5 Useful Cinematic Words

Photo by Branden Baker

At The ESL School at NYFA we focus our vocabulary words to help students prepare for a successful transition to visual and performing arts schools. Whether you are headed to The New York Film Academy or just want to have a grasp of the arts, these vocabulary words will help!

1. Aside (n.) – When a film character turns to the audience and directly addresses them. Also called “breaking the fourth wall” because the audience is included in this moment.

EX: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a classic depiction of an American high schooler, uses a lot of asides to reveal Ferris’ thoughts and motivations.

2. Second banana (idiomatic expression) – The actor who plays a smaller role and is a sidekick to the leading actor or comedian.

EX: Robin is definitely Batman’s second banana.

3. Whodunit (n.) – refers to a mystery or detective film

EX: “Scream,” a whodunit film, is about a masked killer who terrorizes high school students. The plot keeps you guessing who the killer might be.

4. Flashback (n.) – a transition from the moment of action to an important earlier event.

EX: The film’s main character is a villain who does terrible things. The flashback to his horrible childhood provided the audience with important information to understand his dark side.

5. Blockbuster (n.) – a film that is globally successful and generates much money

EX: Danny Boyle directed “Slumdog Millionaire” on a budget of $15 million. The movie became a surprise blockbuster and grossed $377 million!

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Published on: June 7, 2017

Filled Under: Language Tips

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