Uploaded by Lillian L.

FS102 - first 3 films

● Screenplay by: Thea von Harbou
● Production Cost: approx. 7 million Reichsmark (200 million USD)
● Genre: German Expressionist, science fiction, silent film, new digital restoration, casts of
● 3 acts: Prelude, Intermezzo, Furioso
● The ‘Shot’ - comprised of mise-en-scene and cinematographic elements: what is filmed
and how it is filmed
○ Includes 3 factors:
■ Photographic aspects
■ Framing duration
● The standard rate (speed of motion) after the advent of sound was 24 fps in 1920s, now,
we have a choice from 8-64 fps
● The special process effect developed specially for Metropolis is called the ‘Schufftan
process’ for its inventor, Eugen Schufftan
○ Mirror + scale model+matte painting
● Moloch
○ In the old testament, the god of the ammonites and phoenicians to whom parents
offered their children to be burnt in sacrifice
○ Any institution or authority with the power to exact merciless sacrifices
● The frame is important because it actively defines the image for us
● Framing can powerfully affect the image by means of:
○ The size and shape of the frame
○ The way the frame defines onscreen and off-screen space
○ The way framing imposes the distance, angle, and height of a vantage point onto
the image
○ The way framing can move in relation to the mise en scene
● The ratio of frame width to height is called ASPECT RATIO
○ Proportions of the rectangular frame were approx. 4:3, yielding an aspect ratio of
● Eyeline match
○ Continuity editing technique that preserves spatial continuity by using a
character’s line of vision as motivation for a cut
● Mise en scene
○ Framing combines elements of the HOW with the WHAT of filmmaking
○ = all of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed
○ 3 components
■ Setting and prop
■ Human figure (actor’s bodies/faces; costumes, makeup, etc)
■ Lighting
■ (extra) composition (visual arrangements of objects, actors, space within
● German Expressionism
○ A movement in the visual arts and theatre beginning in 1905 with Die Brucke
group in Dresden, followed by 1911 by Der Blaue Reiter in Berlin
○ Characterized by extreme distortion to express an inner emotional reality rather
than surface appearances
○ Goal: express feelings in the most direct and extreme fashion possible - “extreme
states of subjectivity”
Wizard of Oz
● Genre
○ Musical
○ Fantasy
○ Like metropolis, this exemplifies the studio-bound, special-effects-based
approach to cinematic narrative: the ‘formative tendency’, characterized by
fantasy, reflexivity, anti-realism
● Hollywood Studio Era
○ 1915-1948
○ ‘The studio system’ - hollywood’s efficient mode of production, distribution and
○ ‘Cultural industry’ - recognizes the plurality and complexity of this feature of
contemporary cultural production and consumption and the meanings and values
attached to them…
● The ‘Studio System’
○ Example of cultural industry, is characterized by:
■ Relatively large budgets
■ Hierarchized division of labour
■ Assembly-line production
■ Recurrent character types
■ Conservative story lines
● Classical Hollywood Style
○ Dominated Hollywood production: 1930s - 1950s
○ Cuts across various genres
○ Supported by Continuity Editing system
○ Epitomized by Wizard of Oz
● Continuity Editing
○ Originating in 1900-1915
○ A form of editing used to ensure narrative continuity (coherence, clarity,
○ Supported by specific strategies of cinematography and mise en scene
○ Basic purpose: allow space, time, action to continue in a smooth flow over a
series of shots
○ = the foundation of CHS
○ Basic components
■ The 180 degree rule/ axis of action
● Within a scene, once the camera starts filming on one side of the
action, it will continue filming on that same side of the action for
the rest of the scene
● Ensures that:
○ Relative positions in the frame remains consistent
○ Consistent eyelines
○ Consistent screen direction
○ The viewer doesn’t become ‘disoriented’
■ Eyeline match
● A cut obeying the axis of action - 1st shot is someone looking off
in one direction, 2nd shot shows the space containing what they
■ Kuleshov effect
● Named for Lev Kuleshove, a Soviet-era director (1920s)
● Based on leaving out a scene’s establishing shot and leading the
spectator to infer spatial or temporal continuity from the shots of
separate elements
● In cinema, the viewer’s response depended less on the individual
shot than on the editing - the montage of shots
■ shot/reverse shot
● 2 + shots edited together that alternate character, typically in
● Film Form
○ Unity by 2 principles - a narrative one and stylistic one
○ ‘Form’ and ‘content’ are not separate but rather both=aspects of the film’s total
formal system
○ ‘Total formal system’ accounts for both intelligible meaning and emotional
● Rear-screen projection
○ Technique used to join live action with a pre-recorded background image with a
projector placed behind a screen and projects an image onto it while actors and
cameras are in front
Bicycle Thieves
● Art Film
○ In post war period 1940s onwards
○ Rooted in the idea of creativity and the film as an expression of an individual
○ = any film NOT produced in Hollywood - ie. foreign productions in languages
other than English, requiring sub titles
○ According to David Bordwell (1979), ‘art cinema’ names “ a distinct mode of
film practice, possessing a definite historical existence, a set of formal
conventions, and implicit viewing procedures”
○ Defines itself against the classical narrative mode
○ Art cinema realism is therefore partly based in the objective documentation of
● Neorealism
○ Film movement in italy : 1942 - 1952
○ Determined to do away with montage and to transfer to the screen the continuum
of reality
■ This means that like CHS, neorealism uses editing to preserve continuity
across a scene; neorealist style differs from CHS, however in its
dependence on the long take
● The ‘Two Tendencies’
○ Siegfried Kracauer famously divided film narrative from its very inception (in
1890s) into 2 main tendencies
■ 1. The everyday, documentarist ‘realism’ of the Lumiere brother: the
‘realistic tendency’
● Eg. the train
■ Georges Melies studio - bound, special - effects - laden fantasies: the
‘formative tendency’
● Eg. the rocket into the moon
● Realism
○ The power of cinema to present the illusion of the reproduction of 3D reality
○ Realism functions in film on both the narrative level and figurative
● Neorealism
○ Post-war italy differs from previous cinematic realism (CHS realism) in that it
seems to “capture the reality of the physical devastation, the moral degradation
and human suffering of the war years.” … ‘the experience of the war was decisive
for us all. Each felt the mad desire to...plant the camera in the midst of real life’
■ Differs in terms of:
● 1. Acting : Neorealism “calls upon the actor to be before
expressing himself” - chosen actors for their looks
● 2. Setting and Cinematography : actual locations + available
‘natural’ lighting
● 3. Editing and Narrative: the cuts are more invisible and more
realistic than CHS
● 4. Stories are set in the present and often based on contemporary
news events or social issues
○ Characterized by:
■ Post-synchronized soundtrack (from long history of dubbing foreign films)
■ Non-professional actors
■ Improvisation (+ inclusion of un-scripted ‘accidents’)
■ Black and white ‘documentary’-like aesthetic
■ Non-manipulative cinematography and editing in service of ‘slice-of-life’
The Shot
○ Building block of a scene: an uninterrupted sequence of frames that viewers
experience as they watch a film, ending with a cut, fade, dissolve etc.
○ Single uninterrupted series of frames exposed by a motion picture or video
camera between the time it is turned on and the time it is turned off
○ Filmmakers shoot several takes of any scene and selects the most appropriate one
Deep Focus
○ When objects remain in focus from positions very near the camera to point at
some distance from it
Deep Focus + Deep Space
○ Deep focus allows for the rendering of ‘deep space’ onscreen and therefore for
○ ‘Deep space’ is a property of mise en scene, while ‘deep focus’ is a property of
○ Choreography of actors and arranged sets with several planes of depth
The long take
○ Disrupts the ‘invisibility’ of continuity editing
○ Places emphasis as much on time (duration) as space
○ Encourages looking (at mise-en-scene, acting etc.)
○ Builds dramatic tension, emphasize the continuity of time and space, allows
directors to focus on the movement of actors in the space of mise en scene
○ Used to draw attention to all the levels of spatial depth within the frame
● Lighting
○ An element of mise en scene because it illuminates the set and the actors and can
be used to create certain moods and effects
○ Related to issues of cinematography, since film stock, lenses and filters and
processing techniques all affect the look of a film
○ Exhibits 3 attributes
■ Quality (hard or soft)
■ Placement (direction from which light strikes object)
■ Contrast (high or low)
● Categories of Lighting
○ 3-point lighting
■ Key light
● Primary light source
● Frontal; aimed at subject from a range of positions within 45degree angle on camera-subject axis
■ Fill light
● Light (or reflector) positioned on opposite side of subject from key
● Eliminates shadows cast by key light
■ Eye lights
○ High Key lighting (used in comedies and musicals)
■ The key to fill ratio is 2:1 or lower
■ Fill light is as intense as key light; eliminates virtually all shadows cast by
keylight and provides even illumination of subject
■ Ex. Wizard of Oz
○ Natural key lighting (realism)
■ Ratio of key to fill light between 4:1 and 8:1
■ Key light is more intense than fill light, so fill is no longer able to
eliminate every shadow
○ Low key lighting (drama, film noir, thrillers)
■ Lighting ratio (key/fill) is between 16:1 and 32:1
■ The much greater intensity of key light makes impossible for fill to
eliminate shadows, producing a lot of shadows and high contrast