Routledge

Student Resources

Web Activities

PART I: EXPLORING FILM FORM (FM1)

1: Film Form

1.
http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/trailers/menu_atonement.htm
http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/trailers/menu_hotfuzz.htm
http://www.sevenmovie.com/envy.htm
Watch these trailers above and consider the audience they are trying to appeal to. Do the trailers set the scene immediately? Does the trailer make you want to go and see it? Does the trailer leave you asking questions?

2.
061114/145248__departed_l.jpg
/2006_the_departed_008.jpg
Look at the photos and consider the ways in which some of Argyle's ten body codes are being used. Are the characters in distress/ecstatic/overcome with emotion? Look at their eyes, what feelings are shown through them?

3.
http://imdb.com/Photos/Ss/0120815/1-1.jpg
http://www.britfilms.tv/images/news/Hot%20Fuzz2.JPG
http://cdnmedia.bix.com/images/UfZYRqqbzG.jpg
Consider what impact a uniform has on how you look at somebody. Do men/women wearing army and police uniforms command more respect? How does the uniform and the way it is worn affect our view of the character and how we think they feel about their jobs?

4.
http://video.movies.go.com/sincity/
http://wwws.warnerbros.co.uk/300/
Look at the following clips and compare them with Schindler’s List or another film which uses colour, or rather a lack of, to great effect. Why have the directors chosen to create their film in this way? What effect does it have on the film?

5.
http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0293508/098-C125-05.jpg.html?seq=3
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/145/378044518_210bca3811.jpg
http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper144/stills/90mca3v4.jpg
Look at the way lighting is used to attract attention to certain details. Think how else the lighting could have been used and whether it would have had the same impact. Is the dark shadow to emphasis the villain or to show that the characters are ‘cool’?

6.
http://oceans13.warnerbros.com/
http://www.shrek.com/main.html
http://www.thebourneultimatum.com/
Watch the trailers and think about the sounds used. Pay particular attention to the sound effects. Note the type of music being played in the background and consider how this enhances the film or tells you about the genre.

2: Spectatorship

1.
http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/casinoroyale/index.html
http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/thepursuitofhappyness/
http://www.roadtoperdition.com/home.html
Watch these clips and think about where and when the film was set. What country and era is it set in? Does the director make it clear where it is set? How does s/he do so? Think about the cultural influences on society at the time, are some people given advantages over others? Does the film show the values of the time, or modern Western values?

2.
http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/reviews.php?film_id=12829
focus_on_the_da_vinci_code_offensive_probably_a_dud_for_sure_/
http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/
Religion-Faith/Blog~390127.aspx
All of the films listed above have been subject to criticism and have been found offensive by some. What prejudices would you bring with you to watching these films?
Outline how you think you would respond to such a film (100 - 200 words). If possible, exchange your work with other people and read their responses.
Watch the film and then return to your initial thoughts in your piece of writing and assess whether you actually responded in the way you expected.

3: Creative Project

1.
http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/trailers/menu_golden.htm
http://imdb.com/title/tt0382932/trailers-screenplay-E33296-10-2
Trailers are edited to give you a taster of what the film is about without giving you the whole storyline. How do these films go about showing you the content of the film? Does the music, the script, the moving images, or the props attract you to the film? If you were to make the trailer for these two films is there anything you would have changed?

2.
http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/fracture.pdf
Read page 3 and 4 of this script and think about where the cameras would be. Do you zoom in on the character talking? Or do you need to be able to see the set around the characters? Would the camera angle be changing constantly or does it need to be focused?

3.
0488120/Ss/0488120/f4.jpg?path=gallery&path_key=0488120
Now looking at the picture of Jennifer and Rob think about what you learnt from them in the screenplay. Now that you can see them do your views change at all? Are the characters what you imagined them to be? What extra meaning has it brought to the script now that you can see the characters?

4.
http://www.exposure.co.uk/makers/minute.html
There are some good tips here from Robert Rodriguez aimed at low-budget film-makers

PART II: BRITISH AND AMERICAN FILM (FM2)

4: The Film Industry – the American industry

1.
http://www.ukhotmovies.com/charts/cinema/
http://www.imdb.com/Recent/UK
Look at the sites above and consider the UK and US release dates for films and their popularity. How has the release date affected the popularity in each region? Which films have global release dates and why?

2. http://www.currentfilm.com/images3/sevenplatinumfront.jpg
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0002B15WE.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
http://www.navone.org/blogger/uploaded_images/carsdvd-765050.jpg
Look at the following covers and determine how they use light, images, phrasing and colouring to great affect. What is the DVD cover portraying about the film? Would it tempt you into buying it?

3.
http://www.historicla.com/hollywood/history.html
Look at the way the film industry has developed in the last ten years. VHS and DVD have both had a huge impact on the availability of film in the home. How has this helped or hindered classic films such as Anchors Aweigh, Gone with the Wind, Doctor Zhivago and other similar films.

4.
/transformers_poster.gif
http://media.movieweb.com/galleries/4013/posters/poster1.jpg
http://www.themovieblog.com/archives/Evan-Almighty-Poster-2.jpg
Look at the following posters and determine how they use light, images, phrasing and colouring. What is the poster portraying about the film? Consider what it tells you about the film’s genre, narrative and characters. Would it tempt you into going to watch it at the cinema?

7.
http://www.popartuk.com/film/the-simpsons-movie/keep-on-streaking-the-simpsons-fp1854-poster.asp
http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/Simpsons_Movie_teaser.jpg
http://media.movieweb.com/galleries/4013/posters/poster1.jpg
http://www.firstshowing.net/img/simpsonsmovie-poster-6.jpg
In conjunction with The Simpson’s Movie, 20th Century Fox have brought out dozens of different posters to promote the film to different audiences. How do the posters differ? Are some better suited to older audiences, more experienced audiences? Would a poster in the cinema differ to one at a bus stop? What makes one poster work more effectively than another? Discuss.

8.
transformers-movie-teaser-poster.jpg
Without knowing too much about this film, who do you think the target audience is? Does the fact that it is based on a comic book been it is suitable for a younger audience? What sort of merchandising do you think would be used in promoting this film? Do you think this poster would encourage people to go and see the film, or is it too dark?

5: The Film Industry — Hollywood

1.
http://www.historicla.com/hollywood/history.html
Take a look at this website and familiarise yourself with Hollywood a little. Think of Hollywood as a big business rather than a place which helps to occupy your Friday nights. How did the ‘Hollywood’ image begin? And what has kept it going all this time? Try to find out the background history of Hollywood.

2.
http://www.pinewoodgroup.com/gen/Pinewood_Studios_Group.aspx
http://www.elstreefilmstudios.co.uk/
http://www.cheltstudio.com/
http://www.paramount.com/
http://www.lionsgate.com/
Look at the film studios and note the differences and similarities between them. Notice the differences between the films made when the studio first started and the films made now.

3.
http://www.snarkygossip.com/2006/08/23/tom-cruise-fired-by-paramount/
Film stars sometimes find it hard to keep a friendship going with a production company, such as Tom Cruise. Others get on very well, for example Hugh Grant has made four films with Working Title since his success in Four Weddings and a Funeral. So why are so many film stars choosing to set up their own companies? Research into stars that are doing this and find out the names of their companies and the films that they are producing.

4.
http://www.filmfestivals.com/index.shtml
Produce a list of film festivals and the films that they will be showing this year. Note how many are Hollywood blockbusters, and how many are independent films. Take a note of their budgets and follow them when they are released to see how they do.

5.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000148/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000702/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000391/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000149/
Look at these actors and find out what genre of film they are most associated with, list films that aren’t in-keeping with this. What is about them as an actor that makes them suitable for some films and less so for others?

6.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6898758.stm
http://www.movieweb.com/movies/boxoffice/
Look at current figures for the British and US box office and compare this with the DVD sales. How have both changed in the last five years?

6: The Film Industry — the British film industry

1.
http://www.britfilms.com/britishfilms/
This site has a useful list of British films and filmmakers. Look at the list of films and consider how ‘British’ they are – actors, location, script, directors etc. and how successful they may be.

2.
http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/filmmaking/funding/features/
Consider the funding available from the UK Film Council. How does this differ from American funding?

7: The Film Audience — film demand and film supply

1.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/
http://www.launchingfilms.com/releaseschedule/topfifteenfilms.html
Take a look at the current box offices for the US and Britain. Which films have made the most at the box office? Which have stayed there the longest? What films are attracting the public? Are there any big differences between the British and American box office? If so, what are they?

2.
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?FID=11021
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?FID=11118
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?FID=11094
Look at this summer’s choice of films; you will discover that many are sequels if not the third instalment of an already proven film. Are production companies making these sequels so that the audience can enjoy more of the same great storylines or is it just so that they can make money on a guaranteed success? Look at the reviews of the films and discuss whether you think production companies have produced quality viewing or not.

3.
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?DVDID=116930
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399201/
http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?DVDID=10770
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0320661/
It has become far more difficult for a film to be a flop because of the amount of advertising going into films. However, in the last couple of years The Island and Kingdom of Heaven (both with British actors playing the lead roles) have been considered to have done badly at the box office. Look at the films in detail and explain why you think this may have happened.

4.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382625/
In an age when society is far more accepting of previously banned subjects such as homosexuality there are still some subjects which are considered taboo. Most recently, The Da Vinci Code has had its critics, even being taken to court over the allegations. Find another film from recent times (post 2000, can be foreign), some possibilities are Munich and Valkyrie, and discuss why it was opposed and whether you agree that it should not be watched or whether you think it is acceptable. Think about the social and historical aspect about the film at its time of release.

5.
http://www.bbfc.co.uk/recent/index.php?media=film
http://www.ofrb.gov.on.ca/english/page6.htm
http://www.mpaa.org/FlmRat_Ratings.asp
Look at the ratings for new films not currently released. Discuss the reasons for them being rated at the level they are. Discuss the differences between Britain, USA and Canada, why do you think they choose to rate films differently?

6.
http://film.guardian.co.uk/
http://movies.fansitefrenzy.com/
http://www.empireonline.com/
Look at the following film information sites and notice differences in the way they have been made. One is by a newspaper, one a magazine and one by fans. Look at the language, font, images and colour used.

8: The Film Audience — the consumption of film

1.
http://www.silentera.com/
Choose five silent films to research and find out the basic details. The title in English (if it was a foreign film), the year it was released, the leading roles, director, any awards it may have won. Try to choose five different films, either from different countries or different years. Once you have compiled your information compare and discuss the films.

2.
http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/feb/26digital.htm
Look at the dates in this article and notice when the first completely computer-generated feature film was released. Does that surprise you? Why do you think that since then there are still a limited number of completely computer-generated films? Why do you think it took so long for DVDs to become an everyday household gift? It wasn’t until 2004 that there was a big growth in DVD sales.

3.
http://www.blu-ray.com/
http://www.hddvdprg.com/eng/index.html
Consider the sites for Blu-ray and HD DVD above. What methods are they using to try to convince consumers to buy their products? Do you think that this new technology will help increase audience viewing pleasure?

9: The Film Audience — genre and stars

1.
http://songphon.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/movie_pirates3.jpg
What affect does this have on the audience? Is your eye drawn to the poster, if so why? Is it the actor, the colouring, the wording etc.? Would you watch the film because this actor was in it or would the actor have no effect on you?

2.
www.imdb.com/  
Biographies_Actors_and_Filmmakers.htm
http://www.chiff.com/pop-culture/hollywood.htm
Find out as much as you can about your favourite actor/actress using these sites.

3.
http://www.launchingfilms.com/releaseschedule/topfifteenfilms.html
Look at the current box office, do you think the films are here because of the lead actor/actress in the film. Would the film be in the top ten if it used a newcomer? Discuss.

4.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000129/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000123/
Look at George Clooney and Tom Cruise who have both been outspoken in their political or religious views. Have any of the films that they have been in reciprocated their views in life? Has the publicity that they have had on the issue helped or hindered them?

5.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000702/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000173/
Research information about both Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Take in the differences and similarities between the roles that they have played. Since both have become more household names have they changed the genre that they are working in?

10: Narrative — an introduction

1.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339291/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0170016/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0130827/
Look at different types of films that use a narrator. What differences do you notice? Why have they chosen to use a narrator in the film? What does the narrator add to the view of this film? How is the narration used?

2.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0130827/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120148/
Compare Run Lola Run with Sliding Doors. Discuss the film’s structure. Do you get to learn enough about the main characters? Which storyline do you prefer in the films?

11: Genre — an introduction

1.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427327/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498353/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337978/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373889/
Look at the different genres of film above. List the differences in music, visual aids, sound effects, use of CGI, and the believability of the film. Then look for another film of the same genre and compare similarities.

2.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100405/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117060/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246578/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166924/
Look at classic films of the last twenty years such as the ones above and choose different unexpected actors/actresses for the lead roles. How do you think this would have affected the film, the box office, the audiences’ acceptance of the new actor in that role?

3.
http://www.sevenmovie.com/
Visit the official site for Se7en and think about how it sets up the genre of the film through colour, images, font etc. Look at the characters of David Mills and William Somerset in the film Se7en. List the differences in their character and how they are shown differently through light, sound, shadow and music in the film.

12: Representation — an introduction

1.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119164/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434124/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364751/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0449059/
Look at a British comedy and an American comedy, how do they represent their countries? Why do they do this? What class is shown? Can we relate to the characters in the film? What are the main differences between British and American comedies?

2.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001132/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000473/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000197/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001059/
Consider the differences in the way Britain and the US represent gender, race, age and class. Until recently Britain has not had many young British actors, in particular female actors. Explain why that might be the case.

3.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110912/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111161/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145681/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450259/
Look at the above films and discuss the roles of the black-white pairings. What is the difference between the female-male pairings and the male-male pairings? Is then any sexual tension between the characters? Is there a race issue between the characters? Which character is the represented as the more intelligent, knowledgeable one?

13: British Film and Genre — Horror

1.
http://www.hammerfilms.com/

Hammer films are famous for making horror movies. Visit this site and read all about the studio. Make notes on the type of horror films they have made and the representation of gender and race across their catalogue of films.

2.  http://www0.epinions.com/content_4704542852
Horror films often have a ‘final girl’ who lives through to the end and can be seen as a sign of female power. Do you think the final girls listed here are positive or negative representations?

14: British Film and Genre — Comedy

1.
http://www.filmsite.org/comedyfilms.html

There are many different kind of comedies and they are listed and discussed at the site above. Make a list of contemporary comedies that fall under each heading.

2.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434124/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119164/
As well as looking at The Full Monty look at Kinky Boots too and note the similarities and differences. How is gender and sexuality used in the same way? How is race used in a different way? Discuss.

15: British Film and Stars — Julie Christie

1.
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2047296,00.html

2007-05-17-julie-christie_N.htm?csp=34

Read the interviews above with Julie Christie. How does she feel about stardom? How is she described in the interview?

16: British Film and Stars — Ewan McGregor

1.
http://www.ewanmcgregor.net/

The link above is a fansite for Ewan McGregor. What is it the fans find distinctive about Ewan? What are his ‘star’ qualities listed by fans?

2.
http://www.bestofewan.com/

Look at the information about Ewan McGregor at the site above. Does he tend to appear in similar films, i.e. does he stick to a particular genre of film or play particular characters? Can you imagine him playing Indiana Jones or James Bond? Discuss why or why not.

17: British Film and Production Companies — Ealing Studios

1.
http://www.ealingstudios.co.uk/home_flash.html
Find out all about Ealing Studios past, present and future at the site above. Consider the recent comedies they have produced and think about whether these are similar in tone or form to the comedies they are famous for.

2.
http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/ealing/filmography/52.html
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/passport_to_pimlico/
These sites offer reviews and information about Passport to Pimlico. Make a list of the comments made about the film and split them into categories such as Values; Casting; Class; Film style etc.

18: British Film and Production Companies — Working Title

1.
http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/
Find out all about Working Title films at their official website. Does the site convey anything about the type of films Working Title produce through its colour, images etc. If you didn’t know anything about the company, what kind of films would you think they made?

2.
Working Title Films Limited
Find out key numbers, people and competitors for Working Title films here.

19: British Film and Culture — Swinging Britain 1963–1973

1.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060086/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066214/
Look at films from the sixties, paying particular attention to Alfie and compare it with Performance. Note the ways in which both films use sex and drugs to show how much of the 'swinging 60's' quality of British life was a male creation and how class boundaries were irrelevant to having a good time.

2.
http://www.michaelcaine.com/
Look at Michael Caine, one of the most renowned British actors from that era. Notice the films that he was involved in, Zulu, Alfie, class="italic"Gambit, The Italian Job and Battle of Britain are just a few of them. Compare the films and notice the different locations in which the films are based. Also observe the change of how London is portrayed and how the hierarchy of Britain was undermined from the beginning of the 1960s through to the beginning of the 1970s.

3.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058182/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063823/
Notice the subject of these two films and then think about the music that would have been used on the soundtrack. The soundtracks used to be a composition of classical pieces, now pop performers were beginning to have their music heard internationally through film. Find other films which also have well known pop acts in film soundtracks during this era.

4.
http://www.jahsonic.com/SwingingLondon.html
Read up about Swinging London here. Look at the April 1966 edition of Time Out. How does this represent the main features associated with this time period?

20: British Film and Culture — Thatcher's Britain 1981–1989

1.
http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/thatcher.html
http://www.margaretthatcher.org/essential/default.asp
Read up on Margaret Thatcher and her effect on Britain. How did Thatcherism change the culture of Britain?

2.
http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id21.htm
http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id254.htm
This site has a lot of interesting information about the 1980s and the films produced worldwide during this time. How do the non-British films compare to the British films? The second address takes you straight to the top box office hits of the 80s. How do these present the era? Remember, this site features many Hollywood films and these cannot be used for your exam or coursework.

3.
http://www.britishfilm.org.uk/article.php?art=1980s&page=1
A great article about British cinema in the 1980s and the effect of Thatcherism on the British film industry.

21: British Film: Social-Political Study — ‘Living with Crime’

1.
http://members.aol.com/cinemabritain/intro.html
There is some information above about British cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. How many crime films are mentioned? How important do they seem to the period?

2.
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/goesout/mov/l/lockst.shtml
Read the review of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels here. How does this compare to past British crime or gangster films? What are the similarities between this and earlier British crime films?

22: British Film: Identity Study — ‘Being British’

1.
http://www.thequeenmovie.co.uk/
Discuss the film, The Queen and how important you think it was for an explanation on how Princess Diana’s death affected the Royal family. Talk about the performances of Michael Sheen and Helen Mirren and how they overcame such difficult roles. Does it change your attitude towards the Royal family? Do you think it shows the Queen in a positive light? How does it show the conflicts between the Queen and the public in mourning? How has it changed British cinema? Helen Mirren is the first British woman to win the Best Actress Oscar for almost fifteen years, do you think this has allowed Britain to enter a new era in cinema?

2.
http://www.visitbritain.co.uk/
Explore the Visit Britain site. How does it represent Britain and the British nation? Do the images used to represent Britain accurately represent your town or city or what it’s like to live in ‘your’ Britain?

3.
http://www.britishcouncil.de/identity/identitye052.htm
A number of British short documentaries are mentioned here. They represent the different cultural identities of British people today. Try making your own film in a similar fashion.

23: US Film: Film Noir

1.
http://www.filmsite.org/filmnoir.html

http://www.crimeculture.com/Contents/Film%20Noir.html
Read all about film noir here. Do you notice any similarities between the film posters and images shown here? What do they tell us about how film noir is marketed?

2. http://filmsnoir.net/films-noir-reviews
Read reviews of many noir films at the link above. Can you think of any contemporary films that could be classed as film noir? Write your own review of a film noir film that is not listed here.

24. US Film: Westerns

1.
http://www.filmsite.org/westernfilms.html

Read all about the subgenres of Westerns and standard plots. Following the guidelines on Western plots, and your own knowledge of the genre, write your own brief (100-200 words) synopsis of a new imaginary Western you’ve just seen.

2.
http://www.americanwest.com/
http://www.thewildwest.org/interface/index.php
Read all about the Wild West. Research the legends that Westerns have been based on and the true history of the West. How accurately do the films of this period represent the social and political struggle and the re-shaping of America at this time?