Establishing Theme – It's a Wonderful Life

Subject: General Questions    / College life    


Establishing Theme


Select a movie from">AFI’s 10 Top 10 lists and explain how three cinematic techniques and/or design elements have helped establish a major theme in that film. Note: While you are allowed to choose a film that does not come from the AFI lists, you are strongly encouraged to email your professor to receive approval before doing so.


In 800 to 1200 words

    Describe a major theme of the movie you have selected using evidence from the movie itself as well as course resources and other scholarly sources to support your position.
    Identify at least three techniques (cinematography, lighting, acting style, or direction) and/or design elements (set design, costuming, or hair and makeup), and explain how these techniques and/or design elements contribute to the establishment of the theme. Reference particular scenes or sequences in your explanations.
    State your opinion regarding the mise en scène, including
        How the elements work together.
        How congruent the design elements are with the theme of the movie.
        Whether or not other techniques would be as effective (Explain your reasoning).

Note: Remember that a theme is an overarching idea that recurs throughout the plot of a film. It is the distilled essence of what the film is about, the main design which the specific scenes and actions lead a viewer to understand.


Your paper should be organized around a thesis statement that focuses on how the elements of your chosen feature-length film both establish and maintain one of its major themes.


The paper must be 800 to 1200 words in length and formatted according to APA style


You must use at least two scholarly sources other than the textbook to support your claiM


Categories and Functions of Sound


As we have been discussing, the mise en scène of a film is the use of a variety of design elements to create the visual theme. Please look through Chapter 5 (Mise en Scene and Actors) for more information on this term.


consider different types of sound at work in film and assess how they contribute to the overall sense of meaning in a film.


There are many types of sound in a film. Some are diegetic(sounds that are represented as coming from within the world of the film); others are non-diegetic (sounds that come from outside the world of the film). Using specific examples from your chosen film, construct a blog post in which you

    Describe each of the three basic categories of sound (dialogue, sound effects, and music).
    Explain how the different categories of sound are being used in your chosen film.
        Assess the impact of sound in establishing the theme.
        How does the use of sound inform the mood of the scene, or the film overall?
        Can you identify specific sounds in your film that allow you to infer a particular genre?
        Since each category of sound may produce a range of effects, how might you characterize the effects in your film? For example, realistic and expected sound effects may have a different effect on a viewer than exaggerated or unexpected ones.
    Assess how the scene or sequence would play differently if you changed or removed a key category of sound.

You must use at least two outside sources, in any combination of embedded video clips, still photos, or scholarly sources. All sources should be documented in APA style 300 Words