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Film analysis of_blue_is_the_warmest_col

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Film analysis of_blue_is_the_warmest_col

  1. 1. ENG 2273 - Introduction to Film Studies Assignment 2 : Film Analysis of Blue is the Warmest Color (dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013) _________________________________________ Name: Wong Yuen Ting Student Number: 11045782 Teacher: Mr. WONG Yu Bon Nicholas Due Date: 27th March, 2014
  2. 2. Introduction I think Blue is the Warmest Color attempts to bring out the theme that the story of Adèle is also the story of ours by intensifying the sense of reality, which allows the audience to be in the shoes of the main character, Adèle. The purpose is attained by the use of the close up shots, long take shots, and the gradual change in lighting and motifs. The techniques of camera work and Mise-en-scène create a detailed portrait of the mental change of Adèle, which naturally evokes a strong affective resonance in the audience. Moreover, the slow editing also brings the audience closer to the characters by providing them with sufficient time to digest everything in the plot, before moving on to the next scene. In this essay, there will be a further discussion on how these skills are used to bring out the theme. Camera work A great number of close-up shots are used in the film to make the main character, Adèle, vividly comes to life. In the world of cinematography, close-up shots can act as a magnifying glass which brings the audience closer to the characters. (Gaudreault, 2011) In this case, not only do the close-up shots magnify the image, but also the psychological profile of Adèle. The close-up shots often focus on facial expressions of Adèle, so the audience can observe every little change on her face and be immersed into every raw emotion of hers. The most interesting part is that close-up shots are constantly used even in the sex scenes. Figure 1 and 2 are the close up shots captured in two of the sex scenes. The first one is the scene when Adèle and Emma had sex for the first time, and the second one is the scene when they started to grow apart. Through these close up images, the shift of her emotions, from blissful to disappointed, is revealed in front of the audience. The close-up shots in the film create a strong bonding between the audience and Adèle by unmasking her raw emotions on the screen. The detailed portrait of the her feelings successfully created a consensus among both heterosexual and homosexual audience, as what she experienced in the film is also the story of the audience who used to seek or is seeking for love.
  3. 3. Figure 1 Figure 2 The change of exposure is also carefully arranged to highlight the contrast in the emotions of Adèle in different stages of her life. At the beginning of the film, when Adèle started dating Emma, the shots tend to be overexposed. Overexposure refers to the washed-out images created by the excessive amount of light that passes through the camera lens. (Malkiewicz, 2012) The overexposed shots, together with the sunlight, create a harmonious atmosphere, which symbolize the relationship between the main characters. In these shots, the audience can feel the heat and sparkles between the characters through the excessive sunlight on the screen. The scene shown in figure 3 is one of the examples. The glowing images created by overexposure generate a perfect, flawless nature which is the way how they perceived each other at the beginning of their relationship. However, their sweetness and intimacy soon fade away. Figure 4 is captured later in the film. We can see that the shot is more
  4. 4. naturally exposed compared to the beginning ones. The images created by normal exposure are rather flat and dull. These prosaic images unveil that the relationship between the characters became monotonic and boring as time goes by. Lastly, nearly at the end of the film, more underexposed shots are used to portray the emotion of Adèle. One of the examples is the scene when Adèle dreamed about Emma and cried. (Figure 5) The underexposure in this scene creates a gloomy atmosphere which echoes to her emptiness and desolateness. The change in exposure signifies different stages of their relationship, from intimacy to disconnection. This clear flow of change gradually unmasks the feelings of Adèle and drags the audience into her emotion. Figure 3 Figure 4
  5. 5. Figure 5 Mise-en-scène The color blue is constantly used in the film as a conspicuous motif that symbolizes the comfort and love that Adèle was searching for. As the frequency of its appearance gradually decrease, it implies that the relationship between Adèle and Emma gradually withers. At the beginning of the film, the eye-catching blue hair of Emma immediately caught the attention of the audience. (figure 6) As the film goes on, Emma gradually became the tower of strength which gives Adèle warmth and supports to deal with the pressure in school. As they became closer, the motifs appeared more and more frequently on the screen. However, after a period of time, the hair color of Emma eventually became blonde, as if her love for Adèle was washed away bit by bit. (Figure 7) The change of her hair color signifies the beginning of the end of their relationship. Starting from this point, the motifs seem to disappear in the film, until the scene when Adèle was completely immersed into the blue ocean. (Figure 8) The color blue appears again after Adèle lost Emma, indicating that she was still living in the shadow of Emma. I think the arrangement of color motifs in the film successfully bring out the regrets and pains experienced by Adèle. After tracking her emotions for three hours, her pains strongly influenced the emotion of the audience and create a sense of loneliness.
  6. 6. Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 The sex scenes and nudity are also used as the motifs to reinforce the development of the main character, Adèle. There are three sex scenes in the film, plus a nude scene nearly at the end of the film. The first sex scene appears in the very beginning of the film, when Adèle had sex with a boy for the first time. In this scene, there are a lot of
  7. 7. close-up shots on Adèle’s face capturing her facial expressions. (Figure 9) From her face, we can tell that she was pretending to enjoy the sex because she looked kind of distracted and disengaged whenever the boy turned away. This scene unveils the sexual confusion that Adèle had and acts as a hint foreshadowing her sexual preference. The second and the third sex scenes appear in middle part of the film, when Adèle and Emma took their clothes off and their passion exploded. Compare to the first sex scene, the second and the third sex scenes focus more on the body movements and connections between the characters. (Figure 10) Although some critics argued that these two sex scenes are too explicit and lengthy, these two scenes in fact act as indicators which reveal the intimacy between Emma and Adèle in a powerful, yet honest way. While these two scenes emphasize on the connection between the characters, the nude scene serves the opposite function. In the nude scene, Emma refused to have sex with Adèle in spite of her begging, showing that their relationship had changed. Like the function of the color motif, the sex scenes in the film also clarify the change in the life of Adèle. They act as the hints that guide the audience to disclose the underlying feelings of Adèle. Figure 9
  8. 8. Figure 10 Editing In order to create a naturally unfolding story, long-take shots are frequently used in the film. Like most of the French films, Blue is the Warmest Color is slowly paced, without fancy editing skill and special effect. One of the key features in the film is the long take shots used through the whole film. Normally, a shot remains onscreen only long enough to convey the meanings. Unlike the normal ones, long take shots last for longer than we thought it should be. These shots can provide the audience with more time and space to digest the plots and draw their attention to the details on the screen as the film progresses, like the use of motifs and the gradual change of exposure. (Kawin,1992) In other words, it allows the audience to recognize the interrelationship between different plots and maximizes the function of camera work and Mise-en-scène. Another function of this technique is that it can make story less dramatic and more realistic. In the film, there are a lot of long shots showing the everyday activities, like running to school and having dinner. These long shots shorten the distance between Adèle s and the audience and create a illusion that the life of Adèle is actually a reveal of our lives. Conclusion To conclude, the director of Blue is the Warmest Color tried to put forward the theme, that the story of Adèle. Is also the story of ours , by shortening the distance between
  9. 9. the female protagonist, Adèle, and the audience. To attain this purpose, he used different motifs and the techniques in camera work to portray the emotional change of Adèle in details, so as to evoke a consensus among both heterosexual and homosexual audience. He also used long take shots to make the story more realistic and amplify the importance of the motifs, as well as the camera work. Reference List Gaudreault, Andre. Film and attraction: from kinematography to cinema. 2nd edition. 1. United State:The board of trustees of the university of illinois. 2011, 45. Print. Kawin, B. F.. How movies work. 2. 1. United State:University of califonia press. 1992, 202. Print. Kilday, Gregg. "Oscars: why sex isn't Blue is the Warmest Color's only problem (analysis)." The hollywood reporter magazine. 301213: . Web. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/blue-is-warmest-colors-oscar-66 1394 > Malkiewicz, Kris. Film lighting: talks with hollywood's cinematographers and gaffer. 1. 1. New York:Prentice hall press. 2012, 76,93. Print. Scott, A. O.. "For a while, her life is yours. ‘blue is the warmest color,’ directed by abdellatif kechiche." New york times review. 24/10/2013: 1. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/movies/blue-is-the-warmest-color-di rected-by-abdellatif-kechiche.html?ref=movies >.
  10. 10. MOVIE REVIEW RUBRIC Level 1 (F/D) Level 2 (C-/C/C+) Level 3 (B-/B/B+) Level 4 (A-/A/A+) Knowledge/ Understanding Does not incorporates the elements and or fails to adequately demonstrate a thorough understanding of the purpose of a review Incorporates some of the elements and demonstrates some understanding of the purpose of a review Incorporates most elements and demonstrates a good understanding of the purpose of a review Incorporates all elements and demonstrates complete understanding of the purpose of a review with considerable effectiveness Thinking/Inquiry Little or no significant summary; no details from the movie and little evidence from summary to support reviewer’s opinion Contains no significant evaluation of many aspects of film to support reviewer’s opinion Summary is either much too short or much too long; may be vague or tell too much; few details from the movie and little evidence from summary to support reviewer’s opinion Contains insufficient evaluation of many aspects of film to support reviewer’s opinion, including directing, acting cinematography, editing, scenery, special effects and soundtrack; Summary is either a little too long or not long enough but does not give away ending; not quite as compelling; fewer details from the movie and evidence from summary to support reviewer’s opinion Contains some evaluation of many aspects of film to support reviewer’s opinion, including directing, acting cinematography, editing, scenery, special effects and soundtrack Writer gives a brief summary of film without disclosing ending; includes enough info to satisfy; details from the movie and evidence from summary strongly support reviewer’s opinion Contains sufficient and knowledgeable evaluation of many aspects of film to support reviewer’s opinion, including directing, acting cinematography, editing, scenery, special effects and soundtrack

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