van Sant's's Good Will Hunting and the key terms and concepts from Chapter 1 of our textbook, Understanding Movies. Also, review everything from the beginning of the course, such as literary, dramatic, and cinematic aspects, the definition of RotMI, etc. Be sure to look over your notes, your homework assignments, and all Viewing Guides and handouts.

Along with the general plot, key quotes, and character developments of our films, be sure to focus on these areas in your review:
  • In Good Will Hunting: Classical film style; title credits; puns in the title?; kaleidoscopic view; bird's-eye shot; slow motion photography; painterly vs. linear style; visual repetitions (motifs); final images for the 4 major relationships in the film; final shot; long take; attachment disorder as a psychological term. Be able to cite specific examples of these concepts from the film to prove your point.
  • In Chapter 1 - Understanding Moviesfilm style; various shots; framing; angles; lighting; cut, dissolve; eye-line match; deep focus; rack focus; diegetic, internal diegetic, and non-diegetic sound; authorial and subjective points of view, etc.
This is only a general guide and possibly not a complete list of everything we learned and everything you should study

The approximate test breakdown: 60% multiple choice / 20% mini essay on Literary, Dramatic & Cinematic Aspects / 20% short answers

Good luck! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The RotMI Reading Project

Here's a chance to read a great book about--what else--film!

By Friday, 9/29, find an appropriate book (see below) and bring it to class.

It may be a book...



Whatever book you choose it should be between 100-300 pages, appropriate for a school assignment, and brought to class on Friday, 9/29. Books on iPads, Kindles or other electronic devices are more than welcome.

We'll discuss in class how we're going to write about our books and by when you need to finish reading. Just go find a great book about film!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Key Concepts for Chapter 1

There will be a very brief Reading Reward (QUIZ) on Friday, 9/15 on some of the key concepts from Chapter 1 of our textbook, Understanding Movies. The best way to prepare is to thoroughly read Chapter 1, completing the fill-in-the-blank handout (that you received in class) as you go, and focusing on the following terms and concepts:
  • Film style: Realism, formalism & classical cinema
  • Shots: Long, medium, close-up and the effects they create
  • Angles: Eye-level, high, low, birds-eye view, and oblique (also known as canted or dutch) and the effects they create
  • The role of the cinematographer
  • Photography: Soft-focus, deep-focus, and rack focusing (selective focusing)
Good luck!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome to the RotMI Blog, FALL 2017!


Bookmark this site now! It's the place to come for course information and everything you need to keep up with assignments and due dates!