My Kid Could Paint That

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MANIPULATED BY THE DIRECTOR

As a director, it is very important when making a movie to stay true to what he believes in order to truly allow his audience to relate what they are seeing. In order to make this happen, the filmmaker has to make certain decisions during the post-production, mainly during the editing process. For example: choosing the amount of footage being played, shots, music, locations, what moments to show, etc. As a result, the movie comes out shaped, as the director wants it to. This allows the director not only to project his opinion, but also who he is as an artist. In “My Kid Could Paint That,” Bar-Lev, the director of the documentary uses hand-held shots, close-ups, found footage and open ended endings, which causes the viewer to change positively about Marla, to being more suspicious. This allows the audience to see how manipulative a director can be.

Hand-held shots allow the audience to feel sympathy for a character or characters in a movie. It allows the viewers to understand who and how they react to real life problems. The more real a character looks the more relatable it becomes to the viewer. In my “Kid Could Paint That,” Bar-Lev uses an opening scene introducing Marla in a very childish way. She plays with her brother Zane as a normal four-year-old would. In this same scene, Marla states that she does not like to talk about her paintings or anything related to her artwork (Bar-Lev). Because of this, Bar-Lev decides to always show Marla as a little kid that is why she is never shown in a static/choreographed way (unlike her parents Laura and Mark who are always shown in an interview form: them sitting down and talking straight to the camera.) Marla is shown as herself, like a kid, which is something that Bar-Lev stays true to by using hand-held shots. This method allows the audience to realize how Marla is just a kid who has a gift in painting. It shows how she does not really care about the fame or the money. She is still a kid that just enjoys paining. The viewers can appreciate this because of how Marla is being shown. Again, the director chooses the method of hand-held shots for a reason; he wants his public to like Marla. He wants his audience to see who Marla really is and how talented she can be. He even starts comparing her to other painters. To painters that have the same style as Marla does. The audience does not consider though, that the director decides what painters to choose in order to compare Marla. This is how a director and start manipulating his audience.

Found footage or archival film is used to demonstrate a comparison between the past and the present or to give a comprehensive understanding of a subject matter. Archival film is usually in black and white, or shot several years before the actual one. This medium shows evidence from the past; it shows how society has evolved. Found footage is history on film. In “My Kid Could Paint That” Bar-Lev wants his audience to understand how impressive it is that Marla can paint as well as other famous, more mature/older painters. Marla was compared to Jackson Pollock, and abstract expressionist painter who made similar artwork. Bar-Lev goes back and forward showing images between Jackson Pollock working on his paintings and Marla doing a similar painting. (Bar-Lev) When Bar-Lev shows this, it becomes very clear that Marla and Pollock’s work is very much alike. This is a great method for the audience to start believing how talented a kid like Marla can be and become amazed with her work. This viewer immediately realizes what his four-year-old can really do, paintings like Jackson Pollock’s. But not only is Marla compared to famous painters, she is also compared to other gifted children as examples of mature fascination with child prodigies like Shirley Temple. Again, the director cuts back and forth between Marla and Shirley Temple’s found footage. There is a small sequence where there are exact composed shots between the...
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