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Cinema Midterm


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Lumière films
A Trip to the Moon
Méliès; 1902 - melodramatic - shifting from the everyday - first sci-fi film - multiple takes to form a narrative - chronology of sequences - colonial narrative
Anémic Cinéma
A nous la liberté
René Clair; 1931 - ex-con movie emphasizing freedom, populism and the aestheticism of cinematic movement - "the most striking thing in the writings of M. Pagnol and most of his colleagues who have joined this debate is their cockiness and their astonishing ignorance of the cinema." - successful transition to sound
Maurice Pagnol; 1931 - credit sequence use of sound (diegetic sound - "percolator" or coffee-maker sequence early on - regional accents/particularities of the human voice (this isn't possible without sound!) - sound vs. gesture - 3 kinds of music: mute trumpet (rustic, local flavor of Marseilles, laid-back); orchestral - sense of character, locale, adventure, departure - Sound FX: much more of a presence; horns-low pitch; coffee-shrill; convey psychic reality for Marius - Speech: closer to Mediterranean; more hand gestures; very theatrical - voice modulating creates emotion - Marius wants: freedom; leaves through the window to escape his father; Oedipus - either run away or kill the father - french natural pride - sound becomes structural to the story
Pépé le Moko
Julien Duvivier; 1937 - poetic realism: not a movement nor an absolute aesthetic style, but a mood, tendency or view on the world - working class interest - JEAN GABIN. - crime in a big city; working class and underworld; haunts: the "zone," quartiers populaires - precursor to Film Noir - light scheme -Pépé: still has humanity; doesn't shoot cops above the leg; playing the game; not a brute criminal; really nice clothing; artistic; sleek; iconography in the making -Gaby: from Paris; working class family; not in love with her rich husband; place blanche; coded as fine, elegant; associated with jewelry; soft focus - Casbah: "the underworld;" associated with criminality, lower social classes; women defined by body type (prostitutes); men defined by nationality
Grand Illusion
Jean Renoir; 1937 - visual/creative upbringing: son of Auguste Renoir, the impressionist painter - social consciousness of 1930s France: economic depression, with financial and political scandals, lead to strikes; popular front - liked the idea of people working together - very open-minded; willing to try - films are deeply humanistic -"realism:" mobile fram, long takes, deep-focus photog., complex mise-en-scène
Rome Open City
Roberto Rossellini; 1945 - based on a "true" story: a Roman parish priest shot by the Germans - scandalizing critical stance against the flaws of Italian life - differences with 1945-1950 films (testimonies of war, resistance stories) - related films in France/England use voice-over narration to explain the image, with an emotional distance from war and providing happy endings - Rome not narrated but involves the viewers more actively; affords us space in the narration by simple, effective tricks - characters side by side (not face to face) - background closed, open foreground for spectator (as addressee) - no suspense (shadows, plot structure), yet terrifying noises - humor makes it real life; documentary-esque - irony - Rossellini and Christian Humanist - torture scene: cross life; priest begging for his life
Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica; 1948 - neorealism - using non professional actors - presenting the real - the "everyman" - very roman accents - there's no distracting star power - domestic tensions in Ricci's apartment - Ricci's wife a much stronger character; doesn't complain; takes charge of things - crowds in Rome vs. individual
La Strada
Frederico Fellini; 1954 - anti-linear plot; breaks with convention - psychological progression: follow Gelsomina and Zampanò - thus: if lacking in verisimilitude or "realism" at the narrative level, still profound sense of realism at a symbolic level, because the "journey" is spiritual, not physical - a man who discovers himself in the last 30 seconds of the movie - his film put italian cinema back on the map - begins and ends at the beach; circulo
"putting into scene" or staging an event. The director controls what appears in the frame with: setting, lighting, costume, acting. Each functions within the unity of the film.
think about décor and locus, etc. (home, studio, nature, etc.) - an already existing locale or a studio
sometimes they become motifs (camera/lenses/flashes in Rear Window)
costume and makeup
sometimes with conventions/genres, coordinated with setting
shapes objects by highlights and shadows
light quality
the relative intensity of illumination (hard=close, soft=diffuse)
light direction
the path of light form its source to the illuminated object, e.g. a body: frontal, side - back- (edged or rim lighting), top (to emphasize cheekbones, forehead)
light source
actual surroundings or other; directors normally use two light sources - key light and fill light (classical Hollywood filmmaking used three point lighting: key, fill, back)
patches of relative brightness
attached shading
when light conforms to the object's shape or surface features
cast shadows
light and shadows are projected
figure expression and movement
acting (person, animal,, object, pure shape, etc.). Sometimes a character's expression is generalized and becomes a type
rhythm: beat, pace, tempo, patterns of stronger and weaker accents
viewpoint, the image's composition of the world
monochromatic, filtered, etc.
compositional balance
how figures, color and light control what eyes are drawn to
representation of phenomenal space
shading, shape, movement
overlap of edges
writing in movement: how the shot is filmed
aspects: lens effect (i.e. masks, zoom-in, -out; iris-in/ -out, etc.
position of the camera in relation to the object
straight-on, high- and low-angle
level, canted, etc
one can film on object at a straight-on angle yet still be at a high or low position
they're relative terms, so consider each shot as an individual function
extreme long shot
vistas; it includes area within the image that corresponds roughly to the audience's view of an area within the proscenium in the theater
FS/long shot
full shot, shows the whole human figure
Medium shot
relatively close, reveals the body from knees or waist up
Close up
detailed view of person/object; usually includes only the head
extreme close up
detailed view of part of a face or of an object
POV=point of view
(not a shot strictly speaking, but a subjective function of a shot) - Camera movement, mobile framing; changes of angle, height, distance, or level within the shot - when the camera's position (base) remains stationary but the view (lens) rotates
rotation on a vertical axis, swiveling left or right
rotation on a horizontal axis, swiveling up or down - when the camera's position moves horizontally or vertically
tracking or dolly shot
movement forward, backward, circularly, diagonally, side-to-side
crane shot
movement high/low, forward/backward, side-to-side (helicopter/airplane shot)
articulation between one shot and the next - the nature of the relation between two shots
optical effects
can produce a gradual displacement from shot A to shot B
the shot gradually darkens to black before the subsequent scene
the shot gradually lightens from black
brief superimposition of the end of shot A & beginning of shot B (A "bleeds" into B)
shot B displaces shot A by means of a line moving across the screen (vert or horiz)
instantaneous change (e.g., "match (on action)" cuts maintain continuity; jump cut
graphic (match)
purely pictorial qualities (mise-en-scène, cinematography) are composed on similar, continuous, or discontinuous shapes, colors, overall composition or movement
accelerating, decelerating, patterns or beats, etc
relates any two shots through similarity, difference, or the development of spatial aspects; cut from a spatial whole to one of its parts or vice-versa

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