Form…Chapter 2 Exam

 

For some reason, humans become actively involved in pieces of art that are before them.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that humans try to compare, relate to, and understand all types of pieces of art that they encounter.  They become “actively involved” in their perusal of the art.  Why?  Because the art has FORM.

 

What is form?  When something has form it means that it is not just a random bunch of elements and pieces.  Each element or piece has a function and works in the overall pattern, flow, and context of the piece of art.

 

Take for example the form in films.  A film will have common traits that are relatable to common knowledge, places, or experiences that humans have in normal life and can relate too.  This causes the viewer to create “expectations” while watching a film because they begun to understand and become involved in the story. 

 

So, the viewer becomes involved because they wish for their expectations to be fulfilled.  These expectations are essentially shaped by the form of the film.  (P.S. Some films approach in the opposite direction by wanting to shock or not fulfill the viewer’s expectations.)

 

Now the person watching the film is literally living the story in their mind!  The viewer’s emotions become very involved when they watch a film.  A huge amount of emotion is portrayed on screen and the viewer cannot help but to respond to that.  But sometimes the form of a film causes the audience to have a different reaction than what is on the screen.

 

Take for example this clip from the “Philadelphia Story” (Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart).  The soon to be ex-husband is leaving the house with all of his belongings in a fit of rage.  There is so much anger in this scene, but because of the form of the movie as a sort of comedy, the audience finds it quite funny!

 

 

Viewer’s also look for some meaning in the stories they watch.  There are different types of “meaning.”  There is

Referential-which is the basic plot or summery of the film and it refers to stuff we know

Explicit-this is what the point or points of the film are (there are usually more than one)

Implicit-people’s interpretations, their looking for the BIGGER meaning

Symptomatic-as if the film is trying to portray the larger social values or ideas of the time

It is funny how people will interpret films and give them meanings and symbols that that the writers and producers never even contemplated!  J

 

But it is important not to stray to far from trying to understand the basic form of the story itself.

 

A good way to do that is through evaluation.  Looking at the function of the elements and pieces and seeing how they work in the film.  There will be a lot of repetition of certain elements; for example, the personality of a character or the looks and sounds of a place.  It is because these things are important and need to be remembered that they are repeated.  But there will also be differences between characters or places to create interest.  Differences often create conflict, and that is what fuels the story.

 

A really good example of this is “The Dark Knight.”  Here is a clip that shows what that difference in character has lead too.  Thoughout the whole movie the Joker is trying to change the character of Harvey Dent.

 

 

When evaluating a film it is important to ultimately look at the unity of the film, how the pieces fit together to create the form and fulfill expectations.  It’s good to remember that no film will have perfect unity.  There will probably always be some loose end that was not tied into a pretty little bow.

 

The form of film is such a huge concept to understand.  This barely scratches the surface.  It involves every aspect of pre-production, production, and post-production.  I cannot fully wrap my head around all the elements of the form of a film.  It amazes me how such a complex thing ends up working on screen.

 

Wow, that is a lot of information.  So this will be the end.

 

The End.

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