Monday, January 19, 2015

10 Lessons From Films

I have always loved films. In 1990, I assumed the responsibility of reviewing videos for a magazine. Every month, I would receive a stack of videos from Warner Home Videos (WHV) from the distributor, and I would give either a deep review or one, or superficial ones were there a few. These are lessons I have gleaned over the years, as a fan and buyer of 'box-sets' and 'collection of classics'.

I am not a graduate of film-school, yet I grew up loving the film of medium. With the technology of Blu-Ray and DVD, the reach of films has become one of attainment and attachment of what we term the 'classics'. My box-sets of 'film trilogy' and television 'season' box-sets are a testament of my fascination with 'moving pictures'. Thank you, Mr Edision for the invention of the projector.

What can one glean as lessons from films? Here are my observations and perspectives.

1) Watch the film once, and enjoy it for what it is. Regard it as pure entertainment.
2) Films deliver  a message. Distinguish what it is communicating. What is it attempting to educate, entertain, or engage us about?
3) Wach a film and study the relationships. Which character is playing Functional Dynamics? Who is playing Dysfunctional Dynamics (Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer ~ Jan Kelly & Gary Yardley, EOM technology)?
4) Watch the Feature section (if available) and learn how digital technology has enhanced film. How has sound technology enhanced the total viewing experience (Dolby-sound)?
5) What did you enjoy most about the film? Script, character, plot, scenes, staging, or sets?
6) Which quotations stood out for you? ('Carpe diem!' in Dead Poets Society; 'I feel the need for speed!' from 'Top Gun').
7) When a film is 'inspired by true events' or 'based on a real story', how much did it lead you to explore more about the theme or message? How have you checked on the authenticity and audacity of the film? How factually through was it? How much was contrived or rewritten for dramatic impact?
8) What draws you to watching a film? Trailers, posters, cast, director, genre or theme?
9) Which films are most memorable to you? Why? How did it make an impact on you?
10) Which are the 'coming of age' films? What makes a classic?

These considerations and questions, help give us structure to our Critical Thinking. The film is a stimulus, an artistic expression, and a demonstration of 'artistic licence' (where certain liberties are made). How did the film influence you? Which films formulated our life decisions?

As you can see, there are much we can learn from film and film critique. Enjoy the big screen!

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