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Troy University Beasts of the Southern Wild Film Analysis


Choose ONE of the following films to watch and analyze: 

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) / dir. Behn Zeitlin 

In Fabric (2018) / dir. Peter Strickland 

Hitchcock (2012) / dir. Sacha Gervasi 

Lost in Translation (2003) / dir. Sofia Coppola 

We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) / dir. Lynne Ramsay 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) / dir. Ang Lee 

Roma (2018) / dir. Alfonso Cuarón 

Boyhood (2014) / dir. Richard Linklater 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) / dir. Michel Gondry 

The Master (2012) / dir. Paul Thomas Anderson 

Memento (2001) / dir. Christopher Nolan 

Her (2013) / dir. Spike Jonze 

Spotlight (2015) / dir. Tom McCarthy 

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) / dir. Wes Anderson 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) / dir. Wes Anderson 

Inherent Vice (2014) / dir. Paul Thomas Anderson 

Carol (2015) / dir. Todd Haynes 

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) / dir. Danny Boyle 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) / dir. David Fincher 

Milk (2008) / dir. Gus Van Sant 

No Country for Old Men (2007) / dir. The Coen Brothers 

Juno (2007) / dir. Jason Reitman 

There Will Be Blood (2007) / dir. Paul Thomas Anderson 

Brokeback Mountain (2005) / dir. Ang Lee 

Million Dollar Baby (2004) / dir. Clint Eastwood 

Ray (2004) / dir. Taylor Hackford

The Hurt Locker (2008) / dir. Kathryn Bigelow 

District 9 (2009) / dir. Neill Blomkamp 

The King’s Speech (2010) / dir. Tom Hooper 

Black Swan (2010) / dir. Darren Aronofsky 

The Kids Are All Right (2010) / dir. Lisa Cholodenko 

BlacKkKlansman (2018) / dir. Spike Lee 

Vice (2018) / dir. Adam McKay 

The Favourite (2018) / dir. Yorgos Lanthimos 

The Big Short (2015) / dir. Adam McKay 

The Martian (2015) / dir. Ridley Scott 

Room (2015) / dir. Lenny Abrahamson 

The Revenant (2015) / dir. Alejandro Iñárritu 

Fences (2016) / dir. Denzel Washington 

La La Land (2016) / dir. Damien Chazelle 

Lion (2016) / dir. Garth Davis 

The Shape of Water (2017) / dir. Guillermo Del Toro 

Get Out (2017) / dir. Jordan Peele 

Us (2019) / dir. Jordan Peele 

Little Women (2019) / dir. Greta Gerwig 

Lady Bird (2017) / dir. Greta Gerwig 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) / dir. Martin McDonagh 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) / dir. Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton

A Star is Born (2018) / dir. Bradley Cooper

Booksmart (2019) / dir. Olivia Wilde 

Synecdoche, New York (2008) / dir. Charlie Kaufman 

Mulholland Drive (2001) / dir. David Lynch 

The Florida Project (2017) / dir. Sean Baker 

Eighth Grade (2018) / dir. Bo Burnham 

Mid90s (2018) / dir. Jonah Hill 

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) / dir. Joe Talbot 

Uncut Gems (2019) / dir. Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie 

The Lighthouse (2019) / dir. Robert Eggers 

Bend It Like Beckham (2002) / dir. Gurinda Chadha 

Logan (2017) / dir. James Mangold 

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) / dir. Alejandro Iñárritu 

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) / dir. Marielle Heller 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) / dir. George C. Wolfe 

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) / dir. Travis Knight 

American Animals (2018) / dir. Bart Layton 

Boy Erased (2018) / dir. Joel Edgerton 

Tully (2018) / dir. Jason Reitman 

Emma. (2020) / dir. Autumn de Wilde 

The Triplets of Belleville (2003) / dir. Sylvain Chomet 

ParaNorman (2012) / dir. Chris Butler & Sam Fell 

Rango (2011) / dir. Gore Verbinski 

Spirited Away (2001) / dir. Hayao Miyazaki 

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) / dir. Hayao Miyazaki 

The Farewell (2019) / dir. Lulu Wang 

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) / dir. Jon M. Chu 

Real Women Have Curves (2002) / dir. Patricia Cardoso 

The Babadook (2014) / dir. Jennifer Kent

Da 5 Bloods (2020) / dir. Spike Lee

Hereditary (2018) / dir. Ari Aster 

Midsommar (2019) / dir. Ari Aster

The Duke of Burgundy (2014) / dir. Peter Strickland 

Volver (2006) / dir. Pedro Almodóvar

Snowpiercer (2013) / dir. Bong Joon-Ho

The Host (2006) / dir. Bong Joon-Ho

Okja (2017) / dir. Bong Joon-Ho 

The Fall (2006) / dir. Tarsem Singh

Dunkirk (2017) / dir. Christopher Nolan 

Persepolis (2007) / dir. Marjane Satrapi & Winshluss 

Selma (2014) / dir. Ava DuVernay 

An Education (2009) / dir. Lone Scherfig 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) / dir. Marielle Heller 

Moonlight (2016) / dir. Barry Jenkins 

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) / dir. Barry Jenkins 

Mandy (2018) / dir. Panos Cosmatos 

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) / dir. Wes Anderson 

***There are almost 100 films on this list so it is quite possibly you’ve seen some (or many) of them. Though it is not required for you to choose a film you have not seen, I would suggest choosing a film you have not seen so you may experience something new.***

Question A:

  • First, watch your chosen film. I would highly recommend taking detailed notes as you watch to help you in your writings. 
  • Look for STORYTELLING – Who is the protagonist?  What is their objective?   What are their obstacles?  If you had to break this film down into three sections:  Beginning, Middle, and End – what would be the three sentences you would use to tell me what is going on?
  • How does the film effectively use the rule of “Show, don’t tell”? What was particularly brilliant about the storytelling and the film’s use of visual cues? Remember, this is NOT about the acting; “Show, don’t tell” is when the camera moves to show YOU, the audience, something that clues you into something significant. [For example, the very end of Citizen Kane has a brilliant moment of “show, don’t tell” by the last image of the film, which is a close up of the sled burning in the fire…and we finally see “Rosebud”.  There is no acting involved here…it’s ALL camera work.]
  • What 2 brilliant moments of ACTING did you see in this film?  How so?  What do you think made it brilliant? (Think about emotional availability, movements, gestures, vocal inflection…) How did the actor bring the character to life?  What made them believable? [If you have chosen one of the animated films from the list, please talk about the voice acting AND the way the animation of the characters helps to enhance the actors’ vocal performances]
  • How did they use CINEMATOGRAPHY to tell this story?  Choose 3 different shots from the shot list that you learned last week and choose moments in the movie where you can name the shot, composition, etc. used and why they chose that one.   How was the story better because of that choice?
  • What about DESIGN? There are five aspects of design:   
    • Costume: Choose a character – what does the costume design tell you about this character?  Think about choice of color, texture of the material, extra bling. Choose 2 outfits and talk about why that choice of costume was perfect for the character. 
    • Props: Choose one thing an actor picked up and handled that told you something about their character?  How did they treat it?
    • Set: Where was this film set?  Do you think it was “on location” or they had a Green screen?  What makes you think so?   What did the set tell you about the world the characters live in?   Choose a setting that was perfect – notice a particular detail about the set that you never saw before.  How did noticing that add to the story?
    • Sound:   What sort of music was in this film?  Think about the instrumentation that you hear.  How did it make you feel when the movie started?  Was there ever utter silence?  How did the music help tell the story? Talk about a moment where you heard music.   What about the choice of songs throughout the film?  Why did they choose that song?  Music, lyrics…both?  What about the sound effects?  
    • Lights: Think about the section on lighting, and how it is so important to film.   When were there moments of backlight, low light, deep color saturation, washed out colors…how did that make you feel while watching it?  Choose 2 moments from the film where you are now really aware of why they made the choice of lighting that they did.  
  • Overall   Opinion:  What have you learned from doing this analysis?   Did you enjoy this film? Would you watch this film again? Why or why not?  Why should other people watch this film?

Question B:

  • Why you chose this film, what about the film interested you, why this film is important, etc. 
  • Why you’re excited to watch this film

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