Film as an art form is constituted by light, illusion of movement, and the manipulation of space and time. This section covers the basic vocabulary for film analysis. While the sculptural art is primarily concerned with space and music unfolds in time, films have both temporal and spatial axes. Films manipulate time and space in a number of ways.
Film as an immersive medium is designed to make its conventions of artificial reality “invisible” to the viewers. Our first task is to see beyond what Dave Monahan and Richard Barsam have called “cinematic invisibility.” Watch a film at least twice so that you can reverse engineer some of its key scenes.
Many screen adaptations of the classics are informed by social justice concerns. Films construct a social space—a space for socialization and discussion of social justice issues—where the characters’ and audiences’ universes intersect. Some films imagine the classics to have a remedial effect on our society. Others illustrate the questions of inequities raised by the familiar, canonical story. These works use their literary sources to host social reparation.