FILM SHOT ANALYSIS Lost Season 1 Episode 1

This episode starts with an extreme close-up camera shot of an eye. The eye opens. It’s green and it is instantly alert. Our “frame” is limited by the close-up frame, but we see enough to know something is not right.

We now see through the man’s eyes or point-of-view. We’re looking up at tall bamboo stalks. The distortion of the stalks rising so high, and swaying against the blue sky creates a sense of instability for the viewer, helping us connect to the confusion of the man. It also creates a sense of helplessness, making it seem as if the person seeing those overly tall plants is small and insignificant. This is foreshadowing for the upcoming conflict of man VS nature.


Critical Film Review: The Missing – Subverting Western Stereotypes

Ron Howard’s 2003 film, The Missing, is a Western that destabilizes the classic Western genre. Audiences looking for a Hollywood-style Western get all of the expected elements: the isolated ranch, the horse chase, and the canyon shootout, but the story is played by contemporary characters. Instead of a Stetson-wearing gunslinger, we get the Native wannabe,…

The Evolution of Fantasy Film as Influenced by Peter Jackson

In high fantasy, the hero usually takes an epic journey through magical worlds populated with creatures from folktale in order to save society. The hero’s honour is equal to that of the Anglo Saxon warrior, the enemy usually dabbles in black magic, and the weapon of choice is usually a sword. Though viewers have many…

Rings of Power in Fantasy: The Hobbit

Imagine the fantastic–finding a ring forged for power. You might slip it on, unless you knew that most magic objects in fantasy have a rule—a catch (Hamilton 61). Then you might hesitate, wanting to know the consequence of wearing the magical band. But what if your hesitation is cut short, as your will is overcome by…

It’s 2325 and She’s Having a Baby! The female in science fiction and fantasy

Imagine the female protagonist as the last human on earth. She hides during the night, stealing supplies from abandoned stores during the day. She is a lone survivor of the apocalypse who fights back against the mutated population. Can science fiction filmmakers envision a strong, capable and independent “she” as humanity’s last hope? Apparently not very often,…

Kiss of the Kurgan: The Villains We could Love

Centuries of storytelling have taught us about the villain’s role in the plot.  He is the antagonist—the one who must stand in the way of the hero’s destiny. He must disrupt the hero’s life, and when possible, rip the very heart from the hero’s cage. The villain is the malicious, supercilious, sadistic, brutal bad guy….