Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Film Language.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Film Language."— Presentation transcript:

1 Film Language

2 Aims To illustrate and apply basic critical methodology of film
analysis: Signs: denotation, connotation, motivation Cinematography (the shot): camera distance, angle, movement; their motivations and connotations Mise-en-scène analysis: lighting, objects, colour etc - everything in the frame Editing: types of edit; their motivations and connotations; continuity editing Sound Explicit and implicit meaning

3 Signs: Denotation and Connotation
Sign: any unit of meaning (graphic, aural, verbal) Denotation: the (literal) description of a sign Connotation: the meaning associated with a sign

4 NB A sign can connote and/or be motivated.
Signs: Motivation Motivation: the reason a film element is included: Realism Narrative Intertextuality (including “hommage”) Artistic NB A sign can connote and/or be motivated.

5 Key Elements of Film Language
or the Poetics of Cinema Mise en Scene and Cinematography Editing Sound How they combine to create meaning

6 Cinematography (The Shot)
Camera Distance Extreme Long Shot (ELS) Shows location Often used as an initial establishing shot in a sequence Also called a master shot as whole scene is usually shot in LS before breaking down into MS and CU Example: Shot of Ethan near start of The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

7 Searchers opening

8 The Shot: Camera Distance
ELS/Establishing shot shows the location, setting or landscape of a scene; presents the action’s setting, with some characters. A mood or sense of drama may be presented with this shot

9 The Shot: Camera Distance
Long Shot (aka Full Shot) frames the entire body of one or more characters

10 The Shot: Camera Distance
Medium Long Shot: (also called “plan américain” or American shot) shows 1 to 3 characters from the thigh up. This shows characters and their roles without emphasising their emotions.

11 The Shot: Camera Distance
MLS shows location/ relationships - often used as an initial establishing shot in a sequence

12 The Shot: Camera Distance
Medium Shot (MS) Waist up Focus on character(s)

13 The Shot: Camera Distance
This MS shot allows other characters to be in view and so allows character interaction. This often makes for more sociable shots.

14 The Shot: Camera Distance
Medium shots put more emphasis on characters and their emotions.

15 The Shot: Camera Distance
Medium Close Up (MCU) Chest up Focus on character(s)

16 The Shot: Camera Distance
CLOSE UP: Generally any close up shot of an object gives the object meaning. If the close up is of the whole or part of the face then it shows emotion and reinforces spectator involvement Before advent of widescreen in mid 1950s, only one character usually in a close up - character on their own and can seem isolated in this type of shot - but wider fram allows CU two-shot

17 The Shot: Camera Distance
Close Up (CU) Can be of people Can be of objects

18 The Shot: Camera Distance
Extreme Close Up (ECU) Part of face Often used at climax of drama

19 The Shot: Camera Distance
An extreme close up is more magnified than close up, and will focus on one part (hand, eye, mouth, etc.) Insert: a detail shot magnifying a thing (letter, business card, etc.)

20 The Shot: Camera Distance
“Sergio Leone Shot” (ECU) Isolates eyes Often used at climax of drama, eg in Leone’s films in the lead-up to a shoot-out Clip 1

21 The Shot: Camera Angle Straight-on Angle
Connotes equilibrium (normality) and makes spectator feel comfortable

22 The Shot: Camera Angle Canted Angle (aka Dutch Angle)
Connotes disequilibrium (physical or mental) and produces sense of unease in spectator “The world is out of joint” Clip 2

23 The Shot: Camera Angle High Angle Shot Connotation - lack of power
Motivation: can be point-of-view (POV) shot In The Color of Paradise/Rang-e Khoda,1999) a blind son Mohammad and his elderly grandmother are ruled over by a dominant father and are often shot from a high angle, emphasizing their dependence and smallness.

24 The Shot: Camera Angle In this high angle shot, the angle - combined with mise en scene (prop) - the wheelchair - can make the character seem small and vulnerable. Gattaca, Andrew Noble, 1997)

25 The Shot: Camera Angle LOW ANGLE SHOT
A shot taken from below an character, as if he/she is looking down on us. This may make us feel small and vulnerable and the character seem powerful and authoritative Gladiator, Ridley Scott, 2000

26 The Shot: Camera Angle LOW ANGLE SHOT
This shot from The Magnificent Seven bestows authority on the Yul Bryner character. Although the Steve McQueen character is also shot from a low angle, he has less authority because of his position vis a vis the Yul Bryner character - see Mise en Scene (later)

27 The Shot: Camera Angle Low Angle
Often connotes power but motivation can simply be POV shot In The Color of Paradise/Rang-e Khoda,1999) a dominant father is frequently shot From a low angle

28 The Shot: Camera Angle In this clip from Citizen Kane, there is not much difference in height (seated) between Kane and his about-to-be mistress and future wife, Susan Alexander. However, as the shots cuts between the two, we have a high angle on Susan and a low angle on Kane, perhaps connoting that he will be dominant in the relationship Clip 3

29 The Shot: Camera Angle Need to avoid a mechanical interpretation of camera angle - context needs to be taken into account - high angle hardly connotes lack of power but visual indication as to what’s about to happen to “traitor” eg North by North West (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, ) Clip 4

30 The Shot: Camera Movement
Pan: (panorama) Camera swivels left or right on axis. Used for: Showing scene Following movement Show POV as head turns Guiding attention eg Traffic (Stephen Sodeberg) Clip 5

31 The Shot: Camera Movement
Whip Pan ie very rapid pan. Used for: Rapid head-turn POV Style Eg Fists of Fury/Tang Shan Da Xiong, Wei Lo, Honk Kong, 1971). Clip 6

32 The Shot: Camera Movement
Tilt Camera swivels up or down. Used for: Showing scene on different levels Following movement Show POV as head moves up/down Establishing shot e.g. ext: tilt up high building CUT int: room in building eg In Leon (Luc Besson, 1994 ) tilt up used to reveal character of Matilda. Audience asked to notice contradictions in her clothing, starting with boots, her comic-book leotards, past her teenage jewellery and her cigarette to gentle, vulnerable face hidden behind ornate railing. Tilt-up allows audience to take in each item separately and notice contradictions central to her character. Clip 7

33 The Shot: Camera Movement
Track (dolly) (tracking shot) - camera on wheels, usually on a little cart called a dolly (so sometimes known as a “dolly shot”; or the verb “to dolly” is used. - can track in/out, left/right, slow/fast.

34 The Shot: Camera Movement
Tracking in Lateral track(ing shot)

35 The Shot: Camera Movement
Tracking Shot Lateral track(ing shot) Examples: Central do Brasil/Central Station Les 400 coups/ The 400 Blows Clip 8

36 The Shot: Camera Movement
Reverse Tracking Shot In this example from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg/The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964, France) note the effect of the reverse tracking shot in combination with the moving train Clip 9

37 The Shot: Camera Movement
Overhead Tracking Shot In this example from 1984 (Michael Radford, 1984), the overhead tracking shot of Winston Smith in his workplace has connotations of surveillance, spying, oppression. Clip 10

38 The Shot: Camera Movement
Crane shot Crane: camera on crane so can move in/out, up/down space Great potential from dramatic and aesthetically pleasing shots Camera on crane so can move in/out, up/down space Very flexible - can produce dramatic/aesthetic effects Examples from The Player (Robert Altman), Once Upon a Time in the West, Young and Innocent (where it combines with a zoom) Clip 11

39 The Shot: Camera Movement
Handheld: Portable camera so get jiggling image. Used for: Realist documentary look Convey dynamism of action Eg Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000) Clip 12

40 The Shot: Camera Movement
Steadicam Portable camera with weights which is ‘worn’ by camera operator. Used to: Steady image Film scene without multiple takes Film on terrain where tracks difficult (or where the director wants to show the floor) Eg The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) Clip 13

41 The Shot: Camera Movement
Steadicam Use of Steadicam in Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990) In five-minute shot, audience follows gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) in the back door, through the kitchen and up to the bar, stopping to meet patrons all the way Shows how gangsters don’t have to wait in queues like everyone else Clip 14

42 Zoom The Shot: Camera Movement
Use of zoom lens to create illusion of camera moving in/out. Can zoom in/out (forward zoom/reverse zoom) Examples: The Stendhal Syndrome (Dario Argento, 1996) The Godfather Part 2 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Clip 15

43 The Shot: Camera Movement
Rack or Pull Focus Change focus during scene to new point of interest In this clip from 1984, note the way that Julia (Joanna Hamilton) is in focus and then there is a rack focus and she comes out of focus while O’Brian (Richard Burton) comes into focus. This has narrative significance as it shows that a member of the inner party is noticing her, perhaps suspicion that her zeal is attacking the image of arch-traitor Goldstein in hiding some deviant thoughts. Clip 16

44 aka “dolly zoom” or “transtrav” “trombone shot”
The Shot: Camera Movement Vertigo effect aka “dolly zoom” or “transtrav” “trombone shot” Unsettling in-camera special effect that appears to undermine normal visual perception in film Effect achieved by using setting of zoom lens to adjust field of view while camera dollies (or tracks) towards or away from subject in such a way as to keep subject same size in frame throughout. From Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) Scotty - former policeman: fear of heights ends his career The effect gives an insight into his state of mind as he is going up spiral staircase near climax of film Clip 17

45 The Shot: Camera Movement
This effect used expressively in a variety of films to show characters’ state of mind: Jaws (Spielberg, USA, 1973) - shows Chief Brodie’s dread when he realises the killer shark has returned Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1980) - here used very slowly to indicate that the world is closing in on Henry Hall as former comrades plotting to kill him The Quick and the Dead (Sam Raimi, USA, 19) - here used to show unnatural state of affairs in which a son Leonardo di Capprio) fights a gun duel with his father (Gene Hackman). Note way in which young woman seems literally to recoil in fear. Combined with a canted/Dutch frame: the world really is out of joint Clip 18

46 The Shot Freeze Frame Achieved by repeating the same frame again and again so thatit gives the screen the appearance of a still photograph Can have the effect of leaving us uncertain about the final consequences of the action (ie prevents “narrative closure” Most famous use of this technique: Les 400 coups/The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959) but much imitated in later films At the end of the film, its protagonist turns to camera - direct address - as the frame freezes - ambiguous: happiness? hope? uncertainty? disillusionment? Clip 19

47 Mise en scène (pronounced “meez on sen” with second syllable nasalised) Term from French theatre - literally, what has been put on the stage. In film refers to everything we see on the screen: Main elements of mise en scene are: setting, objects (props), people, make up, costumes, figure arrangement and movement (aka blocking), colour, lighting, gesture, acting styles etc Analysis of mise-en-scène can reveal how themes are symbolised

48 Lighting Mise en scène Three point system of lighting
Key light: main source of light Backlight: adds highlights and differentiates actor from background Fill light: softens shadows from key light

49 Mise en scène Lighting Classical use of three-point lighting - all three elements are in balance. Connotes normality. Here, the actors are made to look glamorous by the balanced lighting. Written On The Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956)

50 Peking Opera Blues /Do Ma Daan, Tsui Hark (Honk Kong, 1986)
Mise en scène High Key Lighting - lighting scheme in which fill light is raised to almost the same level as key light - produces images that are usually very bright, few shadows on principal subjects. This bright image is characteristic of entertainment genres such as musicals (eg classic MGM style) Peking Opera Blues /Do Ma Daan, Tsui Hark (Honk Kong, 1986)

51 Low Key Lighting Mise en scène
Key light dimmed (may be moved – kick light), very little fill light, creating strong contrasts between the brightest and darkest parts of an image and often creating strong shadows that obscure parts of the principal subjects. Shadows - connote unease, sense of evil - feature of horror and ‘film noir’ (style or genre of filmmaking prominent in 1940s) Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1957)

52 Props and Objects Mise en scène
Costumes are important props. In film, any portion of a costume may become a prop. When Hildy Johnson switches from her role of aspiring housewife to that of reporter, her stylish hat with its low-dipping brim is replaced by a “masculine” hat with its brim pushed up, reporter-style His Girl Friday (Howard Hawkes, 1940)

53 Props and Objects Mise en scène
This staircase is a signifier. Notice how structure is so similar to shape of DNA (our genetic blue print). Gattaca, Andrew Noble, 1997) (Note: the DVD cover even placed a model image of DNA next to the staircase.

54 Props and Objects Mise en scène
This sequence from North by North-West (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959) seems at first simply to be economical transition from previous scene but metaphorical information in dissolve: CIA imposes itself on UN; Capitol is reflection of CIA - ie intelligence agency imposes over seat of government Clip 20

55 Mise en scène Props and Objects What might these signifiers represent?

56 Mise en scène Props and Objects .. and this?

57 Mise en scène Colour Like light colour has a symbolic and subconscious affect on us. We passively accept colour more than lines (light and dark), but it too has a profound affect on us as viewers. Colour is strongly linked to emotions (though the specifics are very cultural) Cool colours (blue, green, violet) suggest calm, tranquility, aloofness, and tend to recede in images (go to the back) Warm colours (red, yellow, orange) suggest aggression, violence, stimulation, and come forward in images (stand out)

58 Mise en scène Colour In Three Colours: Blue (1993), Krzysztof Kieslowski used a number of different connotations of the colour blue. It is one of the colours of the French tricolour, it perhaps represents freedom, but it also stands for sadness: “the blues”. Julie (Juliette Binoche) loses her husband and daughter in a car crash in the opening sequence. She decides to block herself off by attempting to “free” herself from all the associations of her past life Throughout the film Kieslowski uses blue motifs as in the brief montage which follows Clip 21

59 Mise en scène Colour Connotations of colours culturally determined - don’t necessarily carry exclusive meanings. Compare the use of red Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou (1990), for example with Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (Viskingar Och Rop, 1972),    Zhang exploits red as signifier of unrestrained passion - fairly typical connotation However, Ingmar Bergman associates the color with stagnation and contaminated blood. Clips 22, 23

60 Mise en scène Colour In Traffic (2000), Steven Soderbergh decided to shoot all the sequences in the Northern Mexico desert overexposed. Resulting images give impression of barren, desolated land being mercilessly burnt by sun, no-man's land over which police and customs have no control.

61 Proxemic Patterns and Gestures
Mise en scène Proxemic Patterns and Gestures The relationships between the organisms in a space are called Proxemic Patterns. The proxemic pattern is determined by distance and may be Intimate (touching – ½ m away), Personal (½ m – 1m) , Social (1m – 4m), or Public (greater than 4m distance). These patterns can be manipulated using camera shots and angles For example this big close up brings us into intimate proximity with the character.

62 Sometimes two people in close proximity form a heart shape.
Mise en scène Proxemic Patterns and Gestures Sometimes two people in close proximity form a heart shape.

63 Proxemic Patterns and Gestures
Mise en scène Proxemic Patterns and Gestures Expansive outward movements generally associated with explosive emotions such as joy or terror. Look at example of The French Connection, William Friedkin, 1971) Scene occurs at climax of chase sequence in which protagonist Popye Doyle (Gene Hackman) finally triumphs over vicious killer by shooting him - just as he seems on verge of eluding him once again Kinetic outburst symbolises not only bullet exploding in victim’s body, but joyous climax for protagonist after humiliating and dangerous pursuit Kinetic “ecstasy of death” also releases dramatic tension built up in audience during chase sequence: in effect we are seduced into sharing protagonist’s joy in the kill Clip 24

64 Proxemic Patterns and Gestures
Mise en scène Proxemic Patterns and Gestures From “Understanding Movies”, Louis Giannetti

65 Mise en scène Gesture Capturing of gesture or look just as or more important than objects or colour, as in this shot of a confrontation in American History X (Tony Kaye, 1998)

66 Editing How the shots are arranged in sequence
Involves choice of length of each shot and of the kind of transition between each shot Primitive film: no editing - just filming from fixed position till the reel ran out eg The Workers Leaving the Factory The Little Rascal (or The Hoser Hosed) and The Arrival of a train at La Ciotat (Auguste and Louis Lumiere, 1895, 1896) Clip 25

67 Editing Montage is the French term for editing; but also generally used to mean a succession of shots that clash to create new meaning (aka “Soviet Montage”) Emphasises dynamic, often discontinuous, relationships between shots and the juxtaposition of images to create ideas not present in either shot by itself. eg October (1925) and Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1927) Clip26

68 Editing: Types of Edit Why did Eisenstein edit these shots of the lion statues in this way? 2 most obvious answers: To suggest that a stone lion would be shocked by the massacre on the Odessa steps The lion could represent the workers and peasants rising up against their oppressors

69 Editing: Types of Edit “American Montage”
Succession of shots to indicate compressed time (frequently linked by dissolves) Example: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) Clip 27

70 Editing: Types of Edit Cut: Shot A followed by shot B. Used for:
Sequence in real time Parallel editing: cutting between related actions Most common transition - there will be hundreds of cuts in an average film (ASL =“average shot length”) 1930s s: ASL = between 8 and 11 seconds 1960s ASL = between 6 and 8 seconds 1970s ASL = between 5 and 8 seconds 1970s ASL = between 5 and seconds From mid-1990s, many films as low as 3-4 seconds

71 Editing: Types of Edit Cut:
Tension built by way scene is cut - cf this sequence from The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963) Average shot length short but rate of cutting faster at highest point of tension Clip 28

72 Editing: Types of Edit Parallel edits/cross cutting: a way of showing two actions taking place simultaneously; originally used for excitement; later more sophisticated effects, eg Godfather: cross-cuts between baptism of Michael’s nephew (connotations of innocence) and the preparation and execution of the murder of rival gang leaders - ordered by Michael - irony Clip 29

73 Editing: Types of Edit Fade Fade In: shot lightens from black.
Used to: Signify start of scene/new day Fade Out: shot darkens to black. Used to: Signify end of scene/day Fade Out/Fade In: Signifies time has passed eg The Searchers (shadow of chief on girl) Clip 30

74 Editing: Types of Edit Fade
Fades not always to black - sometimes to colour eg red dominant colour in Bergman’s Cries and Whispers and Bergman fades to red rather than black Clip 31

75 Editing: Types of Edit Dissolve: Shot A overlaps with shot B.
Used for: Jump in time/space (e.g. flashback, dream) eg North by North-West (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959) Clip 32

76 Editing: Types of Edit Wipe:
Shoot A peels off to reveal shot B. Horizontal/vertical /digital wipe. Used to: Move to new setting Style (eg in modern films to give a sense of nostalgia for old films) eg The Seven Samurai (Kurosawa Clip 33

77 Editing: Types of Edit Iris
A round moving mask that can close down to end a scene (iris-out) Or can open to begin a scene (iris in) or reveal more space round a detail. A common device in early cinema. When used post 1930, usually has connotations of nostalgia (eg Tirez sur le pianiste/Shoot the Piano Player - Francois Truffaut, 1960) or a self-conscious referencing in films about film. In this scene from Neighbours (Buster Keaton, 1920) the iris is used for the comic effect as that the female protagonist is getting ready for her wedding Clip 34

78 Editing Types of Edit Bazz Luhrman combines wipes, irises (sort of - they are square!) and freeze-frames in his postmodernist version Romeo and Juliet. Postmodernist style mixes different elements eclectically - filmic technique often draws attention to itself, unlike in continuity (“invisible”) editing - see below Clip 35

79 Editing: Continuity Editing
Classic Hollywood style is a set of techniques which are designed to make the technical construction of the film ‘invisible’ i.e. to make the inherent discontinuity of film appear ‘continuous’ In Classic Hollywood the plot is more important than the style i.e. its prime motive is storytelling

80 Editing: Continuity Editing
The main techniques are: Establishing shot: shows the setting and 180° line (the camera will stay on one side of this line) Shot/reverse shot: cutting back and forth between characters (sometimes using over-the-shoulder shots) Eyeline match: shot A: someone looking; shot B what is looked at with direction of look maintained Match on action: where a cut occurs at a point when the actor is moving - makes cut “invisible”

81 Editing: Continuity Editing
Establishing Shot shows the setting and 180° line (the camera will stay on one side of this line)

82 Editing: Continuity Editing
Bordwell and Thomson

83 Editing: Continuity Editing
Bordwell and Thomson

84 Editing: Continuity Editing
Shot/reverse shot Cutting back and forth between characters in conversation, each shot being followed by one from a more or less equivalent position from the other side; (sometimes using over-the-shoulder shots) example: Hush (Joss Whedon, 2000) On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1947) Clip 36, 37

85 Editing: Continuity Editing
Eyeline match Based on premise that audience will want to see what the character on-screen is seeing. Begins with character looking at something off-screen, then a cut to the object or person that they are looking at. If the person looks left, the following shot should imply that the looker is off-screen right.

86 Editing: Continuity Editing
Eyeline match Following shots from The Stendhal Syndrome /La Sindrome di Stendhal (Dario Argento, Italy, 1996), depict Anna looking a painting - Brueghel's The Fall of Icarus. Scene takes place inside Florence’s's most famous museum, the Uffizi Gallery. As her interest grows, the eyeline match is stressed with matching close-ups of Anna's face and Icarus's falling into the ocean in the painting. Clip 38

87 Editing: Continuity Editing
Match on action Match on action: action carried on across two shots Helps to mask the cut - viewer paying attention to action rather than edit Connecting sounds: same sound carried across cut Examples from Orphans of the Storm (DW Griffiths, 1921) Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964) Traffic (Steven Soderbergh, 2000) Clip 39

88 Editing: Continuity Editing
Graphic March (Match Cut) When 2 successive shots joined so as to create strong similarity of shape (and/or colour) Used to smooth the transition between shots eg clip from Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodovar, 1988) [traffic light-sun] But also capable of startling transitions such as one from ‘Dawn of Man’ sequence of 2001: a Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) where a bone used as a weapon is thrown into air in prehuman times and cut to a graphic match to a spaceship floating in space in imaginary future Clip 40

89 Editing: Continuity Editing
Sudden shift from longshot to close-up can be very effective technique In this clip from The Searchers (John Ford, 1956), we go from: a long shot of Ethan preparing a raid: we see the landscape, including the Comanche camp where Debbie being held To a close-up to Ethan’s face, conveying his anxiety Clip 41

90 Editing: Continuity Editing
Rules of continuity editing long established and very powerful. Even used by interviewers on TV news using single camera to interview. Then camera position reversed - interviewee may no longer be present - and questions repeated and edited in. Interviewer even fakes a reaction in longer takes by nodding, hence “the noddies” Standard way of editing scene: LS as an establishing shot, followed by closer shots until close-up (including shot/reverse shot in conversation); then re-establishing shot to remind audience where they are. Whole scene shot in long shot - “mastershot” - then closer shots edited in)

91 Editing: Continuity Editing
Mastershot and closer shots In initial sequence from Peking Opera Blues/Do Ma Daan (Honk Kong,1986), director Tsui Hark uses long shots to establish the locale before moving in. Three musicians shown against a fireplace in what looks like a luxurious room. Our suspicions confirmed by the second establishing shot, which shows us other half of the ample room (shot/reverse-shot) and reveals a party going on. After this introduction, the camera moves forward with several close-ups of both musicians and spectators. At the end of the sequence, Hark shows us the entire room in a larger shot. This final establishing shot is called a reestablishing shot, for it shows us once again spatial relationships introduced with establishing shots. Clip 42

92 Editing: Continuity Editing
But rules are made to be broken, as in this early sequence from Leon (Luc Besson, 1994) where the director dispenses with establishing shot altogether. Clip 43

93 Sound Sound can be: Diegetic: coming from the story space
Non-diegetic: coming from outside the story space e.g. soundtrack music, voiceover. Another distinction to be made: external diegetic - when other characters can hear the sound; internal diegetic: what character ‘hears’ inside head eg clip from Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (Almodovar) = external diegetic eg clip from Stendhall Syndrome - internal diegetic - what the character can “hear” inside her head but no-one else can Clip 44

94 Sound Most important form of non-diegetic sound is music (also known as source music) - change of music can change whole mood of scene Scene from Citizen Kane where editing combines with non-diegetic music to show Kane’s gradual estrangement from first wife, Emily Breakfast montage representing several years, with only a few lines of dialogue. Each section joined by a whip pan as years are compressed into a few minutes as Kane and his wife become more hostile The music also reinforces the sequence’s development

95 Sound Citizen Kane breakfast montage contd
initial late supper/early breakfast accompanied by lilting waltz a comic variation of the waltz follows initial statement, then tense one; then horns and trumpets restate the Kane theme final portion of scene accompanies stony silence between couple - slow , eerie variation on initial theme Dissolution of of marriage stressed by theme-and variation accompaniment Clip 45

96 Sound Stinger chord A strongly accented chord used to register shock or. surprise. Developed by composers such as Max Steiner (eg John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) and Bernard Herrmann (eg Alfred Hitchcock’s North by North West) Clip 46

97 Sound Mickey Mousing Term which arose from the animated films of Walt Disney in the 1930s. Mickey Mouse an the other Disney characters often move in exact synchronization with music, even when they are not dancing. Can be applied to non-animated film when the music is closely syncronised with the action. In King Kong (Merian C Cooper, 1933), the music follows the steps of the tribal chief, suggesting power. In Les Parapluies de Cherbourg/The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the music ‘falls’ as the character faints Clip 47

98 Sound Overlapping Sound
A technique where the sound from one scene overlaps into the next - usually by the sound in the second of two adjacent scenes beginning a second or two before the end of the first. Overlapping sound creates an aural association in a thematically linked sequence. Walter Murch, sound designer in Apocalypse Now and the English Patient used it often One of first films used extensively was Citizen Kane.

99 Sound Overlapping Sound
In this scene, Kane is in the flat of the woman who becomes his mistress, then his wife, for the first time. Then there is a dissolve to some time later where the characters are in same position but clearly time has moved on (suggesting Kane has ‘set her up’ in another flat. The same music bridges both scenes Clip 48

100 Sound Overlapping Sound
Kane’s applause at the end of the scene also bridges to the next scene, a political street meeting. The speech of Jed, Kane’s friend and ally, bridges to the next scene where Kane seems to carry on the same speech at a political rally in a hall Clip 49

101 Sound and Image Sound can:
Parallel the images: say the same thing e.g. expressive music which reflects characters’ emotions Counterpoint the images: say different things e.g. ironic commentative music

102 References Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (2004) Film Art: an Introduction (7th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill. Giannetti, Louis Understanding Movies Monaco, James (1990) How to Read a Film (5th edition), New Jersey, Prentice Hall O’Shaughnessy, Michael (1999) Media and Society: an Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Thompson, Kristin (1999) Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press) Van Sijll, Jennifer (2005) Cinematic Storytelling: the 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know. Studio City CA: Michael Wiese. Vogler, Christopher (1996) The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters. London:Boxtree.

Download ppt "Film Language."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google