Essay Example on Movies in Film Class

Paper Type:  Movie review
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1446 Words
Date:  2024-01-25


A film refers to visual art used to stimulate experiences and communicate ideas while depicting feelings, beauty, and perceptions by using moving pictures. The moving pictures are accompanied by sound and sensory stimulation. Films can be found in three necessary forms: classical, modern, or postmodern. About films watched in class, classical films and modern films are more defined.

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Section A: One Gender Cinema and its Fundamental Elements

Classical Film

Classical films refer to a representation of a lifestyle through narration. It depicts distinct cultural moments that are marked by the convergence of specific formal elements. Films that are of a classical genre tend to be traditional in terms of the plot and depict stereotypes and ethics and adhere to conventions. Some of the fundamental elements of classical films include:

Firstly, the main characters have specific goals that they want to achieve. The character is motivated to achieve their objective, and the whole film is centered on achieving the said set of goals (Zellers et al., 2018). The audience can see these through the plot that surrounds the main character. Secondly, classical films are in chronological order where the main character's goal is to intern with what they do and not where they do it. Classical films focus on cause and effect and not time. These elements give the viewer motivation to keep watching and a better understanding of the plot.

Thirdly, classical films are unrestricted in terms of their objective narration. The audience gets to have background information on the characters creating mental subjectivity of the characters. It is the narration that gives the film director in terms of what will take place. Lastly, classical films have a continuing plot once the narrative ends. This aspect gives the characters authenticity and eliminates the prospective film element. Although the continuing element gives the character life and depicts the different ways the storyline could change, the narration ending depicts the conflict, resolution, and development of the plot.

Modern films

Modern films are female-led productions that tell innovative stories to global audiences by creating connections between context and content while emphasizing social issues that have taken place over time. They are an alternative to classical films.

Several elements characterize modern films: the plot's complexity and the characters' diversity. The plot is not focused on the main character alone, but all the other characters give the character life. The main character's goals are interrelated with the other characters' plotlines, which gives the main character a diverse perspective. Secondly, the plot of a modern film is tricky as it comprises of all the characters input. The plot's complexity ensures that the film is not aiming at telling one story only but that its main focus is on different interrelated themes.

They are thirdly compared to classical films. Modern films do not depict the ethical and moral issues of the society but are the continuity of the film they are developed. Lastly, modern film finishing tends to leave the audience with questions instead of a definitive conclusion. For instance, classical movies end happily ever after, while modern films leave the audience wondering what happened next.

Section B: Select Two Concepts and Apply them to the film Watched in Class

Framing and reframing

Framing is a composition of visual content in a series viewed from one sung point of view. On the other hand, reframing refers to the art of changing perspectives of a single event in a film. It focuses on the acceptance of ambiguity of social constructions and rethinking of ideas that shape capacities.

In the film American Beauty, Lester's wife, Carolyn, pursued career mobility and material gain, and Lester opposing did quit his adult job and did not care for material gain. Both Lester and Carolyn pursued sex outside their marriage and chose these things over their marriage and family. From the movie, it is clearly shown how the plot shifts from the main character at first as he tries to evade her and him rediscovering himself and his family. The film uses the themes of materialism, career success, and sex lead to the end of Lester's family and life, which give varying aspects of the roles that each character plays in developing the plot; it is the ambiguity of what the character is to do and the rethinking of the narrator to twist the plot that shapes the whole film.

Continuity Editing

In the film, continuity editing is also referred to as three-dimensional continuity. It refers to how a film attracts the viewers' attention in terms of space and time (Taylor, 2020). Continuity editing is seamless and invisible, with its main focus being to get the dialogues and action scenes from different angles while shooting. In the Film American beauty, several scenes are seen from the character's perspective, and others are seen as an onlooker. These help the audience to identify with the film and, at the same time, give the characters life and liberty to experience authentic perspectives of their roles.

Section C: Contemporary Societal Issues.


Identity refers to an individual's social classification and the source of their dignity and self-respect. Identity can also be seen as individuals' characteristics and attributes concerning society. A person's identity is formed by who he is in society and what role they play. As a personage, they tend to take up different identities that define who they are.

In the Film, Lester identifies as a husband, father, and working entity in society. These identities vary from a different perspective because of the relations that are created. In the Film, Lester is faced with a midlife crisis, which then causes a shift in his identity. In his attempt to redefine himself, he pursues sex outside his marriage and decides to make decisions that do not agree with whom he has always identified us. It is tempting a new career line, pursuing sex and behaving out of character that Lester ultimately rediscovers who he is and starts to value his family.

There is also seen in all characters as they all individually re-identify themselves and take up new roles interned with their identity.

Issue of gender

Gender refers to a person's socially constructed roles and responsibilities associated with their physical appearance (sex) of being either male or female and in certain cultures. A person is born into specific sex of being either male or female, but through socialization, they learn of their roles (Croley et al., 2017). Depending on one's culture or society, varying gender roles are placed on separate sex depending on the age, religion, ethnicity, education, and socio-economic factor. As social norms and values change, so can gender roles defined by society and are not always similar in every society. Gender has been taught from an early age. Hence people grow into pre-existing expectations and assumptions. These kinds of stereotypes in gender result from the gender binary that has led to discrimination against members of the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ).

The film depicts different genders that are portrayed by different characters. Simultaneously, others take up the two most identified genders of femininity and musicality, other characters intern and genderqueer. As a result, the film is given a sense of diversity.

In the film, all characters seek to re-identify themselves by sex and the genders they want to take up. While there are heterosexuals in the film, there are also bisexuals and those yet to identify with any gender.


In conclusion, the Film American Beauty explores many important themes of career success, materialism, and sex are explored and dealt with throughout the film. The movie goes through the events of a middle-aged man in the American 90's, Lester Burnham, leading up to his murder and the breakdown of his family as he rediscovers the habits of his teen years after becoming fed up with his all-too-average life. The film explores career success, materialism, and sex, elements that lead to the destruction of Lester's family and the end of his life. Ultimately, after Lester's bad habits and decisions catch up to him, he realizes the meaning that he lost in life. He rediscovers his family's love and appreciation for the small and seemingly insignificant moments of life. The film also uses classical and modern genre traits while developing the plot giving the film a diverse scope of social issues.


Croley, J. A., Reese, V., & Wagner, R. F. (2017). Dermatologic features of classic movie villains: The face of evil. Jama Dermatology, 153(6), 559-564.

Taylor, J. E. (2020). Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas: The Amoy-Dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia. Routledge.

Zellers, R., Bisk, Y., Schwartz, R., & Choi, Y. (2018). Swag: A large-scale adversarial dataset for grounded commonsense inference. arXiv preprint arXiv:1808.05326.

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