I spy..


For my scene I decided to watch a scene from Batman which features the Joker.

First Time Watching (No Sound)

The scene starts off with the Joker walking in to what appears to be some type of underground cellar and talking to a group of men. The lighting is very dark and the men are dressed in nice clothing. The camera has many shots and uses a shot reverse shot multiple times. I noticed in my first viewing that the Joker got the most screen time out of the entire scene (probably because he is one of the main characters and the others aren’t) and even when the shot changed to show a different character it would still show him somewhat. Around the 2:30 mark I think the scene features a lot of noise and yelling as the Joker pulls back his coat to reveal grenades but it was dulled due to the lack of sound in my viewing. At the end the Joker stealthily walks backward so the scene starts and ends with the Joker coming and going.

Second Time (No Video)

The beginning of this viewing was a little confusing because it is odd noises at the beginning. It is also harder to keep track of all the different characters by just their voices when the video better shows who they’re talking to.
Now turn the volume up, but play it without looking at the screen (or turn off the screen); just listen to the audio. The Joker talks in a very strange sound and talks at a faster than normal pace. I think this scene also has a good use of background noise such as the nickel reference and then coins jingling. Also the chairs being pushed back so that someone is upset and the situation is getting tense. This scene starts with the Joker laughing but just ends with the door being slammed.

Third Time (Regular)

I think somethings that are missed when not watching with both noise and video is subtle things such as the smirks and facial expressions the mobsters have in response to what the Joker is saying so you can understand more. Also his response to the ‘television’s plan’ is missed during both the video and audio viewings. Watching normally also shows the true craziness, but genius of the Joker. It also shows how the Joker knows how to keep control of his emotions and play his audience. I also think the music had little effect in the audio viewing but works well here to build suspense since we better understand what is going on.


Some ways I can analyze this using Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” such as his description the “golden rule” and “the rule of thirds” when he shows the characters. The Joker is mostly shown with him in the middle of the shot such as in an “objectified, like a mug shot” manner and this works since he is the main protagonist of the film so he would be the criminal to be arrested. The mobsters in the scene vary between the left and right side. The main gangster who gets upset after the Joker makes his nickel joke goes from being on the right side of the screen at the beginning which shows that he is a more positive character to the left side of the screen after the joke which shows he has become more of a negative character as he becomes more aggressive. The man on the tv screen is also shown dead center which leads me to believe he is the ring leader of the mobsters and is also a main antagonist. I think this scene does a good job of showing subtle things that really add into the movie and build up later. Also the Joker does a good job of balancing crazy with sane/brilliant due to his appearance and voiced mixed with what he is actually saying to the mobsters. The Joker knows how to manipulate them to help him later and that seems to be the main purpose of this scene.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually seen this movie so comment if my predictions were totally wrong.

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