Representation of Memory

What techniques do filmmakers use to represent memories in films?

Our individual memories are subjective. How does a filmmaker indicate this subjectivity (the equivalent of the first person narrative in a novel)?

Is pure subjectivity possible in film?

Do memories in film tend to resonate more with an audience when members of that audience can identify with the universal elements of those memories? What do we mean by ‘universal elements’?

Whilst viewing the following film extracts, make notes on the following questions:

What events tend to trigger memory?
How does a filmmaker indicate that what we are seeing is a memory?
Does the filmmaker engage the viewer in the memory by creating a sensory experience? How?

Band of Brothers

Citizen Kane



Paper Memories


We will do a some Formal Analysis of short films starting with The Hill (Deborah Chow)

The Hill

Find Formal Analysis instructions here

Make sure you are using accurate film language – use THIS EXCELLENT REFERENCE to help you

Here are the films you will choose from for your own Formal Analysis. Watch them all at least once before making a choice. HERE are the instructions for your individual analysis.



Memory 2.0

Beyond Memories


Porcelain Unicorn

Colour and Memories

Experimenting with Colour Correction




Music and Memories

We must also consider the effect of music on our memories
Just as a colour red may conjure connotations of danger, murder, life, prosperity. Or a smell of cut grass inspire memories of grandad’s back garden. A song or a piece of music has the power to take us back in time. Can you think of a piece of music which has this effect on you?

Memory and the power of music



Description of Film Roles 


Film Viewing: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind –

Viewing Notes






POP Video

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What is your favorite Pop Video? Show it to your classmates. What makes you love it? Make a list                                                                                     of what makes a great Music Video.


Add you favorite Video to the google+ pop music site. Add the band or artist, the year  and try to find out who directed it. What other Music Videos did they make? Do they have a particular style?

In class we have looked at the structure of Music Videos and uncovered the way they all use the following elements in some way or another:

Performance, Narrative, Themes and Symbols.


Now create a case study using a video from the Pop Video Timeline. Make a presentation which you will share with the class. Include all elements above and include how it effected the evolution of the pop video.

Video Case Study Instructions Here

Some resources that might help you:


Video Production Instructions Here

Filming the Senses

Filming the Senses 

Essential Questions:

. What are the senses that we use to interact with the world around us?
. How can a filmmaker re-create or reference these senses for an audience?

What are the human senses?
Touch (tactile)
Sight (visual)
Sound (auditory)
Taste (gustatory)
Smell (olfactory)
Movement (kinesthetic)
Emotional (humour, sadness, shock, fear, pleasure, empathy. sympathy,shame)

How do you think films can create sensory experiences for their audiences?

Are there any sensory experiences which cannot be recreated?

Literature, Film and the Senses
How do authors of literary works recreate sensory experiences for the readers? What devices do they use?

In groups, look at the opening passage from Perfume.

How does the text convey a sensory experience?

What are the Literary Devices used to create the sensory experience?

Watch the opening scene from the film Perfume.

1st Viewing:

list the senses that are appealed to

2nd Viewing:

 this time make notes on techniques the filmmakers have used to create a sensory experiences and what affect this has on you as a viewer.

What are filmic devices or techniques used by filmmakers? This guide will help you review:  film language


Some more sensory clips from Perfume for you to enjoy. 



How are the literary and filmic experiences different?

Does film, as a medium, lend itself to the more effective evocation of sensory imagery? How?

Smell– Is it the un-filmable sense? Read this article  do you agree or disagree?

SergeiEisenstein – Montage and the Senses

In The Film Sense Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet filmmaker celebrated for work including Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Nevsky(1938), speaks to film’s potential to bring together otherwise disparate elements of human sensory (and emotional) experience in search of a representational synthesis which exceeds the sum of its parts.

“Representation A and representation B must be so selected from all the possible
features within the theme that is being developed, must be so sought for, that their juxtaposition – the juxtaposition of those very elements, and not of alternative ones – shall evoke in the perception and feelings of the spectator the most complete image of the theme itself (69).” Sergei Eisenstein


Watch the clip below. Use film language to describe how the shots work together to create the theme and the sensory experience as described by Eisenstein.

Dexter analysis document




Art and the Senses

What is the impact of the aesthetic experience? Is it different from the impact of literature and film?

Art, Film and the Senses presentation

Read this article about Colour in film to give you some more ideas of how to use it meaningfully in your own films.

Colour Theory for Cinematographers