Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Diagramming Difference

September 19th, 2011 by Huy Le · 1 Comment · 1 Diagramming Difference

Looking at American society, with all the technological advances, citizens have turned to flat screen TVs and computers instead of paper books. With majority of the population moving alongside the advancement of technology, most do not understands that films and books are although similar but also two very different Medias.

Films and literature are similar in ways that we can understand a concept, ideas or even give meanings to something that we do not comprehend, both can be used as a form of relaxation, both allows us to have a range of emotion when we are viewing or reading, and both are sometime trying to convey the same ideas. Although they are similar, Films and literature are very much different from each other and that is why I like the English Department to decide on the topic that weather or not a Film club should be established on campus.

The two media share a number of elements, novels and feature films both tell stories about characters. Both creates emotions whether it’s a tragedy or it’s a happily ever after.

When you are reading a work of literature, you are provided with all the information like the details, concepts and ideas that is given to you by the author. From that information one can than put their imagination to the test and creates images that fit the descriptions. However, when we are watching a film that are based on that written work you someone already did the imagination for us by casting an actors or actress that will play that role, whether you like the actor or not, you really can’t do anything about it simply because you already watched the film. Whether this is good or bad it is up to the movies watch and the book reader to decide.

When books are adapted to the screen, it is well-known that many changes are usually made, this is called adaptation. Films are very interesting when they are based on literature because of the fact that they can be adapted. There are different ways of adapting according to Andres Bazin in Film Adaptation. For example when adapting a director can decide to follow the exactly description of the text to its very literal meanings or change details from the text as they seem fit to create excitement or emotion or even make the film less boring or even change the stories completely. The point of adaption is to arouse emotions, and new ideas to come in to the picture and allow the audience to interpret what the director is trying to let them see. Both films and literature follows a structure. “Why are movies so short are compared to the books?”  Films are a compressed version of the books, have you ever heard of the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words?”  Well, it’s true. Take settings for example, when watching the movies scene where the actors are acting you are very able to see very clearly as compared to when you are reading. Movies are also very short comparing to the books because movies do not follow the text 100%. If they did the movies would definitely be more than 2 hour.

In literature an author has a very specific way that they structure. In books the writer uses narrative, description, dialogue, figurative languages like metaphors. In films, the director uses picture, different ways of shooting, angles, camera moment, scale, lighting, expressions, gesture, movement and the most important editing.  In a book emotions and thoughts are expressed with adjective like he is ugly or he’s 10 feet tall 300 pound, as for films the picture being depicted shows characters traits while expressions and action shows emotions in films.

Stories that are written, or acted on are both very important to one studying the Medias. Films might be influenced by written work, should be seen as a completely different media than literature. And so the establishment of the film club is left to you the professors to decide.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    Hi Huy,

    One thing I notice right off the bat is that you’re not really paying attention to the audience for this assignment–it’s almost like you went on auto-pilot with the generic “english paper” assignment. Harvey would say you should pay more attention to your STANCE when you revise–you’re a reasonably educated and interested student addressing professors about something new to them in a presentation, not just writing for a grade. Another idea of this would be MOTIVE–what’s the reason behind your writing? A the end of the second paragraph you briefly mention this, but what if you were to make motive a more integral part of the first two paragraphs? Having a strong sense of motive (even if it’s made up) would help you have a stronger sense of stance (and vice versa).

    We didn’t mention it until last class, but I bet you can also start to see ways that KEYTERMS would help with the body of your essay. For example, in your second paragraph you have a number of words that seem like they could be candidates for keyterms, although you don’t use them as such: “relaxation” and “emotion.” If you make those (or something else) intentionally a keyterm, then it would be easier for you to think about what is the opposite or contradictory idea. You could make your point about the difference between lit and film by first presenting an opposite set of keyterms, then further analyzing them.

    One last thing to consider along those lines is the larger STRUCTURE (Harvey’s term) your writing uses. Just look at the first sentences of the fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraph: it is hard for readers to see how they paragraphs contribute to a logical, progressive order. Is there a reason why ¶ 5 goes between 4 and 6? There should be–and you want to make that reason more apparent to your readers, so they can see how you’re not just making a list, but you’re “going somewhere” with your writing (a change of direction, development, or progression).

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