Learning Object: Deconstructing Visual Text, Life is Beautiful and Auschwitz
R O B E R T B E N I G N I ‟ S L I F E I S B E A U T I F U L A N D P A S C A LC R O C I ‟ S A U S C H W I T ZDECONSTRUCTINGVISUAL TEXT
DECONSTRUCTING VISUAL TEXTRobert Benigni’s Life isBeautifulPascal Croci’s Auschwitz
PURPOSEENTERTAIN• To keep, hold or maintain theattention of theaudience, often through theuse of humour.INFORM• To give the audience facts orinformation to make themaware of something.EXPLAIN• Make (an idea, situation, orproblem) clear to youraudience by describing it inmore detail or revealingrelevant facts or ideas
SUBJECTMATTER•Life is Beautiful andAuschwitz portray thehorrors of Holocaust.•Both texts display afamily‟s plight to stayalive and to save theirchild.
CONTEXT• All texts are influenced bycontext• Texts are influenced by thefact that they are createdat a particular time, in aparticular place, and by aparticular person withparticular purposes, ideas,experiences and attitudes.
STRUCTURAL FEATURESROBERT BENIGNI‟S LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND PASCALCROCI‟S AUSCHWITZ
STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS• Both texts were recounts divided into clear sectionsto highlight the horror of the holocaust.• Life is Beautiful had two sections: One showed thelife of whimsy created by Guido and this wassignified using bright vibrant colours, the secondwas in the concentration camp and a monotonecolour was utilised by Benigni.• In Auschwitz Kazik and Cessia both gave us thererecollection of the Nazi War Camp and what theyhad to do to survive.
•How has the story been established?Orientation•What is the problems that needs to be resolved?Problem•What will happen to prevent the character from solvingthe problem?Complication•What do you think is the climax of the story?Climax•How does the story end?Resolution
CHARACTERISATIONCharacterisation is about focusing on the decisions thatthe director/author has made into character choice(age, gender, race etc.) and the action that surroundsthem as the story line develops.Life is Beautiful:• Guido Orifice• Dora Orifice• Joshua• Dr Lessing• Nazi SoldiersAuschwitz:• Kazik• Cessia• Ann• Nazi Soldiers• Kapo
NARRATIONNarration is about how the story is told and fromwhat point of view.Life is Beautiful:• We don‟t learn until theend of the film the thenarrator is in factJoshua, the childrecounting hisexperiences and tellingus what happened tohis father.Auschwitz:• Also a recount, Kazikand Cessia individuallytell the viewer theirstory about whathappened inAuschwitz.
WRITING ACTIVITIES:1. How does the choice of narrator affectboth of these texts? Are they reliable?2. In what ways do these texts depict theinner journeys of the main characters?
COMPOSITIONAL FEATURESROBERT BENIGNI‟S LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND PASCALCROCI‟S AUSCHWITZ
Cinematography•Special Effects•Sound and Music•Camera Shots•Camera Angles•Framing andComposition•Lighting andColour•Editing andJuxtapositionMakingMeaning•The Story onScreen•Film, OpeningSequence•Plot: Scenes andSequences•Characterisation•Sets, Costumesand Setting•Mood orAtmosphereTheArtofFilmMaking•Film Creators•Artistic VisionWhat decisions has Begnini made in the creation of his film to conveymeaning?
CINEMATOGRAPHYTHE DIRECTOR MANIPULATES HIS AUDIENCE USING SOUNDAND VISUAL EFFECTS.Special Effects Sound andMusicCamera Shotsand AnglesCameraMovementFraming andCompositionLighting andColourEditing andJuxtaposition
SPECIAL EFFECTSDirectors use special effects todraw the attention of the viewer,in Life is Beautiful Benigni uses veryfew special effects, relying onrealism to get his point across.When Guido is killed by the Nazi‟s,there is little special effect, no fanfare, just a single „bang‟ thatbreaks the silence, which isfollowed by the feeling of theaudience‟s collective heartsinking with the tragedy that hasjust taken place.
SOUND AND MUSICFilms are a visual experience; however, sound and musicplay a very important part in conveying feeling, developingatmosphere and capturing the attention of the audience.Sounds Include:•What the characters says, as well as voice over from anarratorDialogue:•Synchronous which are those sounds matched to action(a car driving) and Asynchronous sounds which developtension and atmosphere (a door creaking).Sound Effects:•Background music can link themes and can help toconvey emotion and feeling of the character and to theaudience (developing empathy).Music
CAMERA SHOTS AND ANGLESCamera Shots• A camera shot is theamount of space that isseen in one shot orframe.• Camera shots are usedto demonstratedifferent aspects of afilms setting, charactersand themes.Camera Angles• Camera angles areused to position theviewer so that they canunderstand therelationships betweenthe characters.
CAMERA SHOTSPoint of View:Framed froma particularcharacterspoint of view.Audiencesees whatcharactersee.TrackingShot:singlecontinuousshot madewith acameramovingalong thegroundLong Shot:Often usedas anestablishingshot.Mid Shot:Can givebackgroundinformationwhile stillfocusing onsubject.Wide Shot:These showthecharacters infull, as well asothercharacters intheforegroundandbackground.Close-up:Focuses ondetail /expression /reaction.ExtremeClose-up:Focuses ondetail such asthe eyes.These shotsshowemotion, conveyempathy, feeling.
FRAMING AND COMPOSITIONBackgroundMiddlegroundForeground• Composition is about thearrangement of everything ina frame.• Placing items/people in theframe in different positionshas different effects.• The director can placeitems/people in a frame toshow relationships, to conveyfeelings and emotions and todraw attention to setting.
LIGHTING AND COLOURBenigni‟s use of colour, or lack of colour, highlights the main action and thethoughts and feelings of the main characters. The first half of the film is infull colour it is peace-time between the wars and a testimony to Guido‟ssense of fun and fantasy (he has fought and won the love of his „princess‟).The second half of the film is dark and in monotones highlighting the horrorof the Holocaust and the sense of despair and desperation felt by Guido.
EDITING AND JUXTAPOSITION• The ending of a shot. If the cut seems inconsistent withthe next shot, it is called a jump cutCut• The image appears or disappears gradually. Oftenused as a division between scenes.Fade in Fade out• One image fades in while another fades out so that fora few seconds, the two are superimposed.Dissolve
VisualFeatures•Action•Visual Symbols•Angles•Framing•Composition•Use of Space•Light and Shade•Juxtaposition MakingMeaning•Theme (s)•Characterisation•Setting•Mood orAtmosphereTheArtoftheGraphicNovel•Author•Artistic VisionWhat decisions has Croci made in the creation of his graphic novel toconvey meaning?
ANGLESAngles are an important technique for creating a relationship between theaudience and the subject of the FramesExtreme LongShot:These shots areused to introducethe setting andatmosphereLong Shot:These are used togive an overallpicture, placingthe characters inthere setting.Mid Shot:Can givebackgroundinformation whilestill focusing onsubject.Wide Shot:These show thecharacters in full,as well as othercharacters in theforeground andbackground.Close-up:Focuses on detail/ expression /reaction.Extreme Close-up:Focuses on detailsuch as the eyes.These shots showemotion, conveyempathy, feeling.
VISUAL SYMBOLSAre there any visual symbols? What do they represent?• Feet• Smoking• Doll• Crows• Rats• Vampire• Shadows
USE OF SPACEHow is the space in eachframe used? What is theeffect of this?
LIGHT AND SHADEHow do light and shade affect your interpretation of theframes?
COMPOSITION• Composition refers to the way that the variouselements within an image/frame are structured andplaced in relationship to each other and to the viewer.
JUXTAPOSITIONJuxtaposition refers tohow things are puttogether. Croci hasmade choices about thedifferent frames/panelshe has put together.Juxtaposition can beused to convey feelings,develop suspense andcreate atmosphere.
ENGAGEMENT WITH THEVIEWER/RESPONDERROBERT BENIGNI‟S LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND PASCALCROCI‟S AUSCHWITZ
THEMES - LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL•Silence marks both bravery and cowardice in the film.Uncle Eliseo illustrates the concept of silence as bravery.Silence is also what keeps Joshua alive. Silence is alsocowardice as witnessed through Dr Lessing who was quietthrough the horrific treatment of the Jews.Silence•The Holocaust is a major part of this film as the hostility ofthe time is depicted throughout the film and in the secondhalf, Guido is forced to help his son survive in a Nazi DeathCamp or Concentration Camp.Holocaust•In the beginning, Guido is seems naïve; however, as he isforced to come to terms with the reality of the time theviewer sees some changes to his character. Joshua‟sinnocence is intact until we hear his voice as narrator atthe end.Innocence
THEMES: AUSCHWITZ• Silence also features in Auschwitz. The story beginswith Kazik and Cessia saying that they need tobreak their silence and telling each other theiraccounts of Auschwitz all of those years ago.Silence• The text depicts life during The Holocaust in theAuschwitz Concentration Camp. Vividly depictingthe choices people had to make to survive.Holocaust• The loss of innocence is a feature of this book. Wesee the Jewish people, the Czech‟s, Ann andeven a baby are no match for the cruelty of theNazi soldiers.Innocence
EXTENDED METAPHOR: LIFE ISBEAUTIFUL•Guido turns the arrest of himself and Joshua into a game. He tells Joshuathat they are on a family holiday and then convinces him that they are partof a game where they need to achieve 1000 points to win a tank.The Game•Guido likes to tell stories and it is through these stories that he can escapethe horrible reality of the War. In these „fairytales‟ Dora is his “princess”. Herescues her on horse back and they begin a beautiful life together;however, they do not live „happily ever after‟.Fairytale•Guido attempts to give the audience the impression that he can alter thecourse of fate. This can be seen through his courting of Dora and also theaction of the „game‟ itself. We realise however; that Guido is a smart manand is manipulating events can creating these so=called coincidences.Coincidence
MAKING MEANING1. What event/situation is being referred to in both ofthese texts?2. How do both authors portray the different groupsof people in their texts?3. How do both authors use visual techniques tocontribute to the viewers understanding of themain ideas/themes of the texts?4. What message(s) are Benigni and Croci trying toget across to their audiences?