Roger Ebert’s article “How to Read a Movie” discusses the act of analyzing a movie by looking at individual frames. I remember doing this as a kid, not to analyze the inner workings of the film, but to see if I could get the actors frozen on any stupidly funny faces. While this is definitely not what Ebert means by analyzing a movie, it is not too far off. Where I paused movies to look at the actors funny faces, Ebert paused movies in order to look at the positioning of the actors and the camera in order to figure out the meaning behind the scenes.
While I can’t claim to understand the nuances of this process, I do understand the general concept. Ebert believes that in pausing a film and looking at only one of it’s frames, you can take a closer look and understand to concepts behind a scene. I agree with this to some extent. While I do believe that you can look at an individual frame in order to understand how things are spaced and what is important, I believe that a lot of a movies meaning is in its dialogue and audio. I don’t fully understand how one expects to be able to grasp the meaning of a scene without listening to the speech between the characters and the music (or lack of) in the background.