Goodfellas - Content Analysis

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Goodfellas – Club Scene content analysis

Camera and Editing

The scene starts with a close up of two character’s hands exchanging a set of car keys. Then the camera zooms out into a very brief establishing mid shot, showing three characters: two men and a woman. The main character, Henry Hill joins the woman, and the camera starts to track them from behind. They go down into the club’s basement, skipping the queue and walk through, what appears to be, a complicated kind of maze through the club’s kitchen and hallways. Already we can get a sense that the main character has something dark, mysterious and very underground about him. This is because he somehow has the power over these people working at the club, to be privileged enough to skip the club’s queue. During the characters walk through the kitchens the audience gets a real sense of the popularity of the club and the importance the main character has. This is because some of the other underground characters are happily saying hello to him and getting out of his and his girlfriends way. The camera still tracks them from behind and at one point Henry turns over to the side to look at something. The camera briefly follows this movement only to show another cook happily greeting him. Always keeping a small distance away from the main characters, the camera shows several random actors walking past behind them. Though it is a simple technique, it adds to the tense atmosphere. This whole scene is all one shot. I think it is very effective. If there had been any cuts during the characters walk into the club, the audience would not get the idea of this complicated walk they must complete just to get to the main part of the club. Tracking characters progress from behind is almost creating the effect that something is chasing them, which I think ads to the excitement of this gangster film.

Sound and Editing

During the exchanging of the keys, there is non-diagetic...
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