Am I reading a book or watching a movie?

Prior to this class I also took a cinema studies class at the University of Mary Washington where I was shown many different methods of analyzing film. Reading Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” also discusses some of the same methods we touched upon in class. On top of this reading I also watched Kubrick’s One-Point Perspective , “The Shining” Zooms, and Star Wars Continuity Mistakes .

From the Ebert reading it discussed the “rule of thirds” and “the golden rule” which explained how the positioning of characters on the screen affects how they are perceived. Characters on the left are negative while those on the right are positive and those dead center are seen as “objectified”. I think this is somewhat true of a technique and I feel it may originate from people reading from left to right and since most people are right handed they prefer those on the right.

I’m a big fan of Kubrick movies such as ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and ‘The Shining’ so When watching the Kubrick video I was shocked I had never noticed the perspective so many scenes were shot in. I think this type of shot allows the best view of what is happening in the scene and also draws attention to whatever is in the middle and that is usually what is most important. I also thought it did a good job of showing people walking from behind as if you yourself are following them. The straight on view seems to be the simplest angle but at the same time I feel like it is not used very often but it works well in these films.

The next obvious choice was the video on ‘The Shining’ zooms. The opening zooms I believe are very well known and they create a sense of dread before you even know what is going to happen. I think using a very slow zoom like Kubrick seems to do creates a sense of paranoia and suspense which works well in a scary movie such as ‘The Shining’. I think zooms can also work for other types of atmospheres as well other than horror but they work very well for this movie.

Finally, I watched the Star Wars videos which showed just some of many errors in the franchise. I don’t think errors such as items that were there and then are not there are specific to just Star Wars but it seems to be especially sloppy in this movie where there is suppose to be meaning that the viewer picks up on. I think having a lot of errors such as these it makes it look sloppy and I wonder how someone such as George Lucas who cares so much about his work could let this many issues slip through the cracks. Regardless, I still think it is a good movie and not many will notice the problems without them being pointed out.

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