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A Deconstruction Of The Meanings In The Purple Rose Of Cairo, By Woody Allen.

1184 words - 5 pages

The two scenes extracted from The Purple Rose of Cairo, (Woody Allen, 1985), depict the major themes recurring throughout the entire film. The photography, editing and the sound present in the scenes are used to portray Tom Baxter's illusory film world, and Cecilia's miserable existence during the American depression of the 1930's. These techniques bring home to the viewer the constant shifting between perception and reality in Cecilia's world.The bird's eye view-establishing shot of the Ferris wheel in the amusement park is filmed at night when it is dark and empty to show what a perfect hiding place it is for Tom and Cecilia. In the next shot, the camera slowly pans across the room at eye level and dollies in on Tom and Cecilia sitting in a carousel chair with the light from a lantern casting a soft glow upon them. They are centered in the shot so that the audience focuses on both of them. There is an equality between them, they are both in love with each other and neither of them dominates the scene. It is written into Tom's character how to treat a lady and the way that he holds Cecilia and kisses her shows how truly perfect he is. Cecilia even tells him: "You kiss perfectly, it's what I dreamed kissing would be like." The overall scene is romantic and cozy, just as Tom would expect it to be, from his previous experience in the movie world.The next morning when Cecilia is at home, her husband Monk is shaving in the bathroom. It starts off with an eye level close up shot of Monk's face in the right hand side of the frame. The frame is balanced with the white bathroom wall on the left side to show a stark change in mood from the romantic setting in the scene before. Monk tells Cecilia to get him a cup of coffee and he starts to wander outside of the bathroom to continue his conversation with her. The camera pans right to show Cecilia going into the kitchen and then back to Monk as he walks into the frame. The left side of the frame (his side) is bright and lit well. The right side of the frame (Cecilia's side) is not lit at all. She is around the corner from him, in the dark kitchen, which represents the inequality between them. Monk is in charge and dominates the frame because he is in the light; Cecilia almost fades out into the background to show how subservient she is. Monk is always walking into the frame and Cecilia is walking out of the frame. At the end of the second scene Cecilia is centered in the frame alone at eye level, to show her worried expression because Monk threatened her. This is used to generate concern for her, from the audience.The short establishing shot of the amusement park is all the audience needs to realize just where the next scene is taking place. When Tom and Cecilia are together in the carousel, the entire scene is filmed in one shot. This slows down the pacing of the film dramatically because the previous scene was a hectic chase scene. This lets us focus on their conversation and their actions. Tom is a gentle...

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