Film Study: the Shining

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Film is an important part of culture, because it combines aspects such as song, story-telling, art and expression. The scenes of a film come together to create harmony and to express an idea. The Shining is a film that expressed Stephen King’s novel in a cinematic way. In every scene from this film there are indications of formalist techniques, when viewed all together as a movie, the idea of this movie being formalist is ensured. The movement of the camera when we follow Danny down the hallways, the creepy soundtrack and the editing when Danny sees the two girls; every one of these make up a formalist film.

Formalism in film is described as manipulating techniques and making the manipulations evident to its audience. In formalist films, the audience can sense the presence of the artist; they can detect the style and character of the director. In the scene where Danny rides his tricycle through the corridors of the hotel, the camera’s presence is made evident. It isn’t a subtle movement that can be found in a classical film. For example, in Hollywood’s new Premium Rush where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character and Dania Ramirez’s character are talking on Bluetooth while riding their bikes, the camera is simply side scrolling or facing the character head on. In the shining, the camera as a human feel to its movement, this creates a spine tingling feeling for the audience. The technical use of the steadicam creates a feeling of a supernatural presence in the room. It gives the camera more purpose than just to show the film, it makes the camera part of the film; it is an extra character. On set, the steadicam is following Danny, but in the movie, the haunted essence follows Danny, and this mood is created by using a formalistic camera technique. When this technique is used throughout the film, we know that something supernatural is about to be discovered. With this in mind, we anticipate the next scene of the film, we anticipate the moments where the haunted...
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