A2 Film Studies: Section B: Experimental and Expanded Cinema

These revision cards are based on the WJEC A2 Film studies exam. I hope these become useful to you.


Section B

Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003) - still shot of students in playing field (non-diegetic sound of piano, which suggests a sense of danger and tragedy) observational.

- when Michelle stares up at the sky in slow motion, it also emphasises her character as well as the danger (as we know as the audience what is to come).

- Nathan walking into school (uses a tracking shot also known as a steadicam), naturalistic lighting (overexposed outside, makes it feel like you are there).

- corridors are wide and empty (there tends to be long shots/over the shoulder shots while tracking the student, can also make it feel as if we are there, also shows their everyday life).

- slow motion of dog (disorientation)

- mid shots showing facial expression and body language

- soundtrack mostly vaguely heard

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Section B

- not much dialogue, relys on imagery.

- slow motion introducing new character - signifies change of character - change of plot direction - intensifies emotion.

- Michelle is portrayed as small and innocent, she is on her own/lonely.

Elias - shallow focus/short depth of field isolates character. developing film goes on and on (shows realism - ordinary everyday business).

- question marks at end of film instead of beginning.

- sky is eerie, dark and unanswered ending.

- Nathan and Carrie are found by Alex, the camera moves away leaving an unanswered fate.

- killing of Eric by Alex is unexpected.

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Section B

- cuts in the film, which makes it hard to tell if it jumping in time, until we see halfway through the film.

- see same event at different POV - gives the effect of a slow atmosphere doing the same sort of things everyday.

- we as an audience know what is going to happen. the moral everyday life will disappear once the killings happen.

- no professional actors were used in the film.

- cinema verite - style of documentary - observational 'fly-off the-wall documentary'

- no stopping of camera - continuous piece.

-showing the mundane routine and how disconnected and ordinary.

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Section B

Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer,1999) - two characters are established in a very short time.

- Digital Video(Handheld artificial) - Dad and Mistress discussing future (baby)

- Black and white scenes - show flashback.

- Animation - keeps up with the pace of the music giving a sense of fantasy not reality.

- the mother on the phone is the only scene that is repeated exactly in all sections of the film.

- the red screen sections are the heart of the film.

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Section B

Hollywood elements - problem resolved at the end

- stereotypical gangs.

- main characters.

- over arching plot the "what if".

- three part structure.

- more emphasis on spectator to choose one or more of the narratives.

- use of stills to project forward in time of a charactyers life e.g. lottery, road accident.

- use of split screen plus clock is used to emphasise time and give objective view of events.

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Section B

- in the opening sequence the audience are consumed by a wooden clock and the music comes in straight away. philisophical elements. clock symbolises the time element in the film.

- images of wooden clock with monster face suggests the harshness of time - rushed headlong into the mouth as the speeded up sequence begins.

- football concept - introduced by security guard, describes a game of football is 90 mins long and a reminder of the theme of time.

- techniques in the film include a colourised red screen to denote memory, instant replay, parallel action, circuling camera (steadicam), photo inserts, photo montage speeded up, animation, jump cuts, fast tracking (on dolly), split screen.

- main perspective is Lola's in version 2 we get Manni's perspective also.

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Section B

A Colour Box (Len Lye, 1935) - experimental animated film.

- made for GPO Film Unit, to advertise postal system.

- painted directly onto film.

- experimented with different kinds of paint, that wont peel away.

- tools include camel hairbrush, fine toothed comb to build up textures.

- words jitter on screen as if animated by music.

Mothlight (Stan Brakhage, 1965) - experimental short film/silent collage incorporating real world elements.

- created without a use of camera by pressing objects between two strips of mylar film and passing through optical printer.

- items used include moth wings, flower petals and grass.

- objects had to be thin and translucent to permit passage of light.

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Section B

The Big Shave (Martin Scorsese, 1967) - binary opposites - music against the harshness of the visuals.

- lyrics mostly connotate the American lifestyle/dreamy "I Can't get started" - suggests something not right with the world.

- music shows detatchment - audience hear music, actor cant.

- no major character development.

- context - vietnam war - anit-war protest 1967/68.

- everything is white and pure, blood spoils purity.

- music makes it seem like a normal everyday thing - distrubing.

- man's face is blank, looks like he is blind, cant feel his own pain - shows people arent reacting to it.

- taking shirt off at different angles (jump cut)

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