Guidelines for Critical Film Viewing

photo of Iwo Jima flag raising
film re-enactment of the same event

Did you know that this iconic photo was itself staged? No one got a picture of the first flag-raising!

Becoming a critical film viewer requires learning different skills than those of critical reading. Good films tend to efface their own techniques and appear seamless and natural. Unlike a book, you can't go back and dissect this structure. Therefore, critical film viewing requires seeing with two sets of eyes: one for watching the film, and one that is careful to analyze what happens as you watch it. Below are some questions that will help you acquire this skill.