How do I create a thematic analysis of a movie?

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Creating a thematic analysis of any film won't be nearly as daunting as it sounds. When creating a thematic analysis, the first step is to find the theme of the film. A theme can be anything. It is simply the idea or "message" that an artist is trying to get across. When watching the film, if you happen to notice a subject that the characters or narration repeats throughout the film, you've probably found a theme.

Once you've found the theme, it's a simple as just working out what it means within the context of the film. If you're having trouble finding the theme, just look for patterns within the work. What kind of people does the film deal with? What is the general mood of the film in relation to the characters? Questions like these can help you find the theme quickly.

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The key to writing a good thematic analysis of a movie is to understand the difference between a thematic analysis and a summary. In a summary, one simply describes what happens in a movie, who the characters are and what they do. A thematic analysis is different.

Themes are sets of recurring ideas or motifs rather then specific events or actions. For example, in a movie, a viewer might notice that all the fathers seem to have trouble connecting with their daughters. One could then say that the difficulty of father-daughter communication was a common "theme" of the movie. After stating this thesis, one would then not just summarize examples but try to put them into general categories, looking at large patterns. Instead of saying "X and her dad had a fight about a cell phone and Y and her Dad fought about her date to the prom" one might look at both and say "The desire of dads to protect their daughters comes into conflict with the daughters' desires for independence in several scenes."

The main thing that makes such writing analytic is that it perceives general patterns and shows how individual events are part of those patterns.

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The thematic analysis of a film isn't as complicated as it sounds.  Let's just look at the two parts to this, shall we?

Thematic: the subject of a piece of film (what is the movie about?  What was the point of the author writing it and what do you come away from the movie with?)

Analysis: a detailed examination of elements (looking at something closely to see how it ticks.)

So, in essence, if you have to make a "thematic analysis" of a movie you are trying to figure out what the movie is about by providing some evidence from the plot.  I suppose the first step would be to choose an appropriate film to do your analysis of.  If you are just starting out in practicing this type of thing, I would try to choose a film that has a clear "message" to it.  For example, think about the movie "Rocky."  When you watch Rocky, what feelings do you walk away with?  Well, Rocky is a film about not giving up, about overcoming your station in life, about the value of hard get the idea.  All of those are themes you could write about in an analysis just by providing some examples to back them up.

Well, hope this helped!

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