Lighting

Topics for M 11/25

Here are topics for our discussion of Carol on Monday. Feel free to start the conversation here or to suggest additional topics.

  • Framing & decor: the use of windows and mirrors in framing shots.
  • Lighting.
  • How the filmmakers use mise-en-scène to create a film that not only looks and feels like the period, but also looks and feels like a film from the period.
  • Action and performance: how Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara use facial expression and body language to show emotion and change. We can also talk about how costume and make-up support these performances.

 


Topics for M 11/18

Here are topics for our discussion of Blindspotting 0n Monday. Feel free to start the conversation in comments and to suggest additional topics.

  • Setting, particularly through contrasts.
  • Use of props, costume and make-up for character development and also setting.
  • Masculinity through action and performance.
  • Color and lighting, especially in Collin's dreams/memories).

Topics for M 11/4

Here are possible topics for our discussion of Leave No Trace on M. Feel free to make additional suggestions or to start the conversation here.

  • Establishment of setting in the opening shots.
  • A related issue is the use of light and color.
  • Use of props to develop character.
  • Action and performance, particularly in terms of how Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie use their faces and bodies to communicate their place in the world.
  • Based on what we are shown in the first act of the film, what do you think we are supposed to think about how Will (Dad) and Tom live? How do you think these feelings are meant to change as the film progresses? Who did you identify with more, Dad or Tom? Why? Or is this a false choice? What did the filmmakers show you that persuaded you to feel this way?

Topics for M 10/28

Here are points of discussion about Zodiac for M. Feel free to suggest other topics and to start the conversation in comments.

  • Use of sound, especially music, and how those choices affect our reading of mise-en-scène.
  • Use of lighting.
  • The choice to keep the killer out of frame or obscured in the m-e-s.
  • Parallels between the police, Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and Armstrong (Anthony Ewards), and the journalists, Avery (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhall), investigating the killer.
  • The use of setting to show character, e.g., Leigh Allen's (John Carroll Lynch) trailer and Paul Avery's houseboat.
  • The effects of casting choices, especially for the actors playing the suspected or implied killer. Carroll Lynch and Bob Vaughn (Charles Fleischer). How do these choices play on stereotypes people may have about what a serial killer like the Zodiac would look like?

 


Questions and topics for M 10/14

Here are points of discussion about Children of Men for M. Feel free to make additional suggestions or to start the conversation here.

  • Uses of color and light.
  • Use of multiple aspects of mise-en-scène to build the world of the film.
  • The significance of animals, and, the attraction of animals to Theo.
  • How the film shows different kinds of marginalization, e.g., marginalization from how a character is identified by others versus characters who are marginalized by choice, such as from their politics.

Formal Analysis of THE RIGHT STUFF part 1

The task (which we will discuss in class on W 4/22):

  • Write an analysis of the lighting in each of the following scenes as represented by the selected frames from The Right Stuff. Your analysis should address the following points for each frame:
    • Can you tell where the light is coming from (above, below, right, left, front, back)?
    • Does the lighting seem more stylized or more naturalistic?
    • How and where is shadow used in the scene?
    • What role does lighting play in defining the dominant subject in the frame?
  • Key references are Spadoni, chapter 3, 78-82 and lecture and discussion from week 3 (see the Calendar).

Assessment:

  • I will look first at the precision and formality of your language. Be as specific and as technical as possible. I will expect to see gradual improvement on this point as the term goes on.
  • I will also be looking at how clearly you explain your interpretation. Being articulate is more important than being "right."
  • I will also be looking at how carefully your analysis is composed and edited and that you have addressed each of the required points for each image.
  • I think that two to three single-spaced pages is a reasonable guideline for length.

Submission:

  • You should submit your assignment via Moodle by M 4/27 at 5:00 pm. Additional details on Moodle.
  • This assignment is worth five (5) points.

The images:

At 07:09:

RightStuff07mins09secs

At 105:59:

RightStuff105mins59Secs

At 186:27:

RightStuff186mins27secs