Film literacy is an important skill when watching anything more intelligent than Alvin and the Chipmunks or SpongeBob. It means how well you understand the film. Just like regular literacy is how well you can read a book (or your local news agency’s comment section), film literacy is how well you can “read” a film.

Even though most of the time I am a relaxed watcher, just putting a film or a series on a screen and laying back to get entertained, some films manage to hook me up to find hidden meanings and themes in it. I’ll try to understand every little detail, word, camera angle, why they did this or that – I’ll make an effort to “read” it. Understanding the different messages in “Keeping Mum” and why Grace, a character played by Maggie Smith, thinks what she’s doing is right or moral dilemmas of Peter being played by Jim Carrey in “The Mask”, sometimes even overdoing it and thinking that “Mr. Bean” is a cinematic masterpiece of absurd comedy starring Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean, who would be the portrayal of everything wrong with our society.

It’s a good skill to have, because it gives you a chance to enjoy something else than your favourite comedy or horror movie, while also learning some new vocabulary and gaining new knowledge about various cultures and people. It takes time to learn it, but it really is worth the investment.

By Richard Miikael from Estonia