A film essay is a type of writing that utilizes the elements of film to express ideas. It can be used to explore a wide range of topics related to the art form, such as filming techniques, cinematic theory, and narrative structure. In addition, a film essay can be used to analyze a particular film or films, which may include an exploration of the films themes, characters, plot structure, cinematography, and other elements. Examples of film essays can be found in academic journals, textbooks, magazines, and websites.
One example of a film essay is "The Narrative Structure of Citizen Kane," written by philosopher Stanley Cavell and published in 1975. In this essay, Cavell examines the structure and symbols used throughout the classic 1941 film Citizen Kane as a way of accessing the film's psychological and philosophical themes. He also uses his analysis to discuss the implications of the film's narrative structure on our understanding of storytelling and narrative.
Another example of a film essay is "On Kurosawa's Rashomon," written by film critic Andr Bazin and published in 1950. In this essay, Bazin explores the innovative use of narrative structure, cinematography, and characterization in Akira Kurosawa's 1950 classic Rashomon. He also uses his analysis to discuss how Kurosawa's techniques can be used to challenge traditional notions about narrative structure, filmmaking, and the representation of reality.
These two examples illustrate how a film essay can be used to explore the narrative structure, cinematography, and characters of a particular film in order to gain insights into the nature of cinematic storytelling and its implications for our understanding of reality. In addition, there are many other examples of film essays available online, in books, and in academic journals.