Cinema Aimed at Young Film Goers Who Want to Broaden their Knowledge and Understanding of Movies
When we enjoy a film we rarely stop to consider what it is about that
film that made it special. What is it that distinguishes a really
great film from a more mundane one? If we are to really appreciate
movies we need to look more closely at the way directors use a variety
of techniques to bring the plot to life and to make their movie
distinctive. To demonstrate this I have selected two of my favourite
films and have analysed a scene from each, comparing and contrasting
how the two directors use sound effects, music, setting, facial
expressions, costume and camera angles in different ways to create the
film they have in their minds.
The Fugitive, directed by the American Andrew Davis, was released in
1993 and stars Harrison Ford as Doctor Richard Kimble. The story was
based on a television series. The scene I have chosen starts slowly
but is developed by the Director into a fast moving action sequence,
full of danger and with a tremendous violent climax.
The 1949 British film, The Third Man, was based on a story by Graham
Greene and directed by Carol Reed. It is an example of Film Noir and
stars Orson Wells as Harry Lime and Joseph Cotton as Holly Martins.
Here the scene I have chosen is very different as the Director uses
the range of techniques to create mystery and suspense and a climax in
the middle of the scene which changes the direction of the film.
As there is a continuous flow of sound effects in ‘The Fugitive’ they
make the scene ever more chaotic and dramatic. In ‘The Third Man’ the
sound effects are not used in abundance. They are used to break the
silence and build a scene of apprehension. The sounds are very
specific. The meowing of the cat indicating to Holly the man in the
doorway, the car holding Holly up so Harry can get away and the
footsteps and the echoing voices making the set seem deserted.
In the scene from ‘The Fugitive’ sound effects add hugely to the
overall suspense, claustrophobia and tension. The clinking of the
chains evokes feelings of restriction. As the bus swerves out of
control the unbearable noise of it squeaking as it scrapes along the
barrier, the glass breaking and the tyres burning on the road are all
an indication to the audience of the severity of the impending
accident. Gun shots within the coach further jeopardise the
characters still alive in the bus. When the bus does roll down the
hill and crash you know that the accident could be fatal as there is a
tremendous roar of metal on earth.
Tension is introduced to ‘The Third Man’ scene by the important sound
of the cat meowing. This is because it alerts Holly to the man in the
doorway. Suspense is increased because the audience knows that the
cat is only fond of...