Week 8 Activity – The Film

This week’s invitation in Slouch to 5k is to watch a film that resonates with your project’s subject matter or themes, and to ask yourself what you can learn from how the film explores its material, what strategies it uses and what it’s saying about that subject matter/theme.

It is probably a good idea to choose a film that you’ve seen and enjoyed/admired before, a while ago, because I’d like you to think more deeply about the film’s storyline and strategies than a single, surface viewing will allow (unless you are able/willing to watch the film more than once this week, in which case you could choose a film you’ve never seen before).

Perhaps you’ll find the film on Netflix or BBC iPlayer, or already in your DVD collection (remember those?!), or in some cases of classic films it might be available on YouTube.

Or maybe (in the continuing spirit of Week 4 – The Reward) you’d like to treat yourself to a download from Curzon Home Cinema, BFIPlayer or some other streaming source.

Be as resourceful as you can in how you access your film choice.

Once you settle down to watch it, the following tips might be helpful:

  • Keep a notebook and pen beside you to jot down what you notice – remember the focus is “how the film explores its subject matter or theme, what strategies it uses and what the film is saying about that subject matter/theme”.
  • Think about the film’s “form” as well as its “content”. Keep an open mind as to how either might be useful to you.
  • If technology allows, consider watching the film at double or triple speed (with subtitles on) – it’s amazing how this illuminates a film’s story structure and visual strategies in a way that ordinary viewing doesn’t allow.
  • Or consider watching the film in ten minute bursts, pausing each time to write down notes – again this can help illuminate a film’s structure and strategies.
  • Lastly, reflect on how this film can feed your writing/your writing project

Have fun!