Konrad Wysocki

Film Analysis #2

Professor Herzog

12/8/2011

 

Female Gaze

 

            In the movie “Lady Eve” directed by Preston Sturges shows a great scene that shows the female gaze starring the character Jean (Barbara Stawyck). This scene shows a great shot of her looking through a mirror to see the man she desires behind her. This is very interesting since not many movies do the female gaze and it is nice for a change to see it on the other side. The techniques that are used here are slightly different than what you would see in a male gaze.

 

From the beginning of the scene, the camera is straight forward looking at Jean as when she whips out her mirror as if she is checking up on herself. There is romantic music playing in the background, too bad it is non-diegetic. In this scene, it is noticeable that the room is filled with wealthy people having a dinner from their clothing and butlers running around. There is plenty of light in the room so everything is clear. But then she starts talking about a man and the camera cuts into a different shot where the camera is on the mirror. This shot shows what she is really looking at, the man. This is such an amazing shot using the reflection of the mirror to show the female gaze since it shows a female is witty and stealthy.

 

When Jean is looking at the guy through the mirror, it is totally different from the male gaze. In a male gaze, the camera usually focuses on the woman close up to show off her body. But in this female gaze, it shows Jean admiring the man from a distance without getting any close up shots of his body. It is as if she is admiring everything about him, not just his looks.

 

Than the shots go back and forth between the still straight camera in a medium shot that is focused on her while she is looking through the mirror and the camera on the mirror that is reflecting the man and the ladies trying to get his attention. But what was really entertaining about this scene was that she was kind of making fun of how other ladies were trying to get his attention and by making up conversations they were trying to start with him to herself.

 

She noticed how all the ladies are trying to get him to pay attention to them by trying to pass by him in a sexy way or drop napkins. Another lady actually got up from the other side of the restaurant and tried to have a conversation with him, but totally failed. This shot in particular  is interesting since it filmed the lady get up and got to the man to converse from the reflection in the mirror. It was filmed as a long shot and long take from the mirror. By the way, all of these situations with the man and the ladies were shown from the reflection in the mirror Jean has.

 

Again, in this female gaze, Jean has a very key eye on not only his looks but his personality. Not like a male gaze. She notices what the man is interested in and not. She notices this man likes to read books and is trying to have some peace from these girls. The camera has a way of showing this too. By filming the man in a long shot shows that she is not only interested in his looks, but everything about him.

 

As Jean notices the man had enough and starts to leave, she is still following him in the mirror until the man gets close enough to her that she decides to trip the man with her heel. Okay, let’s break it down. When Jean was following the man in the mirror, the techniques that were used were long shot and long take. Then when the man got right behind her, it cuts into a close up shot showing Jean’s foot stick out. Right after, it cuts into a medium shot showing Jean sitting and the man falling to the floor. Great editing right there, it really shows that it was intentional by Jean.

 

The female gaze is not something people see in a movie every day. But when it does appear, it should be appreciated and thought about when the chance is there. This female gaze in particular does not only check out a guy, but embraces the man by studying his actions and manners. Not like a male gaze at all. But that is a good thing since males and females are different in many ways. They have different ways of looking at things, so that it very important to have the male and female gaze different from each other too.

 

Notes:

 

First Shot: Jean is talking to herself while holding a mirror. Medium shot on Jean, Camera is straight, there is non-diegetic sound, long take, there is light, the music and the light make it a cheerful mood

 

Second Shot: Close up of a mirror. But in the mirror shows a reflection of the man Jean is looking at. In the mirror, there is a long shot of the man, a long take, lighting and non-diegetic sound.

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Third Shot: Cuts back to Jean holding the mirror and still stalking. The shot is a medium shot and a long take. Music is still non diegetic and the lighting is still lighting up.

 

Forth Shot: Jean is still talking to herself. It cuts back to the mirror and its reflection. This shot is showing a girl walk up to the man and get rejected. This is a close up of the mirror. But in the mirror, it is a long shot of the woman and a long take of her walking to the man’s table. The lighting is still good and sound still non-diegetic. It’s a friendly atmosphere.

 

Fifth Shot: Cuts back to Jean still holding the mirror. It is a medium shot still and the camera is still straight on her. The lighting is still there and the romantic non- diegetic music.

 

Sixth Shot: Cuts back to the mirror in Jean’s hand. It is a close up of the mirror with a long take. But in the mirror, there is a long shot with a long take of the man getting up and leaving. Non- diegetic music and lighting is still there.

 

Seventh Shot:  Cuts back to Jean still holding the mirror. She is still chatting to herself. It is a medium shot of her. Non-diegetic sound and lighting did not go anywhere.

 

Eight Shot: Cuts to a close up of her shoe heel stretching out on the floor. Non- diegetic sound and lighting is still going on.

 

Ninth Shot: It cuts back to a medium shot of Jean still sitting in her chair while the man falls. In these last cuts everything started to cut faster. No long takes. The romantic sound in the background is still non-diegetic but the crash of the man falling is diegetic. It has never been lighter with light in the room .

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After the first movie, this movie was like taking a breath of fresh air. This movie came out during the  French New Wave and it was probably its leader since it was pretty entertaining. This bold piece of work from the beginning is known for its use of jump cuts. This is when a scene changes but only slightly from one another. To see see an example of a jump cut, watch the movie Breathless (1960). Anyway, they used it brilliantly in a comedic fashion and that is one of the reasons why it worked. If a action film used jump cuts, the movie would be all over the place and would not make sense. But in a comedy, they could use it for their advantage and make these funny scenes one after another and still make it comprehensible. Another thing that made this movies stand able was  that it was in color. I love color.

One of the scenes that really brings out the use of jumps cuts was at the very beginning. When the guy was driving the car on the two way high way. It keeps jumping from scene to another while he was driving. But in each scene it shows the main character doing different things like singing or driving on the other side of the road.  Again, this technique is to show that there are different ways of showing a film. Another time this technique was useful was when they were in bed and talking or getting ready. This jump cut technique shows how time flies by and so much could be done in one room. So if you ask me this shows the appreciation of life.

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Well people, I do not know what these people were smoking when they made, this film. When I was watching this movie, I felt I was going to go blind because of how unpleasant it was to be looked at. But lets try to get back on track. So one of the first things that was noticed was that this movie is made out of photos and there was a voice over telling the story. Nothing in the world could of prepared me for this sight. So at first, the movie was a little confusing and a little getting used to because it was something that was probably and will never be done again. Each cut lead to another picture with a voice over telling the story. It was also very hard to stay with the movie not because of the pictures, but also the plot. The plot was so hard to grasp on at the beginning since nobody knows what is going on. The viewer kind of has to find clues to get an idea what is going on. What I got out of the short film is that the world is wrecked beyond belief and the scientist or sewer people were trying to time travel people back in time in their memories to get away from this mess. I do not know if that is correct, but if it is not, it should be.

Another technique that was used in this movie was that one short motion picture shot. I’m not going to lie, it raised my hopes up a little. But what are you going to do? Well I like to be an optimist so lets look at the bright side.  Probably the only positive about this movie was that it was very cheap to make because it was really only made up of pictures.  Please never again. Thank you and tune in next time.

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All  I have to say is holy moly. I am a man, so I am going to admit this movie made me not sleep for like one day people.  I have never seen a Psycho movie before so I had no clue what is going to happen. But by the end of the movie, I was thinking Alfred Hitchcock is totally a genius. How he tied up the ending of the movie, it was very scary and at the same time something fresh., never done before. Well one of the things I have noticed at the end of the movie is that Alfred place hints that something is not right between the guy and his mother.  This is because the audience never sees the guy and mother actually together in a scene. The first time the audience gets a view of the mother was when she ran out to kill the detective. But the shot was taken from a high angle so the audience could not have seen the women’s face. Also, this particular shot is rarely ever scene because it is a little awkward. But in this movie it was used perfectly and personally it made that scene scarier. Also, it was very interesting from the beginning of the woman’s stay at the motel, the guy opened up the window subconsciously to let his “mother” in and do her thing I guess.

But there were some things I did not like about this movie and that is that it left a cliffhangers. Such as what happened to the cop from the beginning of the movie since he was so mysterious. It was weird that the movie went form one story to another. From the woman who stole a lot of money and running away to this guy that owns a motel. I guess its an effective way of telling a story because it kept me interested in the movie. Another thing that Hitchcock used was recurring use of bird images. For what reason, I do not know. But I am guessing it is a good one. Or maybe it is just because birds are scary on a wall? Another thing I liked was that Alfred explains what happened in the end of the movie just in case if it was too confusing for the audience like me. People like to come out of movies knowing what happened. That is all I felt that was important so read me next time when I feel like writing.

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Well I have seen a couple of Science Fiction movies in my life time and I could positively say this was the best one yet. In this movie, this vegetable from space is ruining people’s lives. It’s basically making copies of people and receive all their memories and stuff when the are asleep. So than after that, it was not very clear on what happened to the original people. So this guy and this girl try to run away from the vegetables but only one makes it out, the guy. The woman fell asleep at some point and the vegetable took her memories and took over her? So in the end the guy ends up trying to warn everybody but instead looks crazy until a vegetable person was found and the people of the United States went scared. The end.

During the movie, I found it very weird that the girl who is supposed to be married is obviously flirting with another guy. And it was not the flirt where the girl like flicks her hair or something. It was full blown kissing the guy on the mouth and dirty comments, if I remember correctly. This is particularly unusual since this is the 1950’s, and woman back then were not seen as these hoochie mamas. So this was probably a shock to the public. Another thing that stood out was the fact that the guy accepted it and flirted back.

One cool scene from the movie was the scene where everybody was in the town square looking normal until one moment they all started to walk slowly to the center and these trucks came with vegetables. I thought it was a good shot because it was so easy to make but at the same time so effective. This showed how these people look and act normal, but they are not normal.

So I guess the moral of the story is to NOT eat your vegetables. Good day.

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Konrad Wysocki

Professor Herzog

Analysis 1

10/17/2011

 

Double Indemnity

1.Shot 1: This scene is a long shot with a long take. So there is no movement of the camera, it is just stationary. There is some old music playing in the background that is diegetic sound since Walter said “what’s that music?” The scene is very dark. The only light that is coming in is from behind the blinds just to give enough light to see a little. The camera angle in this scene is particularly a straight on camera shot. Well it is only in black and white because that’s how the movie was made. Walter comes into the living room taking off his hat, while Phyllis is sitting in a comfortable seat smoking a cigarette. The light is coming from behind Phyllis’s seat, not hitting her, but hitting Walter a little bit. Before this many things have happened. Walter and Phyllis have plotted a scheme to get rich quick by pulling life insurance fraud on Phyllis’s husband. So when they murdered the husband, Walter’s coworker at his insurance job starts getting suspicious it was no accident. Then Walter finds out Phyllis is using him since he knows about insurance, and she is with another man. So then in this scene Walter comes into Phyllis’s house that is unlit, and goes into the living room and takes a seat across from her to tell her he is done with her and the scam. In this scene, the furniture is placed closely together, with no light except for the light coming behind the curtains. Walter and Phyllis are pretty close to each other which gave it kind of an uncomfortable feeling since Walter is abandoning her and the scam. Also, this scene is pretty much sharp focus since nothing is really blurry but clear.  Then it straight cuts into the next shot.

 

2.Shot 2: There are many cuts in this scene since the camera just keeps on cutting back and forth between Walter and Phyllis eight times. This is called a shot/reverse shot. These shots were medium close-ups that were short takes. There was no movement of the camera or in the shot since they were just sitting and talking to each other. Walter is sitting on the arm of the couch, while Phyllis is still sitting in her comfortable seat smoking a cigarette. They are sitting very close to each other talking about how he is “getting off the trolley” and leaving her on. So it is getting a little tense and there is anger in the air. In this shot, there is strong focus because everything is visible and clear to see. The music that is diegetic sound is still playing in the background. The scenes are still pretty dark; the only light that is coming is from behind the blinds. The light is still hitting Walter just enough, but not Phyllis since the light is still coming from behind Phyllis’s chair toward Walter. The camera angles on Phyllis during these shots were angled low, while the camera shots on Walter were straight. These scenes were all straight cuts into each other.

 

Shot 3: The camera moves facing Phyllis sitting in a chair smoking a cigarette with the light behind her coming from the blinds. This would be a medium long shot that is a long take. Walter gets off the arm of the couch and goes behind Phyllis and closes the blind door and then walks to her standing over her from behind. As he is behind her, Walter is telling her that his coworker suspects her with some other guy but not Walter. So he is leaving her and doesn’t care what happens to her. Also, the camera angle is low but looking up to make it look as if Walter is domineering over Phyllis. The atmosphere in this shot is still uncomfortable in this shot because they are tense since Walter is leaving her and the scam. But at least the camera shot is in sharp focus. The light coming from the blinds gives it a “behind bars” feeling since they murdered somebody.  The music is still playing and it is still diegetic sound. The scene is still gloomy with the little light coming from behind the blinds. Then Walter walks off that shot. Then it straight cuts into the next scene.

 

Shot 4: This shot turns into a medium shot that is also with a long take. The camera is facing Walter, whose back is turned to Phyllis. But Phyllis is still visible in the shot sitting down and smoking. The room is still dark with some light coming from behind the blinds. The camera is at a high angle looking down at the characters. There is still music in the background that is diegetic sound.  Then as Walter starts moving in front of Phyllis, the camera slowly moves with him facing his back but still a pretty good view at Phyllis. Again in this shot, the camera angle is above Water’s head and looking down at Phyllis to give it the effect of dominance. Walter is telling her how Phyllis and some other guy are going to get busted for this. Meanwhile, Phyllis does not like this plan. So during this shot, there is disagreement and anger in the air because the plan did not work out as they said it would. Instead both backstabbed each other, metaphorically.

The Stylistic Decisions

2. The stylistic decisions made in this scene relate to the larger picture in many ways. Starting with the darkness, this is probably in every scene in this movie. The darkness symbolizes the cruel and evil ways Walter has been doing. This goes from the insurance fraud on Phyllis’s husband to the murder of Phyllis’s husband. Also, the darkness shows that women are disillusioned and they cannot be trusted just as Phyllis. So during this particular scene, there is darkness everywhere to show something bad is going on. But there in the darkness, is a little light shining from behind the blinds that is casting a shadow over them giving a “behind bars” feeling. This is foreshadowing that they are not going to get away with the crime they committed. Also, it shows that they are trapped in this situation together since the shadow is on both of them. This darkness was used throughout the entire film to show the evil ways of these characters from the beginning. In probably every shot, there was something dark and shadowy because these things go hand in hand with bad things.  Such as when Walter sneaks out his house to wait in Phyllis’s car and murders her husband. Everything about this scene had darkness to it. From the no light to the shadows, it gave it a grimy feeling.

What did the film makers want to say?

3. By using this darkness throughout the whole film, it gave a grimy and corrupt feeling about these two characters. This is because when people think about the night, they probably imagine stuff like crime, drugs and corruption. So this darkness feeling is exactly what is needed to create these emotions for the audience. Also, this fits the movie perfectly since it is about two criminals who try to get away with insurance fraud and what better way to create this bad feeling than by using dark and gloomy scenes to create this effect. Another affect that was created by the darkness was the shadows of the blinds. This is because it created a “behind bars” look.  This probably was foreshadowing they are not getting away with this crime. Also, since the “bars” were on both of them, it made it seem they stuck in this together if they like it or not. By using another technique such as mischievous background music, it would not even be close to the effect the darkness gave to this film. By watching these movies, people learn that there are many different techniques used to get a certain reaction or something. But it is figuring out which one fits best to create that effect  that is needed.

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In the movie “Umberto D” by the Italian director Vittorio de Sica did some crazy but unique stuff with this film that was usually unheard of. Well, one of the major things was that he casted really only non-professional actors including the main role played by Carlos Battisti. When I heard this, I was really surprised since he did such an incredible job performing his part for a noob. Another unusual thing that kind of stuck out like a sore thumb was the entire ending. In all my life, I have never even heard a whisper about such an ending like this. It went like this, this guy just tried to get hit by a train with his dog because he is a broke butt bumb that just got kicked out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay the rent. But then in the last second, the dog ran away for its life and the guy followed it like nothing happened. At first I thought this dog was like “Did I just hear my mom howler? Peace.” But then the man was like “Baby come back.” So the doggie was like “Oh gosh, if you say so sir.” Then I was like “Run!, what a dumb bitch.”

Another thing that I thought was interesting was that the old man and the maid lady were close friends and whatever. They both knew each other’s problems, but they could not help each other because they are too busy in their own problems. So they were like so close, but at the same time so far away.

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Hey to tell you people the truth, I kind of forgot this movie except that it had that hot chick that was in another movie. Wait! Alright i got it now. This guy who did insurance and stuff worked in a insurance firm and got assigned a job to update insurance on this other guy. But that guy was not home, so he stayed and chit-chatted away with that guy’s wife. Apparently she is worried sick about her husband and wants to get him life insurance without him knowing it and she would be glad to pay for it. But this can not be done unless the wife’s husband signs the papers. So somehow the insurance guy realizes what she is doing and wants in because he likes her more than a friend. So together, they trick the wife’s husband to sign the papers for the life insurance and now are planning the husband’s death. So one night the husband makes a trip to go somewhere. But before he can enjoy himself on this trip, the insurance guy and the wife rudely interrupt and murder him in the car on the way to the train. Than the insurance guy dresses up like the husband and goes on the train to make it seem like everything’s fine. So the insurance guy walks to the back of the train and before he jumps off, a man is sitting their and offers a cigarette. But the insurance guy, without showing his face, tells him to get him a cigar. So that guy leaves, and the insurance guy jumps off the train. They plant the husband’s body on the tracks and make it seem like an accident. SO the next day the insurance firm is suspicious about this death and investigate. In the end, the insurance guy found out the wife wanted to kill him too from what the husband guy’s daughter told him about how the wife killed her mother. So the guy killed the wife and got shot doing it and before he died recorded everything to his friend at the insurance firm to get the story straight. SO yeah, great movie.

In this good movie, there were some good shots that were used and that I would love to point out one. In the scene where the wife s planning to murder the insurance guy. The shades are down and the lights were off so it gives an affect that they are behind bars or guilty of the act they committed.

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Citizen Kane by Orsen Welles is probably one of the most inspirational movies for all film makers still today. This is because of all the different camera angles and experimental shots that were filmed and introduced to the public. It was very risky to try to pull this stunt off since it could have been too much for the public to handle. Since this was the first of its kind to come out those days. Some of the different type of shots that were took were the close ups, darkened scenery, upward toward the ceiling shots and delusional shots. These techniques introduced the world to a whole new look upon directing a film. One of my favorite scenes was towards the end when Kane lost it and ran down the corridor where his never ending reflection off the mirror made it seem he was lost or something. Another scene that gave me the geepers was the scene where it was all weirded out with the bird and that crazy scream.

Not only there were distorted scenes, there was a domineering scene where Kane stands over his wife or whatever and the camera angle was towering over him to show his power over her. Another type of scene that was shot that our professor told us about was the ceiling shot. Supposedly this was the first time the audience saw a ceiling in a movie. Well there is a first time for everything I guess.  These different techniques opened up a door to new ideas in the film business, and showed that person needs creativity and big balls. oh yeah, the movie was good enough.

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The movie Lady Eve directed by Preston Sturges was very romantic and funny( a chick flick). But for some reason I think everybody liked it because it had a little bit of both genders. For the girls, it gave a romantic background where a girl falls in love with a man she intended to scam money out of. But she calls off the scam and before she could tell the man about it, he finds out and leaves her. But this girl gives people hope because she doesn’t stop trying there. She goes to the man’s party and pretends to be somebody else to win him back. In the end, they fall back in love and I forgot but I believe they get married or something? Yeah, it brought a tear in one of my eyes. For the guys, this movie had a bunch of pretty girls and a nice moral. Watch out for girls who know more card tricks than you or something in those lines. I would like to hear what you think the moral of this movie is please.

I personally liked the movie since it included girls, gambling and a big boat. This had a pretty good story line and shows that a movie does not need massive explosions or Zach Galifanakis to make a generally good movie. People just need to have balls and be creative once in a while. So yup good night people, I’m dizzy haha.

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