General feedback on Brave scene analysis (June 2021)

Everyone had 1 hour and 15 minutes to write a guided textual analysis of the opening scene from the animated Disney film Brave. The extract given comprised four film stills and the related script extract.

Individual comments were posted on ManageBac, with grades, and the responses themselves annotated.

Here's some general feedback:

-Just a note: I wrote "Stonehenge" on the board, because someone asked for the spelling, but this is a specific place in England, not Scotland. "Circle of stones" or "monument" would've worked.

-Generally speaking, I was quite happy with the organisation of these responses and the balance between visual, auditory and textual analysis.

-There was some really confident, accurate close reading analysis

-Some of you did a good job establishing a clear focus from the start (the scene establishes how Merida perceives her family and surroundings; it foreshadows specific elements (bears, ripping tapestries, etc.) that follow; it places heavy emphasis on the relationship between the characters and the land, shrouded in mystery; it establishes that there are different rules for males and females; etc.)

-Most of you focused on the question (how visual/auditory/textual elements work together to draw you into the story)

-But be careful with vague claims like 'it draws you into the story' - say exactly how this happens

-related to that, there was some generic writing:

a) The use of sound pulls the viewer in. (generic, true for any film scene), VS
b) The bagpipes establish a contrast between the established traditions and the changes that Merida is going to introduce later in the story (more specific to this film)

-Be careful with a technical analysis like this: don't forget to say specific things about the story, its themes and the characters, such as, for example, the importance of the foreshadowing of the location of the circle of stones, the father's insecurity as a warrior and protector (wooden leg), how Merida sees and relates to each family member introduced, the role of the brothers in providing comic relief throughout but also to show male privilege, and the tension (rift) foreshadowed between Merida and her mother.

-explore complexity in imagery and symbolism. The land is shown to be both beautiful and threatening.

-the 4 stills were there to help you analyse the scene. Try to avoid focusing just on the four stills or using them as your 4 paragraph structure. This did work fine for some, but be careful structuring paragraphs according to textual sequence, as it can easily begin to feel list-like.

-remember that to get the highest grade for B Analysis, you need to also evaluate.

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