Overview of Cinergía Movie File Components:
Each movie file for Cinergía is composed of three central areas: 1) Pre-Screening, 2) Comprehension and Criticism, and 3) Media Literacy. Our current movie files have been contributed by undergraduate student teams, graduate student teams, and faculty. We welcome contributions from students or scholars of films that relate to the Spanish-Speaking world. If you are interested in contributing a file please contact Sophia A. McClennen at firstname.lastname@example.org
following information is provided to give future contributors and current users
a sense of the basic format of our movie files.
These are general guidelines and, while each file will be slightly
different, all will have some version of the three main areas detailed below.
These files are designed as a teaching and research resource for students,
faculty and cinephiles all over the world.
Please contact us with feedback on the format.
We welcome your suggestions.
use film in teaching/learning about a foreign culture, the viewer needs some
background on the region, the historical period, and the historical events
associated with the film in order to fully interact critically with the movie.
For instance, if you watch a historical film with no background at all,
you will be totally unprepared to analyze the accuracy of the film.
this area of the movie file includes two ESSENTIAL components.
Background Links: A series of approximately 10 links to web sites
in either English or Spanish that can provide background information. These links must be accompanied by a brief explanation of the
site, its author or source, its perspective (point of view) and its useful
characteristics. The sites chosen
should represent the best resources for the film. It is important that these
sites represent a good range of background information and that, when possible,
they provide a range of viewpoints. Each
entry should have: a) page title, b) web address, c) general description--
including page author if available and language and d) relevance to the movie.
Pre-screening questions: A series of 10-20 questions that a film
viewer should consider BEFORE watching the movie and which they should be able
to answer by studying the materials found on the web sites provided.
for this section is to provide the viewer with a critical background to the
film. We believe that viewers are
more likely to engage critically with a film if they are aware of the references
and context of the material. Solid
pre-screening is crucial to critical engagement after screening the film.
This section is
designed for the viewer who has the background and has also seen the movie.
The purpose of this section is to check the viewer’s knowledge of what
they saw in the film and to encourage critical questions about the film.
includes two ESSENTIAL components:
Comprehension questions: Before
we can analyze a film, we have to make sure that we all understand it.
This section contains approximately 15 questions that test that
knowledge. These questions may seem
similar to literary comprehension questions—such as who are the main
characters, what is the theme, what is the setting, etc?
These questions should also cover the central concerns of the movie.
Criticism: This section pushes conversation of the film to
consider critical approaches to the film. These
critical approaches might be feminist, Marxist, postcolonial, postmodern,
structural, etc… Critical areas of focus might be on issues of historical
accuracy for historical films or they might be on the representation of women
from a feminist perspective, etc… While most films are open to criticism from
various viewpoints, this section is designed to apply a particular critical
approach to a film. Ideally this
section will include 4 or 5 brief quotes from critical sources that address a
central critical perspective. These
quotes might be used to remind viewers of different critical attitudes that
provide insight into the film. They
are not meant to be exhaustive, but they should be provocative.
These quotations will be followed by approximately 10 questions that ask
the viewer to analyze the film using this particular critical approach.
This section is
designed to ensure that film scholarship pays attention to issues of form.
Much teaching and research using film focuses too heavily on content and
disregard s form as a meaningful aspect of the film.
We believe that films must be studied for their technique and their
specific context of production. This
section emphasizes an analysis of film production and technique and includes a
section on still analysis.
this area has two essential
Still analysis. The
still is the shortest piece of film that can be analyzed and it is an excellent
starting point for critical engagement with film form. The still analysis should
consider the following components. Not
all of the components are always noteworthy.
Include only those aspects that help produce meaning in the frame.
Mise en scene
of the still to the whole movie. (This is a central aspect of any still
section includes approximately 15 questions that relate to media literacy.
The following site has a series of generic questions that can be adapted
for these purposes:
McClennen's Keys to Media Analysis.
This section must pay attention to the specificity of film form and media
communication. Questions might cover the intended audience, the use of
symbols, the use of sound to create emotions, camera techniques that reinforce
the story, if the form of the film encourages viewer engagement or passive
absorption, etc… They might also include information on the director (or any
other member of the crew) or on the production of the film and reception of the
These are the three central areas to a movie file. Please don’t hesitate to contact Sophia A. McClennen email@example.com with any questions or comments.
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Created on 6/20/00
Last updated on 07/20/2007