Title
2

How to watch films critically?

I was walking out of a cinema last winter when I couldn’t help overhear a woman talking about the film – in a most insightful way; in terms I never thought of. I wished I asked her for reading recommendations. I continue to wonder how one can view a film beyond just one’s subjective experience of it. What would be the basic terms that would direct critical thinking about a film? How can I see for example the new Mad Max movie as a fragment of its Avant Garde-like original with its thundering base from the engines creating a new ground that the current one is totally devoid of? Or the lack of depth, in comparison?

  • A good focus would be forming a template for basic storytelling. Some flexibility must be allowed for interpreting art of course. – Joseph Manduke IV 6 years ago
    1
  • People think that simply finding flaws in a film officially makes them a critic, when really it is more complicated than that. It is not only important to understand why a film does not work, but also what makes a good film work so well? When you understand good character development and good storytelling is a well made film, the better you will be at understanding why a bad will does not work – Aaron Hatch 6 years ago
    2
  • The best way to write this topic will be by listing down the features that critics look out for in films and then explaining them one by one. – dhananandini 6 years ago
    2
  • I just took a music and film course in school and it totally changed the way I watch movies. Often the sounds we hear fade into the background of our consciousness. We can't necessarily pick out what music is playing, but it helps without fail to make us feel. They aren't sound clips chosen at random; the director and a whole team of people work to compose and compile every sound recorded to contribute toward the final product. – Nicola 6 years ago
    1
  • In any type of artwork, a film, a musical piece - a narrative, the artist is trying to lead the reader through their piece to get them to see something, hear something, feel something, etc. depending on the art form. Although this is the ideal framework in which to interpret, it is not often one we can know or ascertain. – kathleensumpton 6 years ago
    2
  • Thinking critically about a film--or about anything, really--is simply not taking everything at face value. Sometimes it can be useful to look at the narrative of a film through different theoretical angles: political, economic, racial, gender and feminist, historical, social, etc. The list is almost endless. You bring up the example of Mad Max--one way to think critically about this film is how women and femininity (and sexuality) are represented in what is clearly a very patriarchal universe. A good place to start is with your subjective experience, with those gut reactions, then it's a matter of being mindful of those reactions and take a few steps back in order to analyze them more objectively. – Rachel Watson 6 years ago
    2
  • Watch filmmaking docs, studying art fine art aesthetics, or just making films yourself. Doing any one of these is good enough, honestly. "The Cutting Room Floor" by PBS is about the history and application of film editing and that honestly blew my mind. Once you can see a film for its editing, you've captured the hardest part. It's no different than being aware of a magician's slight of hand. – Travis Cohen 6 years ago
    0

Want to write about Film or other art forms?

Create writer account