Category Archives: Film Study

Film Study: The Power of One

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  1. The main character of the movie is P.K. What can you learn from PK? Explain in detail, providing evidence from the story.
  2. If you were P.K., outline one thing you would have done difference. Explain.

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Film Study: Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author hints certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story.  It can be very broad and easily understood, or it may be complex use of symbols that are then connected to later turns in the plot.

Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story and contains clues about what is to come:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of potential conflict between characters.
  • Look for signals that things might not be what the initially seem.
  • Pay close attention to any details that seem unusual or have particular emotional significance.

A hint that is designed to mislead the audience is referred to as a red herring. This is particularly the case with mystery writers, who want to bury clues to a mystery in information that is partially true and partially false.



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Film Study: Symbolism


Something used for representing something else. Symbols work like images that have meaning added to them. Colours can represent a moods. A rose is just a flower, until it is one of a bunch given as a present. Then it signifies love – passionate if the rose is red, chaste if it is white.


  • Evil: Fire, black, crow, storm
  • Death or endings: Gravestones, cemeteries, grim reaper, day of the dead, skulls, candle blowing out, coffins, ringing of the bell, cross bones
  • Love:  cupid, harp, heart, rose, red
  • Knowledge: A book, a candle, an owl, glasses

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Film Study: Simon Birch

Area of Study

  • Character, Theme/Moral, Symbolism, Irony


  1. Simon Birch is the hero of this movie. Define the word “hero“.
  2. Why is Simon Birch a hero? Explain and give proof from the film to support your opinion.
    • Note: use important quotes from the film to help support your answer.

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Film Study: The War

The War: Areas of Study

  • Character, Theme/Moral, Symbolism, Setting, Complicating Incidents


Choose one quote from the film.

  1. What is the quote you are using?
  2. What does the quote mean?
  3. How is it ironic or significant to the plot?

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Film Study: Irony


  • The opposite of what is originally thought or expected occurs, and is characterized by an incongruity, or contrast, between reality (what is) and appearance (what seems to be).

Verbal Irony is an incongruity between what is said and what is meant.

  • The discordance of verbal irony may be deliberately created as a means of communication (as in art or rhetoric).
    • as soft as concrete
    • as clear as mud
    • as pleasant as a root canal
    • “as pleasant and relaxed as a coiled rattlesnake” (Kurt Vonnegut from Breakfast of Champions)

Dramatic Irony is an incongruity between what a character in a work of fiction believes to be true and what the audience knows to be true.

  • Dramatic irony communicated the importance of a particular truth by portraying a person who is strikingly unaware of it, emphasizing a perceived truth.

Situational Irony is an “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal, [intended], or expected result.”

  • Descriptions or depictions of situational irony, whether in fiction or in non-fiction, serve the communicative function of sharpening or highlighting certain discordant features of reality.


  • Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.
  • The Titanic (the unsinkable ship) sinks.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Cup.
  • The police station gets robbed.
  • The fire station catches on fire and burns down.
  • It snows in the moths of June in Kitchener.
  • A lawyer is honest and will not charge a lot of money.

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Film Study Learning Goals

Overall Learning Goal

We are learning to think critically and support our ideas

Media Learning Goal

We are learning to identify a variety of techniques to increase our understanding of film media.

Success Criteria

  1.  I can identify how colour, shadows, lighting, camera angles etc. can influence the mood of a film.
  2. I can apply the film techniques studied and critically analyse other media texts.
  3. I can use characterization techniques (what characters wear, say, do etc.) to understand how character traits impact a story.
  4. I can identify elements of style (irony, symbolism, foreshadowing, etc.) that help communicate the meaning of a story.

Writing Learning Goal

We are learning to make our writing clearer and easier to understand through word choice, organization, and other techniques learned in class.

Success Criteria

  1. I can identify a purpose and audience for my writing
  2. I can revise my writing to have a strong voice through appropriate and powerful word choice.
  3. I can use a variety of resources (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.) to make my writing more articulate.
  4. I can organize my writing with an introduction, body and conclusion.
  5. I can self- and peer-edit to make my writing easy to read.

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Film Study: Terminology

Cinematic Elements

Shots and Framing

Establishing Shot

  • Often a long shot or a series of shots that set the scene. It is used to establish setting and to show transitions between locations.

Long Shot (LS)

  • A shot from some distance. If filming a person, the full body is shown.  It may show the isolation or vulnerability of the character (also called a Full Shot).

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Film Study: Lighting, Shading, Colour

Generally speaking, the cinematographer is responsible for arranging and controlling the lighting of a film. Movies take so long to complete, in part because of the enormous complexities involved in lighting each shot.

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Film Study

What is a film study?

A film study is an opportunity for you to take a closer look at how a film is put toegether as a form of art.  A chance to study and think about something we usually passively watch without thought about what is being presented.

What sorts of things will we be looking at?

Instead of just answering questions about what we see when we watch a film, we will look at some important parts that make up a film. Some of which you may never have noticed before.

Examples of topics for study are:

  • the use of lighting and shadows
  • moods created by camera angle and music
  • symbolism, foreshadowing, irony
  • conflict, setting theme, characterization, colour, character analysis

Film Study Unit Expectations

Assignments: We will study five to six films over a five to six week period (one movie every week).  Each film will be accompanied by an assignment that is related to topics selected to go with the film.


  • All assigned work will include instructions in class and require that you keep notes when viewing films.
  • Much of the work you will be required to do will be challenging, but you are very capable.
  • Set high standards for yourself and learn.
  • This is one of the harder units you will study this year, but is also one of the most interesting and fun.
  • If you are absent during any parts of the movie, then you must answer the questions from the parts that you did see. See your teacher for more details. You may also try to go online to view the scenes you missed.

Film Study Rules

  •  Have an open mind
  • There are no wrong answers
  • Take good notes!

Created by Nick Ioannidis

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