Film Language Tags

The Kinolab platform fosters inductive analysis of film language, making it easier to understand film language as a system of communication. For our project, such analysis begins by naming and defining the components of film language: the visible and/or audible technical practices, aesthetic techniques, and strategies that can be identified in narrative film and media. A key step in this process has been establishing a ‘controlled vocabulary’ that identifies commonly agreed upon components of film language, which Kinolab researchers and curators associate with individual film and series clips via annotation or ‘tags’. Kinolab’s controlled vocabulary consists of commonly recognized aspects of film art – editing, cinematography, sound, and mise-en-scene – with accompanying definitions sourced from widely used reference works such as A Dictionary of Film Studies (Kuhn and Westwell 2020), A/V A to Z: An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Media, Entertainment, and Other Audiovisual Terms (Kroon 2010), Film Art (Bordwell et al 2019), and The Film Experience (Corrigan and White 2020), among others. See more

The controlled vocabulary forms the basis for a rudimentary data model that is iterative in nature. It is designed to be revisited, amended, and expanded by the broader community of film and media scholars collaborating with the project. At Kinolab, we believe that a collaboratively built vocabulary will represent more fully the richness of film language across individual works, as well as across a variety of time periods from the silent era to the streaming era. This vocabulary also has the potential to incorporate forms associated with genres and group styles such as Italian Neorealism, classical Hollywood cinema, and Bollywood, among others. Kinolab users who wish to suggest new film language tags, collaborate with, or learn more about our efforts to build a data model for film language are encouraged to reach out to project director Allison Cooper at See less