Scenes from Films

Notting Hill – Walking through the seasons

The scene above I have included because it shows how a long period of time passing can be shot in one continuous shot. The camera follows the one character is he walks forward and the weather changes. I also like the amount of time is represented with the characters in the scene who appear through the one long shot. For instance Hugh Grant’s sister in the film begins with a new boyfriend and later in the shot she is slapping him – and this shows the relationship ending. in addition the use of the pregnant women at the very beginning of the scene reappearing with her baby and the very end is clever as it hints the exact amount of time that has passed. The use of this technique is also clever because it shows how the character maybe hasn’t changed/ or is still thinking about the previous events even though time has passed.

Billy Elliot – Town called Malice dance

The scene above is just after Billy Elliot the protagonist, misses his first ballet audition and his Father and brother discover that he wants to pursue Ballet. They force him onto a table and shouts at him to dance for them, because they reject him he then then follows by expressing his anger and his frustration at himself for not standing up for himself by dancing. The strong montage takes place in a back alley and down his street – the scene grows more and more intense as he tries to prove that he is good enough. In addition it shows how he is trying to break out his surroundings in a northern mining (male family life) town. All of his circumstances are against him. I like how the dance and the scene before are overlapped as it exaggerates the way he is exploding inside. At the end of the shot the sound disappears and he is left just with his heavy breathing and back to reality. Also the quick camera angles, for instance when the camera looks down at the three characters growing angry around him we see these quick camera cuts which create a hectic and build up of emotion – which he will then release through the dancing.

Election – Discovered scene (1:01)

The scene at 1:01 above shows the lead character returning home to find the woman he had an affair with speaking to his wife. We see him look around the door before slowly drawing back at the realization that he has been caught and there is nothing he can do to escape. We then see him step out side and look to the sky as the camera dollys out and up – its a wonderful scene because we feel his vulnerability and helplessness. We are literally looking down at him as he becomes smaller and smaller. Without speaking we can feel exactly what he is thinking and by looking up it gives the impression he unable to go anywhere.

Gone with the Wind – God as my Witness

Both of these scenes from Gone with the wind use similar camera moves to create an epic impact. However they are slightly different. The first video ‘As God as my witness’ the camera zooms back to leave the audience with this feeling of hope and inspiration. The protagonist has just reached her ‘goal’ of returning home. We are met with an mid shot of her crouched over and eating dirty roots from the ground like an animal. She is also in silluotte to show how she has become a shadow of her former character.  When she realizes, she then stands up and makes this powerful monologue to God of how she will never go hungry again – the camera zooms out and the sky is bright orange behind her. The music also adds to the powerful words she shouts out to God – and it shows how she has changed as a character from that point – the wide shot also reveals to the audience not only how she has changed but the surroundings. At the beginning of the film the land was green and healthy, now it is empty.

Gone with the Wind – The civil war injured

The second scene from Gone with the wind uses a similar camera angle to show the amount of death and injury of the men fighting in the Civil war in the south. The end of the zoom out is a ripped and battered flag still flying – it shows the pride of the south and the ruin that has come to fall on the land and people. For the story this scene shows the lead trying to find the doctor somewhere among the people. It is only when the camera pulls back to we realize the true extent of the wounded – and show how lost she is as she searches for the doctor.

Anna Karenina – Horse race scene

The film Anna Karenina has a very different style than any other film. The whole film is set around a stage and so the characters interact as the background staging is changed – or placed on stage. The idea behind this storytelling style was to be a metaphor how the women/ people of this time often were acting or pretending to be something they were not. And so a stage theme was created. The scene I’ve included is a horse race where Keira Knightly who plays Anna Karenina sees the man shes having affair with fall of his horse. And the sudden scream draws the attention on her and her husband. I just really like the quick camera shots and close up of her reaction and then to those around her. Furthermore I enjoy how the scene also begins with her fanning herself – the sound creating the vibrations/ sound of the distant race around the track – however it also creates this frantic heart beating sound that expresses how she is nervous and fanning herself to calm down. Her husband also watches with a close up to his eyes and then to her hands snapping the fan as she watches the race anxiously.

Vertigo – the stairs

This scene from vertigo sums up the anxiety and fears that the protagonist has throughout the film. The camera angles just gives us as the audience the same feeling of Vertigo and fear of falling. It connects us to the lead.

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