Gladiator Movie Essay

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Jeannie Hardy
PHO 184B
Professor Smith
September 7, 2102

Chapter 1 Essay
The film Gladiator is not only known for Russell Crowe’s Academy award winning performance, but it is also known for it’s camerawork and cinematography. This film has a considerable amount of blatant formalism, which director Ridley Scott uses to portray Maximus’ message. Camera angles are commonly used to distinguish power in a scene, most of the time by using low-angle or high-angle shot. These types of angels are seen throughout the film. A main part of cinematography is color symbolism seen throughout Gladiator. Another key component of camerawork used by director Ridley Scott are the various types of shots he use. In the text Understanding Movie by author Louis Giannetti defines shots as, “shots are determined on the basis of how much human figure is in the view (Giannetti, 2011, pg. 9).”

In chapter 9, 00:05 of Gladiator a blatant show of formalism is in this scene, which starts by showing the dessert nothing but rock that has a little light and no sign of life. Then in a brief moment Maximus’ face is shown in a close-up shot, where he appears to be floating as if ethereal or maybe in the after life. The shot changes quickly to a wall white with a closed wood door, the shot fells sorrowfully because of the color trend the color change is drastic from the bright reds of the dessert to the cool serenity of the blues. The mystic laughter of a child is heard as Maximus’ hand again touches the grain field, with the wind blowing softly giving the sense of freedom. Back to the harsh rock and his hand touches it in the same motion but then in another close up shot his eyes open. As if he is so torn apart by the loss of his family he in another world entirely. This world consists of wind wildly blowing a flag that shadows the shot and a wild free white horse possibly his horse, running free, the clouds and sky moving at and unearthly rate, then jackal growling and biting snaps him...
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