Analyses of Films

Citizen Kane

The movie Citizen Kane has made outstanding contributions to cinematography because of deep focus that makes it possible to have everything within the frame at the same time (Barsam and Monahan 79). This technique enables photographers to produce the desired effect through a combination of lighting, composition and camera lens. Therefore, filmmakers can showcase overlapping actions and make the physical environment of the movie scene more critical. In the movie, deep focus illustrates Kane’s loss of control and a clear view is given to the audience by the space commanded by Kane and the space he has no powers over because of his isolation. Moreover, the movie introduced other innovative cinematic techniques, such as ‘wipe’ and camera angles.

The choice of cast was an essential aspect of the success of the techniques that were employed in the production. The members of the cast were engaged in classical training and other than the stage training being overpowering, it enabled them the replace each other perfectly in each scene (Mulvey 11). This fact complemented the use of deep focus.

The justification for the total control given to the producer was attributed to the perfect combination of acting technique and cinematography. The film is cinematically crucial because of the way how the director combines innovative techniques instead of individual techniques. Moreover, the film employs creativity in its storytelling techniques and long periods appear real, thereby allowing characters to grow as the story progresses (Mulvey 12). The story unfolds in segments that overlap each other, which is significant in adding information to the story. Flashbacks were used effectively in the film and given that they are given from the characters’ perspectives casts doubts on the discussions. The unreliability of narrators’ opinions affects accuracy, leaving viewers’ sympathy inevitably invoked. The achievements in this film marked a new era in cinema even though there are concerns about the innovative use of shadow and lighting (Cook 253). Even though the movie stirred controversies, a lot of innovations in cinematography were made through the film.

American Beauty

This film is satirical and has got great reviews because of the way it was bracing its intensity. It caused movie critics to lose their minds based on its insipid story about adolescence and divisive nature. The film explored homosexuality less boldly, and the sugary sentimental music is hard to forget. The unique comfort of the film with issues of sex and sexuality are handled with a combination of irony and sensuality while at the same time illustrating a variety of sexual relationships (Smith 1). In the film, the multiple shortcomings of the characters are expressed through sex. Moreover, through sex, indications of total control, awareness of freedom and certain restraints by characters show their awareness of freedom and responsibility (Smith 2). From its title and characters, the American culture is identified in different ways ranging from innocence, beauty, and loveliness of the American people. It forces viewers to consider if there is anything worth saving at the root of the American culture. Americans liked the movie even though it appeared to criticize the traditional values. This fact showed the willingness of the American people to question values that were less satisfying with a need to move towards a more fulfilling experience.

Lester died not because the film wanted to punish him for his rebellion against the structures but because the death showed condemnation on the world characterized by intolerance and repression. This fact is characteristic of the modern world that pushes a man to the point of breaking and then issues punishment for breaking. The moral of the film, as depicted in the behaviors of the characters, shows mutual exclusivity between beauty and values. The themes that are shown in most of its scenes are childbearing, rape, inhuman corporate practices, and adultery. The film puts everything in the scene that focuses on lighting, décor, body language and composition. The elements of cinematography that have been properly captured in this film are the camera angle, distance and camera height (Barsam and Monahan 119). Different scenes in the film show Lester as dominating the screen and Brad are made to appear small and unnoticeable. In most scenes, Lester’s posture is relaxed, and the room is brighter showing that he is under control. The composition and framing of the shots in the film are aesthetically pleasing, and the most attractive composition in the film shows Lester’s new feelings of being relaxed.

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Lost in Translation

The film is opened with a beautiful shot that captures the bright surrounding, and this aspect remains consistent during the entire film. The rushed shots affect the overall mood of the film. The limited-time that the major characters have for each other is an aspect that is captured by the rushed shots, and it is consistent with soft lighting that makes it stand out. Different aspects of cinematography communicate the ideas of isolation and loneliness that are evident in the movie (Barsam and Monahan 145). There are wide shots of characters who occupy large spaces by themselves or thousands of people milling around them, unaware of their existence. The concept of balance is used to express the emotions of the characters, and the location of Tokyo is a visual representation of the characters’ emotional states. The several shots when Charlotte and Bob arrive in Tokyo visually reflect their lack of satisfaction and emotional imbalance. This fact is shown by positioning the characters on one side of the frame without a counterbalance. After they meet each other, the balance begins to come into their lives and to the frame.


Work Cited

Barsam, Dave and Richard Monahan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. New York City: W. W. Norton Limited, 2013.

Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

Mulvey, Laura. Citizen Kane. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.

Smith, David L. “Beautiful Necessities:” American Beauty and the Idea of Freedom.” Journal of Religion & Film, vol. 6, no. 2, 2016, pp. 1-17.