Cinematography and the Concept of Ownership in Il Posto
Il Posto (Ermanno Olmi, 1961), on the whole, makes a statement against an immerging consumer and corporate culture and its dehumanizing effects. The main character, Domenico (Sandro Panseri), is a young man looking for employment in lieu of education or some other form of self-enrichment. During his quest he becomes infatuated with a fellow applicant, Antonietta (Loredana Detto). After the initial phase of their application process, they wander the streets of Milan awaiting their test results. In one particular scene they are window shopping, and through the use of cinematography a hidden subtext is revealed, which suggests the true relationship between their relationship with each other and the objects they view. The scene begins in a LS with the main characters walking slowly down a sidewalk towards the camera. The shot ends in a MCU of the main characters fixing their attention to an overcoat in a shop window. This seems to suggest that the overcoat will bring Domenico and Antonietta closer emotionally as it did physically on screen, but there is further evidence this is just a misconception of the importance of the item on Domenico’s behalf. The next shot shows the jacket in the window from Domenico’s vantage point. In the reflection Domenico is on one side of the jacket with Antonietta on the other side. The jacket is separating the two. If Domenico obtains it perhaps he can obtain Antonietta. The scene then goes to Domenico centered in the frame, similar to the jacket, as he switches his gaze from Antonietta to the jacket. The next shot is the jacket once more but from Antonietta perspective. It shows the jacket but in the reflections neither Domenico nor Antonietta can be seen. This seems to suggest that, at least to Antonietta, the jacket means nothing in regards to the relationship between her and Domenico. The next portion of the scene follows the main characters as they make their way past a...
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