American Psycho

American Psycho opens on an elegant meal in an elegant restaurant. The food is shown being prepared, arriving at the table, and being eaten. The preparations are elegant and beautiful but somehow violent. So, too, is the consumption of the meal. Patrick Bateman Christian Bale and his colleagues are elegant but aggressive. They talk, the conversation is elevated in its sophistication, but it doesn't go anywhere. We are aware mainly of the aggression each hurls at the other. They continue on to...

Continuity

The issue of editing for continuity can be addressed by having several ideas operational during the production. Whenever a new location is introduced, a location shot generally a long or extreme long shot should be taken. This master shot will provide general coverage for anything more specific that happens within the scene. Within the scene, the director should film mid shots and close-ups of the actors and dialogue that are important in the scene. Reaction shots should be filmed as separate...

Case Study I The Competent Director Antoine Fuqua King Arthur

Antoine Fuqua is best known for his 2001 film Training Day, featuring Denzel Washington's Oscar-winning performance. King Arthur 2004 followed the Bruce Willis film, Tears of the Sun 2003 . King Arthur is in scale and budget Fuqua's largest film. The King Arthur legend of early England and the knights of the Round Table has been a frequently used basis for films. Cornell Wilde's The Sword of Lancelot 1963 tells the story as Action Adventure. John Boorman's Excalibur 1981 tells the story as...

Dramatic Emphasis

Dramatic emphasis can be achieved in a number of ways. The most obvious is to use a close-up rather than a mid or long shot. The close-up has the greatest emotional impact, a core notion for dramatic impact. A second strategy to suggest dramatic emphasis is to 99 move the camera closer to the action of the scene the closer to the action, the more intense our response to the content of the scene. An alternative strategy here is to consider the shift from objective to subjective placement or the...

Text Interpretation

In order to explore all the aspects of Spielberg's director's idea, we must first identify portions of the text that support that idea. Spielberg tends to explore the various aspects of childhood and adulthood and uses filmmaking to visualize his ideas about childhood and adulthood. This point is important here. Spielberg is such an active proponent of the joy of filmmaking that the process of filmmaking itself almost becomes a character in his work. We will save this part of the interpretation...

The Case of Steinbecks East of Eden

Good stories emanate from strong characterization and compelling plots. They also resonate with the ambitions of the writer. John Steinbeck, the author of East of Eden, earlier in his career wrote The Grapes of Wrath. In both of these novels, Steinbeck told family sagas set at particular points in U.S. history. He was also trying to say something about America. In The Grapes of Wrath, he linked the land and its future to the fate of its farmers, in this case the Joad family. Because of the...

Introduction

Mary Harron has directed interesting series television such as L Word and Homicide, and she is now completing her third feature film. Unlike the other case studies in this book, she has only two feature film credits at the writing of this book, yet I feel that her films are so distinctive that I am concluding the book with an examination of her work in those two films because her director's idea is so compelling. Mary Harron's directors idea is to link celebrity and banality. I will discuss...

Three Contemporary Great Directors Outside America

Great non-American directors have concentrated on particular issues, with perhaps the most significant being the universal issue of tradition versus change. Particular filmmakers, such as India's Sajajit Ray Pather Panchali, 1955 and Japan's Yasujiro Ozu Early Spring, 1956 , have implicitly advocated tradition, while others, such as Spain's Luis Bunuel Exterminating Angel, 1960 and France's Jean Luc Godard Weekend, 1968 have aggressively advocated change. Other filmmakers have represented...