Film Studies A Level
In Films Studies A level you will be watching a wide range of films. Your job to prepare for the course is to watch as many films as you can. Really explore the films you watch, if you usually only watch Action films, check out some fantasy or Sci Fi. A good guide is to look for award winning films you can watch. Also look out for any of our study films (see list below)
As you are watching the film think about the following:-
- Cinematography – What is the camera doing? How is it helping to tell the story?
- Lighting – How is light and shadow being used deliberately to communicate the mood?
- Editing – How has the film been edited between shots to create a dynamic flow?
- Mise-en-scene – How have props and setting been used to create layers of meaning?
- Performance – How are the actors building character through their gestures and voice?
- Sound – How is the soundtrack (the music) complimenting the onscreen action. How is the sound within the film story being used?
Hold these ideas in your mind as you watch the film, you will be amazed at how much deeper your film experience will be. I sometimes sit with a favourite movie and a pad and make little notes as I go. It sounds weird, but believe me, you get to the other end of the Movie and it changes your entire view of a film you thought you knew so well.
Our study films
Pulp Fiction (1994) – Tarantino film, a real modern classic, great soundtrack too. Dow things with story telling that will blow your mind.
Casablanca (1942) – Always in the top 10 of the greatest films of all time. Amazing performances.
Blade Runner (1982) – Wow! To look at this film is stunning even by modern standards. Great story too.
Pans Labyrinth (2006) – OMG I love this movie. It’s Spanish but there is no language barrier. It’s written and directed by one of my favourite modern directors Guillermo del Toro, who is now a big Hollywood director
No Country for old Men (2007) – What a movie! The villain of this film is legendary. He is the ultimate bad guy. He’s even popped up in the Simpsons.
Trainspotting (1996) – A work of art. One of the greatest films to come out of Britain. Funny, heart breaking, thrilling. This film is a rollercoaster that kicks off with an iconic opening scene.
Winters Bone (2010) – American film making at its most beautiful and its darkest. This is Jennifer Lawrence before Hunger Games. What a performance.
This is England (2006) – Directed by Shane Meadows, this is British film making done as only we do. Gritty realism mingles with laughter. This film takes a seriously dark turn but wow, what a movie. At the end of this you will be a different person.
City of God (2002) – One of the greatest films to come out of Brazil. Language barrier, forget it! This story of the rise of gangs in a deprived district of Rio De Janeiro (the City of God) is packed full of characters you will fall in love with, that will terrify you. This film has a moment in it of such intensity it will scar you (in a good way) for life.
Amy (2015) – The Amy Winehouse story. This documentary is edited together by the director (Kapadia) that you end the film feeling you know the singer intimately. Her tragic end is felt almost as a personal loss. I went into this film sort of liking Amy Winehouse but came out of it a devoted fan. There are more twists and turns in this movie than you would get in an action movie. A classic.
Sunrise (1927) – A masterpiece. The greatest film you have never heard of. It won a bunch of Academy Awards. It was one of the first films to have a music soundtrack and sound effects.
Watch these films if you can, but really watch as many films as you can. It’ll be tough
See you in September. Happy watching.