Your paper should be organized around a thesis statement that clarifies what you will attempt to accomplish in your paper, and how you will proceed. Review the Final Film Critique sample, which provides an example of a well-developed analysis as well as insight on composition.
In your paper,
- Identify your selected film, including writer, director, year of release, and genre.
- Briefly summarize the film in which you apply your knowledge of the difference between the film’s story and its plot.
- Describe one of the broad theories you have learned about in class (auteur theory, genre theory, formalist theory) and analyze your selected film through that lens.
- Evaluate the use of three specific techniques and design elements employed in the film as they contribute to the overarching narrative and theme of the film. This can include elements of mise-en-scène (e.g., lighting, sound, composition of frame, costuming, etc.) and editing (e.g., cuts and transitions, shots used, angles, etc.).
- Describe the connection between this film and society (i.e., politically or culturally, positive or negative) and draw conclusions about its impact.
The Final Film Analysis paper
- Must be five to six double-spaced pages (1500 to 1800 words) in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.) resource.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of Your Essay (in bold)
- Your First and Last Name
- Ashford University
- Course Code: Name of Course (e.g., ENG 225: Introduction to Film)
- Instructor’s name
- Due Date
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
- For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least three scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
- The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- To assist you in completing the research required for this assignment, view this Ashford University Library Quick ‘n’ Dirty (Links to an external site.) tutorial, which introduces the Ashford University Library and the research process, and provides some library search tips.
- Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) guide.
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.
See attached: The Rough Draft.
Please make sure that the rough draft after being revised by you (the tutor) covers all bullets to receive max points credit for assignment. I want an A.
Week 5 Final Project
Identify your selected film, including writer, director, year of release, and genre.
My chosen film was the horror film “Us” 2019 written and directed by jordan peele.
Briefly summarizes the film in which you apply your knowledge of the difference between the film’s story and its plot.
The story of us In the film is the protagonist Adelaide Wilson played by Lupita Nyong’o and her family (husband played by Winston Duke, son played by Evan Alex, and daughter played by Shahadi Wright Joseph) go on a vacation returning to the beachfront house where she grew up as a child. Adelaide becomes worried that something bad will happen because of the traumatic experiences that she faced as a child. Her worries come true when a family resembling her own approaches their house. The plot comes from the antagonist who was born on the surface and forcefully brought to the underground tunnels while being locked there wanting revenge. The antagonist becomes the leader of the duplicates called “The tethered” and starts an uprising/revolution recreating “Hands across america” movement from the 80s aswell as killing the united states people on the surface to send a message that the world will see so the tethered won't be oppressed and can live in privilege like the U.s Citizens that lived on the surface
Describe one of the broad theories you have learned about in class.
In filmmaking there are many broad theories with meaning and philosophy that make filmmaking more than a Hollywood job. The main three theories in filmmaking that we have viewed in class have been “Auteur theory”, “Genre theory”, “Formalist theory”. Each of these theories have their respected ideas that the industry of filmmaking agree with and also disagree with. Genre theory is used to help categorize movies into their respective genres and is dependent on many factors such as storyline in the film, who the director is, and the audience expectations throughout the film. Formalist theory is basically an idea and approach on how the elements such as sound, lighting, dialogue etc. all come together and fit in the film.
One of the broad theories I found intriguing was “Artuer Theory”. What is an "Auteur?" What is "auteur Theory"? And why is it important? Auteur theory is an important part of filmmaking. An Auteur is a title given to amazing filmmakers that have personal influence or great artistic control over a film that they're considered the author of that film. Being a film Auteur is similar to being credited as the author of a screenplay or novel. Auteur Theory is the film theory in which the director is looked at as the creative force in the film. This theory first arose in the early 1940s from the french cinematic movement known as the nouvelle vague, or New Wave. Auteur comes from the french word “Author”. Many have questioned the theory, because there are usually multiple people involved in the development of a film. Ultimately, a film will have a writer, alongside the director, which makes it difficult to put all of the weight on the director, alone. Regardless of the storyline, there is something distinct within their production that will stand out and be recognizable. With that being said, it is understandable how the auteur theory could exist. The end result is the director’s style of filming. And the more passion that a director pours into a film, the more they develop a voice. Auteur theory is important because it recognizes the recurring themes and visual queues that the director conveys in their art. This work could be attributed to Jordan Peele as an “Auteur” with his stylistic directory for his past couple of films.
Evaluate the use of three specific techniques and design elements employed in the film as they contribute to the overarching narrative and theme of the film. This can include elements of mise-en-scène. Mise-en-scene is the arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a play. Mise-en-scene is translated from french and it means “setting the stage” but, in film analysis, the term mise-en-scene refers to everything in front of the camera, including the set design, lighting, and the actors. It Mise-en-scene in film is the overall effect of how it all comes together for the audience. Three specific elements that help film are lighting, sound, composition of frame. Each of these 3 elements are important for the film's success. Lighting in filmmaking is used differently depending on the genre that is associated with the film. Lighting techniques differ from genre to genre by how the director uses lighting to enhance the film, for example, “Us” by Jordan Peele is a horror film and uses a lot of lowkey lighting, dark shots and lighting to cast shadows to cause eerie and suspenseful scenes to match the horror tone. Low Key lighting is a lighting technique for film that focuses on accentuating shadows by using hard source lighting in a scene. Lowkey lighting aims to increase contrast through the use of shadows and dark tones. Lighting is a key component in filmmaking. Sound is a key element in a film. Sound enhances the movie and the emotions that the director wants to convey. Lack of sound is used to bring focus to scenes that the director would want the audience to pay attention too. Composition of frame is important to the film as well. Film Composition refers to the way elements of a scene are arranged and shot in a camera frame. In My chosen film “Us” directed by Jordan Peele a great scene that demonstrates all 3 is the initial invasion scene with the duplicates. In this scene the music is halted to emphasize the use of sounds enhancing the horror elements in the film. Through the scene the dark low key lighting sends shivers through the audience and with the duplicates inside the house a sense of mystery and suspense builds with the audience wanting to know what's next. Another film that uses these three elements well is “Psycho”1960 by Alfred Hitchcock. The shower muder scene in the film is intense, well known ,and has been added in multiple films later throughout the years by other directors. During the shower muder scene the transitions were done phenomenally and were attributed to his skill of filmmaking. The transitions before the murder used in the movie clip were very slow and it felt like it was used to build up suspense. While the murder was happening the shots speed escalates into a stabbing montage, creating an atmosphere of chaos and confusion that the victim feels during her last moments. This type of scene is iconic and the atmosphere of helplessness towards the audience. This scene uses the shot composition very well to show how fast and relentless the stabbing montage is. The sound in this scene was unsettling to the audience using a screech sound effect to show distress towards the victim.
Describe the connection between this film and society. There's many ways My chosen film “Us” 2019 directed by Jordan Peele is connected to society. The movie “Us” basically has duplicates/ clones that live underground and eventually start an uprising to overthrow the people living on the surface. One of the themes presented to the audience is the idea of classism with the clone being a metaphor for a lesser social class meant to stay at the bottom while the higher more privileged class stays at the top. The movie opens up with a news broadcast discussing the "Hands Across America '' that took place on May 25, 1986. "Hands across American was an event to raise money for the hungry and homeless. Grabbing hands across the country became the end goal for the duplicates in the film to show that they should be heard. Classism could be seen as its cultural resonance for our country with how the duplicates are made to be at the bottom with little resources and no attention brought to them. Throughout the film the antagonist talks about her people's struggles comparing them with the privileged lives of the people who live on the surface. The duplicates that lived underground with little resources unlike the people who live on the surface. This is just one example of the film's connection to society. The film has a plethora of “Easter eggs”, hints and clues to enforce the idea of classism in America, even with the Title being the initials for the United States(U.s). The film shows cultural presence to classism within the United States even with the end goal for the protagonists being to flee the country and head to a different country like mexico. With all of this, I would say Us is a great movie on a basic level and an even better piece of filmwork on a deeper level examining the layers and meaning within the film.
Peele, J. (Director). (2019). Us [Video file]. United States: Universal Pictures. Retrieved Fall,
James, D. (2019, March 13). How 'Us' Pulled Off Subtle Differences in Costumes, Design,
Music for Parallel Characters. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from
Hitchcock, A. (Director). (2011, May 27). Psycho(1960) [Video file]. Retrieved May 27, 2011, from The Shower – Psycho (5/12) Movie CLIP (1960) HD
Wartenberg, T. (2015, July 30). Philosophy of Film. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from
The movie I have chosen is Us. This movie takes place in Santa Cruz in 1986. This is a horror movie that came out in 2019. A family is terrorized and tormented by their doppelgangers while or vacation at the beach.
Three actors from this film are Lupita Nyong’o (Adelaide Wilson), Winston Duke (Gabe Wilson), and Kitty Tyler (Elisabeth Moss). I feel that the style of acting that was used by each of the actors I pointed out in this film was realism. I don’t think there was any stylized acting because the actors weren’t trying to show that they’re acting, the movie wouldn’t be scary if it was so obvious that they were acting. I also don’t think these actors were using method acting because, with method acting, they would be pulling from personal experiences. And a whole family of doppelgangers tormenting you just sounds too farfetched to be able to use method acting with.
Winston Duke plays the father in the movie Us. His performance was very realistic; however, it was not like some of his other movie roles such as Spencer Confidential or his role in the Black Panther as M’buku the King of the Outer Guard. In those movies, he portrayed a very strong fearless leader whereas, in Us, he plays a very soft, laid-back father who doesn’t believe there could be evil around him or his family. Even when death is staring him in the eye, he doesn’t seem capable of handling it and saving his family. He’s not the leader in this film and so it seems out of character for him as an actor. Whereas his costar, Lupita Nyong’o, who plays his wife and who also starred in Black Panther as a warrior, has managed to bring from her role in Black Panther to this movie and use the fierce attitude and aggression for her character as a mom who is trying to protect her family and herself from their doppelgangers.
In Us, Lupita Nyong’o played two completely different characters, showing her capability of acting. I’ve only seen here in two different movies now, Black Panther and now Us, but I feel that just the different characters she played all in the same movie were a great performance.
I think the costuming and makeup helped to contribute to the actor’s performance. There were times in this film that the actors were injured so they had to act injured. The shadow version of Lupita’s character looked different than her human version, making her look darker, looking eviler. I think the costuming and makeup throughout this film were realistic. If someone really was trying to kill you, terrorized you and your family, and you had to defend yourself in the same ways they did in the movie, things may look the same. I would consider Lupita to be type-cast, based on the two movies I’ve seen of hers anyway. She is a fiery, strong woman character in both films.
The film I chose was the film “Us” 2019 directed by Jordan Peele. The three actors from the film that I chose were Lupita Nyong’o , Winston Duke , and Anna Diop. Lupita Nyong’o in this film plays the protagonist “Adalaide” and the antagonist “Red”. These two characters that she plays are vastly different from each other with Red being strategic,cunning and vindictive while Adalaide is more disturbed, quiet , and cautious. Her range with portraying these characters are incredible with how different the two are. Another film where Lupita Nyong’o acting range is shown in the 2019 zombie film “Little Monsters” directed by Abe Forsythe. In “Little Monsters” Lupita plays a bubbly, optimistic teacher that wants to protect her elementary school kids from zombies. In both films she's in distress due to the apocalyptic environment. Although in Little Monsters she portrays a happy school teacher that remains joyful and calm under the stress to keep the kids positive as compared to in “Us” in which she is much more emotional. I haven't noticed Winston Duke in too many movies other than the Avengers movies and the “Black Panther” movie that was released in 2018. In “Black Panther” he plays M’Baku who is drastically different from his character in “Us”. In “Us” Winston Duke’s character is happy , light hearted and tries to make activities fun while in “Black Panther” M’Baku is a leader and a warrior that's stern and serious. These two roles are immensely different from each other. Anna Diop has far less screen time in this film then the other two but from what's shown she seems very wary, serious and concerned. In the live action TV show “Titans” Based upon the DC Comics “Teen Titans graphic novel Anna Diop plays “Starfire”. In “Titans” Starfire plays a superpowered alien that's fun, peculiar and caring. In the film all of the costumes, and make up were realistic with modern casual clothes. All of the actors have various acting styles that differ from movie to movie. The horror movie genre has a lot of sub genres such as horror comedies or slasher horror and with the different subgenres involved - acting in the genre would be different from one movie to another.
Peele, J. (Director). (2019). Us [Video file]. United States: Universal Pictures. Retrieved Fall, 2020, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_(2019_film)
Giorgis, H. (2019, March 26). The Kinetic Horror of Lupita Nyong'o's 'Us' Performance. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/03/lupita-nyongo-in-jordan-peeles-us-terrifying/585649/