Film Response- Lean On Me
In this assignment, record the types of emotional appeals that the director has employed in order to engage our attention. Next to each appeal, determine what has happened in the film in terms of our understanding of the theme. For example, when Hurston writes about Janie’s Nanny, she notes Nanny’s tremendously difficult times in enduring the times of slavery. “Put me down easy, Janie, Ah’m a cracked plate!” she states (Hurston 19). Our response is to feel a degree of sympathy for Nanny, despite Nanny’s oppressive rule of Janie’s life.
Following is a list of ways that a film can employ its pathos, or emotional appeals:
Use of language that involves the senses.
Use evocative language.
Use figurative language
Develop tone (and shifts in tone).
Use informal language.
Appeals to sympathy / pity
Appeals to nationalism
Appeals to masses
Call to arms
Call to bear witness
Call to action
Next, evaluate the pathos of the film. What gives the film its credibility? For example, in the movie Dangerous Minds, we may be emotionally drawn to the drama of the events of the classroom, but a discerning viewer may note that this type of classroom experience does not accurately reflect the way that most students learn. What, then, do we respond to?
In all likelihood, the emotional appeals of a successful student-teacher relationship; hence, there is an assumption that students want this type of relationship, especially if they are disaffected with school. Therefore, we applaud what we see on the screen.
Following is a list of ways that a story’s credibility can be developed:
Effective use of point of view.
Credible use of research—references authority.
Sensitivity to the audience.
Religious knowledge and/or appeals.
Use of allusions.