History of the Cinema II blog

Shot by shot analysis The Lady Eve

I chose the scene from The Lady Eve where Jean is talking to
Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith about why
Pike didn’t recognize her after showing up to the party as “Eve”.

  • First shot: long take. Sir Alfred MacGlennan Keith is eating. Diagetic sound: can
    hear birds calling. Sheer curtains on windows. Dark wood all around room. Jean
    is laid down smoking a cigarette. She wears a white peacoat and black pants.
    Shot is slowly zooming to just Jean, excluding her “Uncle”.
  • Second shot: Jean. Medium long shot. High angle. Cup of tea on the side. Tons of
    pillows designed with flowers surround her. Can even see shadows of panels,
    branches, and flowers from outside of the window on pillows. Jean holds a
    cigarette. Starts swinging her foot a bit.
  • Third shot: Switches back to shot of only Sir Alfred MacGlennan Keith. Straight shot.
    He wears his monocle and drinks his tea. Medium shot. He sits on an intricate wooden
    chair with designs carved on back. Flowers sit in small vase on table.
  • Fourth shot: Back to Jean. Medium shot. She sits up, cigarette out of sight. MacGlennan
    has her full attention.
  • Fifth shot: Back to him. Tells her what story he fed Pike and says he has to protect
    himself as well.
  • Sixth shot: Back to her. Dialogue: “You mean he actually swallowed that?”
  • Seventh shot: Back to him. Dialogue: “Like a wolf. Now that you’ve got him what are you
    going to do with him?”
  • Eighth shot: Back to her. She lies back down. Relaxed.
  • Ninth shot: Worker comes in with flowers, we see him carry a long box and enter from
    doorway.
  • Tenth shot: Jean sits up and accepts roses with
    a British accent saying they are “rather long”, then laughs and complains about
    having to continue faking the accent after sending the worker away but she
    keeps a rose and puts it to her nose. Lays back down and confidently starts talking
    about her plan which will overlap with the next scene.

Fades out to next scene riding horses.

There’s a lot of playing around with contrast, Jean’s black and white clothing, the dark and light of the room. More than just that, we battle with our view of the characters throughout the whole film of who is good and bad. The imagery is just an extension of that. Jean is a very likeable character and empowering and she only wants revenge because Charles Pike hurt her. She’s not a typical victim, however, because she’s not too innocent, she’s a con herself. This is also the only time we actually see the cigarette in her mouth and it’s very brief. I’m not sure why that would be, I would need more background knowledge on what public opinion was regarding smoking.

She’s very confident while speaking of how well her plan her worked, but begins to fidget and swing her foot slightly when she talks about how they felt about one another on the boat. This is her weakness. The pillows feel like a symbol of luxury because they’re more than anyone needs. She’s swallowed up by propriety. The flower design is very feminine and obviously her character is a very different version of a woman than we’re used to. She knows how to play everyone and how to be the perfect woman for anyone to fall for, but its all deceit. She is a very guarded individual who hides behind her tricks. She hides herself but we see through it and this is mirrored in the use of sheer curtains.

Sir Alfred MacGlennan Keith is eating from very luxurious silver trays himself and the designs of the chair he sits in are fairly intricate themselves. The audience knows that these con men are pretending to be something they’re not and are after money and all the comforts it provides. The back and forth shots between the two serve not only to follow the conversation but to separate them as people. They serve their own cause and while they don’t mind helping each other, they have individual goals. It’s interesting that they chose to include flowers in the shot with MacGlennan. It was a very conscious choice because the shot itself is visually full enough just from the tea cup, glass, background shelves, and the actor’s attire.

She expects that everything will go exactly as she planned, so she’s never quite prepared for additional unforeseen information. She’s most at ease when she’s in control. It gives her confidence.

She accepts the roses and makes sure the room knows they don’t satisfy her by commenting on their length yet she still keeps one and then places it to her nose. She actually enjoys getting these flowers but doesn’t want any excitement to show so she minimizes the situation. We see she’s starting to fall into her own trap but won’t even admit it to herself yet. Her own emotions, her femininity in a way, will be her downfall.

Obviously, flowers are a pattern in this scene. It could be interpreted as a lot of different things. They could represent womanhood, or love, or just be tokens of appreciation. I notice that they are everywhere that something is being lied about or faked. Its almost as if flowers are warning because they only serve to keep up appearances and something deeper lurks underneath.

 

October 17th, 2011 at 7:53 AM | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink


Citizen Kane Scene

It’s very hard to focus on such few shots because it goes fast as were playing the entire movie. I think a detailed observation and analysis requires us to sit down and press pause and replay as many times as we need to. I tried finding clips on youtube but theyre not really the clips I need, so I’ll rely on my memory and notes. I’m choosing to focus on the celebration dinner “declaring war on Spain”. >>This<< is almost the scene, but not quite where I took all of my notes though.

Let’s mention that this scene is so over the top and perfect, first of all! Can you imagine all the care that went into placing and seating everyone so it looked just right? we’re filled with a bunch of shapes on screen that if we could take snapshots, we’d be so impressed by the variety. It’s like every frame could be different photograph.

Let’s talk about the use of distance. It’s obvious throughout the whole film, but mostly it’s been used to show the characters being far apart and large space in between them. Here, we see how long this table must be but everyone is packed in so tightly. It’s a happy occasion and Kane seems really satisfied with himself. Should we assume this represents that in a way? That, at least for this moment, his void has been filled?

I might be going overboard and trying to hard to notice patterns in the film. All I saw to this scene was circles, circles, circles. There’s this annoying lttle circle on a string that I guess pulls the curtain down at the window (which by the way shows the reflection of Kane even as we’re not watching him). There’s a marching band consisting of cymbals, drums, and brass instruments and several shots of the horns to these instruments. The girls are dancing and forming circles, they have costumes with emphasized bow loops sticking out. They march around poles in circles. They perform in front of the balding men with the hairless circles atop their heads [hehe]:D. There’s also Bernstein’s glasses but they’ve been there for the whole movie. We’re given some of the most uncomfortable closeups to people wide eyes and open mouthed smiles. I couldn’t even begin to explain why this pattern would be chosen or what it’s supposed to mean to us, so I’ll leave it up to you, and maybe you guys will have some ideas explaining it to me.. why?

 

September 23rd, 2011 at 2:44 AM | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink


M

 Maybe it was the  freezing room (lets be sure to pack the hoodies next time), the tiny desks, my general discomfort, or whatever it was but that first half of this movie dragged on and on! But I think I figured out why. Correct me if I’m wrong. I had no one to attach myself to! Again, let’s blame it on the weekly theater visits, but I’m just so used to being bombarded with characters and their storylines, and it’s kind of what keeps my attention, yaknow. The only individual character we’re really given to hold onto is the murderer. Everyone else is just a force: the victims, the policeforce, the crooks, etc. I just wanted this guy to be caught already, show me how please just show me how! and then, dun dun dun, it all changed. We’re really given faces to remember and names, and suddenly I’m attached to these beggars and thieves, and hating on the inspector, and wanting to hug franz the burglar. Movie’s finally got my undivided attention and I loved it.

In fact, I may have gotten a little too into it? They kept repeating that they had to “render him harmless” and I’m pretty sure I whispered back at the screen “we know what we have to do”. CUT OFF HIS HANDS, I SAY! Call me barbaric, whatevs. So I’m a caveman, hmm hmm, excuse me, cavewoman. I can live with that.  Then just hand him over to the cops, best of both worlds..

Okay, so I lied a little earlier when I said undivided attention. BUT THIS IS WORTH MENTIONING, no? I kept wandering off to another movie. I felt like at the other end of this film would have been a story like “Changeling”. If you haven’t watched it, you should. I must have watched this movie at least 5 times and its still just as good. Sure, at the moment I didnt have cable or internet, but I had other choices too, I swear. That movie’s somewhat based on real events too. S Angelina Jolie wasn’t some hot single mom, but some creep really did go out killing little boys he rounded up by telling them theyre parents had been in an accident and calming their nerves when they saw his young cousin in the car helping. Seriously, watch it. Or at least read about it. Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. I kind of have a wierd little creeper fascination with googling killers..

 For now, I’ll be indulging in that hobby, I already warned you. So here’s the one M was “based on”. check it out.

 

August 29th, 2011 at 2:27 AM | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


Challenge? I accept!

So this class requires a blog, a BLOG! Anyone who knows me  can see how badly this was meant to turn out for me. I’ve always managed to keep a stack of diaries and journals with a maximum of 3 entries somehow spaced out within hey, 2 months, 8 months, 2 years? yeah, this’ll go over well.

August 29th, 2011 at 1:14 AM | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink