Understanding Movies, 9th Edition by Louis Giannetti

By Louis Giannetti

Designed to aid motion picture watchers examine motion pictures with precision and technical sophistication, this booklet makes a speciality of formalism—how the types of the movie (e.g., digicam paintings, modifying, images, etc.) create that means. It sheds gentle on how tv and films speak, and the complicated community of language platforms they use. bankruptcy subject matters disguise fresh advancements from all features of cinema, modern movies, personalities within the box, images, circulation, modifying, sound, appearing, drama, tale writing, and concept. For motion picture critics and fanatics alike.

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The Road Warrior (Australia, 1982), with Vernon Welles, directed by George Miller. S o m e c o s t u m e s are pastiches of various styles, as in this sci-fi picture, which is set in a desolate, post-apocalyptic desert landscape. This bleak setting is strewn with debris and the discarded artifacts of a former civilization. Black is often the color of villainy, but in this movie, the villainy is wittily undercut by such campy touches as the off-the-shoulder feathers and a red-tinged Mohawk m a n e .

American Beauty ( U . S . A . , 1 9 9 9 ) , with Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari, directed by Sam Mendes. Red is a color that's often linked with sex, but the dramatic context d e t e r m i n e s w h e t h e r the red (and the sex) is seductive or repellent. In this film, the unhappily married protagonist (Spacey) escapes the banality of his suburban hell by fantasizing about a flirtatious teenager (Suvari), a friend of his daughter. He often imagines her nude, covered with red rose petals— a symbol of his fiercely aroused sexuality, his reawakening m a n h o o d .

T h e colors are s o m e w h a t n e u r o t i c , with e m p h a s i s on such 1930s favorites as p l u m , acid g r e e n , p u r p l e , a n d florid c o m b i n a t i o n s , like gold, black, a n d pink. Black-and-white p h o t o g r a p h y in a color film is s o m e t i m e s u s e d for symbolic p u r p o s e s . S o m e f i l m m a k e r s a l t e r n a t e w h o l e e p i s o d e s i n black a n d white with e n t i r e s e q u e n c e s in color. T h e p r o b l e m with this t e c h n i q u e is its facile symbolism.

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