Essay on Cinematography of Th American Beauty

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  • Topic: Cinematography, Depth of field, Citizen Kane
  • Pages : 1 (407 words )
  • Download(s) : 161
  • Published : October 26, 2012
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Analysis of the Cinematography of "American Beauty"

Cinematography is an art form, not just an aspect of a movie. Cinematography affects the mood and tone of a movie as well as the viewers’ feelings while watching a movie. In American Beauty this is demonstrated beautifully through camera techniques, lighting, and the framing of the shot. Camera techniques include aerial, deep focus, pan, shallow focus, slow motion, soft focus, and the tracking shot. Lighting is more than just shining a light on a character. The cinematographer must know how to manipulate the lighting to create the mood and the correct throw of the light. He must know when to use soft light and when to use hard light to create the lines and shadows desired. The framing of a shot also adds to a movie. Framing the shot is the placement of objects and people in a scene to create the mood or to direct the viewers’ focus. These are all elements to think about when watching a movie and they are all shown superbly in American Beauty.

American Beauty is narrated by Lester Burnham, the husband of Carolyn Burnham and father of Jane Burnham. He informs the audience that he has less than a year to live but in reality he is already dead; and the whole movie looks back at his life through his eyes. Lester Burnham is a 42-year-old who is unhappily married and is despised by his wife and daughter. Behind the red door of their home, the family is falling apart. The dinner table is a battleground, where the mother and father tear apart one another’s unhappy lives and their daughter retreats into a balanced yet flawed reality – she has no thought of being loved. Carolyn is only driven by success and Lester has just had enough. He makes friends with the cool, confident Ricky Fitts (who supplies him with drugs) and becomes a rebel, no longer even pretending to accept his family’s criticisms. Meanwhile his wife has an affair with the real estate “King,” Buddy Kane, and even when Lester finds out he does not...
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