Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

81 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Drama vs. Film

The Graduate (1967)

- Theme of being trapped; shown through fish tank, scuba gear in the pool, zoo.

Manipulation of Time

- It’s harder with theater as opposed to film

- Much easier to manipulate time in film

- Time is manipulated in Run Lola Run shown through calendar pages and clockhand spinning


- An editing technique that suggests the interruption of the present by a shot or series of shots presenting the future.


- An editing technique that suggests the interruption of the present by a shot or series of shots presenting the past.


- In film, frame is the space

Proscenium Arch in theatre

- This is the area of the stage visible to the audience in a stage play

Manipulation of Space

Closed Form

- In film, you can make it seem more open, but it is very closed.

- Manipulation of space in film is easy

A Hard Day’s Night clip

- Used close-up, medium, helicopter shots

Stage Actors

- Can modify performance

- Greater opportunity to develop character

- Appearance less important

Film Actors

- Cannot modify

- Not as concerned with overall body movement other than in long shots

- Mistakes/bloopers are no problem

Use of Spoken Word

- More important to stage, because film has its own language in various techniques that help tell the story.

Settings and Décor

- Minute details are available to film

Décor and Details

- Set – Film directors can cut to any set or location that is desired. There was lots of land available to early Hollywood

Back-Lot Sets

- Standing exterior set of common locations such as European village, a western street, or a turn of the century American street

Sound Stage

- A soundproof, airplane hanger-like building used in the production of film or TV. Suitable for recording.

Characteristics of a Set

Exterior or Interior Style – Realistic/lifelike or stylized/distorted

Studio or Location – What benefits does a location offer?

Period – What era does the set represent? Class – What class of characters would you expect based on the set?

Size – Can also establish character class?

Decoration – Furnished, décor, religiosity

Symbolic Function – Overall image created by a set.

Characteristics of a Costume

Period – What era does the costuming represent?

Class – Income level

Sex – Feminine or masculine

Age – Is it age appropriate?

Silhouette – Form fitting or baggy

Fabric – Coarse, sturdy, sheer, plain, or durable

Accessories – Hats, gloves, etc.

Color – Dull or bright

Body Exposure – How much skin is shown? Function – Leisure or work

Image – Overall impression


- Actors used primarily to provide the sense of a crowd.

Nonprofessional Performers

- Amateur players who are chosen not because of their acting ability, but because of their authentic appearance

- Part of Italian Neo-Realism, show in clip from Bicycle Thieves

Trained Professionals

Stage and screen performers who are capable of playing a variety of roles in a variety of styles. Most actors fall into this category.


- Famous performers who are widely recognized by the public. Major drawing power. Persona.

Star System

- The technique of exploiting the charisma of popular stars to enhance the box office appeal of films.

- 1930-1940 (Golden Age of Hollywood)


- An actor’s public image or the image that an actor projects to the public often based on actor’s screen roles.

- The studios protected their stars to keep their persona intact.

Personality Star

- A star that tends to play only those roles that fit a preconceived public image

- Examples include: John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson

Star Vehicle

- A movie specifically designed to showcase the talents and charms of a specific star.

Actor Star/Character Star

- A star who can play a greater range and variety of roles.

- Examples include: Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett

Silent Acting

- A style of acting popular in the silent era.

Shakespearean Acting

- Considered the most difficult due to its archaic language

Technical Acting

- An approach to acting in which the performer thinks through gestures and emotions and exhibits them. Personal experiences not used as a base for a character.

White Heat (1950) clip – James Cagney uses technical acting

Method Acting

- An approach to screen performance, derived from Russian Director Stanislavsky, in which the actor seeks to portray a character by using personal experience and emotion as a foundation for the portrayal.

- Actors that used this style include: Montgomery Clift, Marlan Brando, James Dean

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) clip – Marlan Brando uses Method Acting


The Searchers (1956)

Aristotle’s Two Types of Storytelling


- Storytelling that consists of the showing of or acting out of events, such as live theatre.

Aristotle’s Two Types of Storytelling


- Storytelling that is told by a narrator of some type.

Aristotle’s Two Types of Storytelling

Film is unique in that it combines both types of storytelling.


- The study of how stories work, how we make sense of the raw materials of a narrative, how we fit them together to form a coherent whole and the study of different narrative structures.

- Also, study the different types of stories (genres)

Realistic Films

- The implied author is virtually invisible as the events that unfold onscreen speak for themselves, usually in chronological order.

- Example: Italian Neo-Realism – Bicycle Thieves

Classical Films

- The shaping hand involved in telling the story is more evident, boring gaps of narrative are edited out. The author (director) is low in profile, but keeps the action on track, moving toward a specific destination.

- Example: John Ford – The Searchers (1956)

Formalistic Films

- The author is overtly manipulative, sometimes scrambling the order of events or restructuring events to build toward a specific theme. More subjective.

- Examples: Run Lola Run, Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) clip

Beginning of German Expressionist Movement

Story (definition)

- The general subject matter, or the raw materials of a dramatic action in a chronological sequence.


- The storyteller’s method of superimposing a structural pattern over the story; giving it a certain direction or intention of meaning.

The Classical Paradigm

- Narrative structure that has dominated fictional film since 1910, in which a protagonist initiates an action that is resisted by an antagonist.

- Protagonist faces considerable opposition

- The audience watches to see how the protagonist achieves his or her wants.

- Escalation of intensity from scene to scene

- Protagonist and antagonist clash in the climax

- Narrative wrap up that provides closure

- Usually linear and chronological


- A recognizable type of movie characterized by certain pre-established conventions in style, subject, and values.

- Westerns, thrillers, Sci-Fi

Common Iconography of a Genre

- Westerns

o White hat = good guy

o Black hat = bad guy

Four Stages of a Genre


- The stage of a genre that is usually naïve, though powerful in its emotional impact, due to its novelty in form. Many rules and conventions of the genre are established in this stage.

Four Stages of a Genre


- The stage of a genre that embodies classical ideals such as balance, richness, and poise. The genre’s values and conventions are assured and widely shared by the audience and filmmakers.

Four Stages of a Genre


- The stage where a film is usually more symbols, more ambiguous, and less certain of its values. More complex, and appeal more to the intellect.

Four Stages of a Genre


- The stage of genre that offers an outright mockery of the genre’s conventions

- Examples: Blazing Saddles, Airplane!, Zero Hour

Opening Scene/Establishing Scene

- Establish time, place, cultural context and characters within that context. Disrupt the equilibrium of our characters. Different types of resolutions

Comedic Resolution

- The characters are better off in the end than in the beginning

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Petting the Dog

- In the beginning of the film, the protagonist will perform some kind act that perhaps the audience on the side of that character for the remainder of the film, no matter what.


- A written description of a movie’s dialogue and action, sometimes in detail, occasionally including camera directions.

- Main theme can be included.

Shooting Script

- A written breakdown or reinterpretation of a movie story into its individual shots.

- Often technical instructions are included.

- Used by his or her staff during the shoot

- Usually developed by the director.

Script Doctors

- Often uncredited screenwriters hired to punch up a screenplay

Characteristics of Good Dialogue

- The writer has a good ear for how people speak.

- The writer also understands people’s rhythms of speech.

- Employ the right of choice of words for character or character type

- Understand the length of real world sentences.

- Correct situations to use jargon, slang, swearing, etc.

His Girl Friday (1940) clip

example of good dialogue

Figurative Techniques


- An obtrusive technique, object, or thematic idea that is systematically repeated throughout a film, and does not always draw attention.

- Example: criss-crossing in Strangers on a Train

Figurative Techniques


- An object or cinematic technique that has a significance beyond its literal meaning, which is determined by the dramatic context.

- Example: Enclosure shot in The Searchers

Figurative Techniques


- An implied comparison between two otherwise unlike elements.

- Example: Battle in The Searchers

Figurative Techniques


- A reference to an event, person, or work of art, usually well known.

- Example: The Graduate – the crucifixion of Ben (Ben shown with arms up in church)

Original Screenplay

- A script expressly written for a film, not adapted from any other literary source, or medium, including a novel, short story, a magazine article, a play, a TV show, a biography/autobio, etc.

Adapted Screenplay

Loose Adaptation

- A movie based or another medium in which only a superficial resemblance exists between the new film version and the original version

- Examples: The Lion King and Hamlet; Hamlet/Emma and Clueless.

Adapted Screenplay

Faithful Adaptation

- A film based on a literary original which captures the essence of the original but sometimes substituting the technique in the place of literary technique.

- Example: Emma.

Adapted Screenplay

Literal Adaptation

- A movie based on a stage play, in which the chronological actions are preserved more or less intact

- Example: Hamlet (1948)

An Andalusian Dog/Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali

- “If anyone makes sense of this, then they are wrong.”

- Desperate call to murder

- Slicing of the eyeo Literal opening of the eye – showing that films are artificial and a lie; we believe what a film tells us. This film says not to listen to what a film tells you.

- Man drags things as he tries to get the woman (pianos, dead priests, donkey carcasses, etc.). These are icons of western civilization, religion, and art.o Thought: Everything they think about art and religion is wrong and decaying

- Man and woman get stuck in sand and dieo Thought: happily ever after does not exist.

- They attack the way films, religions, and arts work. They say those things are holding us back.

- Logic and imagery of dreamo Ants in the hand – means sexually excited, but the ants coming out of the holes in his hand also points to crucifixion.

- Shows anti-religion elements

- Bunuel studied insects, liked death’s head moth, likes horror films

- Images tell the story

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Has ideology


- A body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class or culture, or a set of values or priorities offered in a film.

Degrees of Ideological Explicitness


- Escapist films and light entertainment movies that exclude the social environment in favor of a vaguely benevolent setting that allows the story to take place smoothly.

- Example: Some Like It Hot

Degrees of Ideological Explicitness


- The protagonists and antagonists represent conflicting values systems, but these are not dwelled on. There is a slant to the story, but it is not clearly spelled out.

- Example: The Graduate


- Thematically oriented movies that aim to teach or persuade as much as to entertain.

Orson Welles - War of the Worlds Broadcast

Halloween Eve of 1938

Orson Welles

Boy Genius of Radio

RKO signs him to a 6-picture deal

Citizen Kane Screenwriter

Herman J. Mankiewicz, hanger on at William Randolph Hearst's castle

Citizen Kane and William Randolph Hearst

Kane is modeled off of Hearst

Hearst's castle = Xanadu

Mistress Marion Davies = Susan Alexander

William Randolph Hearst

Yellow Journalist

Caused Spanish-American War


Battle over Citizen Kane

Hearst and people threatened studios

Studios raised $1 million to stop Kane

Welles convinced RKO to still make Kane

Symbolism in Kane


Symbol of Kane's childhood
loss of innocence/childhood/family unit - Welles
mix of Welles and Hearst's lives

Symbolism in Kane


Grows darker as he gets older

Symbolism in Kane

Jigsaw Puzzle

Formalistic Film


Deep Focus Shot

Toland created and used the shot and different unique shots

Various Techniques used in Citizen Kane

Scratching of film,Shallow Depth of Focus, Orientation Cuts,Crane shots, Mickeymousing, Chiaroscuro Lighting, Models, Mise en Scene, Long takes, Time Manipulation, Proxemic Patterns, Sound Continuity, Detail to Sound