The Dark Prestige Essay

2027 words - 9 pages

The Dark Knight: Camera Work

Camera work plays a key role in establishing Nolan's style in the opening scenes of The Dark Knight. The different shots Nolan uses gives the audience a deeper understanding of the direction in which the film is going. We are introduced to the film with an establishing shot of Gotham City, as the camera zooms in on one particular building. This helps establish the location and setting, as there are several skyscrapers present and it is day time. The next important shot in the opening scenes is when the camera zooms in on a man's lower back and mask, standing at the corner of a road. Nolan uses this shot to signal to the audience that this man is involved, he is ...view middle of the document...

By placing us in that mindset, we are drawn more into the film, and we are made to feel as though we are the ones shoving a grenade in the bank manager's mouth, and we are watching The Joker reveal himself to us, not the manager.

The Dark Knight: Mise-en-scene:

Mise-en-scene is a key aspect in Christopher Nolan films. Props, costume and lighting all have key roles in the mise-en-scene of The Dark Knight. The opening scene of The Dark Knight uses mise-en-scene to establish confusion and build suspense within the audience.

Props are essential to the mise-en-scene in The Dark Knight. The main prop we see are the villains' clown masks. A total of six different, creepy masks are used in the opening sequence. The clown masks highlight the image of clowns in the real world today due to the fact that clowns are meant for light-hearted entertainment, however they somehow make many children (and adults) fear them. Having six clown masks also confuses the audience as we know one of the clowns must be The Joker, we're just unsure which one until they have killed each other off. The clown masks show that The Joker is struggling with his identity, which is a key aspect of Nolan's style, where the majority of the main characters are conflicted and struggle with their identity.

Costume is another key part of mise-en-scene in the opening scene of The Dark Knight. The variation of makeup and clothes in the first few scenes helps to develop the background of the characters. The robbers wear plain, ordinary clothes that are stained and scruffy. The fact that they're wearing ordinary clothes makes them more frightening to the audience as it shows that they could be normal, everyday citizens, while the fact that their clothes are scruffy tells the audience that they probably aren't afraid to commit a crime or two and get their hands dirty in the process. These clown characters epitomise Nolan's directorial style as he tends to have many morally grey characters in his films. We can tell that these clowns do not have pure morals, as they are robbing a bank and do not hesitate to kill each other off in order to get a bigger share of the money.

Makeup plays a key role in establishing the character of The Joker. When he pulls off his mask to reveal himself as The Joker to the bank manager, we are quite shocked with what we see. We aren't shown an ordinary human face, instead it is like something out of a circus. The Joker has roughly painted his face white and it is streaky from sweat dripping down. His eyes have been surrounded with black making them appear burnt, and he has a long red smile stretching from cheek to cheek, highlighting scars that are there. This provides a very memorable and terrifying face for the audience. It also proves that The Joker is struggling with his identity as he has to hide who he really is from the world. This is common with Nolan's style as many of his main characters have identity problems.

The final key part of mise-en-scene in...

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