05film Studies


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This slideshow is being used by Film Studies 3030 at the University of Lethbridge, Calgary campus. The slide information is largely derived as commentary for the Giannetti and Leach textbook, Understanding Movies, and Richard Barsam's Looking at Movies.

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05film Studies

  1. 1. Film Studies Week Five Film Aesthetics II Mise-en-scène. Staging, Production Direction, Framing. Composition and design. The Art of Motion. Choreography, Movement and Genre, Movement as Metaphor, Moving Camera. Auteur — Stanley Kubrick Photo: Dr. Strangelove (from sciflicks.com)
  2. 2. Discussion, Camera Angles and Proxemics An example of a extreme long shot from Fallen Angels? Rabbit-Proof Fence? An “establishing” long shot from Fallen Angels? A medium shot from Apocalypse Now. Two-shot as medium shot. What movie? A close up from Rear Window. Why? A close up from Il bueno, il brutto, il cattivo? Colour expressionism in Fallen Angels? CSI? Colour symbolism? Comments on camera angles in Fallen Angels? 8 1/2 … Painterly? Linear? Fallen Angels? Painterly? Linear? Why? CSI … High Key? High Contrast? Desperate Housewives? High Key? High Contrast? Why? Film Aesthetics, Photography
  3. 3. Mise en Scene Mise-en-scène <ul><li>Mise-en-scène is also known as staging. Barsam calls it the overall look and feel of a movie, the sum of what the audience sees, hears, and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>In some films, the elements of mise-en-scène is so powerful that </li></ul><ul><li>They enable the viewer to experience the aura of a place and time. (eg. Review of Jesse James by Katherine Monk.) </li></ul><ul><li>They present not only visual backdrops but “ideas.” </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to the interpretation of the film’s meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>Genre formulas have a powerful influence in mise-en-scène. </li></ul>Film Aesthetics -- Reading from Barsam, Chapter 3.
  4. 4. Mise en Scene Mise-en-scène -- cont. <ul><li>Mise-en-scène is originally a French theatrical term, meaning “placing on stage.” Our approach is to observe: </li></ul><ul><li>How the visual materials are photographed, staged, and framed (as a captured moment in time). </li></ul><ul><li>As a blend of the visual conventions of live theatre and converted into a two-dimensional image of the real thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though film is a temporal medium and the visuals are constantly in flux, we will be analysing single-frame composition as mise-en-scène . The “visual” text. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 15 pt. Systematic Mise en Scène Analysis From Understanding Movies , Giannetti and Leach, 2005. Toronto, Prentice Hall. “Reading” movie images with critical sophistication. <ul><li>Dominant. What is our eye attracted to? </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting Key: High-key, low-key, combo? </li></ul><ul><li>Shot and Camera Proxemics: What type of shot? How far away? </li></ul><ul><li>Shot Angles. High, low, neutral. </li></ul><ul><li>Colour values. What is dominant colour? Colour symbolism? </li></ul><ul><li>Lens/filter/stock. How do these distort or comment on photography? </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidiary contrasts. What are the eye-stops after the dominant? </li></ul><ul><li>Density. How much visual information is packed into the image? Is texture stark, moderate, or highly detailed? </li></ul><ul><li>Continued next screen </li></ul>“ Photographic considerations”
  6. 6. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 15 pt. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 9. Composition. How is the 2-D space segmented and organized? What is the underlying design? 10. Form. Open or closed? Does the image suggest a window that arbitrarily isolates a fragment of the scene? Or is it self contained? 11. Framing. Tight or loose? How much room do the characters have to move around? 12. Depth. On how many planes is the image composed? Does the background and foreground comment on the midground? 13. Character placement. What parts of the framed space are occupied? 14. Staging positions.Which way to they look vis-à-vis the camera 15.Character proxemics. How much space between characters? Continued …
  7. 7. The Frame and Aspect Ratio “The frame” functions as the basis of composition in a movie image. 4:3 (1.33:1) is the standard TV aspect ratio we have been used to for the past 50 odd years. 4 is the horizontal and 3 the vertical, of course. The problem with 4:3 is that it doesn't reflect our natural vision. Humans have better lateral vision than vertical. In effect, our vision is widescreen, therefore widescreen TV and film seems naturally more appealing to us. Mise en scene or Cinematography? Both, I say.
  8. 8. The Frame and Aspect Ratio Widescreen refers to any aspect ratio wider than 4:3 (1.33:1). 1.85:1 - The original widescreen film format developed in the 1950s to help cinema compete with TV. This is still a popular format. 2.35:1 - (also known as ... Anamorphic Scope, CinemaScope, Panovision) is not as old as 1.85:1. This aspect ratio involves filming with a special anamorphic lens fitted to the camera to squeeze the image horizontally onto the film. A similar lens fitted to a cinema projector un-squeezes them during projection to the 2.35:1 ratio. Widescreen TVs typically have a screen aspect ration of 16:9 (1.78:1) which is narrower than both cinematic widescreen standards (1.85:1, 2.35:1). Considerations of Mise en scene and Cinematography. Barsam page 160.
  9. 9. The Setting, a systematic analysis <ul><li>Exterior or interior? If an exterior, how does nature play a role? </li></ul><ul><li>Style? Realistic and lifelike? Or stylized and distorted? </li></ul><ul><li>Studio or Location? If location, what does it say about the characters? </li></ul><ul><li>Period? What era does the set represent. </li></ul><ul><li>Class. What is apparent income level? </li></ul><ul><li>Size? Rich people lots of space. Poor people cramped. </li></ul><ul><li>Set decoration. Oddities of taste? Status symbols? </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic Functions. What kind of overall image does the set and its furnishings project? </li></ul>Considerations of “Production Design” ergo Mise en Scene.
  10. 10. Open and Closed Form These concepts are used by art historians but since we are looking as single-frame mise-en-scene, they can be useful to our study as well. In terms of stylistic characteristics, open form can suggest “realism” because of random form of organization. Closed form can suggest “formalism” because of precise art direction. Compositionally, open form suggests a “window” or temporary masking where important information lies outside the frame. In closed form, it’s more like a miniaturized proscenium arch where the composition is deliberate and fully formed. In open form movies, the dramatic action generally leads the camera. Conversely, in closed form movies, the camera often anticipates the dramatic action. Considerations of Mise en Scene Let’s play the Mise en Scene game with Moulin Rouge
  11. 11. Movement -- Kinetics Movement -- Kinetics “ Motion Picture” suggests the central importance of motion in the art of film. In kinetic arts -- pantomime ballet, modern dance -- we find a wide variety of movements ranging from realistic to abstract (formalistic). Eg Clint Eastwood vs Gene Kelly. Kinetic symbolism is a filmmaker’s way to exploit meanings in certain types of movement. Eg. Ecstacy and joy often expressed by expansive movements, eroticism with undulating motions. Film Aesthetics -- Read from Giannetti pg. 146 - 157
  12. 12. Movement -- Kinetics Movement -- The Moving Camera In the 1920s German filmmakers moved the camera within the shot for psychological and thematic reasons. There are Seven Basic Moving Camera Shots: Panning shots (swish pans) Tilts Dolly Shots (Trucking, Tracking, Pull-backs) Handheld Shots Crane Shots Zoom Shots Aerial Shots Film Aesthetics -- Read from Giannetti pg. 157 - 170 Watch for kinetics and moving camera shots in Dr. Strangelove.
  13. 13. Duration of the Image -- Sequence Shot Sequence Shots contain no editing. Early cinema relied entirely on “long-take” shot. “ Long Take” is not the same as “long shot.” A “take” is one run of the camera that records a single shot. Usually filmmakers use the long take selectively. One scene will rely heavily on editing, another will be a long take. This permits the director to associate certain aspects of narrative form with different stylistic options. Kubrick was famous for long takes. Canadian cinema too. Fast Forward to next week’s class, in advance of studies of “EDITING” …
  14. 14. Singing in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, 1952) Writing credits Betty Comden (screenplay) and Adolph Green (screenplay) Genre: Musical / Comedy / Romance (more) Tagline: What a Glorious Feeling ! (more) Plot Outline: A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. Cast: Gene Kelly .... Don Lockwood Donald O'Connor .... Cosmo Brown Debbie Reynolds .... Kathy Selden From imdb
  15. 15. Stanley Kubrick: Trivia Kubrick began active work on Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), but tragically suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep on March 7th, 1999.After Kubrick's death, Spielberg revealed that the two of them were friends that frequently communicated discretely about the art of filmmaking; both had a large degree of mutual respect for each other's work. &quot;AI&quot; was frequently discussed; Kubrick even suggested that Spielberg should direct it as it was more his type of project. Based on this relationship, Spielberg took over as the film's director and completed the last Kubrick project.How much of Kubrick's vision remains in the finished project -- and what he would think of the film as eventually released -- will be the final great unanswerable mysteries in the life of this talented and private filmmaker. From imdb
  16. 16. Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) 2 hours 17 minutes Adult content: Sex + Violence galore Directed by Stanley Kubrick Writing credits Anthony Burgess Genre: Crime / Drama / Sci- Fi (more) Tagline: Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven. Plot Outline: The adventures of a young man who loved a bit of the old ultra-violence, went to jail, was brainwashed and came out cured, or was he? Cast overview, first billed only: Malcolm McDowell .... Alexander 'Alex' de Large Patrick Magee .... Mr. Alexander Michael Bates .... Chief guard Warren Clarke .... Dim From imdb
  17. 17. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) 97 minutes Tagline: the hot-line suspense comedy Plot Outline: An insane general starts a process toward nuclear holocaust that a war room of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. Cast overview, first billed only: Peter Sellers .... Group Captain (G/C) Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin Muffley/Dr. Strangelove George C. Scott .... Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson Sterling Hayden .... Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper Keenan Wynn .... Col. 'Bat' Guano Slim Pickens .... Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong From imdb