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should be one to two pages (250-500 words) and analyze the film’s theme and formal elements like camera work, lighting, composition, color, sound, and editing. It is helpful to use the “screening checklist” questions in each chapter as a prompt.
1) Who is the movie’s protagonist? What factors and needs motivate or complicate their actions?
2) Consider the movie’s major characters. Can you characterize each of them according to their depth (round characters versus flat)?
3) What is the narration of the movie? Does it use a narrator of any kind?
4) What are the differences among omniscient and unrestricted narration?
5) Carefully reconstruct the narrative structure of the movie. What is the inciting incident? What goal does the protagonist pursue? How does the protagonist’s need influence that pursuit? What obstacles (including the crisis) does the protagonist encounter, and how does she or he engage them?
6) Keep track of nondiegetic elements that seem essential to the movie’s plot (voice-overs, for example). Do they seem natural and appropriate to the film or do they appear to be “tacked on” to make up for a shortcoming in the overall presentation of the movie’s narrative?
7) Are the plot events presented in chronological order? What is the significance of the order of plot events in the movie?
8) Keep track of the major and minor events in the movie’s plot. Are any of the minor events unnecessary to the movie overall? If these events were not included, would the movie be better? Why?
9) Are there scenes that create a noticeable summary relationship between story duration and screen duration? Do these scenes complement or detract from the overall narrative? Do these scenes give you all the information about the underlying story that you need to understand what has happened in the elapsed story time? Do any scenes use real time or a stretch relationship between story duration and screen duration? If so, what is the significance of these scenes to the overall narrative?
10) Is any major plot event presented on-screen more than once? If so, why do you think the filmmaker has chosen to repeat the event?